List of Debtors

Image: Elyeser Szturm

By Jean Pierre Chauvin*

In recent days, newspapers have reported the formalization of the Citizen's Base Register by the leader of this neocolony, on October 9. According to information published by the press, the government understands by biometric attributes, “biological and behavioral characteristics such as the palm of the hand, the fingerprints of the fingers, the retina or the iris of the eyes, the shape of the face, the voice and the manner of walking".

Judging by the latest events in our national comic strip, Internet users should not be surprised if they come across work colleagues, family members, friends, app drivers, bank managers, or hairdressers, reacting with the usual resignation. In this group of conformists, the discourse of individual sacrifice in favor of public safety and the fight against various forms of vagrancy will reign.

The most worrying thing, however, will be the likely behavior assumed by the horde of former and neoconservatives who, in the name of the supposed good and rectitude of manners, duly guided by the metaphysical light communicated by pseudo-religious people, will convert such registration of citizens into a spiritual remedy for souls . According to your understanding, which we already know to be shallow, fake and unidimensional, it will be a panacea capable of solving all evils and extinguishing the evildoers of the time, whether they are generically identified as “bandits”, or more specifically, as communists, democrats, humanists, intellectuals, teachers, journalists or comedians, almost all orbiting between the poles of the Earth that those pretend to be flat.

A naive reading could see something positive in the existence of a list of fellow citizens pre-registered by the federal government, since, in theory, it would simplify access to the personal data of potentially bad, deviant and dangerous subjects. However, what to expect from this, in a republic where the representative is prejudiced, the toga is selective and the baton is as violent as it is accurate?

News of this nature deserves to be read and examined with due caution. In the eyes of the captain and most of his supporters, almost everyone would have reason to occupy prominent positions in his list of imaginary enemies. In ten months of mandate, how many Indians, blacks, women, homosexuals were killed? How many times have centers of African matrix religions been overthrown? How many teachers were attacked by students and underestimated by governments, on a municipal, state or federal scale? How many big fish of the “new” politics were judged for the blunders they uttered, for the international gaffes and for the repulsive acts that encourage, when they don't commit them, to smile like maniacs who hate the people?

Perhaps we could resort to examples from the literature to illustrate the present situation and its contours. For example, the Orwellian dystopia figured in the novel 1984, in which Winston Smith and his ilk are monitored, day and night, by telescreens, under constant threat of arrest, for motives as questionable as owning books or writing. Younger readers, consider the scenario described by Veronica Roth in Divergent: devastated world in which teenagers confuse the meaning of personal “choice” with that of compulsory classification, in the name of peace artificially maintained by the State.

Certainly there will be “optimists” who defend the existence of a catalog of people that brings together the subjects that they classify as “good men” or “evildoers”. Adherents of ready-made phrases that fall far short of common sense ("those who shouldn't shouldn't fear" or "my life is an open book"), the fact is that they persist in giving credence to atrocities said and practiced by representatives, whose offices and ministries excel in contradicting the functions to which, theoretically, they would be destined.

One of these days, any one of us – watched with the help of drones, slow vehicles or denounced neighbors – will be taken to a cellar, perhaps to jail, without knowing what thoughts he had, what words he said, what gestures he made, to the point of atoning for the crime. maintenance of good, law and order, in the name of God, profit and militias.

That must be what the ideologues and financiers of the current misgovernment pretend to understand, when they talk about something that never happened in this little big backyard of the United States, land of the free, home of the brave.

*Jean-Pierre Chauvin Professor at the School of Communication and Arts at USP

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