Genocide messiah, demonized Lazarus

Tolita-Tumaco culture, Seated figure, 1st century BC-1st century AD.


Dostoevskian superstitions

“– It's strange that you insist on that when I already told you that I see […] of course I see, I see how I'm seeing you… […]– It's more likely to be an illness, however… — However what? […] I will tell you seriously and shamelessly: I believe in the devil, I believe canonically, in the devil himself, not in allegory, and I have no need to question anyone, that is all” (Dostoevsky. The demons).

Perhaps we are close to understanding what Dostoevsky meant when he said that what, under the parameters of common sense, tends to be discarded as fantastic and exceptional, consists, most of the time, in the very essence of reality. As perhaps we are also closer to why, in order to defend this understanding of his, he claimed not religion (as we know, he declared himself an orthodox Christian), but the facts reported daily in the newspapers; since, according to him, the facts themselves, “insofar as they are facts”, demonstrated by A + B, that the fantastic and exceptional “occur all the time and every minute, and are in no way exceptional”.[I] Thus, if this giant of literature declared that his era was “more literary” than the preceding ones,[ii] this was due not so much to a greater presence of aberrations and extraordinary coincidences, which had long been ordinary themselves, but to the increasingly obvious and evident connection between all general and particular matters: “Read the newspapers, please, today nowadays one cannot do otherwise, not because it is fashionable, but because the evident connection between all general and particular matters is becoming stronger and more and more obvious”.[iii]

And that's when it comes to us Brazilians, astonished, in this first half of 2021. It already seemed exceptional enough that the nationally known forensic psychiatrist Guido Palomba had gone public, after applying his psychiatric knowledge to politics, to offer the nation the “diagnostic hypothesis” that Bolsonaro is clinically a psychopath[iv] – who, in a strange and terrible coincidence, had his trait hyperpotentiated with a presidency in the midst of a global pandemic (as if the occasion came to meet the genocide); with Lázaro Barbosa now known as the “DF serial killer”, we have in the newspaper news something like a horror tale of what Bolsonaro, also factually, tries to elevate to an epic of an absolutely grotesque character. Tale or epic, the fact is that the ticket that will allow this strange Lazáro and this strange Messiah to have, in addition to being in the newspapers, their names written in the bloody books of History is the magnitude of the bloodbath that they clearly showed more than who are willing to open the floodgates. In Dostoevskian terms, one could then launch the following “diagnostic hypothesis”: the only way for an “aesthetic louse” to become, let’s say, something similar to a “Napoleon” is only the degree of cruelty who is willing to take a hand.[v] That this is infamous is not something that offends everyone's taste, after all, if it weren't for the atrocities, how could Bolsonaro, a deputy and mediocre military man, be praised in the streets as Mito? How could the miserable Lázaro Barbosa appear in the trending topics of Twitter compared to none other than Rambo? As the truly beautiful hero of The demons: “if it is to commit some crime or, the main thing, a dishonor, that is, an ignominy, let it be very infamous and (...) funny, so that people will remember it for a thousand years and for a thousand years repudiate it”.[vi]

It is presented to us, then, as a kind of sad charade and tragic and self-prophetic joke, that the President Messiah, on the day that 500.000 deaths from covid-19 were recorded, has been silent about the victims with whose blood he has soiled his own hands, to pay homage to the police officers who run after a demon-possessed Lazarus because he also has blood on his own hands.[vii] It would even be the case to reassure ourselves in the face of the statement by the major of the Federal District military police, recently published in the press, that “If he [Lázaro] is the satanic force, the security forces are the angels of God”;[viii] if we didn't know that a good part of these same "angels of God" share the doctrine of the President Messiah who according to countless other facts, in addition to Guido Palomba's diagnostic hypothesis, is without any metaphor or poetic license the true "DF serial killer" given the incomparability of thousands of serial and daily deaths.[ix]

As if supporting an absurd and dark gospel, we witness, then, by following the newspapers, the existence of a Lazarus who, instead of being exorcised or resurrected, if the angels are successful, runs the risk of being shot in the head, like the now Judas Wilson Witzel would say, under his pharisaic mantle of a democrat – who, by the way, is very much in vogue at the Covid CPI, of which, as is known, one of the sections was recently suspended so that its juice priest Omar Aziz feasted on the miracle of the multiplication of pizzas that he could fight,[X] bought with the “yes” to the privatization of Eletrobrás.[xi] Weird time is ours! It does not seem a mistake to suggest that he is also more literary than those who preceded him. It even reminds us of what that other Messiah who raised that other Lazarus said, when in front of the temple of the Pharisees: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses. Obey them and do whatever they tell you. But don't do what they do, because they don't practice what they preach”;[xii] it reminds us of what the devil himself said, the unclean spirit, when he announced his name: “Legion”, “because we are many”.[xiii]

May the good winds of reason, which for the moment are at a standstill, carry us away from superstitions! Because in the midst of all this fantastic grotesque and exceptional brutality, sometimes it even seems to be the case of suspecting that Roberto Alvim – the very one who intended to inaugurate the “renaissance” of Brazilian theater coincidentally with a production of The demons -[xiv]  perhaps he did not even act in bad faith when he denounced that the devil himself was the one who tricked him to the point of making him broadcast an imitation of Nazi propaganda without his realizing it.[xv]

*Mariana Lins Costa is a postdoctoral fellow in Philosophy at the Federal University of Sergipe.

Part of the initial considerations presented here are arranged in the series “Bolsonaro in Dostoiévski's demons” published by the newspaper the partisan.


[I] Dostoevsky apoud Frank, J. Dostoevsky: The Miracle Years, 1865-1871. São Paulo: Edusp, 2003, p. 463.

[ii] Dostoevsky apud Moser, CA “Dostoevsky and the aesthetics of journalism”. Dostoevsky's Studies, vol. 3, 1982, p. 29.

[iii] Dostoevsky apoud Frank, J. Dostoevsky: The Miracle Years, 1865-1871, P. 327.


[v] At work Crime and punishment, the hero Raskolnikov commits a brutal murder in order to prove to himself a man as extraordinary as a Napoleon and, with that, escape his condition of, according to him, “aesthetic louse”. In any case, being more sensitive and moral than he would like, Raskolnikov cannot get rid of the guilt for the murder, which at the end of the novel leads him to confess his crime.

[vi] Dostoevsky. The demons, P. 237.






[xii] Matthew 23:2,3

[xiii] Mark 5: 9



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