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Maria Paravantes Headshot

The Fascism of Ignorance... One More Greek Story

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In my country, everyone squeals and whines about politics and how this or that party is exploiting the people, pocketing their money or never respecting their rights. In my country, a young man was killed in the middle of the street in broad daylight with the police and bystanders looking on as his despairing girlfriend begged for help. In my country killing has nothing to do with need or poverty, it has to do with ignorance... and sadly it begins in every single neighborhood, every small community, every little-known corner of the city, village or town.

Today, I woke up to find three dogs, five cats and three birds had been poisoned by a friendly neighbor. The one dog, the four cats and the birds all died a terrible death. The two others barely survived. Why? Because many of my fellow countrymen (and women) have never realized that they are but a speck in this whole called the universe. They believe they own nature and can kill whatever gets in their way and doesn't fit into their limited worldview. So the two-legged animal - also part of this universe we call home - who was confronted by animal lovers the other day, when he began a frenzied attack on two dogs playing on the beach next to him, decided to simply use rat poison and kill off the creatures which deprived him of his fun in the sun while achieving power (or so he thinks).

Why then, I ask, should this individual not do the same on a higher level and simply stab, shoot or beat to death a fellow human? In all this talk of fascism, with sophomoric reporters making claims, insiders making accusations, know-it-alls reaching conclusions, no one has stopped to simply state the obvious: as long as people remain uneducated and ignorant they will continue to believe that they ARE the universe, they will continue to hurl stones at animals and pet lovers, they will continue to vote ignorantly for fascists, racists, sexists, users and abusers, they will continue to slaughter whatever does not fit into their universe.

In the poignant words of a friend, horrific acts are exclusively the realm and achievement of humankind. The saddest realization is that most of us are living in virtual times, unaware of our real feelings, not knowing the true reasons we do things and yet doing these with an undying passion and a sense of right and all this to the backdrop of laugh tracks, sensationalist articles, terrorizing news bulletins, all guiding us to act accordingly and then serving as alibis for all sorts of despicable behavior.

And so the very sick person who killed off these animals is the very same man who avidly supports democracy and speaks up against fascists and fascist acts (like his).

Dark days can only come to those who continue to ignore the lessons of time, those who use politics as an alibi for their egotistical behavior, who remain cowards treading the road of ignorance that has been paved by the cowardice of others, who commit their crimes and then go home to cuddle in their beds.

It is indeed true that the sophistication of a nation is evident in the way its citizens treat living creatures. In this, I dare say, that my homeland and a large number of my fellow compatriots have failed, giving this once great nation a terrible but true reputation for both ignorance and cruelty.