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Os rebeldes conservadores e burkeanos de Star Wars

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 10.10.16


 Cass R. Sunstein, The World According to Star Wars:

What do Martin Luther King Jr. and Luke Skywalker have in common?


They’re both rebels, and they’re rebels of the same kind: conservative ones. If you want a revolution, you might choose to follow them, at least in that regard. Conservative rebels can be especially effective, because they pull on people’s heartstrings. They connect people to their past, and to what they hold most dear.


Some people, like Leia Organa, seem to be rebels by nature, and whenever a nation is run by Sith or otherwhise evil or corrupt, they might think that rebellion is a great idea. They might well be willing to put their own futures on the line for the cause. But in general, even rebels do not like to “reboot” – at least not entirely. This is true whether we are speaking of our lives or our societies.


Of course some people want to blow everything up and start over. That might be their temperament, and it might be what their own moral commitments require. But human beings usually prefer to continue existing narratives – and to suggest that what is being written is not a new tale but a fresh chapter, a reform to be sure, but also somehow continuous with what has come before, or with what is best in it, and perhaps presaged or foreordained by it. That’s true for authors of Episodes of all kinds, and not just Lucases and Skywalkers.


Consider the words of Edmund Burke, the great conservative thinker (and admittedly no rebel), who feared the effects of “floating fancies or fashions,” as a result of which “the whole chain and continuity of the Commonwealth would be broken.” To Burke, that’s a tragedy, a betrayal of one of the deepest human needs and a rejection of an indispensable source of social stability. Burke spoke with strong emotion about what would happen, should that break occur: “No one generation could link with the other. Men would become little better than the flies of a summer.”


Pause over those sentences. Burke insists that traditions provide connective tissue over time. That tissue helps to give meaning to our lives, and it creates the closest thing to permanence that human beings can get. This is a conservative thought, of course, but even those who do not identify as conservative like and even need chains and continuities. That’s part of the appeal of baseball; it connects parents with their children, and one generation to another. The same thing can be said about Star Wars, and it’s part of what makes the series enduring. It’s a ritual.


In the Star Wars series, what the rebels seek is a restoration of the Republic. In that sense, they are real conservatives. They can be counted as Burkeans – rebellious ones, but still. They’re speaking on behalf of their own traditions. By contrast, Emperor Palpatine is the real revolutionary, and so are the followers of the First Order. Luke, the Rebel Alliance, the Resistance want to return to (an idealized version of) what came before. They look backward for inspiration. In fact that’s kind of primal.


Martin Luther King Jr. was a rebel, unquestionably a Skywalker, with a little Han and more than a little Obi-Wan. He sought fundamental change, but he well knew the power of the intergenerational link. He mande claims of continuity with traditions, even as he helped to produce radically new chapters.


From King’s speech about the Montgomery Bus Boycott:


If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie. Love has no meaning.

publicado às 23:31


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