Eleftherios Venizelos

A Biography

by Thanos Veremis
translated by Mark Dragoumis

Venizelos, like all complex phenomena, is not easily definable. It is impossible to compare him to some model because he is unique. Aristocratic and folksy, emotional and remote, democratic and authoritarian—the elements of his personality combined within him in such a way as to startle both friends and enemies. He was also a man of instantaneous choices and actions. In politics, what counts is timely intervention, even if some groups of people are ahead of their time or if large numbers of citizens fall behind. Those who have studied Eleftherios Venizelos will agree that he proved an accomplished master in the art of the timely decision and the realization of the achievable. Proof of his realism and flexibility was the fact that while as a Cretan revolutionary he fought for the speedy union of Crete with Greece, he opposed the arbitrary, forceful entry of Cretan representatives into the Greek parliament. Venizelos tried always not to sacrifice the achievable on the altar of the ideal, and that is why in his political philosophy he followed Aristotelian principles, placing greater emphasis on the individuals that manned the state than on the institutional frame as such. He believed there were both healthy and degenerate forms of the same system of government—such as aristocratic and oligarchic, democratic and mob rule.

ISBN 0-918618-99-1    152 pp    $15.00    Qty: