OPINION

Sustaining the myth

An easy battle brings an easy triumph but no great reward. And the battle against the former monarch – a man who loathes the idea of being a citizen that we all deem so precious, a man whose malign and superficial appearances on television have disillusioned even the most zealous believers of his six-fingered legend – is anything but an intimidating battle. Discredited since the time of the military dictatorship, his only hope rests with those who, driven by equally superficial motives, sustain his myth – be that the myth of the evil man who is a threat to our perfectly consolidated democracy or the myth of the benign man who has been unfairly treated. Despite their divergent goals, the government cadres and Constantine Mitsotakis, former conservative premier, both contribute to sustaining this myth. So do those New Democracy officials who keep believing that the easiest path to the middle ground crosses all sorts of far-rightist neighborhoods. History has already awarded the former king the name he deserves, a worse name that the one once reserved by his blue-blooded heritage. And this is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the whole (melo-) drama – that is, how can we protect our democracy – which has already shaken off the rule of succession, against an equally problematic form of hereditary rule where royal genes give way to family ones. The nepotism that plagues our democracy, whereby patriarchs by default bequeath their key offices to their offspring, subverts democracy by subjugating it to a new type of oligarchy which dictates that the descendant deserves a share in power by virtue of his name only. This rule of succession may seem mild compared to the «destined» or supposedly «godsent» royal succession, but it is still untenable in a genuine democracy.