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The real face of fascism live on Greek TV
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-06-08 10:14:33
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Just before ten o’clock in the morning and browsing the news I got a mail linking me to a video that had been uploaded just minutes ago. Two hours later I hadn’t still recover from the shock and evening now browsing the news again the video is still playing in my mind accompanied from pictures from every single news agency from every single corner of this globe. In a morning talking show of the Greek television and during a very heated conversation the neo-Nazi member – just elected – of the Greek parliament after throwing a glass of water – miners the glass – at a female MP of the left alliance started hitting – actually punching – in the face the female MP of the Communist party who unfortunately was sitting next to him.

I suppose most of you have already see the pictures and watched the video; after all Greece has become the contemporary black sheep, internationally making headlines nearly daily, so another incident however violent it might be, doesn’t change much of the stereotypes that have been formed the last few years. But for me this is a deep trauma and a reminder of things I have spent most of my life trying to forget. Many times in my articles I have used anecdotes from my family’s experience through the seven years military dictatorship in Greece, between 1967 and 1974 and I have used stories from the years in exile. The irony I have often point is that my father, since he was the target, was not a raving communist; on the contrary he was a man with very conservative ideology with a very conservative background but with high democratic principals and that made him a target for the regime. And please don’t forget that we are talking about the country that is the birthplace of democracy, where democracy is something we pride and we feel that is not just a philosophy but part of our DNA.

So I lived the violence, the harassment; member of my family or my cycle lived the prisons, the tortures and exile. And people we knew died all in the name of democracy and fighting the group that tried to kill democracy. From the WWII I have of course no memories but my father had and they were often a reference when he was talking about democracy and how important it is to protect her. I consider as one of the most shocking moments of my life the first time I walked inside the gates of Auswitch; for long time I had nightmares from the experience and even now I feel tears in my eyes from the memory of that visit. Of course I didn’t born with these ideas, my personal philosophy and stand on life was something formed during the years and out of experiences sometimes the hard way and through a painful process.

My work added a lot to this process giving me the chance (I’m not sure if that should be the right word) to see the darkest side of human behaviour having led me through human disasters, wars and regimes that actually practice genocide over their own compatriots. I have seen the apartheid in South Africa and the civil war in Sudan; I felt the pain of the people under unbelievable regimes in South America or central Africa. I had the chance to meet leaders, warlords and personas from the entire political spectrum and all these taught me that democracy is not just a philosophy or a political system but a way of life. Democracy is beyond books, theses and manifests. Democracy is something that starts from your every day life and is mainly based in one word, respect. Respect the other; respect the others’ rights and their right to democracy.

But during this process I also learned, again the hard way, that democracy in the name of respect has a handicap that sometimes turns to be her nemesis; the unprejudiced stand to everybody’s right of expression even if that means that these expressions fight democracy. Perhaps this is the peak and the superior beauty of democracy as principal. To give the right to your worst opponent not to respect you. To give the right to a party that has as a main aim and fundamentals the destruction of democracy and manifests prejudice and discrimination to feel equal; a party that opposes every single meaning of the word respect and therefore no respect to the fundamentals of democracy. And fascism is also a way of life. Is not just a political philosophy it actually identifies a way of life and a way of dealing with life. The people who live this way of life are prejudice and discriminative even in their simplest and everyday acts. And the only thing these extreme parties do is collect those people under a common umbrella protecting them under the feeling of collectivism and the mass. But this protection and the collectivism feeling makes them more violent and furthermore and under the contemporary circumstances – economic, immigration, unemployment that make people looking for a representative that can give them a solution or somebody to blame wherever this representative might be – with elected members in the parliaments makes them arrogant and considering violence their right. Amazing!

I heard the leader of the Neo-Nazi group excusing the member of his party saying that he was in …self-defence reacting to the verbal attack he had to deal with from the communists! And in the end he added that whatever we might say the party is representing nearly half a million Greeks. I have heard similar excuses from LePen in the past and Timo Soini is Finland. But do that gives them the right to do what they do and act as they act? Do I have the right to punch you if I don’t like what you say? That half a million people who voted for them for a variety reasons gives them the right to act in a way that hurts democracy and everybody else? Doesn’t democracy needs at last in the name of democracy some rules based on respect? A criminal is punished in a variety of ways all around the world and they are punished because they mainly break the laws of ethic because before state laws to murder is unethical; violence, especially inexcusable violence against weaker has always been unethical even though it became state punishable lately. Domestic violence, prejudice, discrimination, harassment have been always unethical in people’s conscience far become becoming punishable by states’ laws. Should then do something about groups that have all these unethical principals as fundamentals. Should we instead of trying to find ways to punish a solely act to think if it is time to do something the Germans practice for decades, make these parties illegal. Shouldn’t this act become the reason to stop this cancer that finding our world in time of weakness spreading fast? Most importantly and I have often talked about it, should we invest far more into education, educating the new generations especially what democracy and what fascism means since it effects not only politics but their every day life? And shouldn’t we do something to prevent what is coming because I’m afraid the more these people feel that have support (doesn’t really matter why people voted them for) they will get worst and what we saw in this short video is just the beginning of what is coming.

P.S. while I feel strange adding the embarrassing link I want to add it just to show first that fascism has no nationality and that their real face has absolutely nothing to do with the principals of democracy that they use with one and only aim to destroy them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfJZ4N0Paqw

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