9275 - To be innocent, you have to be accused

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Evi Charitidou

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A general problem encountered in the domain of genocidology is not defining the perpetrator, because we study existing genocides, but defining the innocent. There has to be a differentiation between an innocent and a victim, so that the latter notion affords the integration of the notion of the Just. Initially a paradoxical definition of the innocent will be the following – at least as a necessary condition: To be innocent, you have to be accused. And, of course, this accusation may be passive as well, in the sense that it does not require any action on the part of the innocent. Opting for this definition is rational and more efficient to explain the existence of the action of genocide as well. For, slightly before genocide, who would dare to characterize a future victim by using the word ‘innocence’? Nobody can characterize him like this a priori. The definition takes place a posteriori only, namely after the fact produced by the action of genocide. However, for the latter to take place, the stage of accusation has to preexist. Somebody accuses the individual of being something and not of having done something. In this way the individual acquires the ontology of the innocent, which otherwise wouldn’t have. Thus, we have a change of phase at least as regards the philosophical aspect of the other problem. This does not mean that there is a solution, but simply that in this way initial conditions are defined. Let’s now examine certain models. Is Antigone innocent? Absolutely not! Antigone is a Just. For, she chooses to do an action prohibited by the regime. For the latter, it is her action that it is to be condemned and not her existence. In Electra there is already a difference due to resistance. Of course, this resistance is passive and interpreted even pathologically, in fact. It is for this reason that she is not condemned, which differentiates her from Antigone. Electra, due to her passive resistance, she is transformed in a martyr by the time. If we want a clear example of an innocent we have to resort to Orestes, at least as regards the first part of his life. For, his existence is since his birth condemnable, not only due to the oracle, but also due to his family’s past. In fact, it is now possible to say that in tragedy’s framework this role is indispensable so that he is able to set with an extreme action an end to the curse of Atreides’, while initially he comes to save his sister, Electra. The second change of phase, which would transform him to a Just, is a crime presupposing the first phase so he could be acquitted by Dike (Justice). The interesting clue of the case derives from another profound mental scheme. There has to be a crime, which should be a just one, for acquittal in its whole meaning to take place. For, acquittal is not a degenerated version of innocence.