OPINION

Usurping ideologies

OK, sure: All leftists are terrorists but, on the other hand, all terrorists claim to be leftists. The same goes for the hooded rioters: Not all leftists wear hoods, but then again, all hooded rioters claim to be leftists. The fact is we don’t know what one or the other is. They could be hooligans, criminals, right-wing provocateurs, employees of the secret service, anyone really. What we do know is that the terrorists and hooded rioters all claim to be leftists and this is the usurpation of an ideology that should enrage the leftists first and foremost. For example, when the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) cries foul at the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) for blaming street violence on left-wingers, it should be doubly angered at the terrorists and hoodies who do exactly the same. Everyone needs to denounce the violence, but for the left it is even more critical, because the people beating up university professors are doing so in its name. Those who shoot at police stations and injure officers appropriate their slogans. The vandals of university premises spray-paint their colors on the walls. Are they counterfeiters? They are, and this is yet one more reason why the left needs to stand up against the violence they are committing. The recent rise in violent incidents coupled with the demise of public policing will inevitably lead society down a more conservative path that will also likely spark the erosion of civil rights. And this is everybody’s problem. The left, however, has a duty to itself to react; it has a duty to defend its values and ideals from the usurpers. It needs to separate itself – convincingly and in the eyes of the people – from the hooded rioters and the gun-toting terrorists. It needs to proclaim that is has nothing to do with the spilt blood, the vandalism and the destruction. It needs to point the finger at the criminals and say: «No! You are not of the left!»