The Greek theatre

from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

greek.masksThe world’s attention is still on the Greek summer pantomime, the Chinese economy goes through its own “readjustments“ and Australia is still borrowing $100 million a day. All is normal, nothing to worry about, but, not wishing to be again accused of being asleep at the keyboard, I throw my triobol worth in.

The Sunday Greek referendum reminded me of a passage in Jaroslav Hašek‘s The Good Soldier Švejk:

‘You have come for the money for that bill of exchange, if I am not mistaken?’ the chaplain asked his guest.

‘Yes, and I hope…’

The chaplain sighted.

‘A man is often brought into a situation where hope is the only thing left. How beautiful is that little word “hope”, from that three-leafed clover, which exalts man above the chaos of life: faith, hope, charity.’

‘I hope, chaplain, that sum…’

‘Of course, worthy sir,’ the chaplain interrupted him. ‘Allow me to repeat once more, that the word “hope” is a great strength to man in his struggle with life. And you don’t lose hope. How wonderful it is to have a definite ideal, to be innocent, clean being, who lends money on bills of exchange and has the hope that he will be paid back at the right time. To hope, to hope unremittingly that I shall pay you twelve hundred crowns, when I haven’t even a hundred in my pocket!’

And later:

Švejk returned in a moment with the obstinate man who stared sullenly in front of him.

‘Sit down,’ the chaplain invited him politely. ‘We’re just finishing our supper. We’ve had lobster, salmon and now fried eggs and ham as well. We have marvellous blow-outs when people lend us money.’

‘I hope that I am not here just for your amusement,’ said the sullen man. “This is the third time I’ve come. I hope now that everything will be explained.’

It was not and no money were returned, just in case you are an EU politician and are wondering.

I suspect that nobody plans a similar referendum in Germany. After all, the Turks at least were going to Germany to work and then send the money home. The Greeks could not be bothered. Money kept coming directly. Certainly, the Greeks of old gave us, the Western civilisation, a lot, and after all this Antisthenes fellow was probably a Greek, but those giving Greeks are long time dead. Now we have taking Greeks, who are ethnically, linguisticaly and culturally somewhat different.

According to the World Bank, Greece’s labor participation rate is only 53%. It’s hard for private industry to take advantage of an underemployed populace because government regulations and powerful unions make it difficult for new job-creating businesses to get off the ground.

“Among those obstacles are the role the government plays in many sectors of the economy — either through outright ownership of assets, such as a utility; price controls; and high barriers to entry, such as strict limitations on the number of players in a profession, and/or difficult licensing requirements, according to the McKinsey report. Add to all that very tough labor restrictions on large enterprises. The result is that very few businesses have been able to get started or grow in size…”

Then there are pension problems, which are even worse than the ones we have in the United States.

“The Greek Reporter notes that according to the data, almost 75 percent of Greek pensioners retire before the age of 61″ and “according to the IMF, pensions account for around 17 percent of the country’s GDP.”

Greece has also been running a deficit four times bigger than EU members are allowed to have by law and papering it over with phony statistics.” [Thank Goodness the Stupid, Socialist Greeks said ‘No’ to a Bailout!]

This is not to suggest that all Greeks are the socialism tainted takers. Even in that farcical referendum, almost 40% of them voted for reforms and austerity.

As Ludwig von Gress mentioned in Borrow, borrow, till you drop: Do not ask for whom the drachma tinkles – it tinkles for thee. For the time being it seems the bankers’ mafia decided that as long as the German taxpayer stays docile, all the house of cards needs is a drop of super-glue / hope.


About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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5 Responses to The Greek theatre

  1. roy says:

    Sorry to disappoint you chief, but the Greeks are not all that different now than back then, both ethnically and also in terms of behavior. Amidst all the good the ancients brought they also destroyed themselves and each other. Why people consider ancient Greece a wonderland of no-tears I’ll never understand. There has been little to no mixing, and that which has occurred was with other local caucasians; no, no Turks, sorry.

    As for giving, well. Greece did loan Germany some money in the recent past and actually forgave the debt, along with the reparations debt for world war 2 damages, but hey, that doesn’t matter anyway, that was in the past.

    The “no” was not necessarily about the (American style SJW)socialists but it came from all points of view, in particular the Golden Dawn’s. CC had a pretty decent summary of what happened there in the last 70 years, if you are interested:

  2. Anthony Lumier says:

    EU is the bigger problem than Greece.

  3. deemwitter says:

    But the bankers are having fun.

  4. Carmicheal Yeat says:

    Destroy a country for fun and profit – Greece today; USA day after tomorrow.

  5. Ferocritus says:

    Either those EU masters are not too bright, or they have some sinister agenda. We’ll see in the next century, if they allow us.

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