OPINION

Dark majorities

The democratic principle whereby the numerical majority holds the power to govern while the minority monitors the ruling majority does not only pervade our political system. Unfortunately, most recently, the same principle seems to have taken over other domains as well. Have you ever wondered where we really stand if, for example, in the entrepreneurial world, state-funded and corrupt figures already constitute the majority (if not numerically, then certainly in terms of economic power); if racketeers, upstarts and unlawful businessmen have accumulated enough power and wealth to consolidate their predominance – particularly in local communities – and to eliminate all fair and legitimate competition? Have you wondered where we stand if tax evaders, at least in terms of taxable income, are already the majority; if insolvent lenders, corrupt tax officers, perjured police officers, and corrupt civil servants all have the same objective? The cases of Macedonia-Thrace Minister Giorgos Paschalidis, the recently expelled PASOK MP and anti-gambling committee chairman Alexandros Chrysanthakopoulos, New Democracy deputy Aris Spiliotopoulos and other politicians who were allegedly involved in the business activity of gambling barons are an Orwellian signal of the aforementioned, potential or nascent, majorities. It is indicative of the current situation that the message is coming from outside the capital, thereby underscoring that the vehicles of illegality and corruption have already penetrated the local administration; they have control over a large part of the local media and exploit the economic activity in the provinces. In this way, they exert unofficial power which is passively tolerated by mayors, prefects, deputies and the local community. But the tolerance and subjection to illegality eventually leads to its embrace. People ask what is the point of being honest, reliable and lawful when these prove not only pointless but also harmful. Why should one be moral when success, power and social status today presuppose completely different qualities? Our various leaders, rather than appearing taken aback at the revelations made by journalists such as Alpha channel’s Makis Triandafyllopoulos, ought to know the meaning of that underground majority current which permeates Greek society. And, above all, they should have taken measures to curb it.