Pachukanian Lexicon

Image: João Nitsche


Commentary on the book of entries on the fundamental concepts of the work of the Russian jurist Evgeni Pachukanis

When I started writing this article, I followed the unfolding of the “Mariana Ferrer” case – I watched the video in which she appears being disrespected, to use a euphemism, by the lawyer whose objective is to defend someone accused of rape. I read some judges criticizing the idea of ​​“guilty rape”. A mixture of nausea and impotence invades me. I am outraged and feel that I don't know how to elaborate on the absurdity of a rape that takes place without the rapist having the intention of raping.

I grab the hand of a good friend, Dona Filó, also known as Philosophy, the one who loves knowledge and I do what she does best with her: questions. What is justice? Who says what is fair and unfair? To what extent can the just be universal? What is the right? What is your specific object? Why so many terms that seem made with the sole aim of excluding those who don't understand, such superb legalese? Who benefits from a legal system which, although represented by a blindfolded goddess, and which is therefore impartial, works to benefit some and harm others?

So many and so many movie images invade my memory, courts following such an apparently dignified ritual, brilliant lawyers who convince a jury insensitive to the cause they defend, trials that pursue the truth and verdicts that correct mistakes. The cinema entangling me over and over again, while the real facts belie it.

So I take the bait Pachukanian Lexicon.

The entries – Contract, Crime, State, Proletarian State, Extinction of Law, Legal Fetishism, Legal Form, Legal Ideology, Method, Morality, Legal Norm, Property, Legal Relationship, Subject of Law – appear as keys, those that would open up the doors of that precinct where justice is done.

And entering I am hooked by Evgeni Pachukanis who, in his 30s, wrote The general theory of law and Marxism (Boitempo), being a thinker who precisely questions the illusions that I have in relation to law – the battle for fair justice, after all – and an activist whose action is to dig the foundations of the capitalist society that sustains it.

The authors of the entries further pull the line that easily takes me out of the water. Oswaldo Akamine Jr., Flávio Roberto Batista, Pablo Biondi, Carolina de Roig Catini, Carlo Di Mascio, Gabriel Martins Furquim, Celso Naoto Kashiura Jr., Márcio Bilharinho Neves, professors and lawyers, all of them specialists in the Russian author. I like a book that brings together diverse lyrics, perspectives, styles, around not only the presentation of other people's ideas that can contribute to current reflection, but also the analysis that deepens those ideas and makes them more fruitful.

Tarso de Melo, the philosopher poet who outlines the epigraph and also writes a review on the book published in Cult Magazine  of October: “against what the fence guards / against what guards it surrounds […]”.

The dish is served in a neat graphic work. I sit at the table. I intend to taste it with all the expectations I have: I invite everyone, each and every one. Good reading!

*Juliana Litvin de Almeida Master in Education from USP.



AKAMINE JR., Oswaldo, BATISTA, Flávio Roberto; BIONDI, Pablo; CATINI, Carolina de Roig; DI MASCIO, Carlo; FURQUIM, Gabriel Martins; KASHIURA JR., Celso Naoto; NAVES, Márcio Bilharinho. Pachukanian Lexicon. Marília, Editora Lutas Anticapital, 2020.

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