Eurocrats need to go back to Plato to see eurozone's flaws

Plato's Allegory of the Cave could tell Europeans much about the futility of their approach to the euro

European Central Bank in Frankfurt
John Vax
On 4 April 2011 11:29

In the past two weeks, credit spreads on some European government bonds have widened significantly, indicating that investors continue to view default by some European governments as a more and more likely outcome. Once again, European leaders are entering panic mode. The recent resignation of Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates over austerity measures is another signal that the euro crisis is far from over. 

I find it ironic that the latest victim of that crisis is the namesake of the teacher of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. That particular Socrates brought us the allegory of the cave, which modern European leaders might do well to recall.  As a refresher, the allegory of the cave describes a group of people who are held prisoner in a cave their whole lives and witness only shadows on the wall at the back without ever knowing what is creating them. 

For this group, the shadows cease to be shadows and become reality because it never occurs to anyone that what they see in front of them could have been caused by something else, or even that something else could conceivably exist.

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