In the struggle against the relentless forces of communism, people often forget to point out and correct the flaws of capitalism. There are people, you see, who even believe that capitalism is perfect and that it would be even more perfect if we were all absolutely free to “satiate our self-interests”, to use a term dear to libertarians. Well, the Luva de Pedreiro case, the instragramer and tiktoker apparently exploited by a businessman who now claims to be a victim of “hate speech” , shows that, without a moral basis, capitalism can be harmful and what seems like a blessing quickly becomes a curse.
But, again, in the fight against communism, an important fight and that needs to be fought every day, we end up closing our eyes to the many problems of capitalism – especially as it presents itself today, that is, an extremely Machiavellian monopoly capitalism that is capable of overriding very expensive values, such as of freedom itself. Everything to achieve those self-interests that Mises and Ayn Rand talk about.
Pedreiro Glove (they correct me here and say that the correct one is “Predeiro”) illustrates well this amorality to which many times we cling to in exchange for more and more and more economic growth – an end in itself. On the one hand, technology, ambition and even idleness provided by capitalist superabundance allowed a poor boy from the interior of Pernambuco to become a phenomenon, with more than 33 millions of followers in the country. Instagram and Tik Tok – which would guarantee him a football star income, even if he doesn’t crowd stadiums out there. On the other hand, the public and those involved themselves perceive that they lack something intangible to deal with this gift.
Pedreiro’s Glove, notice, exists to satisfy a demand that is difficult to identify. And that’s precisely why he’s worth millions. On quick reflection, I would say that the character entertains the bored with a mixture of simplicity and wonder, and at the same time satisfies our appetite for stories that seem miraculous – perhaps because they are. Whatever the logic behind the boy’s “art”, the fact is that he came across a diamond mine. To soon discover, if ever, that gemstones need a minimum of cutting.
The boy, therefore, lacked a foundation that, before being intellectual, is moral. In fact, one thing is linked to another, and making this distinction is a mistake that we are induced by decades and decades of indoctrination – and for which I apologize. The boy, however, lacked a moral basis that would allow him to relate in a healthy way to problems inherent to sudden fame, such as vanity, arrogance and ambition. Without the necessary prudence, and I suppose delighted with the very real possibility of getting out of poverty quickly, Glova de Predeiro ended up the victim of evil capitalists who happened to be evil capitalists too.
Yes, they exist! And therein lies my biggest disagreement with libertarianism, which seems to believe in an inherent nobility in such self-interests . As if the freedom to be totally selfish, by magic, brings out the best in human beings. Whale. No wonder, stories of unscrupulous businessmen who took advantage of “naive geniuses” are common. What can we say, then, of unscrupulous parents like so many child actors who later lived beyond miserable lives?
Returning to the case of Iran Santana Alves, aka Luva, it is worth noting that there is no there is nothing the state could do to “save” him. On the contrary, there is even a paradox: if the influencer were one of these citizens “redeemed by the State”, that is, if the State had taught him the beabá and to aspire to bureaucratically dignified careers and elevated, he would not exist as the phenomenon that he is. Glove de Pedreiro is a consequence of freedom, including the freedom to consume, for hours and hours, goals on dirt fields, mixed with catchphrases and profanity, and covered by a simple euphoria, expressed in a language of its own that I, sincerely, do not I understand.
It is a troubled relationship, that of the man with unexpected wealth and with the jackals who want a piece of it. It’s been that way since the beginning. Think of the stories of prospectors in 19th century America, for example. Or, bringing the case to our backyard, think of the men who piled up in Serra Pelada. There is not enough Icarus myth for both dream and fall. And yet, we insist on pursuing wealth for wealth’s sake because we believe that money grants us some kind of immortality and fame somehow makes us relevant to the Universe.