On the occasion of the ERT’s shut down

Written by Panagiotis Karkatsoulis on .

* ERT is the Greek National Broadcaster, which was shut down by the Government, on June the 11th.

Translated by Efi Stefopoulou

parasiteThe "Parasite" is a classic treatise by Michel Serres, possibly already known to many readers of this site.

The Parasite is interpreted by Serres as a system whose main attribute is to be able to be "hosted" by other systems. If one accedes to the logic of the argument, he will understand the existence of generations and hierarchies of parasites, a whole world of parasites, which is a "sine-qua-non" environment for any other social system.

In the Greek version of policy making, the "macho" one in the caseof ERT, (see also related references to "barbarism" or "decisiveness”) can the parasite theory possibly be applied? In my opinion, yes! For the following reasons:

A) The Greek parasite appears in the context of a manichaistic logic that clusters everything in “black or white” groups. The parasite is present to the argument of the far-right or the far-left who both speak about “a final solution”. The parasite contributes to the entrenchments and inequalities, to the exclusions of some at the same time “opportunities” are offered to some others, to the prevail of trash and cynicism.

B) The Greek parasite prevents any treatment offered by the reforms and slots itself everywhere: Into the political parties, the public and private sector organizations into individual and collective articulations and attitudes. It amounts to a very basic and practical value code: clientelism ≠ non clientelism. In contrast, however, to what a generation of political scientists claimed, that is that clientelism is bounded to the transactions between the politicians and their constituents, we believe that clientelism flourishes everywhere, within each organization and every organizational interface. Basically, it prevents the solution of the organizational problems by making use of some rational argument, by using quantitative and qualitative analysis of data and information. When the parasitic system is overstressed, then it "adopts" the reforms, nullifying them in effect.

C) The discussion about ERT, Publicly Owned Enterprises etc., over which much ink and tears was poured, will also prove ineffective,if it will not become an opportunity  to face up and examine our Greek parasite. It is in fact an opportunity to look thoroughly in the negative side of our (Greek) identity, which instead of enhancing our positive, productive, supportive and compassionate characteristics, it excludes and corrupts them.

But could we also have a say in what happens to us? Will the adoption of western rationality methods and principles of thinking, which were for centuries both feared and used as alibi by us, the Greeks, ultimately, not justify our fears (ie, the parasite) but strengthen our confidence, our productivity, and our public face, in fact?


Sign up to our newsletter.