Running on inertia

It?s early afternoon in Syntagma square. The post-lunchtime sun blurs faces, shines through people?s moods and lays bare the image in front of our eyes. Some banners have been taken down, others have been torn to shreds, while those that are left are reminders of microcosms that were not so long ago full of rage but which are still desperate.

Some sunburned middle-aged men are sitting in front of what we could call kiosks or stands, if we?re feeling kind. Around them are dozens of tents, all kinds of material spread over the ground, tables and signs of a previously organized community. Suddenly, a whistle is blown, making passers-by turn their heads. It?s all that has survived the post-Indignant period — a man in shorts holding a big Greek flag crosses Syntagma Square noisily.

On the online real-democracy.gr forum, people furiously debate a prosecutor?s decision to investigate whether those who still inhabit the square should be removed. The calmer participants wonder what prompted this move, since the protesters said they would leave at the beginning of August anyway.

Maybe we should examine the remnants of the Indignant movement in terms that don?t have anything to do with ethics or what we consider aesthetically pleasing. Let?s move beyond good and bad, beautiful and ugly. Let?s put aside prudishness and the obsession with cleanliness. Let?s accept that normality, at least as we know it, has been overturned and that the reactions will be unpredictable.

Let?s ask ourselves what kind of political debate and political positions today?s conditions in Syntagma represent. If what we see in the square, for days now, is not a reproduction of a spent and discredited political system, full of foolishness, arrogance and megalomania, then what is it? Who does it represent and what messages does it send?

What we see in Syntagma today cannot be interpreted in normal ?law and order? terms. It reflects the illness of a political system that is also represented in the Greek Parliament, which some lovers of a bankrupt Greece still defend. Inertia is the only thing that keeps it functioning, It started with spirit and dynamism, just like the Indignant, but became discredited.

Even if Syntagma Square empties out in August, the images of the last few days will serve as proof that we are already bankrupt.

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