OPINION

Keeping a people together

One cannot deny that we are surrounded by a great deal of pain and frustration as the economic crisis has brought a large number of people to their knees. What is the biggest shame is that the pain and frustration have been accompanied by a chorus of destructive narcissism from people who like to predict that ?there will be nothing left standing in Athens in September; the city will burn down; all hell will break loose…?

Sure, there are some pyromaniacs out there who would like to see the city surrender to the flames. Also, there are seriously desperate people who?d be quite prepared to take other people with them as they go down. That said, what I really can?t stand is such formulations being voiced by supposedly serious pundits and politicians who prognosticate catastrophe as they fight to suppress a smile on their faces.

What has become of us? Have we really grown so indifferent to this country that we don?t care if it burns down, if it sinks into chaos, as long as havoc serves our narrow political objectives?

Following the recent elections, the people?s strong disagreement with government policy will be expressed in Parliament this fall. This is what democracy mandates.

SYRIZA and the other anti-bailout parties will fight a tough battle inside the House but also out on the streets in the form of mass protests. That?s perfectly okay as long as they don?t resort to violence.

Now that SYRIZA boss Alexis Tsipras has conquered the key opposition post, he will hopefully handle the social tension that will naturally surface in a mature and responsible fashion.

Tsipras would make a grave mistake to believe that he can advance his political objectives by pouring more oil onto the flames. If things went awry and he subsequently rose to power, he would have to face hunger, despair and poverty, along with the hatred and frustration that these produce.

Some say that Tsipras needs to maintain a tough posturing or risk being replaced by Golden Dawn and ANTARSYA as main opposition. The argument does not hold water.

You can tell a great leader by the way he keeps a people together, by the way he tries to tame their most self-destructive instincts. A great leader does not instigate these without caring about the day after.