OPINION

A democracy of political bravado?

We are witnessing the emergence of a new kind of democracy. It is democracy of political loose talk, simplistic characterizations, arrogant malice and bravado. And this is not a deprecating irony or specious criticism of one’s opponent but simple abuse and basic hooliganism. It’s official – our political culture has hit rock bottom. Civilized political dialogue no longer exists, just verbal assaults which would be more appropriate in the soccer stands – a kind of political street talk that convincingly confirms the absence of any real convictions and values. A complete departure from traditional political rhetoric, this type of criticism reflects the extent to which individual interests have replaced the collective good in Greece and various elite groups have acquired the upper hand in political and economic matters. If corruption is a process that transforms political power into wealth and vice versa, then its traces are evident in political expressions between political parties or within individual political parties. This negatively charged «dialogue» reveals the existence of high-level political disorganization and a lack of compliance to established decision-making practices, the absence of strong ties between ideological groups and the general malaise of political bonds. Political exchanges during periods of relative prosperity have never been characterized by such an absence of values. Today, such exchanges are basically a dispute over the handling of measures and funding. As a result, citizens fail to truly grasp the state of affairs but they also adopt bad habits and face false dilemmas. If thought corrupts language then language can also corrupt thought, novelist George Orwell once said. Politicians’ desperation to avoid the political cost of their initiatives is significant but it is not the reason for them going off the rails so often; the reason for this is, rather, the depressing absence of any political substance in their exchanges.