OPINION

Pompeii has fallen, let?s rise anew

We have reached what has long been foreseen by most — albeit only forewarned against by a few: an inevitable end in our country?s frivolous journey. After three decades of rampaging social decay, gloriously triggered in the 80s with the ascent of populism, we have now officially failed. Our formidable economic fall, though, is only part of the story. It is a natural corollary to our societal dismantlement; our lack of values, vision and ethos.

For the last three decades, Greeks have managed to attain an amazing yet unsustainable lifestyle. A whole country, yes, ?mazi ta fagate? (I am excluding myself merely due to my age) — was living off the state, which in turn was living off our European allies. It is the Aesopic fable of the cicada and the ant (tzitzikas they will have to make order out of the Greek chaos. They will have to convince us that work is a value. They will have to make citizens of the world out of citizens of Ekali. This will be a long, harsh, transformational journey, but I think that after a couple of ?cleansing? decades we will arise anew. On the latter scenario, mayhem awaits. Exiting the Euro will lead to a very harsh default. We will be unable to pay pensions, salaries, hospitals. Our currency will be so weak that for a certain amount of time we will also be unable to import commodities like oil, electricity (yes, we are importing electricity) and the lot. But, the most worrying part of this scenario is that, once again, we will be in charge of our own fates. Granted, my historical knowledge may be insufficient, but I believe I can safely say that we have never managed to do this once in our 190-year history.

What should a youth do then?

From a societal point of view, one must stay and fight for his country and all it entails. In ancient tragedy the captain is always the last to abandon the ship. And in all democracies (even in ours) all people are captains. Therefore, a youth should stay and make right out of the wrongs of the past. From a utilitarian point of view one must leave to seek more opportunities, a more just state, and generally all that a more developed nation has to offer.

Leaving or not, the new generation will have to establish a radically new relationship with the state. In the Lockean sense, a new social contract must be signed. This is the most important step and it holds regardless of the aforementioned dilemma.

Thus, from my point of view it doesn?t really matter and one must do what she thinks right; what her true heart mandates.

In remembrance of greatness I choose to close with the words of Steve Jobs:

Your time is limited, so don?t waste it living someone else?s life. Don?t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people?s thinking. Don?t let the noise of others? opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Vassilis Samolis

Successful entrepreneur, Oxford graduate