How the modern dictatorship is set up: Fear and terror for the “new order” in the post-“pandemic” era!
22 May 2020 ‘GNOMI’ newspaper
By Nikos Kouzoupis, Head of the Ideological Affairs Bureau of AKEL and member of the Central Committee of AKEL
It appears that the world is slowly and steadily coming out of the “coronavirus pandemic” and that people are gradually and steadily supposedly returning to normality. Let’s be clear, we do not know for sure what this normality will in fact be. What is certain, however, is that the looming “new order” will not resemble the pre-coronavirus prevailing situation. Unquestionably, time will show, despite the fact that trends are visible, but also indications, what this “new order” will be.
A carefully cultivated social panic against the “invisible” enemy has created among ordinary citizens the feeling that this insidious opponent is lurking everywhere to attack the passing unsuspecting citizen. For sure, this was not something accidental or spontaneous because, following what the ruling mainstream international mass media was saying, it can be observed that all this global media was moving in the same direction without exception, while the respective domestic mass media outlets simply whatever was reproduced by the international media covered of course with each country’s national colours.
- We understand that this methodically cultivated panic was aimed at reducing social resistance and at accepting what would subsequently follow, not only without any reaction, but with citizens expressing their relief.
Thus, the initial panic turned into personalized fear, which effectively closed each person in his/her “shell” because the stereotypes were created for each person to perceive the other person suspiciously as a potential “enemy” – that is to say, the carrier of the deadly virus. As a result, social exclusion, which leads to the complete alienation of the individual, passed without protest, given that any gathering or even any social visit was considered as constituting a criminal offense.
- That’s why everyone had to hide in one’s own…”shelter”. And this imposition was portrayed not as a necessary evil, but in fact as a socially responsible action and as representing a service to our loved ones, who either belonged to the vulnerable groups of the population or were elderly.
The continuous transmission of television spots, appeals on the radio, and even TV presidential addresses to the people were not accidental, which targeting today the average citizen’s subconscious were issuing calls like “we must protect our grandparents”, “we must hold back, so that when there is the next national holiday the whole family will be together and so that no one will be absent from that gathering”. In this way, in the people’s collective psychology, an underlying syndrome of personal guilt was created, lest an individual action would cause harm to a loved one, so that – in line with this logic – we must for that reason all remain isolated in “our own shelter”.
The syndrome of authoritarian heads of units
However, with the easing of measures and issuing of numerous “protection” protocols for public health, the syndrome of authoritarian heads of units appeared, which was experienced particularly by those who visited cash points of public organizations in the pandemic’s first days. Every “head” responsible for maintaining order held absolute power and woe to anyone who disobeyed his/her instructions.
- A syndrome, which originates from the authoritarianism of each given power structure and is nurtured and consolidated by the fear and anxiety cultivated and perpetuated in the consciousness of ordinary citizens, given that the necessary prevailing atmosphere has already been formulated.
The “new framework” of relations…
Undoubtedly, the period of the pandemic, not only in Cyprus but globally as well, will be studied by numerous experts when the situation will have eased or it will be considered that the maintenance of such a situation will no longer offer anything more to the interests of power or the perpetuation of such a situation.
- The question is: in which direction will these studies and the drawing of conclusions move?
The fact remains, however, that the references to the role of the mainstream mass media (both international and local), which express and promote the interests of the economic oligarchic elite, are completely absent or, to put it better, the references to the economic neoliberal policies and ongoing fiscal discipline policies being responsible. In reality, these very policies had weakened and in some cases dismantled public health systems with all the negative consequences that were evident during the period of the “pandemic”.
There is more and more talk of the need for a more active implementation of the instruments/mechanisms that were used in the economy, at work, in education, social gatherings and others in the new normality that is being created.
- Flexible working hours, alternative shifts in enterprises, given that there will be a “quota” in the number of customers who will be able enter at the same time, distance work and education, and even medical care, are all phenomena where a strong attempt will be made to legitimise them and become the new framework in labour, education and other social relations.
It is no coincidence that such phenomena or even similar ones were being promoted or prepared even before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. However, in the new normality that will emerge these phenomena will be imposed under the pretext of “safeguarding public health”. If there will be a social reaction the method of issuing decrees will be employed, or if you wish, the directives and regulations of the European Union’s institutions will be enforced, which incidentally at the height of the “pandemic” the EU kept completely silent in its member-states and forgot about the previously and even now much-advertised supposed “European solidarity”.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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