OPINION

Defining amoralism

The entry for «amoralism» (in Babiniotis’s Dictionary of Modern Greek) is enlightening, as is the exemplary phrase cited: «Political amoralism is apparent in misleading promises and shady financial dealings conducted by those in power.» The inauspicious thing about this definition – as regards our country – is that the example is commonly realized in our everyday life; that politics is being played out in an environment of extreme amoralism, where every moral value and objection is sidelined for the sake of distributing the spoils of power, with all the obvious and hidden benefits this implies for the «representatives and servants of the people.» Politicians dress themselves up, transform themselves or hide themselves altogether with no respect for the history of their country and without any appreciation of the personal ambitions and conflicts – ideological and otherwise – that they have created in the past. And the whole time, the only motivation for their choices has been grabbing votes and misinforming the Greek people – using every possible method and tactic, and violating every sense of continuation and consistency on a political, ideological and moral level. In the transformation of ruling PASOK, and in the party leader’s incongruous appointments and essentially empty-worded plans for a grand synthesis of political positions, one can see a glaring example of this same amoralism described in the dictionary – and witnessed in political life. This murky landscape – composed of old rivals who utilize awkward political rhetoric and whose only visible aim is political survival, and of veteran cadres who are struggling to retract their previous statements and convictions, and who are displeased but do not show it – is evidence that everything is becoming blurred, that important things are being forgotten, that every moral value is being sacrificed in favor of one sole aim – which is not the victory of a party’s ideology but power as an end in itself, with all the benefits that such a triumph can bring. «A way of life and behavior governed by a lack of moral scruples» is another definition for amoralism provided by the aforementioned dictionary. And in the world of politics, those who are amoral are not killers; they are simply those who have abandoned precisely those scruples which they had ostensibly agreed to represent.