Let’s get serious

The emergency EU summit in Brussels on Iraq and French President Jacques Chirac’s hint at the implications of eastward enlargement once again confirmed that we are witnessing a radical transformation of the global system. This process will shape the face of 21st century Europe and have a decisive effect on the global economy. The pressure on transatlantic ties by the widening gulf between the USA and Europe’s leading powers, the emergence of opposing continental poles and the formation of alliances around these centers, the repeated attempts to restore the unity of bodies, such as NATO and the EU, which have been the pillars of Western security for half a century, the transcendence of old divisions along with the creation of new ones – all create a mixture of hope, fear and uncertainty. No one can predict the future – including the main global players. But all states are seeking new ways and strategies to fulfill their goals. More than any other time in their history, states must think deeply, they must interpret and exploit the changes in the global political map. We must take political thinking onto a superior level, otherwise we will end up learning our future by reading the foreign press. Unfortunately, Greece’s political parties, particularly PASOK and New Democracy, pay no heed. They celebrate, they clash, and they deal exclusively with trivial issues or, at best, with the management of mundane political affairs and their degenerate offshoots. Any reference to the crucial issues that will shape the future of Europe and the entire planet – and, by extension, Greece – is usually reduced to pompous wishes and commonplaces that do nothing to encourage public reflection. Doing so disguises the theoretical superficiality of Greece’s two main parties in dealing with contemporary challenges. It also saves them having to take a stance on major international issues – which could invite the displeasure of powerful states. But deluding ourselves is not a solution. To be sure, no one would like to see Greek parties taking a frivolous position or displaying an irresponsible know-it-all attitude in this uncertain and volatile era. Citizens demand of PASOK and New Democracy to prove that they are capable of hammering out a policy which takes into account the complex modern environment. We live in historical times, and Greek political parties have to live up to the circumstances.