From the height of your convictions, what would you do if you woke up the dictator of Brazil, with the right to a bloodbath and all? I, in a dictatorial daydream, would put vegans in jail and criminalize the presence of psychologists in HR departments. Anyone who considers that human life is worth as much as that of a pig could not live in society. And, as I believe that 99,9% of psychologists are completely unbalanced, they would be kept away from HRs in order for the country to prosper.
What else ? Well, if I had woken up as a dictator, that implies that the current presidents of the country – the Supreme (Federal Court) and other “law operators” – would no longer send anything. The ongueiros might have fled to Miami on their own. Without funding, gender ideology would end. Let me think more about what I would do with power to promote bloodbath. I think that’s all it is: no vegans, no HR psychologists and, just in case, no gender ideologues (John Money’s followers), no racial segregationists. What else? What else? Ah, I couldn’t forget: closing all Freirean faculties of education. In addition, to start recovering the Brazilian family, I would end the mandatory DNA tests and the state discretion over alimony. It would also end the ECA and send a commission of notables to create new penal legislation. As long as it was not ready, the criminal law prior to the Constituent Assembly came into force.
Ready. This is what I would do if I woke up with supreme powers.
I did this exercise because of the whining about extremism, opposites, horseshoe theory, etc. The current wave of criminalization of opposition to progressivism uses the notion of “extremism”. This term only makes sense if we think of politics as a continuum with ends or ends. If you’re too far right, you’re a right-wing extremist. If it’s too far to the left, it’s a left-wing extremist. The task of the good democrat would be similar to that of the hairdresser: he would be trimming the ends. But how far should the tip be acceptable? That, only the good Democrat knows. He is planning the political position of others and, in the end, his war against the ends may well lead to a zero machine. And as hair and political positions insist on being born, it would have to be a zero machine passed every day. In the end, being a Democrat would be equivalent to bossing others around, calling everyone an extremist and having them thrown in jail.
Is politics really a continuum?
This view is very questionable. To begin with, it is necessary to accept that there is some objective criterion intrinsic to political opinions that makes them leftist or rightist. The best accepted objective criterion is that of Bobbio, who considers that the left is defined by the search for equality. If it is guided by equality, it is left; if not, it’s right. This objective and binary criterion has the advantage of neither canonizing the left nor demonizing the right. Pol Pot was on the left because he was about equality; Hitler is on the right because he was not guided by equality. Roberto Campos was not guided by equality, so he was on the right. Environmentalists would be on the right, since their north is in the environment.
My objection to these systematizations is that there is no objective criterion intrinsic to the categories of the left and right. I believe that the maximum objectivity that can be achieved in this regard is the same as in cultural anthropology. An anthropologist can go to a tribe and objectively say what their customs and beliefs are. In the same way, you can take political classifications – which vary between countries and periods – and describe how they are used. Is Karl Marx the icon of the left? Because if he were resurrected today in California, he would be classified as a far-right and white supremacist, since he actually believed in this superiority and, on top of that, did not deconstruct gender roles. Right and left classifications vary widely by culture; there is no intrinsic criterion.
A very different situation is that of a political doctrine. Nobody sat down and wrote a work to launch the Left idea, but many proposed socialism. As much as this school of thought has varied, there is an objective criterion for saying whether someone is a socialist or not. If he believes in planning the distribution of wealth, he is a socialist. Monarchy, ditto: if anyone believes that the head of state of a country must be a hereditary King or Emperor, he is a monarchist. When we know a political or social theory, we have the objective criterion for judging someone’s political belonging. “Left” is not a political theory. “Right” is not a political theory. Progressivism is a set of political and social theories that was, until the middle of the past, considered right-wing. Today, it is on the left.
If political theories are distinct entities, I don’t think it makes sense to line them up as if they were on a shelf and pretend that there is some scientificity in it.
The F scale
However, as we have already seen, there is a project to criminalize popular opposition to progressivism, with the elite treating the people as if they were the defeated German people. in 45. Everyone is assumed to be susceptible to fascism. In this, fascism goes from a particular political position (which emerged in Italy in the first half of the 20th century) to an innate characteristic that requires repression. Guesser Theodor Adorno created the F scale in order to measure the scale of fascism a person could affect. It is a measure that is intended to be scientific and psychological. In practice, the conservative disposition is treated as a mental illness. A text by our colleague Eli Vieira will soon appear in this newspaper, telling us that only for now social psychology has started to admit the possibility of an authoritarian personality on the left. The normal thing about “science” is to pathologize something there that they call the right, and which can be summed up, in my view, as mere opposition to progressivism. So that Marx, today, would be on the right, because he was not progressive and on top of that he was very straight.
The possibility of sliding
Adding If the belief that ideologies are like points on a continuum (or on a “spectrum”, as the people of gender ideology say) to the belief that fascism spontaneously sprouts like a tumor of the soul, the fear that we slip away makes sense. . We are here, just fine, thinking that men are men and women are women, when suddenly we have slipped to the extreme right. We took a little hop on the conveyor belt, and when we returned to the same point, the straight line had already moved under our feet and now we are on the far right. Or were we the ones who moved? I do not know I do not know. Just in case, the right thing is to recognize sin and follow the treadmill: we say we have been enlightened, and now we know that man and woman are two poles of the gender spectrum, and only extremists would deny the existence of non-binary people. The notion of a political spectrum serves for the progressive to keep pushing others to the edges and cursing as an extremist.
Now, extremism is associated with violence and bloodshed. So I asked myself what I would do if given the power to do so. Well, I wouldn’t do anything historically associated with Nazism. My political convictions are a discrete point, not a diffuse landmark in a gradient, subject to reaching this way or that.
What can change over time is the style of the opposition. A conservative in Switzerland may be totally averse to violence; moving to Portland, however, will be able to maintain his political convictions while preparing an arsenal for self-defense (the anomie situation in Portland is covered by journalist Andy Ngo, himself a victim of antifa violence. In short, antifa gangs are terrorists and kill with impunity). The conservative would be angry and violent, but with good reason. Still, this would be described as extremism or radicalization and condemned in itself.
If progressivism becomes more intrusive and dominant, it is natural for people to get angry. This can make them just violent, even if they don’t change their minds. And it can also make them more violent and radical, if their political convictions have changed. And it is natural that they are changed, since this ascendancy took place in democracies. When experience changes, the convictions of some change. It is natural for some to give up on democracy when they see it succumb to progressivism. Still, this is not like a spontaneously generating tumor; it is a reaction to experience.
What should be more concerned in politics is not the mood of its supporters – which must vary according to the political climate – but whether they are fanatics guided by a crazy orthodoxy . If all goes well for the vegan, you and I won’t even eat eggs; when all went well for the Iranian revolutionaries, no woman could walk without a veil. When everything went right for the communists, everyone lost property etc.
The good thing is that these people have a bible to call their own. The Communist Manifesto, the Animal Liberation… Just like monarchists and socialists, they have a theory that can be known. In fact, Mussolini himself defined fascism as a “third position”, placing himself beyond liberalism and communism.
No one spontaneously places themselves on the left-right gradient. Whoever does this is progressive, to call others extremists and deny them legitimacy, gradually forcing them to follow their orthodoxy.