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The exhaustion of Greek political system and a society in flames The exhaustion of Greek political system and a society in flames
by Dimitra Karantzeni
2012-12-01 11:20:08
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As the days go by, current chaotic situation in Greece is rendered more and more perplexed and difficulty approachable, in a level that one could state that perhaps this country likes to put itself into a permanent submissive position of misery, as well as that hypocrisy is a component of the last generations, somehow infused into people’s DNA.

First of all, when it comes to citizens, they often declare that they are conscientious, hardworking, inherently democratic people who honor their ancient legacies from Plato, Aristotle and the other philosophers of Antiquity. What it’s hesitated to be said, is that Greeks are primarily responsible for the perpetual downfall accompanied by a boundless international self-humiliation, for a corruption so deep that shouldn’t be isolated in the political field but better treated as a whole, since it touches every aspect of everyday personal and social life.

Greek citizens are the ones applauding, cheering and waving the flags of victory for the representatives they voted, just after the announcement of the elections’ result, literally opening their hands greedily, so as to grab any kind of position available, that would calm for a while their national anger and frustration. At the same time, they are the same people that the day after, burst into blasphemies and curses against their country’s useless politicians, hiding in the drawer - for four years or something less – their flags of shame ...

Even now that bankruptcy is a reality that we all experience, but no one dared to officially announce, Greek leaders remain free, with people’s endless tolerance, to arrange lives as they wish, by playing Russian roulette in the salons of Troika and then turn back, sometimes with bombastic nationalistic elations for the salvation of the country and other times with the tail between their legs.

Nevertheless, this is just the one side of the coin, as country’s political system seems equally unable to escape its voracious self. To start with, ruling party New Democracy (ND) appears as a misreplication of a center-right political force, which tries really hard to fight its conservative nature. Before winning the elections, ND intensively opposed memorandum and its harsh terms, accusing ruling party PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) for the betrayal of national sovereignty. Today, New Democracy ironically tries to coexist and maintain unity in a fragile governmental coalition with its greatest oppositional party, PASOK, and the alternative europeanist left-wing party of Democratiki Aristera (DIM.AR.), in order to guarantee the extension of the same measures taken.

Leftist forces on the other hand, levitate between fragmentation and dissolution, achieving the absolute disorientation of the electorate. A noteworthy fact is the complete weakening of erstwhile socialist PASOK which has experienced a vast loss of popular support, approaching historically low, single-digit percentages, while its members abandon one by one, the sinking boat. Moving on to Greek Communist Party, it remains in hibernation, losing several rounds in the marathon of political parties for survival, essentially putting itself offseason with all its utopian visions – otherwise perfect to describe the structures of another Platonic ideal state -, as it persists to outdated proposals lacking realism and organized strategy. A situation that can’t help but magnify the fears for its future transformation into more or less, a ‘‘historical’’ party, that honorary occupies parliamentary seats, along with the ghosts of the past.  

Regarding SY.RI.ZA (Radical Left Coalition Party) and DIM.AR. (Democratic Leftist Party), they appear undecided between the charming contact with the governmental power on the one hand and the will for a few revolutionary elations against corruption, bipartisanship and despotism of external interventional powers (Troika) on the other. Unfortunately, none of them seems to offer anything special, as they limit their actions to a counterproductive presence, occasionally throwing a few drops of socialism in the cocktail of center-right powers, who have undertaken the so called heroic mission of economic independence from IMF, EU and European Central Bank, dramatically portrayed as the 'three forces of darkness "...

Within this maelstrom, people have completely lost the power to fight and the faith to envision a radical change, and what is left is drama, passive resistance and a piteous seeking, conscious or not, of a voluntary patronage, a refuge in the poisonous hugs of the far right forces (Golden Dawn) which flourish undisturbed, with the coverage of parliamentary legitimization and abolish the intended constitutional, moral, etc. laws, suggesting violence and revenge, or in other words, a return to the philosophy of the jungle. The propaganda of the exemplary punishment of corrupted politicians, along with a rapid restoration of every kind of social injustice, seem to be so appealing to those people who don’t appear capable enough to otherwise express their oppressed needs, revealing a weak patriotic sentiment, confused political conscience and extremely low levels of social culture in a significant number of Greek citizens.   

Surely, EU’s fatigue to  promote a viable socio-economic model, mostly due to costly successive enlargements, inadequate surveillance mechanisms as well as leaders’ conflicting national ambitions – see i.e. Merkel’s struggle to present generally-disputed crisis rescue plans as a success story in order to restore political persuasion to German public –, sets domestic social unrest to its international dimensions.

The point is, though, that the so called ‘Greek specificity’ – as described the national exceptionalism that characterizes Greek dominant socio-economic and political structures and functions– truly exists. Beyond any financial support available and even if the debt ever becomes somehow manageable, the major problem remains in the core of Greek society, where all social layers oppose one another into a dangerous belligerent zone and every existing political doctrine seems so exhausted to place the country into a whole new perspective. When no political party can offer a stable political orientation to the electorate and the credibility of state power has been plunged to numerous scandals and illegal activities, the impoverished social fabric cannot help but erupt against the system itself, triggering a new kind of civil war.

A state that appears for a long-standing period unable to fill its institutional and governmental gaps is inevitably exposed to any attempt of destabilization and manipulation by forces – internal or not – which carefully await to benefit from its degradation. If we’d dare to scratch the surface, we’d clearly see that a country’s solidarity is a fragile concept that isn’t necessarily threatened by supranational institutions which aim to restrict its eras of national sovereignty. Social intolerance, indifference, extremism, and trivialization of democratic values are some places where the danger could be hidden. As they say, ‘‘Man’s worst enemy, is the man Himself’’…

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Emanuel Paparella2012-12-01 13:37:55
Indeed Plato and Aristotle are probably turning in their grave. Were they able to return from the grave, they would probably resume their ancient quarrel as to how much democracy are people ready and able to internalize and practice as a political value. But they would agree on one thing: the theory comes before the practice and to be an activist (on the right or on the left)and begin with the practice is like putting the cart before the horse. Back to Plato and Aristotle. Have they ever been taken seriously by our politicians? One wonders.

Leah Sellers2012-12-01 20:17:44
There has been a well planned out Re-Dis-tribution of Wealth Worldwide, that We the People continue to overlook (perhaps because it was the Root cause which lies underneath the Economic Quick-Sand beneath all of Our feet -except for the Elitist Few, which upset the Global Apple Cart to Begin with.
Of coourse, Folks Worldwide are going to be upset. Forced Austerity (especially from World Leaders who knowingly or Un-knowingly Participated in the Worldwide theft and Re-Dis-tribution to the so-called Top of the trickle-down Pyramid 1%er Schemers) will, of course, be bitterly unpalatable (whether they Re-member the Root Cause or not. All they know is that they are caught in Quick Sand, and everyone acts differently in an Emergency situation. But one thing is certain, when you're sinking in Quick Sand, you'll do anything, and accept help of any kind to pull yourself out.
The Global Acting Out is natural.
The pressures of Austerity and Survival bring out the worst - nad the Best in us all.
Our Leaders, who are asking We the People to sacrifice and suffer for their theft and/or incompetence, should also be asked to take a hefty cut in their Pay and their Benefits.
After all, as they all continue to tell all of the rest of Us, we're all in this Together. So, it's time for all of them to climb on board the leaky Global Vessels they helped to put the holes into with their own Self-Serving (not Nation-Serving) Agendas and various levels of primal Greed and Hubris.
For our own sakes, Globally, we must All seek to become more Enlightened and Universally Loving Beings.
We must all put our MInds, Hearts and Souls together and come up with Economies which are not purely based upon the Laws of Consumerism. Because on many levels of existence We are Consuming ourselves to Death and possible Extinction.

Eleana Winter-Irving2012-12-07 12:25:22
The world is in upheaval at this present time. It is no coincidence that so many countries are going down the tube. As far as the country of Greece goes there are three main things that need to happen before any gains can be made.
1. Eliminate corruption and cronyism.
2. Stimulate the economy in the correct places by doing what is fiscally prudent.
3. Cut out wastage and unnecessary expenditure.
However all three are unlikely to occur. The countries that are going down will continue to go down and the countries that are rising will continue to rise and so we will be looking at a different world.
A few countries may remain stable with good governance and revolutionary leadership. Australia will survive with the ALP, but will sink with the LNP under Abbott. Under Malcolm Turnbull, we would have a chance if he sacked 7 of his front bench. Unlikely. We are positioned well, being a western country in the Asia region.
The planet is being turned upside down. Those that were up and supposedly superior and arrogant will sink. Those that were known as third world countries have cleverly learnt what NOT to do and so by not making the same mistakes are now rising to the west’s detriment.
One should also note the rise of women to high places. Men have had their turn at running the world. They have ruined, neglected, pillaged and raped the land and its people. They have built empires on greed and power. Corporations have aligned themselves on this same model. Men tend to think in monetary value; whilst women think in intuitive best practice value. Men are predominantly ‘left brained’, i.e. using the left hemisphere predominantly. Women on the other hand are mainly balanced, or slightly using the right over the left. Men must now step aside, as much as it is distasteful and admit your failings. Men with balanced hemisphere thinking will fit comfortably with women leaders.

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