The language of Mathematics with its rigid and inflexible rules can show Sociology the way the members of any society or micro-society are required to act in order to achieve remarkable results. In the case of fractions, for example, in order to be able to add up sums of unlike fractions, it is first necessary to convert them into like fractions. Only in this case can a result, i.e., a quantitative increase, be obtained. In other words, a necessary condition for creating positive results is the existence of a common denominator. Since all sciences have common backgrounds, this rule can be transferred in a similar way to Sociology. In order for the individual groups that make up the society or a region of a state, and for the state expressions of the overall human society to be successful, the existence of a common denominator is a necessary condition.
Following the developments, decade after decade after the end of the World War II, we find that, after the first period, the loss of human lives and material destruction had created coherent and cooperative tendencies, but later these tendencies were reversed. The process of synthesis in the aspirations of social groups through consultation was receding and the aspirations of the most powerful were imposed, openly through their economic surface, and secretely through their penetration of the power mechanisms. In countries that were rich in investment capital and in highly educated human resources, a high standard of living had been created that covered the basic needs of the great majority of citizens, and therefore the process of synthesising the needs of the individual social groups found, sooner or later, ways of mild acceptance.
In our country, which has a relatively high standard of living compared to many other countries, the process of synthesising the views and economic claims of individual social groups has not yet managed to find safe ground, although many channels are available in a democratic constitution based on electoral procedures. This is the main reason why our country has been deprived of investment capital. This shortage of capital, combined with the petty political interests of those in power, does not allow an educational policy to be established and implemented. This kind of policy could create a high-quality scientific workforce, which could be then subsequently integrated into the production process, and contribute to the creation of material capital.
Little has changed in the way political parties operate since the establishment of the modern Greek state. Consensus, even in matters of the highest national importance, is rare and the minimal governmental partnerships simply transfer the external struggle within the government itself. Every attempt to create a private sector, which operates with rules of healthy and socially beneficial competition has failed. In the final analysis, the goals of political parties in most cases, aim at nothing more than to “consume” the state sector and to siphon off the benefits resulting from its management. It is no coincidence that our country has a huge expanded public sector (employees, direct economic activities and complex economic trade transactions with private enterprises) with a very limited degree of efficiency. Irrefutable proof is provided by the disastrous financial data during the country’s substantial bankruptcy at the beginning of the previous decade: the Greek public debt was the same size as private deposits!
Local governments operate, in general, in a way that mimics the way the central state operates. The introduction of proportional representation in the previous elections highlighted the lack of willingness between local government groups to agree even on self-evident issues. It is rare that a common basis for cooperation between the local government groups participating in municipal/regional councils has been established. The announcements that have been published in the media clearly illustrate this lack of willingness to cooperate. So far the main objectives of both parties, i.e., the majority of the elected officials in local government organisations, as well as those in the central administration of the state, are to continue to reap the benefits of administration and to create situations for electoral victory in the next electoral processes. Coherent programs to address generalised needs of local communities, with evidence-based studies, time planning and financial tools, are rarely seen in public view. Such programs could certainly emerge if everyone, or at least the vast majority of local government officials, were willing to work together to draw them up, without greed or hidden personal ambitions.
In this human landscape we need a common denominator. It is not only us, the editorial board of our newspaper, that are making this statement. The need for a common denominator is imposed by the difficult situations on the international scene, and their effects are cumulative in our indebted country. May we see a change of mentality imposed by the difficult times we are living in.
THE EDITORIAL BOARD