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Anyone who has studied history, even on the surface, knows that the Hobesian dictum “bellum omnium contra omnes” – “war of all against all” holds true, especially when crises hit humanity. It is during such times that reason and rationality give their way to hatred and prejudices. The current systemic crisis of the euro could not possibly be an exception to this historical “rule”. Ever since the crisis first hit Europe several interest groups tried to put the blame on a particular party for the misery that hit us. We all remember how the people of Southern Europe were depicted as “PIGS” and how certain purely racist and stereotypical beliefs gained popularity, such as the completely groundless assertion that the Greek people are “lazy”, contrary to others who are industrious – even though the data is showing the exact opposite (see Common misconceptions about bankrupt Greece).
In countries mired in economic crisis, like Greece, there are similar beliefs gaining popularity currently. Europhobic and Germanophobic sentiments are spreading really fast. [ I highly recommend listening to this podcast of mine titled “Greek crisis and Greek pseudo-nationalism” to learn more on the broader issue. ] For some months now this hatred speech has given birth to equally racist rhetoric from the Southerners and others. Time and again the German people are depicted as “Nazis” and German Chancellor Merkel as “Hitler”. A few days ago “The Greek Reporter” published the following provocative picture, claiming that it was originally published on “The Independent” (I could not find the original one), which speaks of itself, showing how racist sentiments are gaining momentum at a worryingly fast pace all across the EU.
|This hideous picture is inspired by the work of Spanish painter Fransisco Goya “Saturn Devouring His Son“|
My point here is not to search for the original publisher of the above or other similar pictures. Regardless of the origins of such images, the fact remains the same: Racism and counter-racism are making their way to the forefront of political talk. In my view this needs to stop immediately as it is a time-bomb seated in the foundations of the European Union and the common principles that now characterize our European societies. In our recent history we were led to bloodshed, mass killings, excruciating pain and untold suffering exactly because we were thinking of “the others” as purely evil, while “we” were the victims of their voracious appetite. No well-meaning human being wants to relive those dark moments of history, hence every single one of us who put reason above hatred, must stand up and say “NO” to this preposterous racism that threatens our societies.
Yes the troika might indeed be harsh on Greece, yes austerity alone is not a solution but a problem. But it is one thing to argue against bad policies and against the inanity of policy-makers; and it is another to dehumanize peoples, to use hatred speech, to put the blame on individuals or particular parties.
We as Greeks have nothing against the German people, just as the German people should have nothing against the Greek people. Same applies for all the other European nations. The crisis that we are facing in Europe is common. We are dealing with the same problem and the only way to get out of it without destroying ourselves and obliterating whatever we have constructed all these years, is to stand united and propose a coherent system-wide strategy to deal with the systemic crisis that we are facing.
As such STOP THIS RACIST MADNESS before it is too late!!!