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It takes a Greek to save Europa

By       Message Pepe Escobar     Permalink
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Reprinted from RT


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Europa, in classical Greek mythology, was this Phoenician princess babe that drove lusty Zeus absolutely bonkers.

A trickster par excellence, Zeus turned into a white bull, lured Europa into riding him, and before she could escape, dove into the Aegean Sea and carried her off to Crete. The product of their inevitable lovemaking was King Minos. So keep in mind that Europa is the Minotaur's step-grandmother (more on the Minotaur in a minute.)

Prolific lover that he was, Zeus in the end always came back to his wife, Hera. But this time, not before bestowing selected gifts upon Europa. One of these gifts was Laelaps, a hound that never missed his prey. Then, one day, fate ruled that Laelaps should go after the Teumessian fox -- which according to divine design should never be caught.

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Imagine Zeus's predicament. After racking his divine brain, Zeus finally found an easy way out; he turned them both into stone and cast them into the night sky.

We can always draw on the psychedelic bacchanalia of classical Greek mythology to find graphic illustrations to the turmoil of our times. Imagine, for instance, Europa's elite -- Mario Draghi and co. -- racking their brains in Laelaps meets Teumessian mode trying to solve the eurozone riddle. And imagine as well a new Minotaur eating modern Europa's newborn sons and daughters.

Meet DiEM25

Now to a new tale in the heart of Europa.

Seven months after resigning as the finance minister of Greece, self-described "erratic Marxist" Yanis Varoufakis is resurfacing (out of the Aegean Sea?) with a bang.

This past Tuesday, at the Volksbuhne Theater in Berlin, Varoufakis launched a new project: the DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), whose aim is to ultimately transfer power from Europa's unaccountable, fiercely authoritarian elite and distribute it -- fairly -- among European citizens.

Greek myth? Why not? And exactly when Europa badly needs a new foundation myth. Varoufakis bets that the movement will eventually reach a "basic consensus" on what to do to really introduce democratic practices into how the European behemoth is run. And then, onwards to parliamentary democracy, via elections.

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The diagnostic by Varoufakis would resonate among every sound minded EU citizen. It features unaccountable European elites; "big finance" and "big industry" forming the "unholy cartel" that is the "main driver of EU policy"; the European Central Bank (ECB) propping up the "cartel" by printing money like there's no tomorrow through quantitative easing (QE); Italy as the new Greece, suffocated by its debt repayments; the fallacy of the theoretically apolitical ECB controlling interest rates across vastly disparate countries; and the Mafia behavior of the Eurogroup (comprising the 19 finance ministers of eurozone members).

Not surprisingly, the fallacy of this "model" of running the eurozone has produced devastating unemployment and facilitated the rise and rise and rise of the extreme right.

The concept of DiEM25 is inspired by what people across Europe should have done in the 1930s, before the ascension of Nazism and fascism; a pan-European, trans-political democratic movement. Varoufakis identifies all the toxic trends of the 1930s in the current, abysmal turmoil engulfing Europa.

He wants DiEM25 to be more than "just a think-tank and... an internet community."

At the same time he'd like the movement to be essentially leaderless. And there's the rub; Europa may not need heroes, but as it stands it definitely needs true leaders.

Meet the new Minotaur

Considering the current intellectual void all across Europa, Varoufakis at least is shaking up the torpor. Everything one needs to know about the deep causes of the 2008 global financial crisis has been dissected in his seminal book The Global Minotaur (Zed Books; check out the updated 2013 edition.)

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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