OPINION

So what’s changed?

How much has the world really changed since the terrorist attacks on America last September? And which parts of it have changed, if at all? It is not just the US president who is telling us that everything is different now. Everyone, from leftist commentator Noam Chomsky to the self-styled «analysts» on Greek television, has proclaimed September 11 2001 as «The Day That Changed the World» – an undisguised reference to US journalist John Reed’s chronicle about the Bolsheviks’ October Revolution. But even in the case of this fictional work – where 10 days were allotted to change the world – these 10 days were not enough to make a difference. Sometimes there is gradual change, other times sudden transformation; either way it is always justifiable to be cautious of such general and abstract slogans that tend to receive mass acceptance. Analysts highlight the most significant change as the toughening of political regimes and the threat to our political rights. Many foresee a return to regimes inspired by the late US Senator Joe McCarthy. Indeed these trends exist across our «developed» world, including here, although thankfully they are weak. But imagine the damage these trends could wreak to the open systems of our globalized societies accustomed to supporting thousands of different ideas. Could everyday life in the USA withstand the resurgence of McCarthyism? Perhaps the only real change has been the tragic loss of thousands of innocent lives in the USA and Afghanistan…