The normative basis of the right to kill



The “talk of power”, in Brazil today, goes beyond the search for social control through State mechanisms. It is a project to use militia violence without limits

“The culprit was the victim, who should have had a birthday with a theme other than the PT. It was obviously a provocation. He was asking for a bullet and then he gets shot and he doesn't know why”. These words, from a speech attributed to the Chief of Staff Ciro Nogueira and published by Christian Lynch, with the “quotation marks” that mean to indicate a mere transcription, have not yet been fully confirmed as to their authorship, in the exact terms in which they were published.

Soon after, however, it was seen that confirmation became unnecessary: ​​the words and attitudes of the President of the Republic, when relating to the victim's family - without any empathy or expression of respect for their pain - confirmed that the "line ” of Ciro Nogueira's alleged speech is the same line of barbarism and political necrophilia that characterize the current leader of the nation. The successive political moments of “exception” that brought us to the tragedy that surrounds us, were built by homeopathic doses in the “trajectories through which the state of exception and the relations of enmity” – established in politics – became “the normative basis of the right to kill”, as argued by Achille Mbembe, in the book Necropolitical.

The control and establishment of death, as the defining moment of a political project, has successive stages of implementation, recalls the same author, as “they presuppose the distribution of the human species into groups, the subdivision of the population into groups and subgroups and the establishment of a caesura, a biological (separation) between one and the other”. It is the first stage of creating a directed political culture, in which the ideology of the dominant power groups segregates a part of society, on which they deposit the fictional notion of the enemy.

On this subject, with no “margin of error”, the dominant groups can dedicate themselves to killing or encouraging the elimination of adverse groups, families, entire communities, whose segregation facilitates the extinction of life: the murdered inert body does not generate guilt in the groups that killed or helped to naturalize death, nor regrets about the sacrifice of those considered disposable by power. On the contrary, it generates a greater need for the display of hatred to win a competition for loyalty to the “boss” between minds disturbed by violence and excited by blood. The promise of limitless power is that which has bodies to satiate its murderous compulsions.

It is about – in the case of the murder of the PT militant Marcelo Arruda – to point out whether the murder had “reasons based on political hatred”, to verify whether it was the product of an ideological alignment between the murderer and the political leader responsible for the worst practices of the Government of our short republican history after 1988, or whether the criminal event was just a deviation of an electoral nature, as a mere alignment of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro with a right wing defender of a “relative democracy”. By the first possibility, it can be concluded that the current “speech of power”, in Brazil today, goes beyond the search for social control by the traditional mechanisms of State Power, but is a project of unlimited use of militia violence, tested by regimes fascists and nazis.

They are regimes that sanction death, not as an accident in the course of the domination of “rebel” bodies, but as the basic foundation of a necrophilic method of doing politics, becoming a permanent action of the State. In this situation, the contradictions admitted by power no longer distinguish between barbarism and civilization, socialism and capitalism, democracy or dictatorship, formal democracy and democracy of fundamental rights, as all their differences are suppressed by the legitimizing discourse of death as the essence of national unity.

A simple matter of Folha de São Paulo on April 24, 2019, whose simple headline was “Government offers 40 billion in amendments to deputies who vote for the reform” and which, in the “lead”, informed that “according to the leaders, value offered by Onyx increases by 65% ​​the management of the Budget by congressmen”, perhaps it could serve as a symbolic example in the future, as a precise moment where there is no longer any trace of decency or indignation with the perversion of the Republic. There is the moment of a “turn of the corner” in the constitutional course of the State where the Government subordinates public morality, which loses its minimum social cohesion force: the elementary parameters from which the existence, or not, of of a Rule of Law are eliminated by yet another leap, towards a full state of exception, which becomes more and more real as an “emergency” (electoral), for the government that left legality and constitutionality without any caution. It is already a “de facto government”, as it has become definitively alien to any ethical or legal limit, establishing its own law by the force of facts and its own morality by the license to kill, which already crosses the State – from end to end – and normalizes itself in the passive acceptance of the institutions of control.

What is the ethical, political and moral difference – unarmed and grandiose – that the field of the left and the broad democratic front have today, compared to the necrophiliac government of Jair Bolsonaro? In this article I speak only of ethics, politics and morals, because the economic, social and human differences of the republican restoration project of the parties are clear, not only by the personalities of their most expressive and conflicting leaders, but also by what both have concretely done to and across the country.

We see and know what Jair Bolsonaro and Ciro Nogueira say and do, in this moment of crisis, when they are inspired by Hitler and Mussolini and try to drag the Armed Forces into a condition subsidiary to a parallel militia power, while Lula and Alckmin are inspired by Mandela , when President Botha in a speech on January 31, 1985, in the South African Parliament, promised to release Mandela and his fellow African National Council members if they called on their fellows to lay down their arms before the Government of “apartheid”. There Nelson Mandela sent a message: “Prisoners cannot enter into contracts, only free men can negotiate”.

On April 27, 1994 Nelson Mandela voted for freedom to hear, on May 2, “Mr De Klerk” – as Mandela called him since prison – make a speech admitting the defeat of the racist government, in a election where the candidate of the African National Congress obtained 62,5% of the votes to assume the Presidency of the country. But what does the new President Nelson Mandela propose when he begins to govern after more than 27 years in prison? The national unity of the pairing by death, whose was across the river? No, the words spoken on the authorities' platform on the day of his inauguration are different: “Let freedom reign. God bless Africa (...) and after the Air Force's demonstration “of high precision and military force, but a demonstration of military allegiance to democracy to a new government that had been freely and fairly elected”, Nelson Mandela adds: “Nobody is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, his background or his religion. People have to learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can teach to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Only in fascists and nazis does this naturalness not exist, because historically their policies have always led to death and impiety. That is why it is important for all democrats to unite – from the center right to the left – to impose a demoralizing electoral defeat on the candidate who encourages death and wants to establish barbarism as the definitive policy of the State.

*Tarsus in law he was governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, mayor of Porto Alegre, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Institutional Relations in Brazil. Author, among other books, of possible utopia (Arts & Crafts).


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