Wednesday Jul 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Hiding behind stereotypes

By Pantelis Boukalas

All those stereotypical expressions that recur in our speech probably once carried some actual meaning before losing it somewhere along the way.

The value of these expressions was mostly undermined by overuse, which was in turn prompted by two apparently contradictory desires that in fact complement each other. On the one hand, it is our desire to be eloquent (or merely come across as such) when in fact we have nothing important to say, or we wish to say nothing important. On the other, it is our desire to bypass the issue that we ought to talk about and duck the responsibility of literalism.

The familiar phrase “We condemn violence wherever it may come from” says more or less everything, in order to say nothing. Or rather, it says everything in order to not tell the truth, that particular truth that every party or every one of us believes in.

This is exactly why it is no more productive than it would be to say that “we condemn the wind wherever it may blow from,” north or south, west or east. Yet winds continue to blow, regardless of our condemnation. The same thing happens with violence – including terrorist and racist violence.

However, take a moment here to imagine a conversation among the lovers of violence after they hear a politician sing along the chorus of condemnation – either because of confusion, habit or ulterior motives.

If it were troublemakers relishing the chaos (such as members of the far right who mimic the vocabulary and the tactics of the far left), they would have a good laugh. If it were self-styled Robin Hoods, they would brag on the realization that, once again, we are trying to interpret their acts on the basis of a common code of understanding and ethics. Meanwhile, they, comfortable in their narcissism and conviction that history rests in their vanguard hands, think, feel and act in accordance with their own self-righteous terms. Their morality has nothing in common with our petty bourgeois morality. For example, it does not condone the belief that every life has absolute value; that no life can be sacrificed in the face of some revolutionary ideal.

However, many of those who like to “condemn violence wherever it may come from” are also prone to relativism and bias. Like no religion ever gave up its sacred right to the exercise of metaphysical violence, similarly, no state functionary ever denied the state’s monopoly over “legal violence.” Rather they consider it as legitimate, fair, even natural – even when it violates the law. This “wherever” is worth no more than the “forevers” uttered in teenagers’ early flirtations.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 22, 2013 (12:37)  
Populism eating up education
A valued but mistreated professional
Through insecurity comes optimism
Futile policy
Parliament okays SNF donation for hostel next to cancer clinic
Parliament agreed by a majority on Wednesday that the government should accept a 2.3-million-euro donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to create a hostel for the relatives of ...
Greek foremen avoid jail after firing on migrant laborers [Update]
A Greek fruit exporter and three foremen arrested last year over a shooting attack against migrant labourers avoided jail or were acquitted altogether on Wednesday, a judicial source said. T...
Inside News
Momentum drags bourse further down
The bourse benchmark contained its mid-day losses of over 1.1 percent to end its third consecutive session of decline losing no more than just 0.10 percent on Wednesday, while turnover went ...
Six firms submit bids to lease Vouliagmeni beach
Six companies have made bids to Greece Public Properties Company (ETAD) to lease Vouliagmeni beach in southern Athens for at least the next 15 years. ETAD opened the sealed bids on Tuesday. ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
SOCCER
Verona´s Moras donates bone marrow to brother
Hellas Verona defender Vangelis Moras is in Australia to donate bone marrow to his older brother Dimitris, who has leukemia. The transplant will take place on Saturday. Dimitris flew to Aust...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Momentum drags bourse further down
2. Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
3. Parliament okays SNF donation for hostel next to cancer clinic
4. Verona´s Moras donates bone marrow to brother
5. Greek foremen avoid jail after firing on migrant laborers [Update]
6. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
more news
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. Six firms submit bids to lease Vouliagmeni beach
3. IMF's Lagarde not sure yet about debt relief for Greece
4. Coalition submits new proposals for Greek coastline
5. EU Commissioner Damanaki unlikely to return to Greek politics
6. Police arrest one, seek another three over counterfeit goods
Today
This Week
1. Unequal after death
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
4. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
5. Front-line threats
6. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.