The conception of national identity dominant in Greece has been associated with acts of heroism by the Cretans who see themselves as having initiated the resistance movement against Nazism in Greece.
Der Fischer (Goethe)
Fortunately, the first instance criminal court in Crete held the law to be unconstitutional for violating the clauses that protect freedom of expression and academic freedom. The Court found that the law could be held constitutional only to the extent that it concerns speech that is threatening, defamatory or can provoke hatred. Durkheim discusses the emergence of collective consciousness of some type as constitutive of bonds of allegiance to a community.
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As such, it is an element that holds a society together. Durkheim can be read as offering a warning against the excesses of irrational elements within collective consciousness. Societies are running the risk of losing control of the irrational elements over the rational elements.
Independence never an inevitability
The use of memory politics to reaffirm national identity is an exemplary case of irrational elements winning over the rational ones, with potentially detrimental consequences for academic freedom, as the Richter case shows. National identity is an element of the imaginary institution of our societies. It is based on a constructive representation of facts and memories; formed and reformed throughout time. It implies a choice among many possible narratives.
Arrest of Carles Puigdemont closes another chapter in Catalonia's bid for independence
There is always some arbitrariness in the choice of elements that constitute a national identity, as it involves choosing and giving value to facts and events forming the preferred narrative that meets the needs of constructing a national identity. Using the law to solidify a version of national identity can lead to serious violations of human rights.
There is something highly problematic in using memory to form an official version of the truth that can be enforced through the law. Memory is a pre-theoretical recollection of historical events based upon and sustained by the irrational elements within our collective consciousness. As such, memory can be manipulated to serve the goals of a particular political agenda. More recent cases stirring controversy in Greece abound, where ideas and visions of national identity and the construction of memories that go together are used to sway public opinion.
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The Catalan independence movement is deeply divided between pragmatists and idealists and the optimism inherent in the movement since has been shattered. However, the grievances that produced the turn to secession in Catalonia have not even begun to be addressed and no meaningful resolution of the Catalan question will occur until the Madrid government recognises that it is a political problem.
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Andrew Dowling , Cardiff University. A protest on March 25 in Catalonia against the arrest of Carles Puigdemont. Catalonia's cultural struggle against Madrid goes back centuries Opinion polls aside, there has never been a majority support for independence in any regional election held since , leading to a questionable legitimacy. Why independence movements in Scotland and elsewhere are tongue-tied over Catalonia With Spain hostile, any separation of Catalonia could only be highly destabilising, with potential knock on effects in a Europe gradually recovering from the financial crisis.
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