Monday, 15 October 2012

Staring into The Abyss

Felix Baumgartner staring the Abyss,
momments before his record
stagging jump, Oct. 14th, 2012.

Staring into the abyss, it’s a long way down. So we have learned. Like Felix Baumgartner, we have leaped into the Abyss some three years now but the surface or the bottom if you like is nowhere to be seen. Unlike him, we have been totally unprepared and unwilling to do so. None the less we leaped.  But staring into the abyss long enough the abyss looks back at you!
We are all, by choice or definition, free to care about whatever we want. Exercising this freedom of choice is what harnesses the subjective moral meaning in life. However, sometimes our choices have unintended natural consequences: so there are limits on freedom. So we have learned, or haven’t we?
This means that former partners in the Union have become too punitive, we have become too dismissive and the world has become too unstable. The situation may be described as unsustainable. What started as a markets’ test of Euro’s strength has been evolving into a whirlpool that threatens to take down the Eurozone, Europe and the World at large.
Homer, the ancient lyric poet, knew about those dilemmas and when he wrote Odyssey he tried to warn us. He tried to teach us that when faced with a dilemma of such repercussions, caught between Scylla and Charybdis, there is one thing to do. Accept to sacrifice a few by navigating close to Scylla so that the ship can move on instead of playing it all or nothing by choosing to pass through the Charybdis whirlpool. That had been the ethical dilemma facing the Greek authorities so far. But staring into the Abyss for too long they have become part of the problem. Now the choice lies with the EU/Troika. It’s their dilemma now. Now they are caught between a rock and a hard place. Sacrifice Greece and save the Eurozone or play their own version of all or nothing dice. So far it’s not looking well.
There must be an abort lever somewhere, an emergency parachute to open.
Greece Expiring on the Ruins
of Missolonghi (Delacroix 1827,
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux)
Or maybe, we the Greeks should engage in another heroic act of sacrifice, like the infamous Souliotisses (Suliot women) with their Zalongo Dance (1803) or like the Free Besieged of Missolonghi and their desperate Exodus (1826). Do as Rhigas Pheraeos wrote in his “Thurios” war song: "It's better for an hour we live our life free, than living forty years in bondage and in jail … and everyone should hear that, brave we will be".  A heroic Exodus from the Euro area is what we cognitively know we can do best.
All these glorious moments will go down in history as yet another heroic act of self destruction. Because we, the modern Greeks cannot crack down on tax evasion cannot curtail the public sector and must always rely on foreign assistance! Because unlike Rhigas, we never aspired “the equality of the citizens against the law, the private and national freedom, freedom of the press, the security of citizens, the right of ownership, the opposition to violence and inequity, e. t. c.” all the basic principles of the Greek Constitution that originate from the French Constitution of 1793. Greece, being the first of the modern European States to be established with a modern Constitution based on the values of humanism of the French Revolution, is yet the last to become one. A modern European State.
So, let us do what our Eastern/Orthodox culture dictates: suffer the Crucifixion in light of a Resurrection.    

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