Tuesday, January 15, 2019
#15 / Greeks Bearing Gifts
Pictured is Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister. The picture I am using, above, illustrated a 2017 article in which Varoufakis was quoted as advising Theresa May, England's Prime Minister, to pursue a course of action on "Brexit" far different from the one she then decided to take. Varoufakis predicted a disaster for Great Britain if the approach he recommended were not adopted. At the end of next March, when the official "Brexit" occurs, we will see whether or not Varoufakis was right. Frankly, it's looking like he was.
More recently, Varoufakis has teamed up with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. They are working together to promote a "Green New Deal," and to do this internationally, not just nationally. I, personally, find what Varoufakis has to say in the following interview on Democracy Now! to be insightful and compelling.
What is happening internationally is not easy to follow, and I think it is particularly difficult to understand the significance of international political events from within the United States, which has a very self-referential idea about what is important in the world. I recommend this twenty-minute short course from Varoufakis:
We remember the admonition, of course, that we should "beware of Greeks bearing gifts." The origin of that cautionary counsel is presumably the story told by Virgil, in The Aeneid, about what happened to Troy after the Trojans accepted that famous horse. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Varoufakis' remarks in the Democracy Now! video are solid (not hollow), and that there is a valuable gift of eminent good sense in what he says!