No to leaders who tell us stories: Overcoming our drug addiction

Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos

Metropolitan of Nafpaktos - photo

We are all following the discussions about the fifth loan payment that we would like to get from the ‘Troika’ (European Community, IMF, European Central Bank) in order to  stall the ruin of Greece’s economy.

To begin with, we note with pleasure that everybody is talking about the motherland and her salvation, a notion that has been diminished lately due to globalisation and its goods.

Without neglecting the idea of universality, we should not ignore the value of the motherland.

Furthermore, all this talk of a fifth loan fix reminds me of the ‘fix’ that a drug addict is desperate for.  The dose that he has to take every so often so that the symptoms of drug withdrawal won’t show up; the very thing that traps him in slavery.

Professor Antonios Koutselinis in defining drug dependence and addiction writes that addiction “is a psychological or physical (bodily) state that appears as a result of the effect of a drug on a living organism and is denoted by a variety of indicators, and always includes the  desire to keep taking the drug, so that it keeps showing its medicinal properties or alternatively the avoidance of displeasing  symptoms that can occur when it isn’t taken.”

Given that drug dependence is physical, psychological and ideological, I thought that the expectation and the endeavour to get a fifth ‘fix’ is reminiscent of a dependent organism, that is addicted to hallucinogenic-delusional ‘drugs’, which  ’cause perceptual disturbances in consciousness and mood.”

Thus, the expected financial fix suggests a people that is addicted, that has become addicted to the drug and when it is taken away faces the symptoms of withdrawal To recall Marcuse, this refers to the ‘one-dimensional man’ and ‘one-dimensional society’ which overlooks the ‘essence’ of life and this is related to the meaning of life, which is not based on the malleability of needs and subservience.

The questions are many: all these years, we as a people and as a society we have been dependent on such insubstantial “substances” that make us hallucinate  and we need repeated doses? And we will always expect the global “drugs” merchants to give us the fixes we need so that we won’t suffer the consequences of withdrawal.

Is the problem the fixes or the detox and therapy from the quest for the hallucinations, delusions of a happy life? Ultimately, do we need “happiness or freedom?”

I see the reaction of the ‘indignados’ but also of the ‘furious’ citizens and I don’t want to interpret it through the process of withdrawal, but through the process if liberation from a variety of dependences that are imposed upon us by foreign and homegrown  financial centres of interest and sundry mechanisms. I think what is sought is freedom from the vicious circle of lies, of the promises of a happy life, which never comes.

People are tired of the concealment of the truth which comes from those who ought to fully inform the people, but also of the unemployment and the deprivation of life’s necessities.

Our society also suffers. Corruption has become part of the social and financial system and there seems to be no hope of reform.

I know that in the midst of economic crisis financial checks that were ordered many years ago do not take place: fines owed are not paid in to the state,  honest officials who dared to assign blame are sued in the courts, while other officials who did everything to avoid paying VAT returns are awarded high positions. We live in a society that swims in lies and hypocrisy.

Ordinary citizens who owe little money are punished while those who caused public money to be spent remain free and unpunished.

On the other hand, some politicians still consider the political cost. Here the whole collapsing financial and social fabric of our country is collapsing and people are still seen as just votes.

In the event of war are those who can muster to bear arms. In our case it should be the same?

However, I’m thinking, quite simply and perhaps naively: Why doesn’t the government responsible  muster all those who understand the country’s financial situation, i.e. former prime ministers, former finance ministers, the former heads of banks, expert professors, successful professionals etc., to find a way out of this crisis with knowledge, determination, justice and realism?

In times of war all who are able to bear arms are conscripted. Shouldn’t the same thing happen in our situation?

Having started this article with the example of the addict on addictive substances I may conclude with the thought that addiction is not treated with fixes, but with repressive measures against the ‘drug’ traffickers  that have brainwashed the people with the targets of prosperity, with continued detox treatment of people dependent on plastic and fake needs and with the struggle for justice and their social reintegration, namely the creation of a society founded on truth, freedom and justice.

Above all, what is required, is for all to make the effort to get away from all these various delusions and hallucinations, even if that costs.

Still, today people are anxious, not only about the effects of the crisis, but also about the way the truth has been hidden. If someone follows politicians’ statements and ingrains them in their memory, they will discover that they are lacking in truth, because completely contradictory things are said at different periods of time.

That’s why today, we need leaders with courage to tell the truth to the people and not to tell them stories and taunt them. We need leader who offer solutions with integrity and deal with issues the related to the crisis with courage. Ηere we can aptly apply the saying: “great is the truth and stronger than all things” (1Esdras 4:35) .

Original Greek:


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