As most people are already aware, a 77-year old man in Greece blew his brains out in front of the Greek Parliament yesterday in protest of the government's current euro-centric policies. In terms of social unrest, this event was neither surprising nor very exceptional, compared to what has already happened and what will happen in the near future. I have never understood why people take their own lives to get across a sociopolitical message, and I imagine I never will. But that's exactly what Dimitris Christoulas did, and his message was heard loud and clear.
“The Tsolakoglou (WWII Nazi quisling style) government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma Square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945″” - translation of Dimitris Christoulas suicide note. (http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/04/05/greek-pensioners-last-words-greek-governments-fate-similar-to-mussolini/)
Sometimes, a prevalent reaction to an event like this is to make it into a bigger deal than it really should be, and to idolize the person at the center of it. Other times, we become very skeptical of both the man and his message simply because we feel it is necessary to counteract the media fanfare. We want to pretend that we are taking a cold, hard, objective look at something that is inherently emotional in nature. What struck me today when reading Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's reaction was the following passage:
His suicide note refers to the Quisling regime of George Tsolakoglou under Axis occupation in World War Two.
Needless to say, it is loose talk to compare the Greek technocrat premier Lucas Papademos in any way to Nazi puppets. He is an honourable man, broadly supported by the Greek people, appointed by the Greek president under legitimate – though dubious – constitutional procedure, doing the best as he sees it for his country.
It is equally loose talk to compare the democratic, well-intentioned Germany of 2012 with the rabble of gangsters who hijacked the Weimar state in 1933. Germany's Angela Merkel too is doing what she thinks to be the best for both her country and for Europe (and which I think is deeply misguided, especially for Germany itself)
Is that really what was contained in this man's last message to his fellow Greeks - a bunch of "loose talk"? Can we really say, at this point in time, that people like Papademos are not puppets of a supranational banking elite that is just as malicious and destructive as the Third Reich? I think not. In fact, I think that most of the evidence points towards the accuracy of Christoulas' comparison. And, as someone who was actually alive during the Nazi occupation of Greece, I don't believe that he would ever make such comparisons "loosely".
Analysts such as Pritchard (though he is certainly not alone) would like to draw a fine line between the atrocities of WWII and those that are occurring now. They back away from any and all implications that there is any malicious intent on the part of Euro-centric governments, politicians and officials. But, the results of these peoples' policies are so obviously destructive to the populations of Europe and beneficial to a small minority of corporate banking elites, that it becomes almost ridiculous to think that they don't know exactly whose bread they are buttering with their policy agendas.
That's not to say that they don't believe those policies are what's best for their countries or for Europe as a whole. But who really cares what the Eurocrats believe in their own manipulated minds? They are wrong. Hitler also believed that his fascist policies were best for his country, Europe and humanity as a whole, but he too was dead wrong. So getting back to Christoulas - we shouldn't dwell too much on the fact that he blew his brains out, but rather the message that he left behind him. It was not "loose talk" or irrational comparison - it was the unadulterated and uncomfortable truth of Europe's existence circa 2012..