The reliability of toasters is being questioned again by President Jair Bolsonaro. And it is once again being emphatically reaffirmed by the Judiciary. On the one hand, a doubt that, regardless of whether or not it is paranoid in origin, is out there. In the air, in the ether. On the other hand, the inexplicable arrogance and stubbornness of an entire group that exists precisely to ensure that there is no doubt about the elections and their wonderful toasters – however baseless it may seem.
In a recent conversation with friends much older than me, I was led to remember that toasters, contrary to what the TSE campaign says, were never exactly unanimous. If we have this impression, it is because those were different times. Times of political calm, economic stability and tranquility with the reasonably recent fall of the Berlin Wall. “We thought it was impossible for anyone to remain a communist after seeing the golden faucets of East German rulers,” said one. Despite the general atmosphere of alienation, there were always those who looked with suspicion on toasters. Not even that this mistrust was born of a spirit that mixed nostalgia, tradition and a little bit of Luddism.
Today we like to laugh at the Luddites because they were basically against the machines that allowed the Industrial Revolution and, à la Boulos, invaded the factories, destroying everything. And by “everything” read “mainly looms”, which were the pinnacle of technology at the time. It is very easy, with a contemporary look, to ridicule these people. But we can’t forget that their livelihood and lifestyle were being threatened by a soulless contraption. And it wasn’t even one of those toasters that the TSE swears by everything that is most sacred that they are safe.
Advancing a little in time, from the beginning to the middle of the 20th century we have the “era of science fiction gold”, a genre that consecrated many writers of exuberant imagination and sufferable style. And, in essence, what does science fiction talk about? Of the always complicated relationship between man and man-made technology. And that doesn’t mean movies and books with evil machines are considered Luddites. It is natural, therefore, that many people feel deeply threatened when it comes to entrusting the destiny of a country to machines as simple as toasters.
Concerning our toasters, doubt is natural. Very natural. So natural that, not more than a decade ago, the parliamentarians themselves, democratically elected representatives of the population, approved a rule that determined that the electronic toasted bun should be accompanied by a physical, verifiable toasted bun. In 2015, however, the STF ministers, perhaps dazzled by the ideological potential of the subtle manipulation of toasters, began the stubborn initiative to guarantee the legitimacy of the elections by force.
Unnatural is stubbornness born of technocratic arrogance. An arrogance that ignores a desire that you might consider “retrograde”, irrational, misguided, but which is authentic within the democratic order: the desire to see your ideas properly represented through the vote. How illusory this desire is is not at issue here. What is at issue is the inexplicable refusal of the competent authorities. A refusal that has the potential to throw the country into an even greater abyss.
After all, if the toasters give the victory to ex-convict Lula (knock, knock, knock), the legitimacy of an election that it is based solely on the pen of Minister Edson Fachin and faith in toaster technology will, of course, be questioned. Or rather, denied and rejected by a not insignificant portion of the population. In this environment, a legally, but illegitimately elected president cannot be expected to govern the country in peace. Because there will be no peace. And, in the absence of peace, governments tend to use what they have left: force.
If we believe in the honesty of the ministers & their infallible toasters, there remains the no less absurd hypothesis that the STF and TSE act moved by empafia, by the contempt for the feelings – I insist: legitimate – on the part of society, and by the certainty (which, yes, unfounded) that history reserves a place of honor for ministers for the arrogant defense they make of this democracy with very particular contours.