Not Your Way

My dear brothers and sisters,

For millennia, you have introduced the world to grand aesthetics, philosophy, mathematics, architecture, national heroism and theatrical drama. Through your brave actions in the streets and at the ballot boxes, you continue to demonstrate what direct democracy looks like.

You cannot know the depth of pride with which I hold my Greek heritage. Nor can you know the real pain I have felt lately at your recent suffering. But it was with startled disbelief that I read of the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in this week’s elections.

Seats in your glorious parliament for people who call for “taking the dirt out of the country,” “cleaning up Athens” and planting landmines along the borders to stop illegal immigrants from crossing in? A place in government for black-shirted thugs who violently break up opposition rallies? Votes for those who sit in front of an Hellenic version of the Nazi swastika?

No, my brothers and sisters; it cannot be. Not in the birthplace of democracy.

Please believe that I understand the appeal of dark temptations when things seem at their worst. We have seen troubled times bring out the worst of us, here in America, as well. But this is not the Greek way. This is not our way. Not fascism. Not a dirty echo of Nazism. This is not Greece.
It is time now to show the world what Greek heroes look like.
With support and love,
Your brother

7 thoughts on “Not Your Way”

  1. Blame is not a Greek “thing”, my friend, it is a human failing. It is a part of the process of denial. They think they have seen the enemy and that is a delusion. Let’s help them accept that they are responsible for their own condition, and to seek wiser leadership. Plato was not wrong to distrust democracy.

    1. True enough, my wise friend. But I believe Greece has had many wise leaders in its long history; too few honest ones. The Greeks were purposefully led into a period of disastrous and self-delusional spending and now need to be led out. Hatred of the other isn’t the way. It’s never the way.

      1. Agreed. I can’t separate wisdom from honesty, however, as I can’t separate Gandhi from both, or Mandela, or Plato, or St. Augustine.
        The ultra-nationalists in Greece comprising the Golden Dawn got around 7% of the vote, about the same as I figure they would command here too. (Though I worry today they may command a majority in the vote against equal marriage for all in the primary). In Australia some years ago there was a similar ultra-nationalist anti immigrant movement that elected about 3 seats in Parliament — they had their moment and withered and died in the light of integrity. The Brits put up with Moseley’s Nazis until they put him away for the duration of the war. Likewise, Greek soil is not hospitable to such thinking for long either even though integrity comes from a Latin source.

  2. I think that election sent a well-deserved shudder around the world. I’m in Arizona where (it seems) the local RNC tea party has been in control for the past 3 years. Now there are too obvious to ignore links to white supremacy from those same elected politicians. I’d say that advocating for a strong anti-illegal policy is a sure red flag anymore.

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