Arendt vs Thoreau


It is not often that a neighbourhood squabble is remembered as a world-historical event. In the summer of 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a single night in jail in Concord, Massachusetts after refusing to submit his poll tax to the local constable. This minor act of defiance would later be immortalised in Thoreau’s essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ (1849). There, he explains that he had been unwilling to provide material support to a federal government that perpetuated mass injustice – in particular, slavery and the Mexican-American war. While the essay went largely unread in his own lifetime, Thoreau’s theory of civil disobedience would later inspire many of the world’s greatest political thinkers, from Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi to Martin Luther King.

Yet his theory of dissent would have its dissenters, too. The political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote an essay on ‘Civil Disobedience’, published in The New Yorker magazine in September 1970. Thoreau, she argued, was no civil disobedient. In fact, she insisted that his whole moral philosophy was anathema to the collective spirit that ought to guide acts of public refusal. How could the great luminary of civil disobedience be charged with misunderstanding it so profoundly?

Thoreau’s essay offers a forceful critique of state authority and an uncompromising defence of the individual conscience. In Walden (1854), he argued that each man should follow his own individual ‘genius’ rather than social convention, and in ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ he insists that we should follow our own moral convictions rather than the laws of the land. The citizen, he suggests, must never ‘for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislation’. For Thoreau, this prescription holds even when the laws are produced through democratic elections and referenda. Indeed, for him, democratic participation only degrades our moral character. When we cast a ballot, he explains, we vote for a principle that we believe is right, but at the same time, assert our willingness to recognise whatever principle – be it right or wrong – the majority favours. In this way, we elevate popular opinion over moral rectitude. Because he places so much stock in his own conscience, and so little in either state authority or democratic opinion, Thoreau believed that he was bound to disobey any law that ran counter to his own convictions. His theory of civil disobedience is grounded in that belief.

Thoreau’s decision to withhold his financial support for the federal government of 1846 was, no doubt, a righteous one. And the theory that inspired that action would go on to inspire many more righteous acts of disobedience. Yet despite these remarkable successes, Arendt argues that Thoreau’s theory was misguided. In particular, she insists that he was wrong to ground civil disobedience in the individual conscience. First, and most simply, she points out that conscience is too subjective a category to justify political action. Leftists who protest the treatment of refugees at the hands of US immigration officers are motivated by conscience, but so was Kim Davis – the conservative county clerk in Kentucky who in 2015 denied marriage licences to same-sex couples. Conscience alone can be used to justify all types of political beliefs and so provides no guarantee of moral action.

Second, Arendt makes the more complex argument that, even when it is morally unimpeachable, conscience is ‘unpolitical’; that is, it encourages us to focus on our own moral purity rather than the collective actions that might bring about real change. Crucially, in calling conscience ‘unpolitical’, Arendt does not mean that it is useless. In fact, she believed that the voice of conscience was often vitally important. In her book Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), for example, she argues that it was the Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann’s lack of ethical introspection that enabled his participation in the unimaginable evils of the Holocaust. Arendt knew from the experience of Fascism that conscience could prevent subjects from actively advancing profound injustice, but she saw that as a kind of moral bare minimum. The rules of conscience, she argues, ‘do not say what to do; they say what not to do’. In other words: personal conscience can sometimes prevent us from aiding and abetting evil but it does not require us to undertake positive political action to bring about justice.

Thoreau would likely accept the charge that his theory of civil disobedience told men only ‘what not to do’, as he did not believe it was the responsibility of individuals to actively improve the world. ‘It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course,’ he writes, ‘to devote himself to the eradication of any, even to the most enormous, wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it…’ Arendt would agree that it is better to abstain from injustice than to participate in it, but she worries that Thoreau’s philosophy might make us complacent about any evil that we aren’t personally complicit in. Because Thoreauvian civil disobedience is so focused on the personal conscience and not, as Arendt puts it, on ‘the world where the wrong is committed’, it risks prioritising individual moral purity over the creation of a more just society.

Perhaps the most striking difference between Thoreau and Arendt is that, while he sees disobedience as necessarily individual, she sees it as, by definition, collective.

Arendt argues that for an act of law-breaking to count as civil disobedience it must be performed openly and publicly (put simply: if you break the law in private, you’re committing a crime, but if you break the law at a protest, you’re making a point). Thoreau’s dramatic refusal to pay his poll tax would meet this definition, but Arendt makes one further distinction: anyone who breaks the law publicly but individually is a mere conscientious objector; those who break the law publicly and collectively are civil disobedients. It is only this latter group – from which she would exclude Thoreau – that is capable of producing real change, she implies. Mass civil disobedience movements generate momentum, apply pressure, and shift political discourse. For Arendt, the greatest civil disobedience movements – Indian independence, civil rights, and the anti-war movement – took inspiration from Thoreau but added a vital commitment to mass, public action. In sharp contrast, Thoreau believed that ‘there is but little virtue in the action of masses of men’.

‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ is an essay of rare moral vision. In it, Thoreau expresses uncompromising critiques of the government of his era, while also capturing the powerful feelings of moral conviction that often undergird acts of civil disobedience. Nevertheless, it is Arendt’s account of the practice that is ultimately more promising. Arendt insists that we focus not on our own conscience but on the injustice committed, and the concrete means of redressing it. This does not mean that civil disobedience has to aim for something moderate or even achievable but that it should be calibrated toward the world – which it has the power to change – and not toward the self – which it can only purify.



Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU


An ispirational poem in honor of all women in this world who may not be  beautiful on the outside, compared to society’s standards,  but have an inner beauty that makes them glow in confidence and lead the way for us to follow.  International Women’s Day,  dedicated  to all women who tried to make a difference in this world.


Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Martin Luther King jr Day



On March 15, 1965, Archbishop Iakovos joined the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama to march on behalf of civil rights and to memorialize the slain Unitarian Universalist minister James Reeb. A controversial gesture at the time, Archbishop Iakovos nonetheless remained outspoken and resolute in his solidarity: «I came to this memorial service because I believe this is an appropriate occasion not only to dedicate myself as well as our Greek Orthodox communicants to the noble cause for which our friend, the Reverend James Reeb, gave his life; but also in order to show our willingness to continue this fight against prejudice, bias, and persecution.» He appears here with Dr. King on the cover of Life magazine.


Ἀλεξάντερ Σολζενίτσιν (Александр Солженицын): Ἡ λίμνη Σεγκντέν



Ἡ λίμνη Σεγκντέν   (Озеро Сегден)


ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΛΙΜΝΗ ΑΥΤΗ δὲν γρά­φουν οὔ­τε μι­λοῦν φω­να­χτά. Κι ὅ­λοι οἱ δρό­μοι ποὺ ὁ­δη­γοῦν σ’ αὐ­τὴν εἶ­ναι ἀ­πο­κλει­σμέ­νοι, σὰ νὰ ἐ­πρό­κει­το γιὰ κά­ποι­ο μα­γι­κὸ κά­στρο. Πά­νω ἀ­π’ ὅ­λους τοὺς δρό­μους κρέ­με­ται μιὰ ἀ­πα­γο­ρευ­τι­κὴ πι­να­κί­δα, μὲ μιὰ ἁ­πλή, βου­βὴ γραμ­μή. Ὁ ἄν­θρω­πος ἢ τὸ ἄ­γριο ζῶ­ο ποὺ θὰ δοῦν στὸν δρό­μο τους αὐ­τὴ τὴ γραμ­μὴ θὰ πρέ­πει νὰ τὸ στρί­βουν. Τού­τη τὴ γραμ­μὴ τὴν το­πο­θε­τεῖ ἐ­κεῖ ἡ ἐ­πί­γεια ἐ­ξου­σί­α. Ση­μαί­νει: ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ τα­ξι­δεύ­ειν, ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ ἵ­πτα­σθαι, ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ βα­δί­ζειν καὶ ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται τὸ ἕρ­πειν.

Δί­πλα στοὺς δρό­μους, μέ­σα στὸ πυ­κνὸ πευ­κο­δά­σος, ἐ­νε­δρεύ­ουν φρου­ροὶ μὲ κον­τό­κα­να, πλα­τύ­στο­μα του­φέ­κια καὶ πι­στό­λια.

Τρι­γυρ­νᾶς μέ­σα στὸ σι­ω­πη­λὸ δά­σος, ὁ­λο­έ­να τρι­γυρ­νᾶς καὶ γυ­ρεύ­εις τὸν τρό­πο νὰ φτά­σεις στὴ λί­μνη – δὲν θὰ τὸν βρεῖς, καὶ δὲν ὑ­πάρ­χει κα­νεὶς νὰ ρω­τή­σεις: ὁ κό­σμος τρό­μα­ξε, κα­νεὶς δὲν συ­χνά­ζει σ’ ἐ­κεῖ­νο τὸ δά­σος. Καὶ μο­να­χὰ παίρ­νον­τας στὸ κα­τό­πι τὸν ὑ­πό­κω­φο ἦ­χο ἀ­πὸ τὸ κου­δου­νά­κι μιᾶς ἀ­γε­λά­δας θὰ μπο­ρέ­σεις νὰ δι­α­σχί­σεις μὲ δυ­σκο­λί­α τὸ δά­σος, ἀ­κο­λου­θών­τας τὸ μο­νο­πά­τι τῶν ζώ­ων, μιὰ ὥ­ρα τοῦ με­ση­με­ριοῦ, κά­ποι­α βρο­χε­ρὴ ἡ­μέ­ρα. Μό­λις δεῖς τὴ λί­μνη νὰ γυ­α­λί­ζει, πε­λώ­ρια, ἀ­νά­με­σα στοὺς κορ­μοὺς τῶν δέν­δρων, πο­λὺ πρὶν τρέ­ξεις πρὸς τὸ μέ­ρος της, ἤ­δη τὸ γνω­ρί­ζεις: αὐ­τὴ τὴ γω­νί­τσα πά­νω στὴ γῆ θὰ τὴν ἀ­γα­πή­σεις γιὰ ὅ­λη σου τὴ ζω­ή.

Ἡ λί­μνη Σεγ­κντὲν εἶ­ναι στρογ­γυ­λή, σὰν νὰ χα­ρά­χτη­κε μὲ δι­α­βή­τη. Ἂν φω­νά­ξεις ἀ­πὸ τὴ μί­α ὄ­χθη (ὅ­μως δὲν θὰ φω­νά­ξεις, γιὰ νὰ μὴν σὲ πά­ρουν χαμ­πά­ρι), στὴν ἄλ­λη ὄ­χθη θὰ φτά­σει μό­νο μιὰ ἀλ­λοι­ω­μέ­νη ἠ­χώ. Ἡ λί­μνη βρί­σκε­ται μα­κριά. Εἶ­ναι πε­ρι­τρι­γυ­ρι­σμέ­νη ἀ­πὸ τὸ πα­ρό­χθιο δά­σος. Τὸ δά­σος εἶ­ναι ἐ­πί­πε­δο, τὸ ἕ­να δέν­τρο εἶ­ναι δί­πλα στὸ ἄλ­λο, καὶ δὲν ὑ­πάρ­χει χῶ­ρος οὔ­τε γιὰ ἕ­ναν πα­ρα­πα­νί­σιο κορ­μό. Ὅ­ταν φτά­σεις στὸ νε­ρό, βλέ­πεις ὅ­λη τὴν πε­ρι­φέ­ρεια τῆς ἀ­πο­μο­νω­μέ­νης ὄ­χθης: ἀλ­λοῦ ὑ­πάρ­χει μιὰ κί­τρι­νη λω­ρί­δα ἄμ­μου, κά­που ἕ­να γκρί­ζο κα­λα­μά­κι προ­βάλ­λει ἀ­μυ­νό­με­νο, κά­που ἀλ­λοῦ ἁ­πλώ­νε­ται τὸ νε­α­ρὸ γρα­σί­δι. Τὸ νε­ρὸ εἶ­ναι ἐ­πί­πε­δο, λεῖ­ο, δί­χως ρυ­τί­δες, κά­που-κά­που στὴν ὄ­χθη εἶ­ναι κα­λυμ­μέ­νο μὲ νε­ρο­φα­κές, κι ἔ­πει­τα ἕ­να δι­ά­φα­νο ἄ­σπρο – κι ὁ ἄ­σπρος βυ­θός.

Πε­ρί­κλει­στο τὸ νε­ρό. Πε­ρί­κλει­στο καὶ τὸ δά­σος. Ἡ λί­μνη κοι­τά­ει τὸν οὐ­ρα­νό, ὁ οὐ­ρα­νὸς τὴ λί­μνη. Ἀ­κό­μα κι ἂν κά­τι ὑ­πάρ­χει στὴ γῆ ἢ πά­νω ἀ­πὸ τὸ δά­σος, αὐ­τὸ πα­ρα­μέ­νει ἄ­γνω­στο κι ἀ­ό­ρα­το. Ἀ­κό­μα κι ἂν κά­τι ὑ­πάρ­χει, ἐ­δῶ εἶ­ναι ἄ­χρη­στο καὶ πε­ριτ­τό.

Νὰ μπο­ροῦ­σε κα­νεὶς νὰ ἐγ­κα­τα­στα­θεῖ ἐ­δῶ γιὰ πάν­τα… Ἐ­δῶ ἡ ψυ­χή, σὰν τὸν ἀ­έ­ρα ποὺ τρε­μί­ζει, θὰ ρυ­ά­κι­ζε ἀ­νά­με­σα στὸ νε­ρὸ καὶ στὸν οὐ­ρα­νό, κι οἱ σκέ­ψεις θὰ κυ­λοῦ­σαν κα­θά­ρι­ες καὶ βα­θει­ές.

Ὅ­μως ἀ­πα­γο­ρεύ­ε­ται. Ὁ θη­ρι­ώ­δης πρίγ­κι­πας, ὁ ἀλ­λή­θω­ρος κα­κοῦρ­γος, κα­τέ­λα­βε μὲ τὴ βί­α τὴ λί­μνη: νά ἡ ντά­τσα του, νά καὶ τὸ μέ­ρος ὅ­που κο­λυμ­πά­ει. Τὰ παι­διά του ψα­ρεύ­ουν καὶ πυ­ρο­βο­λοῦν πά­πι­ες μέ­σα ἀ­πὸ τὴ βάρ­κα. Στὴν ἀρ­χὴ ἐμ­φα­νί­ζε­ται λί­γος γα­λά­ζιος κα­πνὸς πά­νω ἀ­πὸ τὴ λί­μνη, κι ἔ­πει­τα ἀ­πὸ λί­γο ἀ­κοῦς τὴν του­φε­κιά.

Ἐ­κεῖ, πί­σω ἀ­πὸ τὰ δά­ση, καμ­που­ριά­ζει καὶ σέρ­νε­ται ὅ­λη ἡ γύ­ρω πε­ρι­ο­χή. Ἐ­νῶ ἐ­δῶ, γιὰ νὰ μὴν τοὺς ἐ­νο­χλή­σει κα­νείς, οἱ δρό­μοι εἶ­ναι κλει­στοί, ἐ­δῶ οἱ ὑ­πο­τα­κτι­κοί τους ψα­ρεύ­ουν καὶ κυ­νη­γοῦν τὰ θη­ρά­μα­τα ἀ­πο­κλει­στι­κὰ γι’ αὐ­τούς. Ἰ­δοὺ καὶ τὰ ἴ­χνη: κά­ποι­ος ἑ­τοί­μα­ζε φω­τιά, κι αὐ­τοὶ τὴν ἔ­σβη­σαν μὲ τὴν πρώ­τη καὶ τὸν ἔ­δι­ω­ξαν.

Ἔ­ρη­μη λί­μνη. Λί­μνη ἀ­γα­πη­μέ­νη.


Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco




«But in spite of this fuzziness, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counter-revolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but it was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of them indulgently accepted by the Roman Pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages—in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little known religions of Asia.

This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice”; such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a silver of wisdom, and whenever they seem to say different or incompatible things it is only because all are alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements. The most influential theoretical source of the theories of the new Italian right, Julius Evola, merged the Holy Grail with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, alchemy with the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire. The very fact that the Italian right, in order to show its open-mindedness, recently broadened its syllabus to include works by De Maistre, Guenon, and Gramsci, is a blatant proof of syncretism.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled as New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge—that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshiped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon Blood and Earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life, but it mainly concerned the rejection of the Spirit of 1789 (and of 1776, of course). The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined asirrationalism

Read the whole article here:





The Islamic State on Refugees Leaving Syria


For those who want to blame the attacks on Paris on refugees, you might want to get your facts straight. The reality is, The Islamic State (IS) loathes that individuals are fleeing Syria for Europe. It undermines IS’ message that its self-styled Caliphate is a refuge, because if it was, individuals would actually go there in droves since it’s so close instead of 100,000s of people risking their lives through arduous journeys that could lead to death en route to Europe.

Here are descriptions of the messaging that IS put out on refugees in mid-September. There is no sign that Syrians in any appreciable number have heeded IS’ calls.

Source: The Islamic State on Refugees Leaving Syria

Μιχαὴλ Μπουλγκάκωφ (Михаил Булгаков)  Αι­γυ­πτι­α­κὴ μούμια (Египетская мумия)


ΜΕ ΤΟΝ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟ τῆς το­πι­κῆς ἐ­πι­τρο­πῆς φτά­σα­με στὸ Λε­νιν­γκράτ, εὑ­ρι­σκό­με­νοι σὲ ἀ­πο­στο­λή.

Ὅ­ταν ξεμ­περ­δέ­ψα­με ἀ­πὸ ὅ­λες τὶς μι­κρο­ϋ­πο­θέ­σεις, μοῦ λέ­ει ὁ πρό­ε­δρος:
— Ξέ­ρεις κά­τι, Βά­σια; Ἂς πᾶ­με στὸ Σπί­τι τοῦ Λα­οῦ(1).

Τὸν ρω­τά­ω: — Καὶ τί ξέ­χα­σα ἐ­κεῖ;

— Ἀλ­λό­κο­τος ποὺ εἶ­σαι —μοῦ ἀ­παν­τᾶ ὁ πρό­ε­δρός μας τῆς το­πι­κῆς ἐ­πι­τρο­πῆς—, στὸ Σπί­τι τοῦ Λα­οῦ θὰ ψυ­χα­γω­γη­θεῖς μὲ τὸν πρέ­πον­τα τρό­πο καὶ θὰ ξε­κου­ρα­στεῖς, σύμ­φω­να μὲ τὸ ἄρ­θρο 98 τοῦ Ἐρ­γα­τι­κοῦ Κώ­δι­κα (ὁ πρό­ε­δρος γνω­ρί­ζει ἀ­π’ ἔ­ξω ὅ­λα τὰ ἄρ­θρα, ἔ­τσι ποὺ ὅ­λοι τὸν θε­ω­ροῦν θαῦ­μα τῆς φύ­σης).

Ἐν­τά­ξει. Πή­γα­με. Πλη­ρώ­σα­με, ὡς εἴ­θι­σται, καὶ ἀρ­χί­σα­με νὰ ἐ­φαρ­μό­ζου­με τὸ ἄρ­θρο 98. Ἡ πρώ­τη μας ὑ­πο­χρέ­ω­ση ἦ­ταν νὰ χρη­σι­μο­ποι­ή­σου­με τὸν τρο­χὸ τοῦ θα­νά­του. Ἕ­νας συ­νη­θι­σμέ­νος, τε­ρά­στιος τρο­χὸς καὶ στὴ μέ­ση ἕ­να πα­λού­κι. Ὁ τρο­χὸς ἀρ­χί­ζει νὰ πε­ρι­στρέ­φε­ται ἀ­πὸ ἄ­γνω­στη αἰ­τί­α μὲ ἀ­πί­στευ­τη τα­χύ­τη­τα, ἀ­πο­τι­νά­ζον­τας στὸν δι­ά­βο­λο κά­θε μέ­λος τῆς ἕ­νω­σης ποὺ θὰ κα­θί­σει πά­νω του. Πο­λὺ ἀ­στεῖ­ο κόλ­πο, ἀ­να­λό­γως τοῦ τρό­που ποὺ θὰ τι­να­χτεῖς. Ἐ­γὼ ἐ­κτι­νά­χτη­κα ἐ­ξαι­ρε­τι­κὰ κω­μι­κά, πά­νω ἀ­πὸ κά­ποι­α δε­σποι­νί­δα, σχί­ζον­τας τὸ παν­τε­λό­νι μου. Καὶ ὁ πρό­ε­δρος στραμ­πού­λι­ξε μὲ πρω­τό­τυ­πο τρό­πο τὸ πό­δι του, σπά­ζον­τας πα­ράλ­λη­λα τὸ μπα­στού­νι ἑνὸς πο­λί­τη, ποὺ ἦ­ταν φτι­αγ­μέ­νο ἀ­πὸ κόκ­κι­νο ξύ­λο, μὲ μιὰ φο­βε­ρὴ κραυ­γὴ φρί­κης. Ἐ­νό­σω πε­τοῦ­σε, ὅ­λοι τρι­γύ­ρω ἔ­πε­φταν στὴ γῆ, κα­θὼς ὁ πρό­ε­δρός μας τῆς το­πι­κῆς ἐ­πι­τρο­πῆς εἶ­ναι ἄν­θρω­πος βα­ρέ­ων βα­ρῶν. Μὲ μιὰ λέ­ξη, ὅ­ταν ἔ­πε­σε, σκέ­φτη­κα ὅ­τι θὰ ἔ­πρε­πε νὰ ἐ­κλέ­ξου­με νέ­ον πρό­ε­δρο. Ὅ­μως ὁ πρό­ε­δρος στά­θη­κε στὰ πό­δια του ρω­μα­λέ­ος, σὰν τὸ Ἄ­γαλ­μα τῆς Ἐ­λευ­θε­ρί­ας, ἐ­νῶ, ἀ­πε­ναν­τί­ας, ἐ­κεῖ­νος ὁ πο­λί­της μὲ τὸ σπα­σμέ­νο μπα­στού­νι ἔ­βη­ξε αἷ­μα.

Ἔ­πει­τα κι­νή­σα­με γιὰ τὸ Στοι­χει­ω­μέ­νο Δω­μά­τιο, ἡ ὀ­ρο­φὴ καὶ οἱ τοῖ­χοι τοῦ ὁ­ποί­ου πε­ρι­στρέ­φον­ται. Ἐ­δῶ βγῆ­καν ἀ­πὸ μέ­σα μου με­ρι­κὰ μπου­κά­λια μπύ­ρας «Νέ­α Βαυ­α­ρί­α», ποὺ τὰ εἴ­χα­με πι­εῖ μὲ τὸν πρό­ε­δρο στὸ κυ­λι­κεῖ­ο. Πο­τὲ ἄλ­λο­τε στὴ ζω­ή μου δὲν ξέ­ρα­σα, ὅ­πως σ’ αὐ­τὸ τὸ κα­τα­ρα­μέ­νο δω­μά­τιο. Ὁ πρό­ε­δρος ὅ­μως ἄν­τε­ξε.

Ὅ­ταν βγή­κα­με, τοῦ εἶ­πα:

— Φί­λε, ἀ­πο­κη­ρύσ­σω τὸ ἄρ­θρο σου. Τὴν κα­τά­ρα μου νὰ ἔ­χει ὅ­λη αὐ­τὴ ἡ ψυ­χα­γω­γί­α μὲ τὸ νού­με­ρο 98!

Ὡ­στό­σο ἐ­κεῖ­νος εἶ­πε:

— Ἀ­πὸ τὴ στιγ­μὴ ποὺ ἤ­δη ἤρ­θα­με καὶ πλη­ρώ­σα­με, θὰ πρέ­πει ἀ­κό­μα νὰ δεῖς τὴ δι­ά­ση­μη αἰ­γυ­πτια­κὴ μού­μια.

Φτά­σα­με λοι­πὸν στὸ σχε­τι­κὸ δω­μά­τιο. Ἐμ­φα­νί­στη­κε ἕ­νας νε­α­ρός, μέ­σα σὲ γα­λά­ζιο φῶς, καὶ ἀ­να­κοί­νω­σε:

— Καὶ τώ­ρα, πο­λί­τες, θὰ ἀν­τι­κρί­σε­τε ἕ­να φαι­νό­με­νο ἄ­νευ προ­η­γου­μέ­νου – μιὰν αὐ­θεν­τι­κὴ αἰ­γυ­πτια­κὴ μού­μια, φερ­μέ­νη ἀ­πὸ ἕ­να πα­ρελ­θὸν 2500 χρό­νων. Ἡ μού­μια αὐ­τὴ δί­νει χρη­σμοὺς γιὰ τὸ πα­ρελ­θόν, προ­φη­τεύ­ει τὸ πα­ρὸν καὶ τὸ μέλ­λον, ἐ­νῶ πα­ράλ­λη­λα ἀ­παν­τά­ει σὲ ἐ­ρω­τή­σεις καὶ δί­νει συμ­βου­λὲς πά­νω σὲ δύ­σκο­λα θέ­μα­τα τῆς ζω­ῆς. Ἐ­πί­σης, συμ­βου­λεύ­ει μὲ ἐ­χε­μύ­θεια τὶς ἐγ­κυ­μο­νοῦ­σες.

Ὅ­λοι ἔ­βγα­λαν ἕ­να «ἄχ» ἀ­πὸ τὸν ἐν­θου­σια­σμὸ καὶ τὸν τρό­μο καί, πράγ­μα­τι, γιὰ βάλ­τε μὲ τὸ νοῦ σας, ἐμ­φα­νί­στη­κε μιὰ μού­μια μὲ τὴ μορ­φὴ γυ­ναι­κεί­ου κε­φα­λιοῦ, πλαι­σι­ω­μέ­νη ἀ­πὸ αἰ­γυ­πτια­κὰ ἱ­ε­ρο­γλυ­φι­κά. Κο­κά­λω­σα ἀ­πὸ τὴν ἔκ­πλη­ξη, δι­α­πι­στώ­νον­τας ὅ­τι ἡ μού­μια ἦ­ταν νε­ό­τα­τη, ἔ­τσι ὅ­πως δὲν θὰ μπο­ροῦ­σε νὰ εἶ­ναι ὄ­χι μό­νο ἕ­νας ἄν­θρω­πος 2500 χρό­νων, ἀλ­λὰ οὔ­τε κὰν 100.

Ὁ νε­α­ρὸς προ­σκά­λε­σε εὐ­γε­νι­κά:

— Κά­νε­τε ἐ­ρω­τή­σεις. Κά­τι ἁ­πλό.

Ὁ πρό­ε­δρος πε­τά­χτη­κε ἀ­μέ­σως καὶ ρώ­τη­σε:

— Καὶ σὲ ποι­ά γλώσ­σα νὰ ρω­τή­σω; Ἐ­γὼ δὲν γνω­ρί­ζω αἰ­γυ­πτια­κά.

Ὁ νε­α­ρός, δί­χως νὰ τὰ χά­σει, ἀ­πο­κρί­νε­ται:

— Ρω­τῆ­στε στὰ ρω­σι­κά.

Ὁ πρό­ε­δρος ξε­ρό­βη­ξε καὶ ρώ­τη­σε:

— Καὶ γιὰ πές μου, ἀ­γα­πη­τὴ μού­μια, τί ἔ­κα­νες ὣς τὴν ἐ­πα­νά­στα­ση τοῦ Φε­βρου­α­ρί­ου;

Ἀ­μέ­σως ἡ μού­μια χλώ­μια­σε καὶ εἶ­πε:

— Φοι­τοῦ­σα στὸ πα­νε­πι­στή­μιο.

— Μπά… Καὶ γιὰ πές μου, ἀ­γα­πη­τὴ μού­μια, δι­α­τέ­λε­σες πο­τὲ ὑ­πό­δι­κος κα­τὰ τὴν πε­ρί­ο­δο τῆς Σο­βι­ε­τι­κῆς ἐ­ξου­σί­ας, καὶ ἂν ναί, τό­τε γιὰ ποι­όν λό­γο;

Ἡ μού­μια ἀ­νοι­γό­κλει­σε τὰ μά­τια καὶ σι­ώ­πη­σε.

Ὁ νε­α­ρὸς φώ­να­ξε:

— Τί τρέ­χει μὲ σᾶς, πο­λί­τη, καὶ βα­σα­νί­ζε­τε τὴ μού­μια γιὰ 15 κα­πί­κια;

Ὁ πρό­ε­δρος ἄρ­χι­σε νὰ ἀ­σκεῖ κρι­τι­κὴ μὲ δρι­μύ­τη­τα:

— Καί, ἀ­γα­πη­τὴ μού­μια, ποι­ά εἶ­ναι ἡ σχέ­ση σου μὲ τὴ στρα­τι­ω­τι­κὴ θη­τεί­α;

Ἡ μού­μια ἔ­βα­λε τὰ κλά­μα­τα καὶ εἶ­πε:

— Ἤ­μουν ἀ­δελ­φὴ τοῦ ἐ­λέ­ους.

— Καὶ τί θὰ ἔ­κα­νες, ἐ­ὰν ἔ­βλε­πες κομ­μου­νι­στὲς μέ­σα σὲ μιὰ ἐκ­κλη­σί­α; Καὶ ποι­ός εἶ­ναι ὁ σύν­τρο­φος Στού­τσκα(2); Καὶ ποῦ ζεῖ τώ­ρα ὁ Κὰρλ Μάρξ;

Ὁ νε­α­ρός, βλέ­πον­τας ὅ­τι ἡ μού­μια ἔ­χει ἀ­πο­τύ­χει στὸν ρό­λο της, ἀρ­χί­ζει νὰ φω­νά­ζει ὁ ἴ­διος σὲ σχέ­ση μὲ τὸν Μάρξ:

— Πέ­θα­νε!

Ὁ πρό­ε­δρος κραύ­γα­σε:

— Ὄ­χι! Ζεῖ στὴν καρ­διὰ τοῦ προ­λε­τα­ριά­του.

Ἀ­μέ­σως ἔ­σβη­σε τὸ φῶς, καὶ ἡ μού­μια ἐ­ξα­φα­νί­στη­κε στὰ τάρ­τα­ρα μὲ λυγ­μούς, ἐ­νῶ τὸ κοι­νὸ φώ­να­ξε πρὸς τὸν πρό­ε­δρο:

— Ζή­τω! Εὐ­χα­ρι­στοῦ­με γιὰ τὴν ἀ­πο­κά­λυ­ψη τῆς ψεύ­τι­κης μού­μιας.

Καὶ ἤ­θε­λε νὰ τὸν ση­κώ­σει στὰ χέ­ρια. Ὅ­μως ὁ πρό­ε­δρος ἀ­πέ­φυ­γε τὸ τι­μη­τι­κὸ λί­κνι­σμα, κι ἐ­μεῖς βγή­κα­με ἀ­πὸ τὸ Σπί­τι τοῦ Λα­οῦ, τὴν ἴ­δια ἀ­κρι­βῶς στιγ­μὴ ποὺ ἕ­να πλῆ­θος προ­λε­τά­ρι­ων μᾶς ἀ­κο­λου­θοῦ­σε μὲ κραυ­γές.