A few weeks ago, I read a guy in general very balanced tripping over his own intentions and announcing with unequivocal pride that he had just written something that would irritate young and old, married and single, straight and gay, bolsonaristas and PT, rightists and leftists, conservatives and progressives, believers and atheists. I haven’t read the text, so I can’t say whether the writer really managed to piss everyone off. I just know that it didn’t irritate me.
But that’s not enough. What really caught my attention was this intention to irritate everyone, publicized as if it were the product of extraordinary talent and noble motivation. As if all this anger would change one person’s life for the better. And yet, it didn’t even take me two seconds to recognize a whole generation of intellectuals there. And here I use the word in the sense of “a person who lives off ideas”, which includes journalists and even artists.
Over decades, more or less explicitly, we have learned that the world it is divided between rich and poor, oppressors and oppressed, that is, those who command and those who, because they have sense, obey. According to what our teachers said, cooperation between the two groups is impossible. Because they live in a relationship of constant friction, for which there is only one historically acceptable relief: violence.
Needless to say, but I say it anyway because on second thought, maybe it’s not so unnecessary: I don’t agree with absolutely none of that. Idiotically, I believe that people are capable of cooperating and of being satisfied with this cooperation, regardless of their position on the social-economic scale. In other words, I don’t care about the envy of surplus value.
But many people do. And it is this resentment that feeds the intellectual desire to perversely exercise power, imposing its ideas and subjugating them to the reader, spectator, listener or student in what is most sincere: emotion. That is, provoking in him a rage that is said to be just, but rarely is. Sowing a hatred that would be “intellectually justifiable”.
This mentality is largely responsible for the political-electoral fight that we have today, and which I will not call “political polarization” because I am tired of the expression. But its consequences go far beyond the dispute between Jair Bolsonaro and Lula. As the common man is tired of so much punch in the stomach, of so much provocation, of being cursed, humiliated, belittled, treated as “the greatest cause of human evils”, it is natural that he turns against the causes of this malaise. That is, those who puff out their chests to say they are free thinkers (they are not) and pout to say they are provocateurs: the intellectuals.
That’s what the dialectical chaos (beautiful, that) is all about that we see every day on social networks and right here in Gazeta do Povo: the people, this abstraction some still reduce to the income bracket, but which is much more complex, finds itself betrayed and crushed by this relationship of strength. He finds himself enslaved by ideas he doesn’t agree with because he doesn’t understand – and he wouldn’t even if he did. He can no longer stand to see his little moments of happiness transformed into privileges for which reparation is required.
If you act like this or like that, no, a little more to the left, more, more, just one more little, more, more, always more, the intellectual promises the common man a religion ruled by reason. For the… intellect he prizes so much. But he knows it’s a spiritual scam. Hence the revolt against these people who, armed with a few quotes and half a dozen conjunctions to tie this mockery of idea together, tell you how to live in the smallest details: what to eat, what to wear, what words to say, what songs to listen to and, in some cases, even with whom is it acceptable for the common man to relate.
Annoying people in the hope that they will join the ranks of the envious and resentful and march towards an egalitarian Paradise? I’m out! I prefer to cheer and, here and there, offer some comfort to all who strive to be better people every day – despite the failure inherent in the human condition.