OPINION

We must try to understand

The return of students to their classes also signals a return to pre-December normality that brings with it a sigh of relief, because society cannot suffer a break from normality for too long. Nevertheless, the events of December showed, among other things, that the limits of the old normality have been reached. They exposed a normality that is worn, nonfunctional and even dangerous. The riots of December cannot be explained merely in terms of an outburst of anger and unruly youth. They warned us that our social fabric was stretched beyond its limits, because the inequalities are explosive, the institutions of the democratic state are deeply corrupted, the country has been profoundly mutated, both physically and spiritually, and this new anthropogeography is not expressed by the political elite; in fact, it is not even understood by it. The new Greece is not as homogenous as it was in the recent past, neither socially nor ethnically, while it is composed of a combination of the ultra-modern and the archaic. The youth is modern, as is a large segment of the middle class and the business world. These are the people who both benefit from and are harmed by globalization and cosmopolitanism. The state and the political system remain, by and large, in an archaic condition, riddled with clientelism, nepotism, corruption, anarchy and an absence of meritocracy. Among and next to the 10 million Greeks of this country there are also some 1.5 million migrants who enjoy few if any rights, and a large question mark hangs over this segment of society. No one can say whether they will become assimilated or how this can occur to the mutual benefit of everyone involved. No one can say whether this large number of people will help rejuvenate our society or sink it. The social unrest of December needs to be interpreted from many different points of view and in depth. It needs to be looked at soberly, courageously and prudently, because only by understanding ourselves can we become better.