Guest Viewpoints

Greece Needs Heraclitus, Someone With Character

Thucydides, Pericles, Socrates, and Aristotle are the preferred references in the search of the logic, if logic exists, in understanding politics in modern Athens, Thebes, Corinth, and Sparta.

For more than one reason a modern disciple of Heraclitus, who visited Ephesus only a few weeks ago, took the risky step to join politics in Hellas.

Defying the calls of his friends and advisors for prudence and against all odds, he decided to join a party – a movement rather than a party – without aparatchiks, structures, politburos, etc.

It is no surprise that the new party that will contest in the uneven campaign for the European Parliament Elections scheduled for May 25 is named To Potami (The River). In contemporary terms, Heraclitus is considered to be a postmodern thinker. His thoughts transcend time, place, continents.

Heraclitus taught me that :
Air dies giving birth to fire. Fire dies giving birth to air. Thus water is born of earth, and earth of water
the river where you set your foot just now is gone and a new one is constantly formed the way up is the way back
just as the river where I step is not the same, and it is, so am I, as I am not.

Can a party with no politicians meet the challenge and make the edge in Greek politics? Can it change the course, sidelining the political oligarchies that have been ruling Greece for roughly 70 years, often accused of lack of ethos, accountability, and common sense?

Two weeks ago, I met Potami’s leader Stavros Theodorakis, a self-made man and articulate journalist. I did not hesitate for a moment to accept his invitation. The candidates of the Euro elections ticket are not politicians. They have all successfully served the country and the society. They have exceled in business, academia, medicine, and farming.
Our motto is “for a strong Greece in a more just Europe.”

A United Europe cannot be achieved with divided Europeans along the North-South or South-North dividing lines. We say yes, to a Europe which will show respect for the dignity of its citizens. But to change Europe, we must first change the course of politics at home.

Heraclitus insists that “the beginning is the end” and that “without injustice the name of justice would mean nothing.” In family, in society and in politics it is clear that “one’s bearing shapes one’s fate.”

Heraclitus is what was really missing from politics today in Greece.

Amb. Alexandros P. Mallias
The Huffington Post

Alexandros P. Mallias was Greece’s Ambassador to the United States 2005-2009.


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