COMMENT

This is not Sparta

BY Nikos Konstandaras

Groups of left-wing protesters have been fighting to obstruct university reforms which, among other things, will put an end to their lengthy dominance.

At the same time, groups of far-right thugs have stepped out of the shadows and can now be heard bragging that the time of their own dominion is coming.

In both cases, small, organized and active groups are growing in strength as a result of a weak state and Greek society’s fragile values system.

Both sides are advertising the values of their own particular subculture as superior to those of the rest of society. They are seeking to impose their arbitrary code in every way they can.

The similarities do not end there. It is not just the tolerance displayed by Greek society or the forms of political violence employed by both sides.

(Let’s not be disillusioned, no effort is being made really to stop the crimes of Golden Dawn, the neofascist party that successfully campaigned for a place in the country’s Parliament in the last general election.)

And while both sides draw strength from the weakness of the whole – while carrying out acts that hurt society – they actually claim to stand for its betterment.

Their biggest resemblance, however, is manifested in their attacks – whether they are directed against specific targets or random victims – which are aimed at terrorizing or even eliminating their enemies.

In order to succeed, both extremes have to rewrite history and shun reality.

Supporters of Golden Dawn believe that attacking immigrants is a kind of sacred duty, something like a ritual that proves their masculinity and dedication to the motherland.

They are obviously ignorant to the fact that in the “krypteia” rite of passage during which young Spartans were sent out to kill members of the enslaved Helot population, targeting a weak Helot was a sign of cowardice. A Spartan youth had to kill a Helot of strength, a dangerous Helot, to be considered a worthy and promising member of society.

Those hooded left-wing extremists believe that acts of bullying and violence are justified by the revolution against the status quo.

They deem that they, a heroic minority, are fighting for the well-being of the many.

They obviously disregard the fact that even though they have for years controlled things in their own pet domain, that revolution failed them.

The state will have to disarm the extremes, or they will destroy it first.

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