Stockholm Syndrome in European Democracies: Revolutions vs. Shopping

No hay un sentimiento de defender lo que es de todos, solo hay un sentimiento de querer guardar nuestros derechos individuales. Vivir lo mejor que podamos. Ir tirando. Eso es lo que hace que no haya revoluciones ahora. El poder ha conseguido tenerlo todo bajo control. Es como un síndrome de Estocolmo general, por el cual nos están puteando a todos, pero como hay gente menos puteada, pues tiene un sentimiento de seudogratitud. Podemos comprar nuestras cuatro cosas en la Fnac o en El Corte Inglés y con eso nos vale.

I am not writing that often over here because of too many things at the same time. However, while I was raiding the Spanish media reading about the train accident that I did not want to cover due to its tragic dimension, I also ran into Anatolio Alonso’s interview appeared in El Pais, an 18-year old who got the best grade (in Madrid) in his Spanish Selectividad Exam.

If you’re somewhat fluent in Spanish or manage it, you may read the whole interview on El Pais. I was particularly interested in this youngster’s idea of how a democracy is altered in times of crisis. He says, and of course I am paraphrasing here, that people do not take to the streets anymore to defend global rights and show more interest in individual rights. Shopping becomes an interesting alternative to revolutions and protests. People refuse to protest and seem to have been struck by the Stockholm syndrome and have got used to having their rights trampled upon.

But there were a lot of protests in Spain, quite a lot of them during the last years especially in the context of the economic crisis and severe unemployment. In Romania, we had them briefly in what was a pseudo-Tahrir Square in Bucharest and most of the big cities. Why was it pseudo? Because they were too many interests involved and less authenticity. Then, people forgot to protest because there were no incentives (call them as you wish) to protest.

While this youngster is right that individual and global rights in democracies are but theoretical nowadays, advocating yet another round of protests is not the best solution. Replacing corrupted democratic mechanisms would be a good start over there and over here as well.

Yet, do read the interview, it’s very rich in ideas.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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