A continent of parasites and scapegoats
– Europe face-to-face with a new miasma

– By Yiannis Gabriel


Miasma is a word rooted in Greek tragedy. It represents a contagious state of material, psychological and spiritual pollution that descends plague-like, and afflicts members of a community, a family or a nation. It is a highly toxic state that corrupts the institutional and moral fabric of a social unit. Above all, it dissolves love bonds and leaves a community dominated by fear, guilt, hate, despair and lies, individuals sinking into solitude and isolation.

“It would be premature to claim that Europe is gripped by a miasma, as it once was in the living memory of many of the continent’s older citizens. Yet, the picture I have painted suggests that the resurgence of miasma in Europe is a distinct possibility. Instead of solidarity and compassion, the poor, the weak and the dispossessed are increasingly met with fear and disdain, cast as parasites that arouse various destructive desires to somehow or other get rid of them. It is ironic that the European ‘project’ that sought to put an end to centuries of hate and rancour is currently discovering new ways of targeting groups and populations as bringers of miasma. Unless European citizens can find ways to stand up to scapegoating and vilification of the weak and the powerless, they risk sinking once again into the condition to which the European project sought to put a definitive end.”     

One thought on “Miasma

  1. Thanks for pointing me here. Yes indeed, the danger is real and frightening. I also hope, as I am fortunate in meeting young people from quite varied cultural backgrounds. Many are aware, I feel that all of us can help a little by giving their generous interactions encouragement and words to help them resist the fear kind of compartmented reactions to difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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