Greece at 200, Are We Free?

Greece’s long and winding odyssey brings us to another milestone anniversary, the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence that commenced in earnest in 1821.

In the long odyssey of Modern Greece’s history, we finally arrive at the bicentennial commemoration of the point when Greeks organized en masse to expel the Ottoman occupiers from their ancestral lands. For the last 200 years Greece has been able to overcome incredible odds to remain united and standing. There have been many forks in the road in the modern history of Greece and unfortunately jealousy, egomania, and treachery often self-sabotaged the country. Now is not the time to dwell on past failures nor to overly romanticize and dwell on the glories of days gone by. It's time to live in the present a little bit more and to dream of the possibilities of tomorrow.

History has shown us that the most effective countries that have passed through human civilization were always those with one eye fixed on the present and the other focused on what is yet to come, while never forgetting the past lest they repeat errors. It's so important for Greece moving forward to snap out of its of illusions of melancholy and pessimism and instead count its blessings and firmly take the country’s destiny into its own hands.

Since the birth of the Modern Greek state, Greece has been at war with itself. Whether that be between klefts and aristocrats, royalists and republicans, conservatives and liberals, you name it. Greece has always done so well dividing itself that nations did not need to do it for their own gain, considering we did it to ourselves. The best illustration of this is the fact that the Nazis devastated Greece in the  early 1940s only for the Greeks to turn around and instead of rebuilding their nation, engaged in a civil war with themselves, the only nation on Earth in the immediate aftermath of World War II to engage in civil war. For all of the senseless division, for all of the unnecessary envy and jealousy that the Greeks have towards each other, generating a pervasive sense of suspicion and dread, there is a golden opportunity now with the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence. The chances sitting there in front of us for Greece to be truly energy-independent, to rely on the green energy market to supply our internal needs and to also become rich in the process while preserving the environment, to have the Diaspora play a  leading role in society, thereby preserving the opportunity that they might one day return on a permanent basis and reverse the horrific brain drain that has occurred over the last 10-12 years.

May the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence remind all Hellenes that divided we achieve nothing but united we can accomplish anything. It’s time for Greece to stop relying on other countries and start taking the initiative into its own hands. It’s time to stop relying on greedy, ineffective oligarchs and politicians who could not give a hoot about the prospects of the nation but struggle on a daily basis to take for their personal bank accounts. Let us move forward as one and create a lasting, inclusive, and prosperous version of Hellenism over these next 200 years.


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