Chris Van Es

Civilizar o Mercado das Ideias

CAMBRIDGE – “Quando os homens compreendem que o tempo abalou muitas fés lutadoras”, escreveu o Juiz do Supremo Tribunal dos EUA Oliver Wendell Holmes numa famosa opinião divergente em 1919, “podem vir a acreditar… que o desejado bem final é melhor conseguido pela livre troca de ideias – que a melhor prova à verdade é o poder do pensamento para ser ela própria aceite na competição do mercado, e que a verdade é a única base sobre a qual os seus desejos podem ser atingidos com segurança”.

Como qualquer mercado, porém, o mercado das ideias precisa de regulação: em particular, os seus participantes devem estar vinculados a normas de honestidade, humildade, e civilidade. Além disso, todos os mercadores de ideias devem aderir a estes princípios.

Naturalmente, os políticos através dos tempos poluíram o mercado de ideias com invectivas. Mas na política Americana, surpreendentemente, houve progressos. De acordo com um estudo do Centro Annenberg de Política Pública, houve menos incivilidade no Congresso em anos recentes do que na década de 1990 ou na década de 1940. O Senador Republicano Ted Cruz foi amplamente condenado pela sua agressiva interpelação ao novo Secretário da Defesa, Chuck Hagel, em Janeiro passado. Mas semear a dúvida sobre o patriotismo de um candidato constituía a norma na era McCarthy; é menos comum actualmente.

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