Many nations have it in their mythology that total eclipse of the sun is about to change everything in their societies. According to the ancient Chinese believe, eclipse is a bad omen for the rulers of the time, so the state affairs will go from bad to worse.
However, the latest total eclipse seems to be more about the Europeans who gathered in various spots across Europe to observe this rare phenomenon. The ancient god in charge of the event is Titan Helios – the Greek. The eclipse took place on Friday, 20th March 2015., the day after Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras survived yet another meeting with his European colleagues in Brussels. After the meeting, in front of cameras, the future looked bright.
But we all knew what was coming!
Monday, 23. March 2015
Alexis Tsipras visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss his country's €240 billion debt, mostly towards German creditors, which is, according to some estimates, currently as high as 177% of country's GDP. All formalities a head of state gets when visiting another state, including the ceremonial red carpet, Germans prepared with their notorious efficiency. What appeared to be less ceremonial was the essence.
And the essence is the war!
From the ancient times war has been lucrative business for a few, a catastrophe for others. Due to bipolar nature of our world, conflict is the driving force of all our actions. In a civilised world, or should I say in peace time, this violent force is presumably sublimed into competitive attitudes of individuals and social groups where a more successful individual or a group profits on the expense of the other – proletarian(s). There is an illusional, though firm, horizontal structure supporting the ideology of competitiveness. The individuals and groups on the top of the ἱεραρχία (hierarchy) make sure that the structure of power remains unshaken.
Is there an alternative to The Structure? Yes, and it's called social democracy, or even better – socialism. At least that's what Greeks believe today. That's what more and more people across the Old Continent believe. The number of people disillusioned by the way they have been “represented” in national and european governing institutions is increasing in Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy...
The war of words. The war of interests. The Greek – German war is turning into an ideological battlefield that sees no end to it. The Ukrainian war is spreading through Europe as a divisive force that threatens to turn Germans against Russia. We are getting closer to the point of no return, when the running war machine will become unstoppable, when hatred will black out minds of peaceful, law obeying citizens, preparing them for the upcoming slaughter of the nations.
Do I exaggerate?
Comparisons to the latest Balkan wars
It was our Yugoslavian tanks, in the last decade of the 20th century, in our country of Yugoslavia, which were in charge of defending our cities. Despite obvious rhetorics of war between the united Yugoslavian nations with one, united army, in a country with one single currency, most of us believed that war will be prevented by our mighty army.
Armies are there to prevent the war, so they tell us. Sometimes, believe or not, these armies are there to start the war. This time, in full speed, two biggest military forces are running at each other, like runaway trains. Soon, they will cross the line of no return.
The feeling is well known to me; we all see that Europe is in the deepest crisis since WWII but, though most of us feel uncomfortable about the current affairs in the world, the majority believe that a war happens to others and our armies are there to protect us from the evils of war. The Other is aggressor, therefore we have no choice but to do what we do – defend ourselves.
History is on our side, justice is on our side, therefore nothing can happen to us, so they think in Russia, in Germany, even in the US. We all see ourselves as rational but compassionate human beings with no intention to hurt others. Even sleazy politicians have children and, when it comes to the extreme situations like it is current threat of armed conflict in Europe, we count on their conscientiousness; their desire and their ability to stop the war.
Most importantly, even if not admitting it, many of us put our trust to the mighty power of our military forces. Even if the war is inevitable, we believe that our side will win it, and this victory will happen far away from our home.
At least one of the two sides is wrong. Most likely we are all wrong, thinking the war takes place in the “faraway” Ukraine, like it was once in Slovenia, faraway from us, the rest of Yugoslavia. Though Ukraine is not a part of EU while Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia when the war broke out, the comparisons are possible. Like the war in Slovenia, the Ukrainian could be only a beginning of The War. Like Slovenian war, the war in Eastern Ukraine could soon look like a joke, compared to what could be happening in the near future of the Europeans.
If the war machine is not decisively stopped now, the total eclipse of Europe is imminent and with no foreseeable outcome!
In order to avoid the path to catastrophe, Europe must stay united. But can Europe achieve such impossible goal of unity with Greeks and Germans opening the south frontier of the war? Why is it so easily presumed that Greek problem is not of our concern? Whatever the outcome, it will not harm us. The only one to be defeated in this war are Greeks themselves. But is this the truth?
Thousands years ago
In 430 B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote:
War broke out between the Lydians and the Medes , and continued for five years, with various success. In the course of it the Medes gained many victories over the Lydians, and the Lydians also gained many victories over the Medes....As, however, the balance had not inclined in favour of either nation, another combat took place in the sixth year, in the course of which, just as the battle was growing warm, day was on a sudden changed into night. This event had been foretold by Thales, the Milesian, who forewarned the Ionians of it, fixing for it the very year in which it actually took place. The Medes and Lydians, when they observed the change, ceased fighting, and were alike anxious to have terms of peace agreed upon.
Herodotus also wrote:
At the moment of departure, the Sun suddenly quitted his seat in the heavens, and disappeared, though there were no clouds in sight, but the sky was clear and serene. Day was thus turned into night; where-upon Xerxes, who saw and remarked the prodigy, was seized with alarm, and sending at once for the Magians, inquired of them the meaning of the protent. They replied--"God is foreshadowing to the Greeks the destruction of their cities; for the Sun foretells for them, and the Moon for us." So Xerxes, thus instructed, proceeded on his way with great gladness of heart.
Xerxes' navy was destroyed by the Greeks, consequently Persians were forced to withdraw.