Democracy – ochlocracy - chaos.
Democracy is Government by the people, especially, rule of the majority.
Ochlocracy is Government by the mob, mob rule.
Chaos is a state of utter confusion.
What does Greece have?
Ostensibly Greece has a Democracy. It has a Parliament, a legally elected Government, by the people for the people. The decisions, the rulings, the litigation and all actions of the Government are therefore binding on the nation, except they are not. Not really. Every Greek, or group of Greeks, selects which of the Government decisions/rulings/laws to accept and be bound by and which to ignore. The result is a state of utter confusion, which is the definition of Chaos.
No accident that all three words: Democracy – Ochlocracy - Chaos : are Greek. The Greeks invented them to describe these very Greek states of being.
Democracy is a blessing, so is water, when it benefits people, but excessive water can be ruinous, like excessive Democracy which can defeat its very principles and bring about Ochlocracy, even worse Chaos. What Greece has is a Democracy with no limits to excess, as evidenced daily. Every Greek has his/her own idea about what Democracy is and generally speaking this is unlimited personal rights and limited personal obligations. Consensus is essential to Democracy, but not in Greece where one pursues one’s rights single mindedly with absolutely no regard for other peoples’ rights. Organized groups pursue what they consider to be their rights with no concern for the others, the result being in many cases Chaos. This means that in Greece there is more of a state of Ochlocracy than one of Democracy, with Chaos present here and there. There is no place for Consensus in Greece.
Ochlocracy and the ensuing Chaos have come about in the course of the last thirty or so years. It started with Andreas Papandreou who pitted one group against the others by granting everybody what they wanted and more. This continued by all the Governments that followed, so by now everybody can do what they want with no consequence. The politicians who brought to Greece an unmanageable Debt also brought about Ochlocracy because they never, never, explained to the people what Democracy stands for. They never demonstrated an understanding that Democracy is the rule of the majority and not of minorities.
The Government is about to pass a law which will bring Greek Universities close to a level of respectability and effectiveness, but a great number of the academics and the leaders of the Universities declare in advance they will not apply the new law and that they will close down the Institutions they head, as if they - and not the Greek Tax Payers - are their owners. Their refusal to accept the law sets a calamitous example, extols civil disobedience, instills to Greek Youth the idea that non conformity to the law is a sacred right, when the law counters their personal interest; in plain English it promotes ochlocracy and consequently chaos. Do these “leaders” in academia deserve their salaries ? their status ?
The politicians never, explained to the Syndicates that they are free to pursue their demands, but not at the expense of social solidarity, not at the expense of the rights of others, not by causing harm to others and indeed to the Economy and not by offending the principles of Democracy.
The politicians never explained to the people of Greece what democracy is all about, why its principles should be safeguarded and how the people should pursue their rights.
Dissent and Protest are an integral part of Democracy, a right of the citizens which, like all their rights should be exercised with prudence, civility, respect for the others and with due regard for the law. The politicians, however, have never bothered to impart the correct concept of democracy to the people, on the contrary their ready acceptance of everybody’s demand and indeed their tolerance of misbehavior, even of illegal acts in the course of dissent, protest and the pursuit of demands, has created a “Greek” state of mind which is that everything is permissible and therefore with hardly any consequences, the Judiciary corroborating to that.
The present Government adheres to the traditional “tolerance” in a selective way. No tolerance for a strictly political protest against it, however peaceful, unlimited tolerance for protests which affect the people. What is worse is that this Government has no credibility, no respect and to make things even worst the same is true for the main opposition party. The people are annoyed and their tolerance is not unlimited. The lack of “communication” between the Government and the people, with the later evidently out of touch with the latter, increases the frustration of the people. What next? Will someone appear out of nowhere and tell the people what they are gradually becoming ready to accept? The prevalent circumstances, the ineffective and numb Government and the “fatigue” of the country can all become the reason why some demagogue can sway the country to follow a slippery road. Circumstances are ripe for a little “hitlerisque” character to emerge and create trouble. He can come from the left or from the right of the political spectrum, to further discredit a Government which is “absent” and just lets things unfold as they may. This is why a temporary Government of technocrats is sorely needed, right now, to define democracy, to communicate with the people and begin a process of de-toxication of the Greek mind, concurrently presenting to the Greeks the true nature of Democracy and its benefits, so that genuine Democracy can gradually replace the current “regime” of Ochlocracy which is creating, by the day, a state of Chaos, a climate conducive to extremism, the archenemy of Democracy.
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