The policy of military conscription followed by the Greek government is an absolute and unmitigated outrage. At the beginning of their adult lives, young Greek men are enslaved into the military, with their formative years, career plans, and even their lives and limbs left at the mercy of the whim of a government that has become the foremost enemy of their liberty. In violation of every rational principle of human rights, the Greek government forces its young men into a state of living death.
The appalling brutality of the Greek government is revealed in its treatment of conscientious objectors, especially Total Objectors like myself, who refuse to perform any kind of slave labor. The plight of Total Objectors such as Nikos Maziotis and Pavlos Nathaniel (and how many others?), who were imprisoned, tortured, and then recalled to the army after their release from prison, shows that individuals who refuse to submit to the enslavement mandated by Greece’s conscription law, are persecuted and harassed not just once, but repeatedly. Shame on you and your government!
Ancient Greece was the birthplace of philosophy, science, and civilization, a country of majestic grandeur and heroic splendor. In contrast, modern Greece has become a disgrace to civilization, resorting to police state practices that are the hallmark of totalitarian states like China, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. Amnesty International reports show that the prohibition of torture by the Greek constitution is a dead letter, as torture is routinely used not only against conscientious objectors, but against other prisoners as well, often as a means of forcibly extracting confessions from them.
As demonstrated by John Locke, America’s Founding Fathers, and Ayn Rand, the only proper, morally justifiable function for the government is the protection of individual rights. When a government extends its role beyond the protection of rights, it initiates force against peaceful individuals and destroys human life and values. This means that a government that uses its power to violate man’s rights loses its legitimacy and becomes tyrannical. Having had the bad fortune to be born in modern-day Greece, I hereby declare my determination to never become the slave of a government that has the brazen audacity to treat me as cannon fodder and shamelessly claim first mortgage on my life and liberty.
I, not the state, am the owner of my life. Nobody is entitled to a single minute of my life or one iota of my efforts. As a believer in Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, I uphold the absolutism of reality, the power of reason, the morality of rational self-interest, and the sanctity of individual rights. As a dedicated, practicing Objectivist, I solemnly and proudly pledge to fight you to my last breath. To quote the immortal words of the American Founding Father, Patrick Henry: “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!”
I call upon the Greek government to rescind its laws on conscription and end its systematic abuse of human rights.
Dr. Emmanuel Foroglou
President & Founder
Foroglou Center for American Ideals
August 1, 2000