The Enlightened Dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas

The following is a comment of mine in a seminar whose theme was the war between Greece and Italy.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

I’m rather puzzled that you have understated the vital role of the political and military leadership of Prime Minister Metaxas and general Papagos respectively, in this triumphant victory over the Italians. Metaxas inspired OXI, NO, mobilized and united the Greek people in a war of life and death and transfigured the Greek army, under the unsurpassable military acumen of both Metaxas and Papagos, into a titanic force whose AERA, slogan of attack, would terrify the Italians and would lead to their ignominious defeat.

Metaxas was an enlightened dictator, unlike the benighted dictators, not to say murderous, Hitler, Stalin and Mao. During his tenure, he introduced the eight-hour working day, IKA, Social Security, mandatory improvements in working conditions, indeed, he appointed as Minister of Labor a former secretary of the Communist Party, and transformed the educational curriculum, imbuing it with its glorious history. He also banned all political parties, including his own, which were the cause of the political turmoil that had made the country ungovernable in the mid 1930’s.

Metaxas was the wunderkind of the military German Academy and outshined all his colleagues in ability and acumen. Metaxas was in the league of Plato’s philosophers kings.