That was not a criminal organization, but a group of angels that had gone astray. So what if their presence only invoked hatred and darkness? So what if the black-clad guys with the army boots, the torches and the bats spread the horror wherever they showed up?
It was only a fleeting manifestation of a heated temperament that sometimes can allow for impunity. Because in between the killings, the attacks on defenseless and intimidated people, these people were catering to a parallel self. For instance, they wrote songs against violence and bullying, they kneaded peinirli and tried to fight the country’s demographic problem by generously procreating.
The trial of Golden Dawn, which went on this week with the convicted members arguing for their prison sentences to be suspended, exposed a remarkable anthropological spectrum ranging from nightmarish bullying to fearful contraction. The defense is trying to come up with persuasive arguments, cherry-picking the finest moments from the resumes of its clients: “He was a good student, he joined the fire service, but was unfortunately caught up in this adventure with that Pakistani man.” The “adventure” was a reference to the killing of 27-year-old Luqman Shehzad in 2013 as he was cycling to work in central Athens early in the morning. An “unfortunate incident” in an otherwise clean criminal record.
What is being said in court, with elderly parents, relatives and pregnant wives testifying as witnesses in the defense of the defendants, would make excellent material for an Aristophanic comedy, if it were actually possible to enjoy oneself with all that. However, one must be lobotomized, emotionally and mentally, to be able to dilute this complex load with humor. Because it is not just the hundreds of thousands of voters and supporters all these years. In what way can the political system and society handle this mix of pharisaism, fascism and fanaticism that is being watered from the same murky springs before flowing out to the same minor or major crimes.
Pharisaism, fascism and fanaticism, veteran composer Mikis Theodorakis said this week, are a stumbling block on our “safe path toward the future.”
The time of imprisonment will be the time of justice for Golden Dawn – the group’s own due darkness. It is exactly what its convicted members cannot stand. They cannot stand the darkness of rightful punishment, a darkness which they brought upon themselves.