"Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds -- justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can't go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner." -Anne Rice
One of the reasons mistakes are made, and often serious mistakes, are because the right questions are not asked. If you ask the wrong questions then the answers, even if answered correctly, will lead you to the wrong conclusions. What we are seeing in Italy this morning is a good example of asking and answering the small questions when the larger questions are vastly more important. If you read the news and analysis in the Press today you will find many opinions about the Italian elections and what they mean to Italy and this is the small question. The bigger question, and the correct focus, is what the Italian elections means for the European Union and its survival. That is what is really important now and that is what we should be trying to understand this morning.
"The question is not what you look at but what you see." -Thoreau
Basically Berlusconi represents a return to Nationalism and a repudiation of the measures imposed upon Italy by Berlin/Brussels (The European Union). Grillo represents something stronger which is a total rejection of Berlin/Brussels (The European Union) and a demand that Italy return to self-governance. Grillo's party won more votes than any other party and taken together, Berlusconi's coalition and the 5 Star Party won the vast majority of votes at just under sixty percent. Yes, there are other national issues such as corruption and nepotism and so forth that relate strictly to the political situation in Italy but again, these are the small questions and far less significant to the central question of what will happen to the European Union as a result of the vote of the Italian people.
I first direct your consideration to this; if it can happen in Italy then why not in Greece, Spain, Portugal or France? People in other countries will take heart from Grillo's attempt and then success and the mob may begin to stir. However Italy is going to work out and whatever alliances may be made or whether there will be a second vote; the writing is emblazoned now clearly on the wall which declares opposition to living under the dictums handed down from other countries and enforced by the money that may or not be parceled out to the Italian nation. This is clearly defined by the total rejection of Monti and the Brussels/Berlin austerity measures that he put in place. The vote for Monti at just under ten percent is a ringing condemnation of the European Union by the people of Italy. In fact I would say that the Italian elections are exactly what the European Union has feared most, the very most, which is the rejection of the Brussels/Berlin governance by those who ultimately matter which are the people of a nation. I think it can now be said with a good degree of accuracy that the Italian people took a long hard look at the European Union and voted, "NO!"
What most people have not grasped yet, but the dawning will come, is that a Referendum has just taken place in Italy. All of the political upheaval in Italy was caused by anger and frustration with the European Union and their policies. This is what drove the election and not to appreciate this is a serious mistake. The EU is now cornered. This is the third largest nation in the Union and the voters, the people, have just turned out a majority that clearly and resolutely said "Basta!" (Enough!). I would say that how all of any of this works itself out is anyone's guess now but I would also say that what has happened, like a wife catching her husband with another woman, will forever change the relationship. If the bureaucrats and technocrats in Brussels wanted to know what Dante's Inferno looked like they have only to pay attention this morning. They can stare at it now.
"But the stars that marked our starting fall away. We must go deeper into greater pain, for it is not permitted that we stay." -Dante, The Inferno