Nada mais triste que um blog onde se escreve só e apenas sobre política. Nada mais triste também do que um cristão cair na tentação de lê-los à letra; ou de os levar completamente a sério. Muitos blogs da direita fundamentalista (caceteira ou catequista) irritam, mas é preciso lê-los com uma certa tolerância ou benevolência. Desculpar-se-lhes alguns dos tiques e achaques, a voz grossa e grave com que vão soprando a corneta bloguística.
As posições políticas a respeito de este ou aquele assunto têm causas várias. Nem sempre são fruto de um encadear de silogismos a partir de uma doutrina ou corrente de pensamento, nem sempre se baseiam na experiência vivida em sociedade. Às vezes são meras projecções ou desejos de identidade social. Meras macaqueações e mimetismos, que à direita se nos apresenta tipicamente nas figuras do mordomo e do feitor, à esquerda na do comissário.
Goldsmith captou este paradoxo humano de forma magistral em The Vicar of Wakesfield na (triste) figura de um mordomo. O bom vigário – que procurava uma filha caída em tentações – vê-se chegado a um vilarejo ao mesmo tempo que uma troupe de teatro. Se no decorrer do caminho a conversa com um dos membros da trupe lhe deu boas informações sobre o “estado da arte” teatral da Inglaterra de então, ao chegar ao vilarejo, confundem-lhe as vestes verdadeiras de eclesiástico com uma indumentária de palco. Para escapar a curiosidades incómodas por parte da população excitada com a novidade, refugia-se numa taberna onde encontra um sujeito de maneiras e ares fidalgos, cujo principal interesse de conversa é a política. Logo é o bom ministro da igreja convidado a jantar em casa do notável, onde e a instâncias do anfitrião, a conversa versaria fatalmente sobre política. O vigário expõe as suas visões sobre a ordenação das instituições políticas da Inglaterra da época para suprema irritação do cavalheiro de quem era hóspede. O texto do cap. XIX é um pouco longo, e terá como interesse principal para os que se interessarem por história das ideias políticas a curiosidade de serem as ideias expressas pelo eclesiástico uma espécie de expressão tardia (segunda metade do sec. XVIII) da visão hobbesiana do poder monárquico. Tem também a conveniência, depois de o leitor se ter embrenhado já nos raciocínios respectivos dos litigantes, de nos colher de surpresa através de um volte-face súbito da posição social das personagens, de nos fazer reconhecer o óbvio, que tantas vezes esquecemos quando embrenhados em abstacções. Esse volte-face, está assinalado a negrito no final do texto citado, todo o capítulo se pode ler carregando no link do título:
Chapter 19: The description of a person discontented with the present government, and apprehensive of the loss of our liberties
“The house where we were to be entertained, lying at a small distance from the village, our inviter observed, that as the coach was not ready, he would conduct us on foot, and we soon arrived at one of the most magnificent mansions I had seen in that part of the country. The apartment into which we were shewn was perfectly elegant and modern; he went to give orders for supper, while the player, with a wink, observed that we were perfectly in luck. Our entertainer soon returned, an elegant supper was brought in, two or three ladies, in an easy deshabille, were introduced, and the conversation began with some sprightliness. Politics, however, was the subject on which our entertainer chiefly expatiated; for he asserted that liberty was at once his boast and his terror. After the cloth was removed, he asked me if I had seen the last Monitor, to which replying in the negative, ‘What, nor the Auditor, I suppose?’ cried he. ‘Neither, Sir,’ returned I. ‘That’s strange, very strange,’ replied my entertainer. ‘Now, I read all the politics that come out. The Daily, the Public, the Ledger, the Chronicle, the London Evening, the Whitehall Evening, the seventeen magazines, and the two reviews; and though they hate each other, I love them all. Liberty, Sir, liberty is the Briton’s boast, and by all my coal mines in Cornwall, I reverence its guardians.’ ‘Then it is to be hoped,’ cried I, ‘you reverence the king.’ ‘Yes,’ returned my entertainer, ‘when he does what we would have him; but if he goes on as he has done of late, I’ll never trouble myself more with his matters. I say nothing. I think only. I could have directed some things better. I don’t think there has been a sufficient number of advisers: he should advise with every person willing to give him advice, and then we should have things done in anotherguess manner.’
‘I wish,’ cried I, ‘that such intruding advisers were fixed in the pillory. It should be the duty of honest men to assist the weaker side of our constitution, that sacred power that has for some years been every day declining, and losing its due share of influence in the state. But these ignorants still continue the cry of liberty, and if they have any weight basely throw it into the subsiding scale.’
‘How,’ cried one of the ladies, ‘do I live to see one so base, so sordid, as to be an enemy to liberty, and a defender of tyrants? Liberty, that sacred gift of heaven, that glorious privilege of Britons!’
‘Can it be possible,’ cried our entertainer, ‘that there should be any found at present advocates for slavery? Any who are for meanly giving up the privileges of Britons? Can any, Sir, be so abject?’
‘No, Sir,’ replied I, ‘I am for liberty, that attribute of Gods! Glorious liberty! that theme of modem declamation. I would have all men kings. I would be a king myself. We have all naturally an equal right to the throne: we are all originally equal. This is my opinion, and was once the opinion of a set of honest men who were called Levellers.’ They tried to erect themselves into a community, where all should be equally free. But, alas! it would never answer; for there were some among them stronger, and some more cunning than others, and these became masters of the rest; for as sure as your groom rides your horses, because he is a cunninger animal than they, so surely will the animal that is cunninger or stronger than he, sit upon his shoulders in turn. Since then it is entailed upon humanity to submit, and some are born to command, and others to obey, the question is, as there must be tyrants, whether it is better to have them in the same house with us, or in the same village, or still farther off, in the metropolis. Now, Sir, for my own part, as I naturally hate the face of a tyrant, the farther off he is removed from me, the better pleased am I. The generality of mankind also are of my way of thinking, and have unanimously created one king, whose election at once diminishes the number of tyrants, and puts tyranny at the greatest distance from the greatest number of people. Now the great who were tyrants themselves before the election of one tyrant, are naturally averse to a power raised over them, and whose weight must ever lean heaviest on the subordinate orders. It is the interest of the great, therefore, to diminish kingly power as much as possible; because whatever they take from that is naturally restored to themselves; and all they have to do in the state, is to undermine the single tyrant, by which they resume their primaeval authority. Now, the state may be so circumstanced, or its laws may be so disposed, or its men of opulence so minded, as all to conspire in carrying on this business of undermining monarchy. For, in the first place, if the circumstances of our state be such, as to favour the accumulation of wealth, and make the opulent still more rich, this will encrease their ambition. An accumulation of wealth, however, must necessarily be the consequence, when as at present more riches flow in from external commerce, than arise from internal industry: for external commerce can only be managed to advantage by the rich, and they have also at the same time all the emoluments arising from internal industry: so that the rich, with us, have two sources of wealth, whereas the poor have but one. For this reason, wealth in all commercial states is found to accumulate, and all such have hitherto in time become aristocratical. Again, the very laws also of this country may contribute to the accumulation of wealth; as when by their means the natural ties that bind the rich and poor together are broken, and it is ordained that the rich shall only marry with the rich; or when the learned are held unqualified to serve their country as counsellors merely from a defect of opulence, and wealth is thus made the object of a wise man’s ambition; by these means I say, and such means as these, riches will accumulate. Now the possessor of accumulated wealth, when furnished with the necessaries and pleasures of life, has no other method to employ the superfluity of his fortune but in purchasing power. That is, differently speaking, in making dependents, by purchasing the liberty of the needy or the venal, of men who are willing to bear the mortification of contiguous tyranny for bread. Thus each very opulent man generally gathers round him a circle of the poorest of the people; and the polity abounding in accumulated wealth, may be compared to a Cartesian system, each orb with a vortex of its own. Those, however, who are willing to move in a great man’s vortex, are only such as must be slaves, the rabble of mankind, whose souls and whose education are adapted to servitude, and who know nothing of liberty except the name. But there must still be a large number of the people without the sphere of the opulent man’s influence, namely, that order of men which subsists between the very rich and the very rabble; those men who are possest of too large fortunes to submit to the neighbouring man in power, and yet are too poor to set up for tyranny themselves. In this middle order of mankind are generally to be found all the arts, wisdom, and virtues of society. This order alone is known to be the true preserver of freedom, and may be called the People. Now it may happen that this middle order of mankind may lose all its influence in a state, and its voice be in a manner drowned in that of the rabble: for if the fortune sufficient for qualifying a person at present to give his voice in state affairs, be ten times less than was judged sufficient upon forming the constitution, it is evident that greater numbers of the rabble will thus be introduced into the political system, and they ever moving in the vortex of the great, will follow where greatness shall direct. In such a state, therefore, all that the middle order has left, is to preserve the prerogative and privileges of the one principal governor with the most sacred circumspection. For he divides the power of the rich, and calls off the great from falling with tenfold weight on the middle order placed beneath them. The middle order may be compared to a town of which the opulent are forming the siege, and which the governor from without is hastening the relief. While the besiegers are in dread of an enemy over them, it is but natural to offer the townsmen the most specious terms; to flatter them with sounds, and amuse them with privileges: but if they once defeat the governor from behind, the walls of the town will be but a small defence to its inhabitants. What they may then expect, may be seen by turning our eyes to Holland, Genoa, or Venice, where the laws govern the poor, and the rich govern the law. I am then for, and would die for, monarchy, sacred monarchy; for if there be any thing sacred amongst men, it must be the anointed sovereign of his people, and every diminution of his power in war, or in peace, is an infringement upon the real liberties of the subject. The sounds of liberty, patriotism, and Britons, have already done much, it is to be hoped that the true sons of freedom will prevent their ever doing more. I have known many of those pretended champions for liberty in my time, yet do I not remember one that was not in his heart and in his family a tyrant.’
My warmth I found had lengthened this harangue beyond the rules of good breeding: but the impatience of my entertainer, who often strove to interrupt it, could be restrained no longer. ‘What,’ cried he, ‘then I have been all this while entertaining a Jesuit in parson’s cloaths; but by all the coal mines of Cornwall, out he shall pack, if my name be Wilkinson.’ I now found I had gone too far, and asked pardon for the warmth with which I had spoken. ‘Pardon,’ returned he in a fury: ‘I think such principles demand ten thousand pardons. What, give up liberty, property, and, as the Gazetteer says, lie down to be saddled with wooden shoes! Sir, I insist upon your marching out of this house immediately, to prevent worse consequences, Sir, I insist upon it.’ I was going to repeat my rernonstrances; but just then we heard a footman’s rap at the door, and the two ladies cried out, ‘As sure as death there is our master and mistress come home.’ It seems my entertainer was all this while only the butler, who, in his master’s absence, had a mind to cut a figure, and be for a while the gentleman himself; and, to say the truth, he talked politics as well as most country gentlemen do.“
…bora lá agora ler os raposos, os mirandas, as helenas dos matos, e os zéismanéisfernandes?