Conservatism is not the same as smugness

Qualquer argumento conservador contra a liberação dos cassinos deverá levar em conta o histórico e a funcionalidade dessa proibição na ordem social

Any conservative argument against the release of casinos must take into account the history and functionality of this ban in the social order| Photo: BigStock


In politics, terminological discussions often do not lead to nowhere. The leftist defines what the “true left” is as being himself, and not the faction contrary to his own within the left. Liberal and Conservative, ditto. The argument can go on forever because what is at stake is not truth but power. However, it is advisable to give a brake when the thing goes beyond the limit.

In the case of the left, things crossed the line when the class went to the cucuias. I have in mind the pseudo-leftists who start to claim the right (never denied) of ebony dondokas to wear Prada or appear on the cover of a fashion magazine, while attacking the evangelical doorman and the infamous “poor right-winger”. Historically, those who called themselves leftists always took into account the question of class. Historically, those who were not ashamed to send the class to the cucuias and focus only on race did not say they were leftists, they said they were Nazis.

Historically, liberalism is identified with the decentralization of power. The politics of England made an innovative move and its principles were documented by John Locke, who deserves to be considered the first liberal philosopher and inevitable reference. In the 19th century there was Mill, an ambiguous figure with a troubled intellectual trajectory, who ended up as a socialist. Based on this, Anglophones, especially those in the United States, started semantic vandalism. And we, who import all kinds of nonsense from there, are seeing the pseudo-liberals in favor of state distribution of modests and state discrimination between truth and lies (because criminalization of

fake news

is nothing else.

The Conservatives

Among conservatives I don’t think there is a problem of this magnitude. But I believe there is a confusion that the gambling controversy has brought to light.

In the last podcast O Papo É, Rodrigo Constantino expressed a thought that seems common and wrong to me: the issue of the liberation of gambling was opposed to liberalism and conservatism. Although he correctly characterized conservatism by respecting the established order, which is not to be confused with the immutability of such an order, in the next step he opposes conservatism to liberalism in the matter of gambling. The conservative should be inclined to ban such games, because of the arguments raised by the evangelical bench, and the liberal should be in favor of liberation, for the sake of defending freedoms. Constantine sided with the liberals on this issue and used prostitution as an example: it is possible to find it reprehensible without wanting to prohibit it.

It is a mistake to confuse the defense of moralistic prohibitions with conservatism. That’s why I’m going to take the hook of prostitution.

In a famous passage from the ‘ De ordine’, Saint Augustine defends prostitution. (It can be read here in English or here in Latin.) Isn’t the whore a short woman? For St. Augustine, it is. And is not the executioner himself a bad man? Too. But each occupies its place in the social order. If we abolished ruthless men, society would lack executioners and order would be compromised. If all women who are not prone to monogamous life were abolished, the social order – according to St. Augustine’s belief – would collapse. There is evil in the world and it is not possible to want to improve the work and God abolishing it. This is deeply conservative thinking. It considers that man is flawed, and that social reformers cannot pretend to moralize everyone by force. It also considers that the order is complex enough to accommodate evil; and therefore for anyone to change in the big hand.

What would Saint Augustine say about the pretensions of the evangelical bench to moralize the family by prohibiting everything? What Damares-style evangelicals want is for the police to prevent a husband or son from drinking too much, from taking drugs, from spending everything on gambling. This is not the role of the state! It is the role of man himself, which has to be disciplined; and it is the role of the mother or woman to help in this. It is not enough to keep crying out for the State to grow and solve its domestic problems. Following this evangelical tune, women marry anyone they find in a rehabilitation clinic and the State puts a policeman at the door, making sure he is a good husband.

Let’s get to the cultural aspect. In Protestant countries with a Puritan culture (and the Puritans weren’t exactly conservative…), prostitution is prohibited. Back in the United States, therefore, it would make sense for a conservative to ask, “If our society created this ban, is it a good idea to take it out like this, in the big hand?” That’s conservative reasoning, not, “Um, banning prostitution is silly, so let’s banning prostitution.” If the prohibition of prostitution agenda reappears in Brazil (I say “reappear” because feminists had this agenda at the time of the PT), a conservative should think, in the same way: “If our society created this permission, it would be a good idea to take it out. her like that, in the big hand?” The prohibition of prostitution fulfills some function in the order of the United States; your permission fulfills some in Brazil. Putting your ass off out of nowhere is not prudent.

Thus, any conservative argument against the release of casinos should take into account the history and functionality of this ban in the social order. I myself have no opinion on the matter.

Without Mohicans in North Korea

In case anyone still want to insist that conservative and grimace are the same thing, I move on to a capillary issue. Would the evangelical ladies at the Damares base like it if their children decided to wear a green mohawk? I bet not. If there was a green mohawk outbreak, what would these ladies do?

)In North Korea, such an outbreak is impossible. There is a list of allowed haircuts. Everyone is very straight, naturally, and no subject can wear that Kim Jong-Un hair.

Is anyone here going to say that North Korea is a conservative country? It is a single totalitarian and straight country.

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