The size and severity of the crisis that has been openly affecting the country for eight years is largely a consequence of the inability of Greek society itself to realize what exactly is going on and to react effectively. The country should have returned to an ongoing path of social recovery and economic development years ago. However, this has not happened and it is doubtful whether it will happen soon and on time because, as the crisis prolongs, the more difficult it becomes, on the one hand, to solve the problems that are constantly multiplying, on the other hand, to overcome the defeatism and the resignation that overtake the citizens. To this day, we lose the battle of the crisis because, above all, as a society and as a nation we have been utterly defeated at a spiritual and moral level. Our society suffers from intellectual disorientation and this has as a consequence the complete lack of collective self-confidence, determination and optimism, the three most necessary elements, that is, for success, either individually or collectively.
The causes of this morbid situation of mental paralysis and the practical inactivity of Greek society are undoubtedly many, some of them going deep back in time. But one cause is the most important and decisive: it is the fact that the Greek society, at its most crucial moment, was found politically unarmed. In a national struggle, the most important factor, the collective intellectual who has to lead and move the nation out of the crisis, i.e. the political parties, prove –unfortunately– inferior to the times’ demands. They are the very same components of the crisis and, as a result, they are unable to act as factors to overcome it.
Greece is now governed by a Stalinist formation sadly undeveloped, tragically illiterate and dangerously ruthless. A political form whose only element, which even exceeds the incompetence of its executives, is its demagogic incontinence –the element that, in fact, brought it to power at the time of the deepest national fallout. Its expulsion from power –with democratic and legitimate means– is a prerequisite for setting as a nation on a course out of the crisis.
Unfortunately, however, against this unprincipled governmental formation, in the position of the main opposition, there is nothing more promising for the Greek people. The political formation that today is most likely to succeed the current government in power is the same political formation that mercilessly and catastrophically has led the country into crisis and collapse. And while it is charged with such a crime, not only has it not apologized for it, not only has it not tried to explain to the Greek people what has happened in order to help them overcome the mental confusion that has overwhelmed them, not only does it hide its responsibilities, it does something even worse. The party’s “hard core” lies essentially in tacit cooperation with the ruling party, aiming at a very specific purpose: not only to relieve the destructive governance of the 2004-2009 period from its responsibilities for destroying the country but also to preserve, as much as possible, whichever elements of the patronage state they have created for decades and made sure to significantly increase in the period that eventually led to the eruption of the crisis. How is it possible for anyone to believe that such a party, assuming the leadership of the country, could lead it out of the crisis?
Greece’s political geography is currently deficient, problematic and dysfunctional. It is dominated by, as a dipole, a Stalinist formation with an opportunistic character and a party that from 1915 to today, through successive transformations and changes, it has been, in the largest part of its history, the main, if not the only support of backwardness and of Greece’s delayed response to the expectations of history. This country’s diploid political and geographic politics must urgently transform, grow a backbone and become functional. And this can only be done by the emergence, as a central element, of a modern democratic party, politically liberal and socially radical with a national character.
I mean a party that will use as a stepping stone the Greek tradition but will also look forward to the future, without dogmatism and without the weight of the past. A party that, because it will be democratic and socially sensitive, it will also be robust and rigorous, as democracy exists only in order and in the defense of the law. A party that will not tell the people what they want to hear because it is pleasant, but that will tell them what they need to hear because it is useful. A party that will not focus on the secondary issues that meet the needs of demagoguery, but that will focus the public opinion and public debate on the really important and crucial issues. A party that will not be a heterogeneous mechanism for conveying views of the “foreigners”, but a spiritually creative and programmatically effective ideological mechanism of Greek reality. A party that has overcome and demystified the ideological anchorages of the past, including the formed division of political orientations into “left” and “right”. A party, that is to say, which occupies the area in which, as history has proved, the compositions that lead to the decisions and policies that bring societies to their future take place, i.e. to their progress and development: the area of the Center.
Such a party is necessary today in the country, not only as a party of power but, above all and primarily as a “consciousness party” which by its existence and its practice will act as a redeployment of political and social reality, forcing even the demagogic and unprincipled political formations to improve.
Could such a political movement be created through the newly-formed center-left formation processes? I believe so, provided that the process of election of the leader and of the party’s constitution is done in the right way. Starting with the process of election of a leader; it should be open to all Greek citizens, with no exceptions, without old-political barriers to the candidates and without rushed procedures. The election of the leader by the citizens through an open, national process and through a broad and open participation will be the strongest legitimate element not only for the elected leader but also for the whole process of building the new political body.