OPINION

Name cult

Self-criticism can be very ironic indeed. «There was no party. We are not a party. We are a leadership that originates from a party. We are party officials of a party state mechanism,» said PASOK’s Theodoros Pangalos last weekend. He thereby summed up the truth about his party (of which he was a senior cadre) over the past decade. A tough albeit belated truth with no sign of self-criticism or reflection. Pangalos is watching the fall as if he were an outsider. More such critical comments were voiced at the national council: charges of profiteering, corruption and lax morals. PASOK’s seniors spoke out before their professional colleagues, most of whom are too out of touch with society. Although there was no shortage of words about the reinvention of politics and the rebuilding of a broader Left coalition by restoring the ties with society, few people seem convinced by the official pledges. The process smacks of dynasty politics and entrenchment. The leadership is immersed in an establishment mentality. Many years passed but the Socialists did nothing to renew their party. Officials have grown old and so have their ideas. They think they’re moving, but in fact it’s the harbor that has set sail. And that’s more or less how they got here: power by inheritance and successive defeats. The heavy legacy reflects an interesting paradox. Paralyzed by defeat and unable to react, the deep PASOK is looking for rescue in the relics of the past, the interpretation of inherited texts and symbols. Discourse reneges its place to an odd type of animism. The soul of the Great Forefather can see us from Up There – and we invoke him to receive the blessing and crown. According to a different reading, we live inside the dream of the Great Forefather. Will they awaken? Maybe. But they will not be the same. The harbor will have overtaken them.