Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Greek Problem

The economic discussion of this is all well and good. I was struck however with a picture of a young man wearing a gas mask with an upraised tall cylindrical stick in a charge at a riot policeman. He reminded me of one of those mythological man and horse combinations. It is clear that these people have an outrageous sense of betrayal. Who or what has betrayed them? It is said that there is a lot of tax evasion and entitlement disappointment in the country. Let us assume they are (to some extent) thieves. Bonnie and Clyde never gave the impression when they were robbing banks that they were mad at the townspeople for not putting enough money in the bank. Take an image of the Greek in the movies, Zorba the Greek. Asked by the Englishman if he has been married, he said, 'Yes, the whole catastrophe,' indicating that he was familiar with and accepted the financial loss of a family. What he didn't lose however was that he was the philosopher, the Delphic oracle, yes, and honored.

We have asked, 'Who are these people, the same genetic stock that created Athens and the beginnings of mathematical and scientific knowledge and democracy?' The answer may be that they ask themselves the same question and feel that they have betrayed themselves. Events remind them of that and they are enraged. Bismark saw this a century and half ago perhaps which is why he said the Balkans 'Weren't worth a Pomeranian(?).' In contrast it is a tribute to the Jews that they can be 'folded, spindled, and mutilated' and create a successful country.

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