Tuesday, June 28, 2011

greece ... oh dear

There's something very wrong with Greece, and if you stand back and apply logic to the situation it gets even stranger.

Greece was the cradle of civilization, but it really isn't European in the sense we think of 'European'. And the behaviour of its people at the moment is about as un-European as you can get.

Situation - the countrty has been living beyond its means for years. Entry into the EU made it even worse. And membership of the Euro simply gave them another layer of  protection from the real world.

And now some very large chickens have come home to roost. Greece has enormous debts, a crumbling economy, Stalinist style infrastructure and a people who seem to think that it's 1972 and there are still 40 years of cheap oil in front of them.

And how do they react? Do they pull together to get the country out of the mess it's in? Do they start paying taxes rather than think they are voluntary? Do they give their government the respect it needs to get through this? Do they fuck! No, they stick to that 1972 mentality and call a general strike! How exactly is that going to solve their economic problems? Will it increase productivity? Efficiency? To my simple mind all I can see it doing is decrease economic activity and cause even more problems.

And who's behind this? The usual suspects - communists (remember them?), socialists and trades unionists - the very groups that think the world owes them a living, that the future will be one of increasing wealth and sod the environmental destruction.

In a year's time Greece will be bankrupt, Europe's first (but not last) failed state, and its people will be much, much poorer than they are now. They may even have been expelled from the EU.

The simple fact is that the centuries of growth are over. Without growth interest and debts can't be paid off. Without growth our huge nanny states will have no option but begin to shed parts of themselves. Perhaps the Greeks will be lucky, being first to suffer they will scale down, build resilience into their communities and start living off the land again. Perhaps, at least in that sense, they are fortunate. Who will even remember socialism, communism and trade unions in fifty years' time?
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1 comment:

David Robins said...

Peak Oil is just the start. When the growth music stops, the rush for the chairs begins. The rich and powerful can either buy the necessary politicians or hire the best lobbyists to convince them of whatever they lack the capacity to understand. So there's real work to be done in local communities to ensure that the chairs don't go to the biggest bullies. History doesn't offer much cause for optimism here.