OPINION

Democracy, the KKE way

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) is the only communist party on the continent that emerged virtually unscathed from the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and remained faithful to its Stalinist model. With amusing complacency, KKE purports to be the ultimate arbiter of democratic values – not just through protests and complaints, but also through police-type interventions and relentless bullying. Just before the European polls, KKE has slammed the ban on election banners and posters, saying it amounts to an «obstruction of the free flow of ideas.» Of course, the law applies to all parties and has generally been respected by all parties, save KKE, which is keen to portray itself as the sole victim of an unrelenting persecution carried out with the aim of gagging the party and undermining its power. KKE demands nothing less than to be exempted from what it calls «unacceptable» and «anti-democratic» stipulations. According to the Communists, it is up to KKE – not the State – to decide what is democratic and what is not. While protesting at the supposed restrictions, KKE made a blatant display of its bullying tactics, attempting to stifle the expression of contrary opinions. Last Friday, KKE supporters, posing as «indignant citizens,» prevented French historian Stephane Courtois from giving a speech attacking communism at the University of Macedonia. Giorgos Hourmouziadis, a KKE MP and former rector at Thessaloniki University, offered political and ideological cover, describing the planned event as «a serious threat to correct thinking.» As a philosophy professor, Hourmouziadis should be familiar with the Orwellian specter of correct thinking as laid out in «1984.» The professor is old enough to remember the ills that befell Greece whenever «indignant citizens» were entrusted with protecting our democratic institutions.