I haven’t written in a while. The events in Cyprus (and beyond) in the past few months have left me disillusioned and confused. The elections and subsequent economic collapse in Cyprus, and all I see and hear around me made me want to keep my mouth shut.
Cyprus became a topos of European and global neo-liberalism, with us Cypriots being sold out, squeezed with special measures and the privatizations (oh that holy grail) which are coming. Also the quick sale of our newly found (if found) gas reserves to the lowest bidder to balance the books. All this is followed closely by the ultra-right that’s spawned in recent years, coupled with the uncertain and hesitant Left of AKEL. The crippling bail-out, neo-orthodox, neo-hellenic (more than the Hellenes themselves) taliban of this ‘island of saints’, the neonazi groups and football fanaticism in the mix.
And then June came, and brought with it the latest installment of the occupy movement-the resistance of our friends in Istanbul against something which looks very much like what we have (in miniature) in Cyprus. A conservative, autocratic government which is none the less fully committed to the neo-liberal agenda. Too much oppression-the people couldn’t take any more, they exploded into rage. Violence, blood, death and destruction, but also solidarity which brought together mortal enemies: fascists and leftists, fans of the three big football clubs of the city, covered women and tattooed women. All together, united against the irrational, against the combination of the elite’s greed and the conservatism which wants to ban people from kissing in public and having a drink.
I hope and wish that our friends in Cyprus will follow suit. Time to shake off our own establishment, the sterile politics which is based on fear; the fear of the Turk, the fear of the contamination of our ‘pure’ bastard race, the fear of loss of the Greek language. The Greek language which in Cyprus is spoken very badly, like a cheap imitation of an already cheap variety spoken by the mass media of Athens. The loss of our language is the result of the fascist push for the ‘preservation’ (imposition) of another, supposedly more homogeneous language.
It is also time to shake the establishment of a conservative, ethno-centric education which cultivates hatred, conformity, obedience, compromise, the acceptance of state-sponsored violence and the idea of the elite.* Let us shake the moronic (and repeatedly catastrophic) attachment to an equally bankrupt nation which is an even worse dead-end. We wanted Enosis and they sent Grivas. We wanted closer relations, they sold us their worthless bonds.
Time to see things more clearly, without the lens of fear. Bankers, developers, priests, politicians and business people (some of these coincide) put their hands deep into the pocket of the hard working people on Cyprus (not just the Cypriots) and take away all they can. And then they feed them football, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, fear and insecurity against things which aren’t real threats, but which serve only to distract them from the things that do destroy them every day. And this is nothing new: it’s just the modern iteration of an old story.
I leave you with 2 videos from the goings on in Turkey. The first is Duman’s very touching anthem of the revolution (click on the Vimeo icon for lyrics in English)
* Thanks to Rage Against the Machine for the inspiration