The year 2015 is soon coming to an end and my only thought is that it’s one of the worst years in Greek History. When 2014 was about to end, we at least had an illusion, some hope that something might be improved, at least in the human rights domain. “If only they do 10% of what they promised!” Greek people said about the new government, even though the realists among them could see it was nothing more than wishful thinking.
The enormous defeat of 61,3% of the voters (see: Greferendum), the large majority of the Greek people who really wanted some radical change (even if they would subsequently complain endlessly about the changes) became a deep wound for the Left.
Naturally, I don’t mean the Greek Left, we can forget about that altogether, it’s finished. My point is about the global Left. The Spanish “Podemos” lost their leading place for no other reason: the example of SYRIZA in Greece was enough to make people detest them, as they had identified themselves with SYRIZA. After that, despite everything happening in Spain, families being evicted, the enormous unemployment rate etc, nothing was enough to release the Spanish voters from the bonds to the old political system.
(“The one who said NO does not regret it. If asked again, he would repeat it.” Poem by K. Kavafis on wall)
Alexis Tsipras and his collaborators capitulated without terms, resembling the darkest hours of the Greek History. They did so, despite the fact that the entire nation was behind them, despite the turmoil in many European nations which were hoping for change. What did they chose to do? To signify that “There Is No Alternative”, there is no other way, Margaret Thatcher is alive and well, only reigning under a different name.
As I watched This is not a coup by Paul Mason and Theopi Skarlatos I started to wonder if the body of Alexis Tsipras is inhabited by some being, earthly or alien. It’s as if he has become a different person, with a completely new reasoning, from a schizzophrenic disorder, perhaps. Nevertheless, some of the people he appointed, right from the start, signify who he has always been. The very same person.
(“In every city, in every neighborhood, we should make a well like the one in Meligalas” written on a wall. Many nazi sympathizers were drowned in a well, in Meligalas village by the Resistance, in September 1944.)
I have no clue what 2016 will bring. I only know that our common hopes for political change, have died. The proletarian revolution and the seizure of the winter palace, won’t come for a long time. And catchy slogans such as “some day the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich” don’t even scare the elite of the Philippines or Bangladesh.
The downward spiral will continue. If people rest their hopes on a revolution brought about by exasperation due to extreme poverty, they are delusional. Besides, most Greeks still falsely perceive themselves to be members of the middle class, because deep down inside they are too proud to admit that they belong to the proletarian working class.
The next-door fascist is lurking. Unfortunately, after the crush of the Left, fascism was rendered a “more viable solution” or perspective, to the politically non-conscious citizens, the apolitical ones, those who simply wish for someone to lead them to a different situation, irrespective to how that situation will be, and who will be its victims. Or even the first, visible victims.
This is already happening in France, with Marine Le Pen: the inexistent Left has allowed the extreme right to reign, as the only available alternative to the disreputable center parties. This will also happen in Greece, if we allow the rhetoric of hatred to become the mainstream narrative. Hatred against those with dark skin, the foreigners, those of a different religion, those who fuck differently, single-parent families, people with special needs, and in general, hatred against those who “we can spare” and we can easily identify as different to ourselves.
For all these reasons, the current trial of neo-nazi Golden Dawn as a criminal organization is of paramount importance. Even greater significance should be given to its broadcasting, to disseminating what goes on for the people who cannot be present in the court-room and to carefully record the evidence, as it is presented.
This heavy duty has fallen upon the shoulders of a commendable group named Golden Dawn Watch. At the same time, a citizen journalist (Ypopto Mousi) produces an amazing video-diary of the trial every Friday evening, presenting the new developments of the trial, in OmniaTV.
Journalist Angelique Kourounis has done a literally heroic job: she risked her own safety and that of her family, for the documentary “Golden Dawn – A personal affair – The next-door nazi”. Please, support this effort, as best you can. It is the only way to escape oblivion, the forgetful sleep that suits their plans.
I can’t tell what 2016 will bring. Still, I know we won’t go down without a battle. Battles. Many of which we are bound to lose. We will even fight them being in advance aware of our certain defeat. Just like the prisoners of Korydalos prison hospital, in Athens (@kolastirio in twitter). They fight despite their severe health problems, despite suffering the psychology of incarceration (which I won’t even presume to describe), and despite the fact that the majority of society has written them off.
We might also win some of the battles, such as the same-sex cohabitation agreement, recently voted by the Greek parliament. It might be a victory to have gained new comrades. We also realize who supports us and who stands against our claims.
Perhaps one of our victories is that the new generations realize that we don’t quit, even when faced with the brick wall. There are enough crazy people among us, who will abandon everything and will rush to help the refugees in need, in the storm, in the winter, in the night, against the waves, against the cops and against every scumbag who attempts to profit from the misfortune of others.
Without a doubt 2015 was the year of refugees. “The damned of this earth” came through Greece, seeking a peaceful land to live. And the volunteers who helped them proved that there human being still exist.
It has been a year that led us to reconsider a lot. Among them, the meanings of “European Union”, “Europe”, “European Unification”, “European Ideals” and all the related or derivative terms. Of course we had long ago seen the signs, but in 2015 the masks fell. All pretenses were dropped.
Let’s hope we will be strong and healthy in 2016 because we have a big struggle ahead, one which will require all of our strengths, bodily, mental and social, if we are to survive it.