A pos­i­tive coun­ter­pro­posal

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS VATOPOULOS

Every dis­cus­sion about the fu­ture – and there are many now as we ap­proach the be­gin­ning of the “new sea­son” in Septem­ber – runs into a wall. By con­duct­ing an in­for­mal poll or by lis­ten­ing to the views of others, you can reach two sim­ple and al­most univer­sal con­clu­sions. The first is that so­ci­ety is mired and the sec­ond is that there seems to be no prospect of this chang­ing by way of an im­me­di­ate or re­al­is­tic jump-start. It is what you might call aware­ness of con­stric­tive con­di­tions. The gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to mo­nop­o­lize the agenda (even with the is­sue of how sym­bols should be used) im­pinges on the main op­posi- tion party’s ef­fec­tive­ness in de­scrib­ing its plan for an exit from the cri­sis in sim­ple words that are easy to un­der­stand, in a way that can rally peo­ple and con­vince them to rise up. How­ever re­al­is­tic one may be, how­ever one may de­sire the preva­lence of the self-ev­i­dent, the ef­fort to get out the mes­sage about a “pos­i­tive coun­ter­pro­posal” re­mains prob­lem­atic. Why this is the case af­ter more than two years of dis­as­trous gov­er­nance has to do with a mul­ti­tude of pa­ram­e­ters. But let us ac­cept for now that the ma­jor cause is the di­vi­sive tac­tics em­ployed by the gov­ern­ment at all lev­els. In any other cir­cum­stances, the law on ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, for ex­am­ple, would have at least sparked anti-gov­ern­ment protests. That the streets were calm as the bill was ap­proved in Par­lia­ment with it only be­ing re­sisted by op­po­si­tion politi­cians re­veals, once again, the huge dif­fi­culty that so­ci­ety has in un­der­stand­ing the fun­da­men­tal ways in which the modern world works. The self-ref­er­enc­ing, closed coun­try that is evan­ge­lized in the gov­ern­ment’s prim­i­tive po­lit­i­cal thought may win some sup­port in the small do­mes­tic sphere. How­ever, it is be­com­ing an ad­dic­tion to cul­ti­vate the im­age of Greece as a strange, spe­cial coun­try with many “spe­cial cir­cum­stances” that al­ways proves to be an ex­cep­tion. The only spe­cial cir­cum­stances that Greece can claim is the great tol­er­ance it shows for anachro­nis­tic views and self-de­struc­tive prac­tices that con­trib­ute to its re­gres­sion. A part of so­ci­ety is ready to stand on its feet: Even un­der the cur­rent un­fa­vor­able con­di­tions, there is some move­ment. But what looms over the coun­try isn’t a pos­i­tive coun­ter­pro­posal, but self-de­struc­tive fa­tal­ism. It’s de­press­ing for Greek so­ci­ety year af­ter year to wel­come new batches of 18-yearolds with­out be­ing able to in­spire them, even a lit­tle bit.

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