Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
History beyond the jubilations

By Pantelis Boukalas

National jubilations have never helped bring the country’s history any closer to its martyrized truth, nor have they ever reinforced morale. This is the kind of gratuitous speech that enhances our self-awareness as much as the costly military parades that supposedly provide a basis for the country’s national pride.

Lo and behold, that self-respect and self-confidence need this kind of ceremonial activity, which, besides, was put into motion after WWII, not so much in view of uniting the country and its people, but rather to emphasize its division into winners and losers, patriots and traitors.

Talk of country and patriotism abounds these days, but it is of the divisive kind, as opposed to unifying. The roles of patriots, on the one hand, and of the compliant and even the treacherous, on the other, are shared out depending on the interlocutor’s taste. This is done in an arbitrary, self-vindicating fashion. You’d think there is only one single way for one to love and try to serve their country. You’d think there is some kind of monopoly on patriotism, allowing those who have it to declare anyone who believes that real history never stems from chatty and syrupy jubilations and dull ceremonial messages to be suspicious and a pariah.

No doubt the 19th-century general and politician Ioannis Makriyiannis’s use of “we” echoed throughout the country on Tuesday. So what? How many will adhere to the plural when everything surrounding us is sending out completely different messages regarding the importance of individualism? Whatever the country managed to construct collectively in the post-junta period is now under attack, slandered, broken or collapsing. Society would have become fragmented had numerous sources of solidarity not been developed spontaneously across Greece.

The monopoly of loving one’s country – not an exclusively Greek phenomenon – is being claimed quite aggressively by the far right, as a herald of fierce isolationist, anti-European sentiment and the kind of chauvinism which unavoidably emits racism. The Greek far right is not a single entity. Part of it co-governed a few years ago for “national reasons.” Another is currently savoring a portion of power through politicians who believe that a party changeover purified them after their stint in bigotry, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. A third portion, the strongest, toughest and militarily organized, is divided between those members who are currently behind bars and those who remain free.

This last version, the shamelessly pro-Nazi far right, tried over the last few years to monopolize patriotism to the point of operating (given that it was allowed) as a paramilitary force. No doubt certain of its members tried to come across as the heroes of the new Greek War of Independence on Tuesday. They have always tried to rewrite history and they remain impostors.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday March 25, 2014 (17:53)  
Politicized archaeology
Moderating expectations
EU’s three big problems all linked
A great president
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
A quarter of all the expenses submitted last year by private health clinics to EOPYY, the country’s largest healthcare provider, have been deemed suspicious and in need of further investigat...
New rector seeks to introduce ID checks at University of Athens
One day after his swearing-in ceremony was marred by protests against budget cuts and the expulsion of thousands of so-called eternal students, the new rector at the University of Athens, Th...
Inside News
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
2. Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
3. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
4. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
5. Pension system nears breaking point
6. Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Moderating expectations
6. Greece needs private debt overhaul, Piraeus Bank CEO says
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.