I realize we’ve covered much of this ground before. But I got into a discussion with a German recently on the greater Euro / Greek question and wanted to bring the carcass back here to show ya’ll and to see what you think. Are we humans making any real progress, or are we playing around the edges?
I stepped on his nationalist toes and apologized, but we came to terms agreeing that his usage of ‘Financial Mafia’ rather than my ‘Financial Panzer divisions’ better described the faction that is dominating European politics and economics. Here is my comment:
The question is when, if ever, does the EU flag get raised over the Parthenon? Greek ports are now on the auction block. Power grid, rails and national forests are next. When will they declare Greece to have been successfully conquered by the modern financial panzer divisions?
This is the financial embargo of a country. The big squeeze of its people to fund profits demanded by other countries. Is this the penalty for founding the concept of Democracy?
Greece is not allowed to surrender, no white flags allowed, they must continue their reparation payments to the conquering financial institutions. We get to watch the modern financial holocaust of the ‘lazy’ Greeks, live, 24/7. ”No breakup of the EU” is all the northern tier winners will say. Should be rated R for reprehensible.
His reply to me:
You have understood that the Greeks have lived well beyond what they produced in the last 12 years? You know that their standard of living (not measured in GDP; you must take into account that a country in the south needs much less energy etc.) is higher than the German one?
There are no financial panzer divisions. The fight is between hard working and productive northern European workers on one hand and greek people and foremost the Finance Mafia on the other hand.
If we stop paying, the Greeks will be able to solve their problems in a few years, but the Mafia will have lost billions of Euros.
And my response:
I understand the historic economics, (fixed data to gain EU entry, and the comfortable living standards, etc.) deemed to have been ‘lazy’, as calculated by the finance mafia; to be GDP related and therefore geographically unfair living standards, that the Greeks have been enjoying the last decade.
Of course Greeks should not avoid equitable taxation, but that argument is worldwide and assumed to be adjustable within a society. Look only at our ‘mini-taxed’ presidential candidate to see that taxation is the locus of modern class struggle and is fundamental in shaping discussion of the quality of human existence.
My contention is that ‘competitiveness’, as measured only in the mathematic GDP sense, is an ultimate enslavement trap built by the 1%. There should exist a base standard of living component that only the people through elected governments can create. The component is the degree of happiness, that has no empirical metric, and remains philosophic individually and collectively through societal norms that the government should express. That higher living standard the Greeks had achieved in many ways, (albeit deviating from the mafia’s rules) and are now loosing, is that they were too content, too happy, living entirely too well and so must now suffer economic misery for having lived so well in comparison to their northern neighbors.
We, as humans should not be compelled to ‘compete’ in a purely mathematic system. One that in effect creates a ‘race to the bottom’ in the mafia’s unending search for profitability that currently only lower wages can provide. The effective starvation of the mind, body and democracy’s soul is the result.
I suggest rather, that German’s should demand of its governing financial sector similar retirement options at 55, and at a dignified pension as one example a humanitarian goal that balances corporate profitability with labor dignity. It would be better if the Germans would demonstrate that they wish to be treated more like the Greeks.
Its a shame we allow the financial mafia to dictate the terms of discussion and comparison. The world should look at the democracy of Greece as having stood up for an example of enhanced social wellbeing, but for only a short time, despite the onslaught of the self-designated modern demigods of finance. Athena would be proud.
My earlier ontological usage of panzer division was merely metaphoric, to shift our thought from the normal meme. No intent to demean. Your Finance Mafia is much better, and shows that you agree with our capitalist constraints, almost straightjacketed now, that we survive despite of.
There were several good issues that he raised. Particularly who is going to loose? He thinks the Germans people will get some sort of pass if Greece is punted out. I’m not so sure. But I think that the financial mafia is covering their
asses risks as we speak; thats why this is being drug out so long.
But I was running with a different philosophic thought and wanted to see if my FDL buds could keep me from ticken’ off the Beemer crowd.
Why aren’t we allowed to admire and imitate the luxuries accomplished by various working class? (Isn’t that just keeping up with the Jones’?) I admire European single payer and thought we were on the way, but….. Aren’t these accomplishments but a standard of well being, freedom if you will from ‘the man,’ but evidence of an evolving democracy, and as much to be sought after as the luxuries of the wealthy? Is that too much to ask? I know, its because we would all want to be treated the same, paid as well, ‘naturally’, and so cut into the profit of the 1% that ‘naturally’ they deserve. I believe we must look toward sharing the ‘naturally deservedness’ that the 1% has stolen from the rest; by adopting new human common metrics that can describe our well-being and so that its diminution can be compared to GDP and profits. Otherwise we really can’t discuss the co-option of the human democratic evolution of natural deservedness. The expenses we pay in well-being, to support their productivity, will never compute in the formulas used by the PTB, unless we put them there.
Are the 1% actually any happier that their standard of living is so much greater than the rest? Is it worth it? I don’t think they actually care anymore. Their cup and my mouth runneth over enough. Greek hospitals are closing, medicine has run out, and no let up in sight. Maybe the Greeks flew too close to the sun.
The original discussion: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9482797/Eurozone-politicians-at-odds-over-break-up