OPINION

If this were another nation

He may have said it simply out of his need to establish himself as a candidate and for clever lines that get him on television and in the press. What he said may have had the same profundity as his famous declaration when he served as citizens? protection minister, that he too is an anti-establishmentarian in the establishment, just like his beloved at the time, party leader George Papandreou. Either way, Michalis Chrysochoidis, now development minister, with an admittedly impressive performance and a recent raging animosity against Papandreou, said that given what the Greek people have had to endure, ?there would have been a revolution, if it was a different nation, a different society, with different citizens.?

He said it, and there we all were (at least those of us who are still masochistic enough to pay any attention to such statements) wondering: Did he just insult us or praise us? Was Chrysochoidis?s prophecy damnation or admiration of the people who compose the nation? Was the minister congratulating us for the self-control, prudence and moderation that held us back from picking up stones, as his former beloved party president had said? Or, maybe, as an anti-establishmentarian and a closet Bakunin fan, he was reprimanding us for our lack of revolutionary fervor, for our bourgeois lamentation and our inexplicable patience, which some self-proclaimed shrinks of the nation attribute to nefarious causes and present as a clear confession of complicity.

But we are not a different people and nation, and we could never be. We have our history, our memories, our land and our pain for our land, our level of tolerance, our vision and our small dreams. And as a people, as a community comprising groups with differences that are often greater than their similarities, we do not behave in one way. And we have expressed our rage at measures that are deemed barbaric even by their creators in a variety of different ways. Throughout our ordeal (even if this indignation has become a target of ridicule for some), we have also, with impressive fortitude, resisted the sweet temptation of a ?revolution? as Chrysochoidis defines it, a revolution in which we tear it all down.

This fortitude, though, should not be confused with tolerance or complicity. It is simply more proof that the nation, despite its confusion and internal rivalries, is still more mature and more responsible than the people who are supposed to be governing it and who continue to treat the people like dumb horses that can be easily led.