Cohesive relations between peoples are defined by the regulations set by individual constitutions. The articles of the constitution reflect our shared values, which were developed after many years of people living together and forming a state. A common vision for the future of a nation is based on these shared values. Materialisation of this vision means that each citizen has to put the common good ahead of his/her personal gain. Aiming towards the common good always brings good results for every citizen of a nation.
In 1821, the shared vision for freedom united different Greek societal groups, led them to common action, and finally resulted in the country’s liberation from the brutal Ottoman tyranny. The vision for a reborn free Greece was morally higher than the petty personal interests of individual citizens. Individual gain was placed in second place to freedom. Our area, Mani, is a representative example of putting aside personal ambitions and gains before the common vision of freedom for Hellenism. Maniots fought for the common freedom, although at the time they were enjoying autonomous administration with their own local Maniot leader, their everyday life was secure, and they were relative safe as far as their life and property were concerned.
The common vision for liberating all areas that were inhabited by populations with Greek consciousness was expressed in the “Great Idea”, which dominated the dreams and aspirations of Greek citizens for the greatest part of one hundred years. This vision resulted in the liberation wars of that period in many regions that used to belong to Greece, but were still under Ottoman occupation. The Maniots again were leaders in the struggles for liberating their subjugated compatriots living in the rest of the greater Greek geographical area. However, before a national vision materialises, it has to be realistic. A thorough analysis of the international conditions and a careful examination of the power relations (the actual relations between the powers?) of a certain period (of the time?) has to happen beforehand. It is necessary that international conditions and power relations are taken into account. Every time when the vision of the Great Idea was pursued at periods when the circumstances were adverse, untimely acts of war were undertaken and disaster ensued. However, those times when military operations were based on careful diplomatic preparations and on a realistic analysis of the power relations, spectacular successes were achieved.
In the previous paragraphs, where we examined (looked at) the need for a new vision, we often saw the words “common” and “shared”. If the vision is not shared, then it lacks broad support, and such a national undertaking is not realistic; it is either frivolous or it conceals personal interests, and it will lead to a catastrophy. In the recent history of Greece we have had such examples, with the most important (respresentative?) one being the coup d’état against Makarios, the President of Cyprus, in 1974, which resulted in the invasion of the Turkish military in Cyprus and the permanent occupation by Turkey of a big part of the island. Unfortunately this kind of pseudo-visions (false visions) are quite popular in our times, and they threaten the normal evolution (smooth working out) of our crucial (most important) national affairs.
If we look at the situation in our neighbouring Turkey, we will notice that the Turkish leaders have worked diligently to promote their own national vision. First they stabilised their political system, then they developed their economy, steadily increased the production, and used effectively the advanced technology which they imported from countries with a strong background in this area (with a strong digital background?). They created a strong industry, which resulted in not only the strengthening of their country, but also in a significant improvement of the standard of living of their citizens. When all these preparations brought positive results, then the politicians started appealing to the emotions of their people, glorifying the period of expansion of the Ottoman empire and promoting their national vision, which consists in revising and overturning the present status quo.
Based on the above, we can conclude that for the national vision to be effective, it is necessary for it to be based on a strong and realistic basis. The first step for its materialisation is the strenghtening of the private and state economy. It is very important that the national vision be based on fairness and accepted as such by the powerful states of the time. However, the most important condition for the success of the national vision as it relates to the future of a country is for the vision to be embraced not only by the political parties and their leaders, but most of all by its citizens. If we start working on creating the necessary conditions, as described in this last paragraph, then it is certain that the national vision for the future of our country will soon be defined.