Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby Delodephius » Thu 25 Jun 2009 4:28 pm

I'm not accusing the entire nation. I'm accusing the Greek government, the Greek media, the Greek church, the Greek police, but only all those who are responsible and in any way involved in the crimes being done in that country.
I know of a fair number of Greeks who are not interested in any of it and just want to live their peaceful lives. I also know of Greeks who fight against the corrupt and criminal system. And there are also those who don't care about any of it but still exploit the situation for their personal gains.

When we have such situations when in the city of Larissa in Thessaly forty-fifty citizens beat up three Macedonian truck drivers for having the sign MK on the trucks, and the police just stood there doing nothing and then told the drivers to get lost or they will arrest them. When we have Greek clergy speaking in front of a mass of people saying that Greece should go and wage war against Macedonia and Turkey and all those hundreds of people there yell "Yeah!". When we have protests and vandalism across the entire country it is hard to tell people apart, especially since there are few who will speak their mind openly and differently than the majority around them.

I don't want this to sound like some propaganda, I just want for people to see what is the situation in Greece. I could be wrong about details, but overall what I'm saying is accurate. The human right abuses in Greece are confirmed by the UN human rights monitor, who was also attacked by the Greek press and public for stating their observations.

If you are interested, read this document:
http://www.vinozito.gr/news/helsinki_watch.pdf
Last edited by Delodephius on Thu 25 Jun 2009 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby linguoboy » Thu 25 Jun 2009 4:38 pm

Caenwyr wrote:You cannot condemn an entire nation for the action of some crazy folks!

So where does the buck stop then? If an injustice is perpetrated by the government which you are responsible for electing, how can you say that you bear no part of the blame for it? If I know for a fact--to take an example close to home--that the justice system in my country systematically discriminates against racial minorities, can I excuse myself from having to do anything to stop it just by saying, "That's the government; I don't have anything to do with that."

And "some crazy folks" is another variation on the old "a few bad apples" argument that the mayor of my city trots out whenever another elected official or city employee is hauled off on corruption charges or the President uses whenever evidence of torture by the armed forces is uncovered. It's a lame defence against a policy which is shown to be systematic and persistent between administrations.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby Caenwyr » Fri 26 Jun 2009 9:01 am

linguoboy wrote:
Caenwyr wrote:You cannot condemn an entire nation for the action of some crazy folks!

And "some crazy folks" is another variation on the old "a few bad apples" argument that the mayor of my city trots out whenever another elected official or city employee is hauled off on corruption charges or the President uses whenever evidence of torture by the armed forces is uncovered. It's a lame defence against a policy which is shown to be systematic and persistent between administrations.

To be very honest I was in quite a rush when writing the last sentence of that particular post. Had to run to catch my train, so without thinking I attacked my keyboard and ended up writing the words "some crazy folks". Admitted, this is not exactly the most sophisticated remark but hey, I was in a hurry! Maybe I should've kept silent until I had enough time to write a decent response.

So here I am now. Linguoboy, you're quite right when you say responsibility does not end with the refusal to do certain unethical/illegal things yourself. One is indeed, to some extent, responsible for the actions of the people living around you - and especially those you voted for in a representative democracy. In the same way the Germans were to some extent responsible for the genocide(s) preceding and during WWII, but I don't think you could say every single German is fully responsible for what happened in, say, Treblinka. They elected the nazis alright, but did they realize what was going to happen? Some might say "yes they did". Personally I'm not so sure.
I believe one should be very careful: there still is a huge difference between accusing certain political, religious, police and multimedia actors of the crimes mentioned so often before (thus indeed ascribing a certain responsibility to the entire Greek nation) and saying this entire nation is downright responsible, and therefor barbaric. This too borders on discrimination.

Like I said: it's a thin line. I realize Delodephius is not the one beating up people of a different ethnicity/language/religion. I realize he wants to denounce these crimes, but he should be careful (and I know this is a very difficult battle to fight) not to start exploiting the same ideas he's rightly trying to condemn.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby linguoboy » Fri 26 Jun 2009 1:47 pm

Caenwyr wrote:So here I am now. Linguoboy, you're quite right when you say responsibility does not end with the refusal to do certain unethical/illegal things yourself. One is indeed, to some extent, responsible for the actions of the people living around you - and especially those you voted for in a representative democracy. In the same way the Germans were to some extent responsible for the genocide(s) preceding and during WWII, but I don't think you could say every single German is fully responsible for what happened in, say, Treblinka. They elected the nazis alright, but did they realize what was going to happen? Some might say "yes they did". Personally I'm not so sure.

Whether or not they realised what was going to happen when they elected them--and I imagine most did not--they majority certainly knew what was going down in the camps by the end of the war. At the very least, they knew people were being imprisoned unjustly.

You know about the http:Rosenstrasse protests, don't you? The SS had plans to deport about 1,800 Jewish men who were married to non-Jewish women. They protested peacefully and do you know what happened? Were they shot in the street or dragged off to death camps themselves? No; the government completely caved and freed their husbands, most of whom survived the war. Denmark has a pre-war population of roughtly 8,000 before the war. Despite the fact that it was occupied by the Nazis in 1940, a grand total of only 52 Danish Jews died in death camps. The reason is simply that the Danish people and their leaders wouldn't cooperate in the Final Solution. They intervened to save the lives of those already deported and sent the rest to neutral Sweden for the duration of the war.

It's quite clear that if the population of the Third Reich hadn't been complicit in the murder of the Jews, they wouldn't have been murdered. And that stands regardless of who they voted for in 1933.

I believe one should be very careful: there still is a huge difference between accusing certain political, religious, police and multimedia actors of the crimes mentioned so often before (thus indeed ascribing a certain responsibility to the entire Greek nation) and saying this entire nation is downright responsible, and therefor barbaric. This too borders on discrimination.

Delo's language is inflammatory, but his point is sound. A government doesn't get away with such things without the consent of the governed. If the Greeks were as outraged by linguicide and other similar civil rights violations as they should be, they would come to an end. But the myths of Greek nationalism are so powerful, they've even deprived most Asia Minor and Pontic Greeks of their heritage as well.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby Talib » Fri 26 Jun 2009 11:19 pm

True as that may be, it assumes perfect information. Do most Greeks know the finer details of their country's policies towards minorities? If they do, do they see them as discriminatory? There are an awful lot of shades of grey in any case like this.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby linguoboy » Sat 27 Jun 2009 1:53 am

Talib wrote:True as that may be, it assumes perfect information. Do most Greeks know the finer details of their country's policies towards minorities? If they do, do they see them as discriminatory?

A quarter of the population of Greece is "Slavophone". Do you think ordinary Greeks don't know this? Macedonia's use of the name "Macedonia" has been a raging controversy for nearly twenty years. Do you think ordinary Greeks are ignorant of issues of Macedonian ethnic identity? It's like claiming that ordinary Turks don't know anything about the treatment of Kurds in their country.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby Talib » Sat 27 Jun 2009 6:26 am

It'd be pretty hard not to know about the Macedonia naming controversy, but that's an external issue. About the Slavic-speaking population of Greece, I have to admit I didn't know that until reading this thread.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby Delodephius » Sat 27 Jun 2009 12:28 pm

Oh there are Slavic speakers in Greece. Particularly in Aegean Macedonia where the local Macedonians who have not been expelled or assimilated by the Greeks live. They have their own culture and tradition that is been on the decline since the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) when it was conquered by Greece from the Ottomans.
One of the peculiarities of these dialects is that they have a history of being written not in Cyrillic or Latin scripts but in Greek. For example:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~jslindst/268/

There was an attempt in the 1920's by the Greek government to provide education for the Macedonian minority and a schoolbook was printed for this purpose called The Abecedar:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abecedar
But the book never made it to the Macedonian villages of course.
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby Delodephius » Sat 27 Jun 2009 4:06 pm

Also some humour for you (tragicomic I would say):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8WyZjJwrsM
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Re: Greece, a perfect example of barbaric country?

Postby linguoboy » Sat 27 Jun 2009 6:54 pm

Talib wrote:About the Slavic-speaking population of Greece, I have to admit I didn't know that until reading this thread.

But you're not Greek, are you?
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