Polytechnic: in front of the “state of exception”

“The sovereign is the one who decides on the exception.” In this way the German jurist and philosopher Carl Smith had described the concept of sovereignty in his 1922 book Political Theology. In this way Smith wanted to show that the concept of sovereignty is reflected in its full form when the sovereign can Schmidt, who would later serve the Nazi regime, had in mind the process of suspending key provisions of the constitutions when dealing with an exceptional treaty, this which in the Greek constitutional tradition is called “state of siege”. In the current Greek Constitution is article 48 which provides for the suspension of its articles by a decision of Parliament. Only in the case of the decision to ban demonstrations of the Polytechnic, the decision to impose a “state of exception” was taken by the Chief of Greek Police , in the context of an obviously government choice, given that the ban had been announced by the Minister of Civil Protection, although he does not formally have the relevant competence, based on the law that he himself introduced and recently passed by Parliament. ». There is a deeper symbolism in the suspension of an article of the Constitution by a simple administrative decision and not by a decision of the Parliament. It refers to the consolidation of the perception that we are now entering the era of the “cliché of exception”, ie a “normalization” of permanent restrictions on , what has historically been defined as “basic freedoms” and which have been under constant threat. The phenomenon is of course not Greek. All the way from the “war on terror” to the current pandemic, one can see the constant projection of the position that security and life are above freedoms. Obviously, one could answer that freedom really should to serve life and therefore priorities can be set, but there is also the contradiction that life itself, in its full unfolding, presupposes freedom. But, beyond weights, which may seem abstract, surely a gap separates the modification of not to contribute to the spread of the virus, or even significant changes in lifestyle and activities, in the context of a concept of social solidarity, and the horizontal prohibition of practices and the revocation of rights. It is the gap that separates the fight against the pandemic by imposing an authoritarian “state of exception”. Especially when the prohibition comes to the core of a right, that of public rallies, demonstrations and protests, which we have recently seen as a real means of claiming, sometimes with features of historical progress. What happened abroad? In the midst of a pandemic, large demonstrations took place in the US – with data showing that in defiance of various fears were not outbreaks. So did the victorious demonstrations in Poland, which were a powerful slap in the face to an authoritarian and deeply conservative setback. Correspondingly, one could mention the great mobilizations in our country for the condemnation of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. And things are getting worse, the feeling that in the case of the current ban, which is already experiencing a big wave of reactions, the motivation was not only pure “Sanitary”. Especially when the design of all the political and social organizations calling for demonstrations for the Polytechnic is for events of “special conditions” and increased means of protection. This was not politically necessary. After all, the Polytechnic maintains political charges that are obviously not acceptable to those who are inspired by either neoliberals or more classical “right” or even “centrist” positions (especially at a time when intolerance of a demonstration with anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist tensions until There is a huge gap. And this makes the government decision a conflicting choice. Not only in the sense that it provokes a sharp division and controversy between the political parties, but – and above all – with the way it brings those who refer to the militant and assertive dimension of democracy faced with the challenge but also the responsibility to challenge it. In the way that the very last provision of the Constitution stipulates, that is, with their own act. in Google News and be the first to know all the newsSee all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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