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Columnists

To Change Greece’s Fate for the Better, We Must Start with the Rhetoric

If only Greece’s politicians could change their rhetoric, they could make history for ushering in true reform. A change in rhetoric and abandoning of the stilted speech espoused by today’s political parties would offer a great service to the Hellenic homeland – perhaps the greatest that a Greek political party could offer as the slightest act of restitution for the destruction they have wreaked for decades on end.

A change in political speech would translate to a change in thinking, allowing at least a glimmer of hope that a change in the political mindset could be achieved.

In Greece, both the left and right have worked methodically and faithfully (perhaps the lone instance where someone could ascribe such qualities to a Greek political party) to de-Hellenize the nation and build a platform utterly devoid of the “political feat” and “communion of relations” that Hellenic thought bequeathed to humanity as a universal value. Finding even a shred of those fruitful dialectics begetting and sustaining Greek civilization for millennia in the speech – or rather the political hot air – being spewed by the hucksters passing themselves off as politicians in Greece today is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

The self-styled left stands frostily indifferent to the remarkable collectivistic functionality of the traditional Greek communal institutions. For decades, its sole concern has been to lay siege to the public sector and forcibly impose foreign institutions upon the people for whom it purports to care and represent. In Greece’s case, we’re talking about German-inspired institutions combined with a Soviet-brand approach to exercising power; ergo, an administrative monstrosity creating a Frankenstein-like state apparatus.

Nonetheless, the copycat right showed itself to be no different when it comes to inspiration-less political coarseness. The political bloc that once resorted to the extremes of exiling citizens over the fear of communist treachery – which was all too willing to splinter the homeland and deliver it to foreign powers, so long as they supported the ‘right color’ tyrants (recently declassified Soviet archival records confirm this) – subsequently followed the path of communist internationalism and gave itself over entirely to country-less neoliberal nihilism. But before fully completing its transformation, it managed to adulterate patriotism by commercializing it, complete with slogans and jingles that sought only to advance the criteria-less and untempered acceptance of hedonistic capitalism.

It ignored the fact that patriotism is not some product to be bought at a supermarket, but something that is experienced empirically, often through a common language and most always through a common ‘tropos’ or state of being. It relies on its cultural ‘otherness’ to prioritize a distinct hierarchy of needs it serves. It is tested and evaluated through fair competition in the international arena, showing itself to be uniquely cosmopolitan while rooted in the local. However, a spirit of discernment and not cheap sensationalism remains a prerequisite for this to exist.

But are the parties even capable of acting patriotically? I mean the ones that dealt destructive blows to the nation through political opportunism like the education ‘reforms’ they pushed that dismembered the ancient and uniform language of the Greeks – this wonderful instrument of thought and ark of Hellenic civilization – which survived all kinds of dangers, only to be butchered by modern day politicians.

Imagine how different things would be if the conservative parties could spearhead a comprehensive effort to save the Greek language, instituting the teaching of classical Greek from as early as the first grade, to completely revamp the plot ratio in the zoning ordinance, and to work for the fundamental preservation of the Greek countryside.

Imagine if the parties on the left would proceed with the self-evident political act of denouncing rabble-rousers occupying public and private spaces as antisocial reactionaries who are on opposing sides with the sociocentric left. Imagine if these parties publicly thought out loud about the number of ICU beds that could be created if the funds from the public coffers squandered annually to repair the damages caused to public property by the common vandals who cover up their sociopathy with left-wing sheep’s wool were allocated toward that end.

If the left in Greece was truly concerned with the actual needs of society – in deed, not only word – and strived to make the timeless community-centered perspective and approach of Hellenism its standard (two indicative examples include: a) the reorganization of local governance around the local community, which would allow for frequent referendums and power-sharing through the genuinely democratic system of sortition and, b) the readjustment of the tax policy in the spirit of the Byzantine tradition, as explained by Nikos Svoronos, where the sum total of the local citizenry was responsible for the tax allotted to an area, thus promoting collective responsibility, solidarity, and a more equitable distribution of the tax burden) it would represent the most progressive and revolutionary action that the country has ever seen from this ideology.

Conversely, if the conservative side was interested in promoting the Hellenic tropos as a universal proposal/invitation expressed through architecture, civil planning, the showcasing of Greece as an international center of studies for the Greek language, the promotion of the parish – the ecclesia of the faithful – as the historic continuation of the ancient ecclesia of the demos (citizens) and not as a conventional location to fulfill individual religious obligations, it would be contributing inestimable services toward the preservation of Hellenism and strengthening of Greece through cultural diplomacy.

After all, thanks to these very qualities, Hellenism historically managed to thrive in the face of military defeats, politically and socially, remarkably transforming its standing from vanquished to victor.

Naturally, these proposals pose a challenge during any era and demand unique leadership skills and self-sacrifice on behalf of the politicians who would dare to undertake such a tall task. Often, however, the Leonidases are distinguished from the Ephialteses by the nobility of their intentions and the loftiness of their vision.

 

Follow me on Twitter @CTripoulas

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