OPINION

Commentary

Another victory in the absence of any substantial opposition (Defense Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos, who had appeared as the party leader’s main rival, not only retreated but even turned into Prime Minister Costas Simitis’s most effective advocate), another victory whose laurels will soon unravel: With the approaching government reshuffle and the grumbling that this will undoubtedly unleash, with complaints from those who were left out and new balances of power being shaped, it will be proved that the presumed clear mandate actually came with many qualifications. In any case, according to the commercial of the ruling socialists’ party congress, on top of those who spoke or merely cheered and applauded at the assembly, the Greece of the future spoke also (it is easy to deduce which forms it chose in order to acquire human status). We should already be worrying about the quality of the political discourse that this Greece of the future will utilize: Fragments rather than syntheses, self-affirming slogans rather than self-critical analyses, despotic logic rather than frank concerns. The leading role in the commercial for PASOK’s 6th Congress was played by a little girl – even though the party’s slogan of Change has long reached the age of puberty and indeed grown old, quite prematurely. Can anyone hear me? ponders the sensitive, little girl who is anxious over this Greece of the future, the same Greece which came in the Olympic Stadium in person bearing party identity tags. At the end of the commercial, and for reasons that are politically unclear, the little girl gleefully concludes that They do hear me, trying to convey her optimism and her faith that there is a party and a government that are fully focused on the Greek public, so that they can hear it (here they usually prefer to use the word listen, so that the nomenclature is seen to be at the level of the common people), so that these officials can take note of the people’s concerns and desires and take them into account when they map out their party programs. In fact, can anyone up there in power truly hear? Can anyone hear anything but their mirrors, their flatterers and their extra-institutional advisers? Does anyone really wish to hear, or are they all convinced that down here, in the land of reality, credulous kids is all there are?