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Greeks, 'the water of Lethe' and the absolute exploitation of the patriotic ideal
by Dimitra Karantzeni
2012-05-10 07:39:13
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The aftermath of recent parliamentary elections both in France and Greece, finds Europe extremely anxious, while trying to analyze its results, not only regarding the financial crisis and the luck of Memorandum, .but also concerning the remarkable rise of the Far Right political powers. Due to reasons of space economy I am to focus on the situation created in my homeland, sharing with you the anguishes and feelings that the electoral outcome has caused to the majority of my fellow citizens.

nazi01The disappointing truth is that about 7% of Greeks decided to turn their backs to every other political solution offered, and vote for the so called ‘‘Golden Dawn’’ and its leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, generously giving him and his partners parliamentary seats, 21 decision-making votes, a notable step in the temple of democracy, the same one that he has repeatedly condemned and despised all these years.

I can hardly figure out how hundreds of thousands of voters, with lots of young people among them, have chosen to trust all their hopes and dreams to a political formation whose representatives are open supporters of the Neo -Nazism, fanatic admirers of Adolph Hitler and its ideology, related to the supremacy of the race and the legitimization of violence, in order to retain its purity. Avoiding all forms of media exposition – even if they now state that they were excluded against their will from the communicational system– the members of the ‘‘Golden Dawn’’ played their game smartly, as they based their pre-electoral campaign on the migration issue, providing their future voters with the promise of ‘‘a massive clearing ‘’ , as their slogan stated.  They fed Greeks with propagandistic speeches and leaflets - they even handed out free food - focusing only on the illegal immigrants, blaming them both for the financial crisis, the augmentation of criminality and the destabilization of all social institutions. nazi02As a result, a remarkable part of Greek voters, didn’t manage neither to control the fear that was cultivated inside them nor to avoid the provocative influence to support the extremity, concluding to baptize it a new decisive form of revolution, the vehicle to channel anger and resistance to the current political system and its failures.

Of course, the president of the ‘’Golden Dawn’’ rushed to show off his electoral success in nazi terms, only a few moments after the finalization of the results, by asking all journalists to ‘’all rise’’ using the ancient Greek word ‘’Egerthiti’’, as an indication of respect, because ‘’it is high time to learn to discipline even to military orders’’, as a member of them explained the day after.

Who am I supposed to blame the most? Starting with the representatives of the corrupted political system, their share of responsibility is extremely high, as they left their post-voters in despair, to live in conditions of complete misery, reviving in their minds the tough years of poverty, that characterized their grand-parents’ generation. They made fools of them, abandoned them and then tried in vain to regain lost ground, due to their addiction to the ‘sinner nectar’ of political power. After all, as experts indicate, there is a significant connection between political and economic turbulences on the one hand and the rise of ultra-nationalist parties and ideologies on the other, and at least European modern history can certainly assure this general admission.

nazi03However, as I’ve stated in my previous article, no one can have the extenuation of ignorance, misunderstanding or immaturity when it comes to conscious and responsible decisions that can define the future of a nation. Everyone should be able to freely make his choices, but at the same time be ready to deal with the unpleasant consequences, if the latter prove wrong.

From a psychological point of view, this tension could be translated as the last resort to fight the weakness to express oppressed needs and claim fundamental rights, when no political party -  and given the death of clear political ideologies -  can offer any relief for a better future. From another perspective though, all this cannot but reflect a total lack of historical memory, as well as the disappearance of every kind of patriotic sentiment, deriving from a probable confusing parental guidance and mainly from the malfunction of the educational system and its critical role to the formation of conscience. Worth noting, for example, that the level of distortion of Greek history is obvious inside school textbooks, whose ‘inspiring’ writers even reached the point of transforming the destruction of Smyrna in 1922 and the homicide that took place there, into – more or less – a severe crowding. At last, there is no other way to explain the tragic reality of the ‘Golden Dawn’ gaining the majority of its votes in places where wounds of the extermination of hundreds of citizens from the Nazi occupation and its military dictatorship are still open. In Kalavrita, in particular, where the ‘’Golden Dawn’’ gained 635 votes, on the December of 1948 more than 800 people were tortured and executed with their hometown being burned down, and in Distomo, where half a year after, Hitler’s army massacred 218 people, amongst them, old people, pregnant women and babies, elections revealed 335 far-right supporters.

nazi04In the name of modernization and disengagement from the established traditional moralities, Greeks have been plunged to a general, fruitless rejection and finally, switched to the other side of the road, drinking ‘the water of Lethe’ and consequently finding themselves hanging in the mid-air, separated from the past and with a scary, unknown future in from of them.

Poisoned by the appealing populism of the Far Right, concerning the exemplary punishment of the corrupted politicians as well as the rebirth of a new, pure and powerful Greek nation based on the legitimized violence and the abolition of laws, the supporters of the ‘Golden Dawn’ are convinced that they have made the right choice. I’m afraid they’ve made the worst one, putting the country vis -a -vis its most dangerous internal enemies, gradually turning us back to the darkest pages of global history, to an obscurantism that imposes the absolute undermining of the human dignity. All these nationalistic obsessions constitute an affront to deep democratic values, built with sweat and blood from our ancestors, which can harm irreparably anyone who endorses them. I can only hope that people will wake up from this disastrous delusion, before the ax of racial intolerance falls heavy on their heads.

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