Sérgio Moro

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736–1783), ca. 1770–83.

By LORENZO Stained Glass*

Psychogenesis: geography and meaning

In these times of pandemic, a strong interest in genealogy has awakened in me, which, it seems to me, is not exclusively my curiosity in these dark moments of our history. There is even an area today, linked to psychology, called psychogenetic analysis, which seeks to know or resume the lives of our ancestors and this work, supposedly, can have a kind of healing effect. The basis of this perspective is that we have a kind of « genetic memory » (the reader will certainly have thought of the notion of collective unconscious of Jung) in such a way that current generations reproduce or repeat choices made by ancestors and, consequently, experiences that are, in a certain way, "inscribed" generationally. Where exactly would they be "inscribed"? Let us leave this difficult question aside.

So I started to return to the origins of my paternal family of Italian origin. My great-grandfather arrived in Brazil around the middle of the XNUMXth century. In fact, observing the trajectory of the family members, I realized that many events are repeated: the search for a place that is ours; immigrant thing; marriage with women of greater socio-economic expression… The list of what is repeated is quite interesting, not always so nice, but it is not my focus to talk, of course, about my family.

Where do I want to go? Now enter the title of our text. Let us return to the decisions and attitudes of former judge Sérgio Moro in this psychogenic perspective. As you can see, with some good will, perhaps any theoretical «framework» can make some kind of contribution to understanding the tragic period that we have recently lived or are living through.

For people with some degree of rationality, and reasonable mental health, regardless of whether or not they belong to the legal area, it is transparent that the former judge's action in the case of former President Lula was clearly partisan, dealing, as now with all you know, from an intervention of a political nature, which the current fascist-style government bequeathed us; the destruction of the Brazilian economy and the omission and acts during the pandemic, based on a genocidal policy, worthy of judgment as a crime against humanity, which should occur at some point, perhaps not so distant. Let's not go into the details that are widely known and documented.

Since the beginning of the so-called Lava-Jato, our attention has been drawn to the fact that the population's indignation, with the conduct of the media, was highly selective or classificatory. In other words, the judicial system, used as a political weapon, targeted the left field. Now, for us, who have followed the endemic corruption of right-wing governments since the proclamation of the republic, it is astonishing that it is only now that corruption has become an activity subject to punishment. The reason is due, of course, to the fact that these were revelations of corruption that occurred during the period of the only center-left government experienced by Brazil (add to this uniqueness some measures and legislation to benefit those exploited in the Getúlio years and an attempt or another in the brief João Goulart)

Sérgio Moro was the main legal operator in this political war against the left field. Returning to Hobbes, the path followed by him to accomplish his intention consisted of subjectively killing, subjugating and, finally, imprisoning his adversary. The judge took the idea to the extreme that, in war, nothing can be unfair. The notions of good and evil, of justice and injustice, could not have a place there. In the war that was fought, and that continues in other spaces, force and fraud are the two fundamental virtues. What has caused him to lose credibility is doing or saying things that seem to be signs that he doesn't believe the things he requires others to believe. The judge's actions regarding Alberto Youssef show this unequivocally. Still with Hobbes, vain men like him, who without having great ability, delight in judging themselves brave, tend only to ostentation, because when dangers or difficulties arise, they are only afflicted to see their incapacity discovered, which is now a fact and transforms him into a rare figure, not without precedent in our republic, of a living dead, condemned to inhabit places where being recognized or filmed became the confirmation of his dishonor.

I am concerned, in view of his origins and training, what would have led him to his destiny; mere ambition seems insufficient to me, which leads me to outline speculations that lead us to the title of this text.

I constructed the following fable based on a genealogical mistake by the judge and on what we already know about our psychic formation. Let us suppose that at the age of 6, which begins what Freud called the latency phase, of consistent introjection of what we will call a set of social laws, our judge probably learned of a political fact that shocked us all: In 1978, the Red Brigades, an Italian left-wing group with a Maoist tendency, executed, after 55 days in captivity, the then Prime Minister Aldo Moro. Perhaps, for a child at that age, the fact of being the same last name could have been received – remembering the primacy of the signifier according to Lacan – as being a distant relative since his paternal family came, by boat, as Fernández said, from Italy. However, his father's family, the geography teacher Dalton Moro, was originally from the Veneto region; It is thus unlikely, although an eventual survey may prove it, that the judge and the Italian Prime Minister were related, since the latter is originally from Maglie, in the Publia region, far to the south, close to Sicily. Now, the news of Aldo Moro's death may have been a determining factor in guiding the fate of our judge; as if, in some way, the murder of a distant « relative » by a group of « reds » deserved to be, at some point, justified. Nothing seems to be by chance in our story: Sérgio Moro, like Aldo Moro, will become a lawyer and professor. The misconception of non-kinship, if true, was not dispelled, or was not simply considered, by the father himself who, curiously, was a geography teacher!

The judge's performance in relation to ex-president Lula can perhaps be attributed to this genealogical mistake by Moro: as we have seen, in war, especially against « the reds », any act is worth it. I make use of this fable because, as I said, even the pursuit of power and the resulting honor do not seem to be enough to justify the adherence of Sérgio Moro, the son of decent countryside teachers, to a political project led by a « classic » psychopath, who makes apology for torture. It may have occurred to him, for example, that «the reds» had also tortured Aldo Moro before killing him.

Among the free-for-all practices practiced in Lula's conviction, there is the final "pearl" of the "indeterminate official acts". This abstract expression will hardly be able to receive a reference that makes it comprehensible, as studies of meaning want; also on this point, just like the father, the mother of our judge, as a teacher of Portuguese and literature, could not exert a decisive influence on the intellectual formation of her son, at least in relation to this subject, which includes the difficult, and ontological, question of the difference between concrete and abstract nouns.

Our fable, which I dare to call a hypothesis, also includes the asylum granted to Cesare Battisti by the Lula government. Well, Battisti, according to Italian justice, was a « red man » with blood on his hands. The granting of asylum was a political error, as recently admitted by Lula, and is perhaps due to Tarso Genro's late and out-of-context use of the so-called "Mitterrand doctrine", which welcomed "terrorists" into French territory in the 80s. In any case, the fact that the Lula government welcomed someone like Battisti may also have collaborated in Moro's quest to bring justice to the "relative".

One of the lessons for Lula and for the left from all these events, regardless of Moro's conscious or unconscious motivation, is the following excerpt from Machiavelli (1972, p.41): “and to anyone who is against that opinion of mine, based on that old proverb that says that whoever leans on the people has a foundation of clay, I will say that this is true when a citizen believes that the people will set him free when he is, by chance, oppressed by enemies or by the magistrates”.

*Lorenzo stained glass Professor of Linguistics at the Faculty of Letters at UFMG.


HOBBES, Thomas. Leviathan. São Paulo: Abril Cultural (Os Pensadores), 1979.

MACHIAVELLI, Nicholas. The prince. São Paulo: April Cultural (The Thinkers), 1972.


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