We often speak of Greece ‘s “pathogenic diseases” that have infected of the political system and the society. We use the term to describe notorious and incurable habits that have settled here with their deep roots. We use this expression to put the blame on typical Greek features characteristic for the nation, the politicians and the people and the system. We normally say “Ehh, pathogenic” and shake our heads obviously disapproving this bitter Greek reality. And we keep repeating these pathogenic habits every day, every month and every year. We keep voting for the same people although we know we cannot create a new system using old material. When we vote for ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ people, we realize that they turn to be the same as the old politicians we did not vote for. We then blame the ‘system’ for absorbing anyone who wants to make a difference. We keep swearing at the state because we have a disturbed relation to it. And similarly, the state has a disturbed relation to us, citizens. We keep running in the same vicious circle like lab rats in the cage. No hope. No chance.
What is a Nation? A large group of people with common characteristics attributed to them — including language, traditions, customs, habits, and ethnicity.
We have probably got used it, to live with the Greek pathogenic and repeat the same mistakes. Have we? Seven years of economic crisis have made us wiser. A tiny bit.
In the guest post below, the author makes a -what I could call a quite thorough- listing of the Greek pathogenic. Driven by ‘the love for the homeland’ the author defines criticizes not only the political system and the economic situation of the last 200 years of Greece’s modern history but also the alarming developments in xenophobia, racism and far-right populism.
The guest post below is by K.T., a retired army officer.
These lines I primarily owe to myself and secondarily to all those who in any way deal with me.
My homeland is for me a very important and very essential aspect for my emotional behavior and the way I approach life in general.
I have defined my homeland as a set of facts and values that includes the land where I grew up and I live, the history of this place and the ethnic-nation [fyli-ethnos] which I think I am part of, the people who have lived here and belonged to the same ethnic – nation, people with whom we have shared memories, and finally the spiritual and the religious heritage, the traditions that have shaped me.
Every person included in this set is for me a compatriot, I consider as a Greek everyone who shares with me this love for all the components or parts of this set that makes my homeland. I do not care about this person’s color, the DNA, the origin, the economic status or social position.
For me, this person is a compatriot. Not my compatriot is someone who feels that my homeland offers a temporary place for him and his children to live in, the one who does not honor the symbols of my country and insults my intelligence by playing theater pretending he respects this entity called Greece.
I feel that I have to serve this country which I love, respect and to which I owe my existence. I feel that I have to fight for it and promote it wherever I am.
I do not give anyone the right to misuse this word which is sacred for me in order to ensure economic, political or any other benefits. And I oppose, I am against any attempt to hijack both the word and the substance of the homeland. With full and deep sense of responsibility that I personally have towards my homeland, I judge, I criticize and I go together with anyone who believes in the values of my homeland.
I understand, accept and appreciate people from other countries who have the same flame inside them for their own homeland. I do not try to impose any kind of superiority of my own country over others. I believe in the diversity of my nation and I highlight however I can and wherever I am the cultural and spiritual heritage of my homeland; a heritage that the state entity called Greece does not make use at all in order to form the personality and the character of the Greek citizens.
The same state entity called Greece, ruled by extensively incompetent governors, never succeeded to create a stable and productive environment for its citizens in the nearly two hundred years of its history. Of course, there have been some exceptions, but these governors mostly failed to cope with the historic role they were assigned with.
On the other hand, the citizens, untaught, uneducated and cunning in their majority, have elected and keep electing governors with more or less the same features. The result was and is predictable and given. Even if the motive of some governors was patriotic, neither did they manage nor could they manage to create a stable and productive state structure. The results were more or less given. Bad administration, corruption, disorganization, populism, nepotism and disunity that sometimes lead to bloody conflicts and fratricide.
The history of Greece’s loans began in 1824 and continues to date. Bankruptcies were always within the program, the crisis management was always and still is run by centers outside Greece. As long as governance is run by the same economic and political so-called ‘elites’, this state will always have the same fate.
And as long as the citizens of this state maintain the hostile relation against it, there can never be any progress. This is logical, it makes sense. Therefore, the debt is the lesser evil.
Recently, a group of half-idiots, supported by a part of the elites I mentioned above, have created a new situation by hijacking sacred symbols and words and by taking advantage of the people’s indignation which is mainly against themselves. They have introduced καινά δαιμόνια [new daemons – in sense of Socrates’ new ‘self-consciousness’ ] with uncertain consequences.
Nazi symbols have been tangled up with practices of Ancient Greece and Christianity and contemporary social structures. They are being used by half-educated and possibly insane and asocial personalities. They are used by those who apply violence to frighten already scared foreigners, and employ their obsessional positions to intimidate dissenters but also those who do not even bother to deal with them.
Focusing on refugees and illegal migrants and assisted by the scandalous omissions and inane decisions of an incompetent and lost in its own world government, they create conditions for many trials and tribulations that lie ahead us.
Quite a number of them are admirers of Hitler and his ideology, they are also possibly descendants of black-marketers and collaborators, and would love to see the swastika waving over the Acropolis. Pure patriots who do not recognize Giannis Antetokounmpo as their compatriot. Antetokounmpo who shines in the US as an athlete and as a healthy role model because of color and origin.
As if their own origins and their family history is better. As if they did it better in this life, seeking for a daily pay stepping on the backs of others or waiting for those professional idiots who manipulate them to create a living for them.
On the other hand, a government consisting of a rabble of ridiculous, former miserables, some technocrats for the sake of variety, and some other homeland mongering professionals, tries to get settle and serve its own supporters and remain in power regardless of the cost for the homeland.
Together with an opposition of the same practices and philosophy, an opposition that is politically starving and is keen to gain power again, they continue to destroy the country as others did before them.
Costakis*, Giorgakis* and Antonakis*, descendants of the politico-economic elite, ruled for one decade, but they claim they are not to blame for the bankruptcy and the mismanagement of the economic crisis. They blame those who ruled the country before them. This is a worldwide novelty on the political communication and public relations level and I think it should be taught throughout the world.
However, I hope, I do really hope, there there are sane and logical Greeks with love for the homeland and driven by legacy and responsibility so that they can make the difference, they can work miracles.
By the way. It is a miracle that this state still exists, isn’t it?
K.T. is a retired army officer.
*diminutive form used in every day Greek for Costas (Karamanlis), Giorgos (Papandreou), Antonis (Samaras). Greece’s Prime Ministers from October 2009 to January 2015.
Text translated from Greek by KTG.