Young people in Greece are usually very political. They know the definitions and values of every political idea at a very young age, and most have unique political thoughts of their own. It is not rare to see teens engage in heated arguments and even violence to support their cause or beliefs.
That said, it is only natural that political rallies would be a very common thing in Greece. More often during elections, party leaders will call for rallies in order to speak to the parties’ youth so to inform them, and manipulate them.
When I was younger, I was a member of one of Greece’s right wing parties. Never going as far as fascism, but often crossing the border to nationalism. Our parties’ leader often called for rallies or pseudo-events and this is what I remember of them.
Before the event there would always be rigorous advertisements of the event on TV, magazines, and newspapers. Articles would be written about the rally by journalists, favorable to the cause of course. You would hear about the event, even if you are not of the party, you would know about it.
During the rally the party leader would speak. Usually he would talk about our duty as Greeks, how we are special and how we need to live up to our potential. There was usually something in there about making our ancestors proud. Of course now I know it was all propaganda but back then, as teenagers, we loved that stuff.
Shortly after the speech there would always be music. Usually they would bring a band that shared the parties’ standards. The only one I remember was Pogrom. As the name suggested they were not singing about anything nice; however, it was what the party leaders wanted you to hear and believe.
Personally, I believe the methods they used where highly effective. I never truly believed or even accepted what the man on the podium said. However, many of the other teenagers there did. I could just see it in their eyes even if they were not chanting the things they were.
There is something awfully effective about propaganda. You may never really believe or even understand it but you will still follow the man on the podium anyway. The people using that technique just know how to move and manipulate you. The thing is, I understood and that is the reason I now know that propaganda, thankfully, is not always effective.
I should say though, that not all propaganda is for a bad cause. Many good things can be done with tools previously used for bad things. All tools have their dangers however, and that is something that I guess we just have to deal with.