OPINION

Blood versus democracy

Politics, defined as an art or science concerning acts, programs, and thoughts on a country’s governance, has a public character. Terrorism is, by its nature, outside the realm of politics, whose function rules out killing as a way of promoting or imposing views about how a democratic state should be ruled. Democratic politics don’t solve problems with bloodbaths. Therefore, the assassinations carried out by November 17 urban guerrillas cannot possibly have a political character, as some commentators, including some senior opposition cadres, have asserted. Some may ask then, is Dimitris Koufodinas not different from a common crook, a bank robber, an underworld figure who kills in order to settle his deals? Sure, he is. But in what way? He is different in the sense that he indulged in killing and stealing in order to satisfy a private fantasy, that of a political militant, which was a result of his inability to live as a citizen. The fact that this is the root cause of his systematic killings does not lend his activity a political character. Koufodinas would shoot his unsuspected victims behind their back and then vanish, happy with the bloodbath. And it was only through violence that he had an opportunity to publish his views with open letters sent by the terrorist group. The fact that the November 17 executioners are not what we would usually call «common crooks» does not mean that they are not common criminals. They merely belong to a different category of killers. This category of criminals has nothing to do with the political domain, where all are exposed to the public eye, behaving in the way they think it best serves the common good. There are no grounds for analyzing the action of November 17 members in political terms. The fact that Koufodinas chose to assume the political responsibility for his crimes should not make anyone think that his actions were political.