If You Ask The Right Questions You Might Find The Right Answers

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

The Right Questions
“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.”
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

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Ghordius's picture

Mark, "What most people have not grasped yet, but the dawning will come, is that a Referendum has just taken place in Italy" that is just wrong

it's an election, not a referendum

but it's ok, I can understand if you don't see the difference - political ignorance is after all very, very fashionable, nowadays

your conflation of EU issues and Monti's, Berlusconi's and Grillo's stances is utterly pityful

in May or June Italy might vote again, I wonder what you'll be writing, then

meanwhile Italy's political landscape is not very different from the post-berlusconi moment of last year

N. B. Forrest's picture

You just don't get it.  You're quibbling over definitions and completely misses the point.


Congratulations to the sane Italians.  May this be the first of many cracks in the EU dike. 

Ghordius's picture

I don't get it? I'm following Italian politics since the 70's. I also bloody personally know Beppe Grillo, from before he went into politics

does the above look like Mark listened to what Beppe talked for hours in the EU Parliament? I did

clueless, simply clueless

TrumpXVI's picture

Dude, maybe you're just not that fluent in English.  The meaning of Mark Grant's sentence was clear; the Italian ELECTION was also a REFERENDUM on the EURO Project.

redpill's picture

Regardless, this piece is pretty weak.  Trot out three cliche quotes from Anne Rice, Thoreau, and Dante to delineate four paragraphs of factless and meandering assertions about the state of EU politics based upon one round of Italian voting?  Please.  The EU is cornered?  Give me a break, the assholes in Brussels are just getting warmed up.  Usually Mr. Grant provides a half decent read but in this case it seems as though he just mailed it in.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Which country will be the first to escape the Europonzi?

AnAnonymous's picture

No 'American' in Europe wants out of the Europonzi.

What 'americans' living in Europe are angry at: that their nation-state is putting between them and joining the Europe 'american' dream.

Countries will be undone in order for this dream to come true.

steve from virginia's picture





No problem w/ Grant's article or his take on the outcome of the election.


What is likely? Italians have passed from poor government to technocrat failure to 'zero-government' which is factionalism and chaos. Zero government is endgame of EU hegemony. No more funds/debt repayment can be gained from the Italians (as none can be gained from the Greeks).


This election pretty much bankrupts the EU and the Troika IMO. All that is left is spasmotic kicking of EU corpse.


Italy has had a strong north-south divide and several competing political traditions, revolving door governments before Berlusconi ... plus resource constraints that are non-negotiable. Italians will clutch their cars and lifestyle as long as possible until ultimate collapse: zero government.



Ghordius's picture

imho a bit of an US projection, the "factionalism" part

after all, the Monti government involved a huge amount of multi-partisanship (european version of bi-partisanship) - as usual, in the Italian republic's history

the five-star movement is first against corruption, and second - it depends, a lot. it has a lot of different opinions and rifts about nearly everything else

the Berlusconi coalition is not a slave of his opinion, and differs on many things - with unclear minorities on issues like the EU and the eurozone

the Left has (it pains me to write that) a clearer, more coherent view - and it's pro-EU and pro-EUR

this reflects the fact that in all the EU and the eurozone you might find people like me - moderately in favour of the one or the other


if tomorrow two referendums would happen in the US, with those two questions:

A: are you in favour of disbanding the USA?

B: are you in favour of disbanding the FED?


then my guess is that the very way of asking like this would puzzle some who then would think that you could not disband the USA without disbanding the FED

not in europe - the EU can exist without the ECB and the ECB can exist without the EU

they are different clubs - different structures - separable and modular


the EU could survive even an hyperinflation of the EUR (note though that funnily this is not a currency that is considered in this danger)

the ECB could survive an EU breakup - with the exception of a trade war between ex-treaty-partners (which could happen with the UK, though they use the Pound)


and please: I know, the Troika has two of those clubs in "action" for Greece, but the IMF is a completely different kind of organization - regardless from the propaganda

Joseph Jones's picture

Michael Scheuer penned Marching Toward Hell about seven years ago.  In it he quotes six top demographers  who all agree Europe would be dominated by Muslims within short time frame, the only question being how much blood would be spilled.  I think the cause was simple differences in birth rates.

Scheuer is, btw, not an anti-Islam fanatic.  Anti USA policy toward Israel, yes. 

e-recep's picture

the user with the moniker ghordius is german as far as i can remember.

TheGardener's picture

He said the other day he voted for Berlusconi the last time
around. Maybe he should clarify whether he is an Italian
eligible to vote there or not.

Ghordius's picture

I'm quite sure I wrote "supported", not "voted", and fail to see the point

do you know who has a German mother and a Greek father?

HH the Prince of Wales

do you know who has a Dutch mother?

The Vice PM of the UK and leader of the LibDem

do you know who has some German children?

The British UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage

plenty of multi-national citizens and subjects, here

TheGardener's picture

You are out. Get a new nick.

Acet's picture

"Dude, maybe you're just not that fluent in English. The meaning of Mark Grant's sentence was clear; the Italian ELECTION was also a REFERENDUM on the European Project."

Here, I corrected it for ya.


Just go back up and read the article again. He goes on an on about how it's the Italians showing they're against the EU, not the Euro.

This is where Mark Grant shows his ignorance and prejudices and that he's just another populist speaker spewing out random opinions pulled-out of his ass which are tailored to match the preconceptions of his target audience.



Pinto Currency's picture



The question is not who you know but what you know.

The Italians appear to have voted en-masse to deal with their financial and fiscal issues another time and through a political system that looks very different from the EU. 


Ghordius's picture

"appear", yes. to those who want to see it this way

N. B. Forrest's picture

I have no doubt that you know more about Italian politics than me, but the point of the article isn't to get down in the weeds about the nuances of the Italians.  The point is that this is a stunning rebuke of the oligarchs in Brussles. 


N. B. Forrest's picture

Why the Hell does this web site always double post my comments???

Ctrl_P's picture

Just lucky I guess.

Extra privileges??

LFMayor's picture

because you're so damn good?

milanitaly's picture

Grillo with 25% only in Italy can break Euro. What a powerful currency!!!

Acet's picture

I really love how the article starts by quoting something about how most people start with pre-conceived ideas and just look for answers that fit their preconceptions, and then the article goes and displays exactly that sort of small-mindness.

Even better is how just two comments from top we get an ignorant American that knows nothing about Europe parroting the usual American-MSM, right-wing, US-centric prejudiced view about Europe (and to add insult to injury, accusing Europeans of knowing nothing of Europe) and getting lots of upvotes on it.

Here's news for you: outside the UK, there is no mainstream support in Europe to abandon the EU. Against the Euro, sure, not against the EU. As for the UK, they've always been seen as the most Americanized of Europeans and the media-oligarch-dominated British press has always opposed any political power center they cannot manipulate (and they have zero influence in the EU outside a couple of loudmouth fringe British MEPs).

But hey, don't mind me, I'm just one of those filthy Southern Europeans who is old enough to remember well when my country joined the EU and who lived in two other, very different, EU countries in the meanwhile. What do I know about Europe, right!?

TheGardener's picture

The people of nations who are made to pay for this filthy
EU all think otherwise, always did and were never asked.

The re-programming of the populace runs day and night at MSM
but I yet have to meet a sane person from Europe`s producing
side having supported this madness at any time through the
project, no early adapters nor late converters, never.

In the third worldish southern fringe ,
what would you expect ?
Your lousy means of exchange that has your relaxed attitude
to work and life priced in so you are on the receiving end of tourism is replaced by EU high value money for all with a BMW dealership in every coastal town to recycle speculation surplus ?

Are you aware you are the ones who had been had ? Yes, the
Germans will lose all their savings again, nothing new to them so they will just make another Wirtschaftswunder,
who cares ? It was Italian pensioners and recipients of
fixed incomes that got hit first : Half the purchasing
power for a pensioners basket of things to buy after
Euro and that did not include luxuries like eating out
or ice cream at the corner stand, they just quadrupled prices welcoming the new euroly rich !

Acet's picture

I'm afraid I have lived a third of my life in The Netherlands, so your assumptions about my "third worldish southern fringe" are a big fail and only show your prejudices.


What I know from my aquaintances all over Europe is that almost nobody but the English wants a break-up of the EU.

There are indeed wispers about ending or exiting the Euro. There are also complaints about paying too much for the EU (above all for things like the CAP) in the Northern European countries. None of these means there is support for ending the EU.

What people want is the EU fixed, not destroyed. Even the Brits, for all the rabid anti-EU brainwashing from Murdoch-owned MSM, would still like to keep the EU going as a Free Trade Area.


As much as American mainstream media and right-wing blogs simplify their whole argumentation to saying "the EU" or "Europe" (maybe to keep it simple for those that can't point out the location of Belgium in a map), the current fuck-up has a lot more to do with local governments and decison-makers promoting Anglo-Saxon business practices and trying to emulate the "success" (which we now know was all a debt-fueled illusion) of the American and British models than with the EU. Frankly, the only real fuck-up at the EU level was the Euro, all the rest was the making of each country's governments.

Or in simpler terms, if the EU was the problem, why are the US and Japan also fucked-up???

TheGardener's picture

Thanks for junking but you Sir, are still a EUSSR moron.
Your third life on some thing in the low lands appreciated,
your twilight whispers about no one ready to leave his youth
prematurely for the real world misses the point.

Your kind is the reason why Europe is dismissed wholesale.

TheGardener's picture

(maybe to keep it simple for those that can't point out the location of Belgium in a map)

Are you talking to Americans ? Shit no one in Europe
knows about the secret nationhood of the artificial state of Belgium ! Fuck, the non-nation buffer zone that hosts
the European Parliament ? Get real and plant plenty of trees
for when Europa will remember your resident evil.

steve from virginia's picture



"Even better is how just two comments from top we get an ignorant American that knows nothing about Europe parroting the usual American-MSM, right-wing, US-centric prejudiced view about Europe (and to add insult to injury, accusing Europeans of knowing nothing of Europe) and getting lots of upvotes on it."


Never ... EVER ... complain about votes or even mention them.


This is ZeroHedge

 - Gold, Bitchez!

 - Bernanke is Satan,

 - Obama is an escaped convict from Malawi working for the North Koreans,

 - Hyperinflation and currency devaluation,

 - Gold, Bitchez!


Put some beats behind it and you can win a Grammy!


Okay ... that out of the way ... what's happening in Italy (and France, Greece, Spain and ultimately Germany) is a dynamic not a discrete action. Italy just ended a technocracy which was installed (by Goldman Sachs) to steal what remained in Italy that was left to steal. The Italians didn't cooperate so the technocracy was (and is) DOA (Dead On Arrival).


Because Italy was a) broke requiring a technocrat and b) has little left to steal, it will enter the phase called 'zero government' that is, the capitulation of the establishment, its dissolution into factions and chaos.


This process is part of the transition to a post-petroleum economy and is inescapable. The ordinary outcome is for countries to become hell-holes like Yemen, Haiti or Somalia. Hopefully Italy can afford this fate but not likely. To do so the Italians have to get rid of all their automobiles.


Acet's picture

This is the fight club - I can complain about whatever I want, even about the Fight Club.

Of course if I did the later, every spinless, knee-jerk little follower sheep around here would vote me down.

Steve Brown's picture

I'm English and I have spoken with a great many business people over a number of years about the British membership of the EU and any benefits which might stem from that membership. Almost without exception there is a vehement dilike and distrust of the EU and anything tainted by the heavy hand of the EU.

The EUliphant in the room has become much, much more visible with the 'horse-meat in burger (and meatballs and lasagne and mincemeat and meat pies)' scandal. The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, the one dealing with this matter, has repeatedly and very patiently explained to Parliament and to the Media that he CANNOT ban the importation of foreign meat, he CANNOT order the inspection and testing of imported meat and he CANNOT pursue any action against the foreign suppliers of the contaminated meat.

Why? Because the testing and control of all meat supplies is a EUROPEAN competence, only the EU can inspect and condemn meat supplies which are not of the required standard. The EU did away with the on-the-spot abattoir inspections by British inspectors. Instead the EU substituted a paper trail. If the paperwork was right the meat was considered to be fine. That dishonesty might corrupt their system didn't enter their little pin-heads. It is becoming more and more apparent that it is not just our meat supplies which have been adulterated and/or mislabelled by those who are nothing more than criminals. And there is NOTHING that any so-called 'sovereign' government in the EU can do about it. We are ruled, and ruled badly, by the EU. It is a vastly expensive and unfit-for-purpose organisation and the sooner Britain is out of it the better off the British will be.

Ghordius's picture

Steve, just a little thing: the Environment Secretary of the UK could explain very patiently to Parliament that they can make a law that forces him to do the inspections and condemnations he talks about and he would have to follow it

of course it would be only an act of courtesy for Prime Minister Cameron to mention this to his collegues in the council

who then would have to think hard if they really want to be against it, and perhaps (and only perhaps) remind him of the UK's treaty obligations

which could then be discussed, amended, whatever - or, if nobody finds a reason why this treaty should be upheld but they still feel the UK has to comply, they could sue the UK in front of the EU courts

we had endless examples of EU countries going in a different way on single issues that were of matter in their national opinion

hell, we even started on many "volunteer only" treaties inside the EU - on request of the UK (btw, an excellent British idea)

the truth is that the British Government is a true master in posing like an helpless kitten in certain EU matters and as a hero against "eurocrat" inroads in others - and Britons don't seem to notice or bother about much

AnAnonymous's picture

I really love how the article starts by quoting something about how most people start with pre-conceived ideas and just look for answers that fit their preconceptions, and then the article goes and displays exactly that sort of small-mindness.

That is what 'americans' do: they blame something just to eliminate competition.

'American' articles usually start by denouncing propaganda, just to make room for their own propaganda.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

That is what Chinese citizenism 'AnAnonymists' do: they blame something just to eliminate competition.

'AnAnonymist' comments usually start by denouncing propaganda, just to make room for their own propaganda.

Chinese citizenism nature, which is eternal, renders impossible self indiction despite all evidences.

akak's picture

That is what Chinese  shitizenismistic AnAnonymystics do: they blame the wokked dog in ginger sauce just to eliminate on the side of the road.

AnAnonymystics' comments usually start by denouncing flush toiletry, just to make self-justification for their own public squat-and-squeeze (just as they blame mythical Tibetan slavery for their invasion and annexation of that  non-threatening and peaceful neighboring nation).

Chinese shitizenism nature and AnAnonymysticism, both of which are eternal among Middle Kingdom 'sons of heaven', who hold themselves superior to all 'foreign devils', renders impossible modern hygenic practices despite all beneficial evidence to the contrary.

Alas, alas, three times alas, the Long March of Insanitation begins with a single step into roadside shit, not to mention heaping up mountains of prejudicial scapegoattery and outright bigoted crackedpottery.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


OK, today it was my turn to spit pasta on the screen from laughing very much vigourously.

akak's picture

In the end, raughing out roud is indeed the crustiest bit of the nib of the mattering thing.

Joseph Jones's picture

Self-imolation is "peaceful?"

Just sayin...

Acet's picture

I'm sorry mate, but this is just a very common failure of human thinking. Everybody is prone to this one.

(And in fact your "Americanism" spieal is just a different example of exactly the same process)

I reckon some training (be it formal or self-learning) on philosophy (especially skepticism) and psychology helps one recognize this kind of logical self-deceit, but unfortunately no government in the world (be it a so called Democracy or otherwise) is interested in having self-thinking, informed citizens which are more resistant to marketting/propaganda and less likelly to blindly obbey authority, so they push people away from thinking-for-yourself from early childhood.

AnAnonymous's picture

Absolutely. Everybody does it. And that is why 'americanism' is such a unique experiment.

It is one of these things that everybody does, did and will do, as 'americans' say.

Just like everybody before 'americans' claimed that there were unalienable human rights including freedom and property and kept slaves or stole continents.

It is not 'americanism', you dumb, it is human nature.

'Americanism' is the natural system.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Djeeeee, I understand better why some AnAnonymystics label the others as zombies: because they are the zombies.

Apparently, most people are aware of this little fact. Not the host and his guest.

Welcome to Chinese citizenism delusion land.

akak's picture

Woo hoo!

Make me laugh!

Look at the hyperbolic hypocritizenism of the Chinese citizenism blobber-upper, the sheer self-denial, the gross inability to self-indict himself and his disfunctional and authoritarian society for the faults he lays at the doorsteps of his mythical and self-created US 'american' citizens, the raging insanitation of his projectionism of his own and his own society's failings onto others!  Behold the mental Mobius-strip his mind travels as he twists and spins his pretzel logic!  The beauty, the completeness, the masterful brilliance, the all-encompassing scope of it is simply breathtaking!

There is no such thing as 'americanism', you dumb  --- it is your own chinese shitizenism that you truly despise.

Your self-loathing is self-evident.

Carry on.

TheGardener's picture

To Acet : Thus spake an expert on self deceit.

cbaba's picture

Its not important how successful Grillo will be or you know him or not, its clear that his message is reflected in polls, he represent a change, exit from Euro, his message is always the same, people elected him, Berlusconi is a smart guy, he saw that people are fed up with system and Grillo is leading in polls he changed his rhetoric and got many votes, its the change, italian people are done with the Euro, and  and yes you are clueless....by the way if you know him personally , you should also learn his full name which is Giuseppe.

AnAnonymous's picture

Absolutely not.

Message is not reflected.

In 'americanism', you vote servants in, not out.

It is very likely that Italy has reached that stage in 'americanism' when part of the 'american' voting population wants to punish the current incumbent for what they perceived as miservice to them.

Therefore they have no other chances than voting for other candidates.

Give this Grillo guy a round in power: he will do the same as his previous colleagues and that will anger part of the 'american' population that will want to punish him and will vote for another candidate to apply the punishment.

But this simple analysis, driven by the structure of 'americanism', can not be satisfying for an 'american' who will seek relief in a fantasiscal construction.

akak's picture

Absolutely not.

Rationality is not reflected in Chinese citizenism.

In Chinese citizenism, you lock FoxConn workers in, not out.

It is very likely that Chinese citizenism has reached that stage when part of the chinese citizenism non-voting population want to punish the current incumbents for what they perceived as miservice to them.  But having no guns, and no vote, and no voice, where is the possibility?

Therefore they have no other chances than non-voting for other non-candidates.

Give this AnAnonymystic guy a round in power: he will do the same as his previous chinese citizenism colleagues and that will anger part of the chinese citizenism population that will want to punish him and will not vote for another non-candidate to apply the non-punishment.

But this simple analysis, driven by the structure of chinese citizenism, can not be satisfying for an AnAnonymystic who will seek relief in a fantasiscal construction known as 'americanism'.

Ghordius's picture

you are correct, knowing Grillo is utterly irrelevant. I wrote too fast and got replied even faster. though I also wrote

"does the above look like Mark listened to what Beppe talked for hours in the EU Parliament?"

let me put it this way: the five star movement in it's whole is only mildly euroskeptic, and strongly against corruption

the article tries to give the impression that Italians are overwhelmingly against both clubs, the EU and the EMU, and this is false

even in Berlusconi's party the "resistance" against the EUR is not widespread

nofluer's picture

Without MASSIVE corruption there can be no EU. Saying or implying that Grillo is only against corruption but not necessarily against the EU is like saying that he likes barking but abhors dogs. You can't have the one without the other.

Acet's picture

Congratulations, you have won this month's prize for the "Most blunt statement with no supporting evidence".

Please provide us with the address to which we can send the artistically arranged fossilized dog turd on a pedestal that you have won as prize.


Corruption in Europe is by far biggest at the local level (the oposite level of the EU) and has been going on for thousands of years before the EU came to be. Corruption is about as correlated to the existence of the EU as sunspots are correlated to the smell of the Pope's underwear.

nofluer's picture

A footnoted referenced dissertation is not required for proof that you have stepped in a fresh dog turd.

(I couched my response in a commodity that you seem to be personally familiar with for ease of understanding.)

Oh... and I have no experience in smelling Catholic underwear. Enjoy your pass-times.