OPINION

Blind rage

Athens is not Kabul nor Baghdad, whatever former minister Michalis Chrysochoidis may think. In Afghanistan and Iraq, military operations are being carried out with hundreds of thousands of soldiers using heavy artillery. The former public order minister, obviously troubled by the series of attacks we have recently seen in the Greek capital, seems to have transformed the occurrences into something they’re not. From a man with such a long background in politics and a person who should behave responsibly, his statement was a grave error. The violence we have seen over the past few months has not come from a military force. It is blind violence from within society; it grows uncontrollably alongside the petty crime that has infected the very structures of state and society, with ever-more frequent and audacious organized crime, with small outbreaks of violence seen on the city streets, with the decaying healthcare and education systems and with abandoned, filthy public spaces. The violence is not military violence, but there is a war going on. There is an undeclared war raging within society, a war that does not have clear sides or goals, but one of which we are all victims. A wave of rage is bubbling from real and imaginary wounds and infecting the social fabric, making people angrier, more frightened, more suspicious, until they curl up, defenseless. Widespread violence springs from widespread lawlessness and corruption. Political analysts and columnists have been saying this for a long time, long before the Kalashnikovs, pistols and explosive devices sounded, long before we became witnesses to mafia-style intimidation and ricocheting bullets. Defending society against fear, blind rage and illegality is the political community’s most pressing duty. It is time to think and to act, in political terms, and to prevent fear from becoming a part of our daily lives