The Strange Dream of Alexis, Greek Minister

The sun gilded the Acropolis, that could still be discerned in the distance. There, where he was, in a small apartment in the Piraeus, on Filonos Street, surrounded by bars and chandleries, he could finally rest after an exhausting day. The apartment belonged to a friend of his from the University. They had once shared it. The neighborhood, he knew well. It was a great sinner at night and but innocent during the day.

He managed to escape from his office dressed like a chauffeur in a small Fiat. It was hard to believe that he had reached the pinnacle of power at the age of 40. He had spent twenty of those forty years as a hard left activist. After the European crisis and the Hellenic catastrophe, Alexis had formed a heterogeneous coalition with which he won the elections. The Left and the Right shook hands joined hands to defend what little national honor remained. But it was not a stable alliance, just a negative majority. “In general, he would tell himself, this ends just like my car: I get in on the left but after starting the engine I drive on the right. At least that is what “those who know” in the European Union suggest I do.” He stretched out on the couch, close to his friend’s desk. “And if I overplay my hand they kick me out or kill me” he kept on thinking.

To fall asleep faster, he looked for a newspaper, a booklet, any anodyne text at his reach. He only found a thick envelope, curiously addressed to him. It came by mail and at first he thought it was a local delivery, as it contained a seemingly used booklet. The postal stamp was white and blue as the flag. He didn’t pay attention to it. If he had, he would have noticed that it was not the white and blue from the Greek insignia, but the colors of another flag. And he would have imagined that it was a present from his uncle, who was living in Argentina for a long time. It was hard to follow the text in Spanish, a language he had learned, not very well, at school. The difficulty induced him to sleep, which was what he was looking for in the end.

With the booklet in hand, that he then dropped, he fell into a deep sleep. It was then that he saw a man older than him, tall, with gelled hair and smiling, similar to his father, who picked up the booklet from the floor and started to read, and this time Alexis understood everything. He was not startled as, from Ancient times, the Greeks believe that a dream, more than an invention of the rested brain, is a visit from the gods and the spirits of the dead.

This is how the smiling, gelled-hair man, started to read out loud:

“The dignity of equality, not the shame of submission. Wise and prudent words, Alexis, slapped on the face of every sellout in the world. How many will this lesson reach? How many politicians and publicists at the service of treason and betrayal will listen to the words of a sound reasonable man? Or will money keep on trumping the truth and the wishes of the people? In this world’s inorganic democracies, the mistake that many men and women in government make is not interpreting and respecting popular hopes. We live in a time in which governments look too much outside their frontiers and expect everything to come in their aid from the powerful. For that reason, too, their politics are influenced by foreign programs, doused with abundant economic means. After starving a lot of people with “austerity” measures they then are willing to buy the popular favor for little. They forget that “he, who gives bread to another man’s dog, loses both the bread and the dog.” Governments and politicians, as Napoleon once said, “they all have a price”; but the people are not for sale.

As a consequence of such serious mistakes in the political leadership of the people, it is almost a rule that governments be divorced from popular feeling and that, while they are a docile instrument of Imperialism, the people remain faithful to the principles of freewill and sovereignty. Only by means of such aberration is it possible to see the judicial monstrosity of governments, delegates, and publicity organs that support the intervention of the powerful in smaller countries. From there to becoming a colony there is only one step.

All these hypocrites are traitors twice. They betray their people and cheat the powerful. Most of them think the opposite of what they say: it is enough to listen to them privately; deep down, they do not share the idea they support and they neither represent the popular will nor do they transmit the true sentiment of the people they say they represent. That is how they build structures with manure on a soil of mud and sand. What a terrible sham is to believe in the collective decisions of self-serving parts! And that is what is called a “European Union.” The facts in the end will reveal the sham.

The powerful also work to be fooled. They prefer flattery to the truth. They cannot get the free and virile counsel of an honest man and even less feel the sentiment of their own people. Hard as it may be, this is always preferable to the blandishment of lies.

However, behind such pleasing lies all their conferences result in preconceived and self-serving arrangements. They use spoke-persons for the “harsh presentations” and send trouble instigators to the frontline to “test the waters.” They are recruited within the circle of sycophants and used as Trojan horses to infiltrate different groups.

And often this is called political ability! Great independence and extreme prudence are needed to act correctly and with the dignity that the country imposes, without falling unawares into this class of “ability” that, by the way, is not much different from the methods used by head start players in other games.

When the time for praises in the final speeches arrives, what different language from the gossip and intrigues of the corridors! The newspapers “on the take” then compete for who can better praise and support the sellout, all while every day the people feel more and more shame and repugnance for such orchestrated indignity.

Do not give in, noble Greek heart, do not give in.”

Alexis then startled and woke up. He picked up the book again and saw it was an old anthology of articles on politics and strategy the subtitle of which was “I do not attack, I criticize”. It was signed by someone who had used the pseudonym of Descartes, in Buenos Aires, around 1951.

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