terça-feira, julho 10, 2007

O Estado e a Democracia segundo J.M.Coetzee

Via 19mesesdepois, deparei com um excerto do último romance de John Coetzee, Diary of Bad Year.
Notas diarísticas de Cootzee, sobre as origens do Estado e os equívocos da noção de Democracia, reflexões entrecortadas pela presença de uma mulher ainda jovem, com quem o autor (é narrado na primeira pessoa) se cruza numa lavandaria.
Temos, em Coetzee, um retrato lúcido da condição humano, embora por vezes povoado de algum pessimismo ou amargura. Refiro-me ao Estado, visto como uma espécie de mal necessário (parece não haver alternativa, a não ser a do reino dos bandos armados…Parece sobrar pouco espaço para a liberdade). Porque, em relação à rapariga, há o desejo...

It is hardly in our power to change the form of the state and impossible to abolish it because, vis-à-vis the state, we are, precisely, powerless. In the myth of the founding of the state as set down by Thomas Hobbes, our descent into powerlessness was voluntary: in order to escape the violence of internecine warfare without end (reprisal upon reprisal, vengeance upon vengeance, the vendetta), we individually and severally yielded up to the state the right to use physical force (right is might, might is right), thereby en-tering the realm (the protection) of the law. Those who chose and choose to stay outside the compact become outlaw.

What the Hobbesian myth of ori-gins does not mention is that the handover of power to the state is irreversible. The option is not open to us to change our minds, to decide that the monopoly on the exercise of force held by the state, codified in the law, is not what we wanted after all, that we would prefer to go back to a state of nature.
Did anyone, in 1944, say to the French populace: Consider: the retreat of our German overlords means that for a brief moment we are ruled by no one. Do we want to end that moment, or do we perhaps want to perpetuate it—to become the first people in modern times to roll back the state? Let us, as French people, use our new and sudden freedom to debate the question without restraint. Perhaps some poet spoke the words; but if he did his voice must at once have been silenced by the armed gangs, who in this case and in all cases have more in common with each other than with the people.

Excerpt from J.M. Coetzee's new novel, Diary of a Bad Year, to be published in January 2008.