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Embodied Un-Democracies Vol.2

"Hello, World of UN-Democracy!

What can I say about the results of the Greek Elections? Actually, there's so much that can be said, and this space wouldn't be enough. Some might express anger and disappointment at the massive win of the right-wing party "New Democracy." But I felt nothing, and I ask myself why. Am I so disconnected from this reality and indifferent to politics?

I believe not!

I could, like others, focus on all the reasons why the people who voted for ND are foolish and deserving of their fate. However, the truth is that in a dysfunctional system, all parts are responsible for it!

Let me repeat!

In a dysfunctional system, all parts are responsible for it!

In psychological and systemic terms, if we are within a system that we perceive as dysfunctional and we try to change it by attacking the system we are part of, the system will not change. Shaming others for being 'stupid' will only make them defensive and appear even 'stupider' in our eyes. And the system will remain dysfunctional.

I have so many questions at this point about what attracts people to vote FOR such a high degree of disrespect toward humanity. But before I start name-calling, I need to delve into human psychology. I think that no person who has respect for themselves would logically accept everything that has happened in Greece in the past 4 years. So, my understanding is that a majority of the population has lost touch with their human nature. To me, this sounds like a form of "dissociative disorder." In psychology, this term is used to explain how the brain disconnects from traumatic events as a coping mechanism. Greece has experienced many traumatic events, yet the majority of people voted for a government that abused 'democracy' in so many ways.

Two years ago, due to the numerous reports of sexual abuse in Greece, I came up with the concept of Embodied UnDemocracy. I used this term to describe the feeling of being fooled into thinking we live in a democratic system, while all the evidence from our bodily responses and experiences suggests the opposite. No matter what the governing party wants to call itself, an abused body doesn't lie. The problem is that sometimes a body that has been abused is so traumatized that it can't see clearly or accept what has really happened to it. This dissociation is a protective mechanism. The more severe the trauma, the more difficult it is to recognize one's condition once the body and mind shut down. In such cases, external help is needed. Another perspective can help the person/group/society feel the pain of abuse and slowly regain the self-power to fight against it (vote against it). This is an experiential process toward change. Unfortunately, no mind can change if another person is directly or indirectly shaming them. Shame causes defensiveness and opposition.

I am not in a position to offer smart suggestions for a solution that will save us all. The causes of such dysfunctionality are multiple reaching as broadly as 'Capitalism' and 'religion' (Greece being fully embedded into both) and as precisely as lack of education, lack of autonomy, and lack of vision within an EU country of the 21st century. My intention here is to present my understanding of a condition by exploring a psychological explanation, rather than merely focusing on the surface of the voting results. I believe that all responses, whether individual or collective, have underlying reasons, including these election results. I am interested in understanding the deep-rooted reasons for these outcomes that go beyond 'stupidity.'

These results triggered a loss of hope in many people and this would be the biggest defeat. This is why I will come back to my headline message which is a reminder to myself and whoever needs to hear it that no matter the results we can still manifest Democracy on an interpersonal and interspecies level, respect when it is up to us, and keep changing our micro-societies, empower them and nurture them within our means and keep dreaming and imagining radical changes. Cause there is no bigger enemy in life than the loss of hope & imagination. This is not some religious or spiritual preaching. It actually comes from the psychological fact that a body that loses connection with hope and the ability to imagine a better version of itself, gradually dies. It might be that at times what we imagine is far away from an immediate reality but this should not be a concern. The important thing is that imagination is the catalyst for change and every change, even the smallest, contributes to something new for the future.

Some inspirational books:

  1. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma", Bessel van der Kolk

  2. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, Judith Lewis Herman

  3. How to do the work, Nicole Lepera

  4. The imaginary institution of society, Cornelius Castoriadis

[more on radical imagination and reciprocal interspecies democracy and Dreaming of (e)CO-REALITIES, here]

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