Emerging Moyanism

Escrache theory and practice

For the Genoese, “scraca” means to spit, literally and by extension.

Where does the word scratch come from? For us, from an uncritical copy of the porteño lunfardo that in turn adopted the term from the Italian schiacciare, which means to crush, but with emphasis on the Genoese version scraca, to spit. And it is already known that half of the European immigrants who arrived in Buenos Aires at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th embarked in Genoa. Words such as escrache, or action and effect of escrachar, and escracho, a quality assigned to something ugly, unpleasant or unattractive, derive from this.

The most current use of this term of Italian root comes in the form of repudiation of some public figure, almost always from politics. “They scratched so-and-so while he was getting out of the car…” the newspapers or the television news document. In the age of smartphones, escraches can be recorded in great detail, with high-fidelity audio and 4K HD video. What can the escrachado do in the face of such a situation? The only thing: get away from there as soon as possible. The escrachadores appeal to verbal violence that is often more destructive than physical violence, especially when a certain personal condition of the victim is attacked.

Many sociologists and analysts wonder if verbal aggression with thick qualifications is ethical or legal. An answer could be essayed by arguing that, depending on the situation and the moment, verbal explosions are uncontrollable even though many consider them unjustifiable. The most widespread and even socially accepted escrache is the one that takes place in soccer stadiums. No one would blame a fan for referring unkindly to the referee’s mother if the referee missed an obvious penalty for the favorite team.

And if the escrachado is some notable politician who is suspected of having accumulated a fortune by stealing the public treasury, the insults turn bloody and furious.

The escrache is neither good nor bad, it simply exists and explodes when the citizen, powerless against an inept and rapacious government, takes the most hurtful words to throw them like poison darts against the corrupt. It is the resource available to him against the powerful that is supported by the State and his economic power to sustain his privileges.

Nothing more hateful or more reprehensible for the ordinary and unarmed citizen.

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