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Hostages to our guilt
by Thanos Kalamidas
2014-06-07 11:46:15
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A few days ago we watched - thankfully only the ones of us who watch and understand Greek news - the leader of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn enter the Greek Parliament, accompanied by the policemen who brought him from the prison where he is held while followers were singing Nazi SS hymns translated in Greek.

The whole thing looked like the absolute insult for the Greek parliament and the Greek people, but it soon ...it got worse. In 10 minutes speeches - that actually lasted 35 each with all the screaming and fighting - the three major leading figures of the Golden Dawn slammed the Greek parliamentarians, reviled the Greek democracy and provoked every democrat in Greece. But the best part came when they demanded respect to their democratic rights screaming that they represent 400 thousands Greeks.

xa01_400What happened the last four years in Greece and what happens this moment in all Europe has a lot of similarities. Neo-Nazi, fascist, xenophobic and racist groups have entered the European parliaments all in the name of democracy, demanding equal treatment and their right to free expression. All of them have a lot of common elements with the main one, all of them veil their real identities under the misleading euro-sceptic veil and all of them are ready to deny their real ideas as long as it serves their way to power. Their motto: will get there using everything and everybody. Their main practice: mislead and lie.

The leadership of the Greek Golden Dawn denies any connection with Nazism, despite constant proves that include articles, speeches and photographs with uniforms that date even a few months ago. When somebody actually shows them the above proof the answer is: childish plays, fooling around. The French National Front does exactly the same; the British Independent party does exactly the same. The True Finns actually do all their meetings in boats between Finland and Sweden so they are in international waters and away from national processions when they show their real political faces.

But let’s return to the events in the Greek Parliament. This moment there are members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in prison including their leader, Nikos Mihaloiliakos; with accusations of managing a criminal organization, involvement in murders, threats and beatings against immigrants and anti-fascists activists, promoting racism and anti-Semitism and a long series of many more. Following the procedures of the Greek Parliament for parliamentarians with legal problems, every case has to come first to the parliament so the house will vote for or against the withdrawal of their immunity, and then the case follows the formal juridical way.

Of course the accused have the right to defend themselves in the parliament and they did so, brought from the prison where they are imprisoned till the case reaches the courts. The three, for this time, accused had the right to defend themselves in front of the whole house for ten minutes. It turned out that they did so for at least 30 minutes each. They used every single second. To attack the political system with the most unbelievable vocabulary that would embarrass even gang members. To actually demostrate violence by starting physical attacks against other parliamentarians that thankfully was stopped early. To provoke every single democratic feeling not only in the house but also to the thousands that were watching. They used lies, half truths and misleading conspiracy theories to move their guilt to others, mainly the political system. They presented themselves as martyrs and the only defenders of the Greek people.

Their leader Nikos Mihaloaliakos, actually demanding to be called “the leader” like the German “fuhrer” for the ones who wonder, actually screamed to the Speaker of the House to “shut up”, when the speaker tried to ask him to be more civilized.

xa02_400I’m not going to analyze who they are and how hypocritical their demand for democratic treatment is. Neither their, at least provocative stand, to talk and promote Nazism in the country that lost more than fifth of its population to the Nazis and after Israel and Russia the ethnicity that suffered most from the Nazis. I’m not going to talk about the hypocrisy of our political systems and political parties to have in the name of democracy legalize parties that by their own definition they are anti-constitutional. To have a party that identifies itself as the True/Pure Finns is anti-constitutional per se and it identifies itself as racist.

What I find problematic is the fact that these parties despite the fact that they hold percentages that are minor, compared to the rest of the political spectrum, they manage to keep hostage whole nations and all the politicians. The Golden Dawn in the last euro-elections last month, managed to gain a 9% of the votes. Still, they manage to keep 91% of the Greek population hostage. Plus this 9% is just part of the 58% of the Greek population who actually voted.

So here is a minority of 400 thousands fascists, comprised mainly from social parasites, that can blackmail and hold hostage a society of over 12 million people.

But it is not just that. In the Greek parliament, 286 parliamentarians from the entire Greek political spectrum that covers from the conservative party to the communist party were kept quiet for nearly an hour and a half while they were provoked, slammed, insulted, threaten and bullied. Why?

Why? Because for decades they saw colleagues, other parliamentarians, officials and ministers bribed, abuse the system, steal and dishonour democracy and they did little to stop them. Because they feel guilty for crimes that happened around them, they kept quiet. So now when a neo-Nazi stands in the temple of the Greek democracy and calls them all thieves, they bow their heads wondering how right he is. And this moment, exactly the same happens in all the European parliaments.

A small minority, an enemy of democracy and humanity, using democracy and guilt, manages to keep the entire Europe as a hostage to their criminal wills. And the European leadership with most of the national governments afraid, they play their game by giving them more ammunition to their arsenal with their arrogance, their ultra-capitalist and economic policies that destroy the average European citizen.

In Greece this moment there are 400 thousands fascists. And there is another similar percent in the entire Europe. This percent exists not because of the attraction to the Nazi ideology but because first of all Europe has failed to educate and inform its citizens better and remind them that Nazism nearly brought total destruction to Europe in many levels. And secondly because Europe failed to protect her citizens. The European leadership might have been proven the champion of the banks, the industrialists and the euro currency, but they dramatically failed their citizens. The ones they were obliged to protect.

One week ago in a small village in Crete, the locals prayed in memory of the families that were executed from the Nazis during the invasion to Crete, with the reasoning that they were …civilians so they had no right to defend their ground. Men, women, old people, kids. Everybody was killed. The total population of the village. 3rd of June 1941 the village Kardamos in Crete vanished from earth. After killing everybody the Nazis flatten the land with bulldoggers as a punishment. 4th of June 2014 a neo-Nazi entered the Greek parliament, in the country where democracy was born to declare his right to be a …fascist! And this happens all around Europe this moment without anybody daring to remind them who they really are because our politicians feel guilty of their past. And they are ready to sacrifice all of us for that.


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Emanuel Paparella2014-06-07 17:04:12
Indeed Thanos, those political thugs and right-wingers, who display little if any appreciation for the nuances of democracy, once elected, go to the EU parliament and use their right to freely speak there to declare their right to be a fascist and a thug out to destroy democracy as we know it by democratic methods. That’s a paradox at play here, if there ever was one, worthy of a Socrates, and it seems an unsolvable catch-22.

One may ask: how is democracy to be saved? That's an urgent question awaiting a vibrant symposium which will deal with it.

In my opinion, wWhat needs to be kept well in mind is that those “illiberal-minded” EU parties sending conspiratorial subversives and saboteurs to the Staatsburg EU Parliament, are the equivalent of the Trojan wooden horse in the citadel of democracy, waiting for the opportune moment when to strike and utterly destroy the citadel of democracy which they don’t appreciate and in fact despise.

What makes this phenomenon (more apparent in West than in the East of Europe) so ominous and dangerous is that the Trojan horse is already inside the citadel carried there by the Trojan (the Western Europeans) themselves and Cassandra’s prophetic voice, issuing from those who urge reforms and a thoughtful re-examination of the ideals of the founding fathers and the very cultural identity of the EU, it either too weak or is falling on deaf ears. As you aptly point out, the mediocrity and the cowardice of the present crop of politicians prevents them from courageously seizing the bull by the horns, and it’s already getting late. Once freedom is lost to despotism, it will not be retrievable and another war will have to be fought to liberate people.

To hid Cassandra means that the current mediocrities that pass as leaders of the EU have to stop sleeping on their lawrels, stop putting their head in the sand, confront their guilt and lack of responsibility for their past mistakes and myopia, frankly acknowledge them and then lead with a sound process or genuine reforms after figuring out what does it mean to be a European. As things stand now the cart has been put before the horse; a union has been created but its center does not hold because precious few of those who keep voting for fascists know why such a union is desirable and worth fighting and even dying for.

Leah Sellers2014-06-08 18:44:07
They are the radical Right-Broken-Winged-Wing of the European Tea Partiers, dear Thanos. And the darker aspects of Guilt have always been Hostage Taking and Making. Interesting article. Thank you.

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