commitment consciousness


By Tarso Genro*

In this article I deal with the small and large commitments in History and I am inspired once again by episodes of the great literature of the last century.

Proust and Joyce met only once, in 1921, at a party in their honor at the home of novelist Stephen Hudson. In the book The modern world - ten great writers, Malcom Bradbury, literary critic and novelist, describes the meeting as follows: “Of course, everyone thought Proust would not come, but he did. Joyce arrived late, rather drunk, and did not approach Proust until he was about to leave. Proust complained about his stomach and Joyce complained about the view. “I regret not knowing the work of Mr. Joyce,” said Proust. (…) “I have never read Mr. Proust,” said Joyce.

And adds ser Bradbdury: “A great moment in the history of literature was wasted, as it usually happens. When Odysseus was published the following year, Proust was already struggling with death. The two generations never met, and only successors like Samuel Beckett would see the connection between them.”

In 1937, in Nazi Germany, there were still 1735 Jews among the country's 17.360 lawyers. The following year, a regulatory decree of the “Citizenship Law” revoked the right of all non-Aryan citizens to practice the profession of lawyers. Jewish lawyers were qualified - from there - as “Jewish Legal Consultants, who could only act on behalf of Jewish clients”.

Such a measure allowed the Reich authorities to proclaim that "German lawyers could (should) once again feel proud of having the title of lawyer". Just as the disagreement between Proust and Joyce filled a great moment in the history of literature with silence, the cowardice of the vast majority of German lawyers in the face of the misfortune of their Jewish colleagues sacrificed a compromise between Aryans and Jews that would defy inhumanity and prejudice in the struggle against Nazism.

After the Second World War, Germany is reunited with the Weimar Republic, under the human ashes of the Holocaust, when we begin to recover not only the great heroic narratives, such as the defense of Stalingrad, but also to visualize the short opportunities for communion -as in the dialogues of Churchill and Stalin - that added up, both in the history of literature and in political life, could project different results in the future of the world. History is made history as much in the daily sum of small gestures as in the great economic, political and military confrontations.

Proust and Joyce had no conscience - at the time of meeting - which would later be considered, by different paths and reasons, two great monuments of literature in the XNUMXth century: the useless beauty of aristocratic and bourgeois decadence genially fused by Proust in the volumes of in search of lost time, and the end of Enlightenment revolutionary realism - in language and theme - of the portentous Odysseus from Joyce. The two writers could not have a humanistic “commitment” to talk about the destinies of the world because they were not aware of their own greatness and to ask them to do so would be to make a sterile and belated demand.

In the case of German lawyers and jurists, who helped shape barbarism as a legal order stabilized by death and violence, the conclusion is different. The brutality of Nazism erected in coherent order - as a system - was being constituted, not only by the great narratives of a certain portion of German romanticism as an idealization of the past, but also by the invisible pacts in the daily life of oppression, like this one of the majority of German lawyers when supporting Nazism.

They were the authors of the naturalization of hatred of the different, the strange, the foreign, which ended up killing everything that was good and generous in the land of Hegel, Goethe, Schiller, Marx and Thomas Mann. They are guilty, co-authors of the massacre and can be understood by the History of the great narratives, but never forgiven by those who are committed to equality before the law and the values ​​of democracy as the substance of life.

I remember these facts to return to the issue of the fight against fascism in Bolsonarico Brazil and say - with all due respect to those who disagree - that the moves made by Marcelo Freixo and Paulo Teixeira, articulating a broad front to resect the most acute normative aspects of Moro's fascist package, seemed correct to me.

It is not little, in a Congress that has a political majority to implement fascist laws (which are already “de facto” norms supported by the media) to manage to drive a wedge - albeit modest - in fascist legality, which travels from real life to integrate itself into the penal forms of ultraliberal domination in Brazil.

I think that this commitment, which was radiated by the parliamentary majority, should actually serve as an example for the great leaders and political leaders of the left and of the democratic field - Lula, Ciro, Boulos, Haddad, Manuela, Requião, Marina, Randolfe, Carlos Siqueira, Lupi -manifestly anti-fascist leaders - concerned themselves less with their immediate personal agendas and more with the unity capable of defeating fascism.

Let's think about it: (1) after a fascist aggression, the rule of law will never be the same again. Either it will be another or it will be chaos; (2) after ultraliberalism, dependent national developmentalism - supported by subsidized “national” private capital, will be a mirage in the past;

(3) if the left and authentic democrats do not unite in difference - to give a minimum perspective of future security - the masses alienated from regular work and dispersed by market culture, will move to right-wing authoritarianism in search of succor and
militia protection.

Will our national leaders with political influence have the “consciousness of commitment” that Joyce and Proust could not have? Or will they take the step forward, which the German lawyers and jurists did not take, when occupied with their immediate and partisan tasks, did they not perceive the catastrophe of Europe as a catastrophe of the whole world, leaving the Jews to their own devices?

I think that this small movement by Freixo and Paulo Teixeira can indeed be criticized, because after all we are trying to organize the fight against ultraliberal fascism, which is new in history. My opinion, however, is that they were brave and daring and dehydrated Moro's fascist package. Based on their example, our leaders could propose more daring and unified movements to block the serpent's eggs, with more democracy and more political courage.

*Tarsus in law he was Governor of Rio Grande do Sul and Minister of Justice in the Lula Government.

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