Alexandre de Moraes' style

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By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL*

We need democracy, protection of rights, inclusion and political education. Not of “good” truculence, of “good” anything goes

Yes, it was horrible for the Bolsonaro lawyer to confuse Machiavelli with Saint-Exupéry. Such an embarrassment. When the guy was in front of the highest court in the country, in a trial of enormous notoriety. Did he know he was going to be seen all over Brazil and didn't even prepare?

But let's be honest: this lack of culture is not his privilege. I see it in students who graduate from the best universities, in fellow teachers. People who don't know whether Van Gogh was a musician or an actor.

Alexandre de Moraes also made his mistake, when he wanted to attack the lawyer. He cited Saint-Exupéry as “Antoniê”.

No one is obliged to know French. But would it have been worth sending an advisor to consult forvo.com before speaking? (Forvo is a website that presents the pronunciation of millions of words in several languages).

Now, how are we going to make fun of Sergio Moro talking about Edith “Piá”?

Worse is Alexandre de Moraes' style. The minister puts on the “Xandão” costume and leaves sealing it. Speeches carefully thought out to go viral as memes.

“Pathetic and mediocre”, repeated twice, does not belong to a judge in court. It was off key. Alexandre de Moraes could have dismissed the lawyer with subtlety and finesse, as one would expect from a member of such a high-ranking court, invested with the task of judging. But subtlety and finesse they don't go viral.

We rightly criticize Sérgio Moro for not behaving as a judge, but as one of the parties to the process. Now are we going to applaud “Xandão” for the same reason? Do the ends really justify the means?

Machiavelli, I think everyone now knows, never wrote this. (Although the phrase was inserted into a terrible translation of the Discorsi, published some time ago by Editora UnB.). Instead, he enunciated the central drama of political activity: that good is often weak in the face of evil. And that, therefore, it may be necessary to do evil for good to triumph.

But he was well aware of the present difficulties, of the contamination between means and ends: “It will rarely happen that a virtuous citizen wants to seize power through illegitimate means, even with the best intentions; or that an evil man, having achieved power, wants to do good, putting to good use the power he gained through evil.”

It is necessary to punish the putschists of January 8th, no one has any doubts. But, by applauding “Xandão” in such an unrestricted way, part of the left seems to fall into a primary Machiavellianism, contrary to the Florentine's lessons. Although calling it Machiavellianism is generosity, it is really dazzled pigeonholing.

Are we going to forget the trajectory of Alexandre de Moraes, how he got to where he is, the many demonstrations of lack of love for democracy over the years? Let's stop asking why there is so much bravery against the bagrinhos, but speech always thins out in front of those in charge? And, above all: are we going to forget that there are many snakes, that many eggs can be hatched?

We need democracy, protection of rights, inclusion and political education. Not of “good” truculence, of “good” anything goes, of vigilante heroes.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of Democracy in the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil (authentic).

Originally posted on the author's social media.


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