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Lucas Papademos, the anti-Solon

November 11, 2011

Sitting here in Colorado, I obviously have no great insight into what’s happening in Greece.  But it’s truly sickening to see this cradle of democracy being crushed by our modern day tyrants.  In the 6th century BC, well prior to the blossoming of democracy, Athens was ruled by a small oligarchic class that held the people in terrible debt peonage.  The great Solon emerged on the scene and forgave most debts and instituted many popular reforms.  No such luck for the Greek people today, they’re under the harsh thumb of the recently installed Lucas Papademos, the anti-Solon, the enforcer of debts.  So little has really changed from the ancient days of oligarchy, not just in Greece of course but throughout the world.  The people rule nowhere and the oligarchy, often referred to as “the markets”, everywhere.

Papademos, an MIT and Harvard economist and also a central banker at not only the ECB but also the Fed, has the perfect credentials for instituting the policies demanded of him.  The media would have us believe he’s a “technocrat” and “above politics” but of course nothing is further from the truth.  Austerity isn’t technocratic, it’s pure power and therefore pure politics.  It’s the beauty of capitalism that self interest, power, and greed – tyranny in other words – can be portrayed as somehow non-political and technical.  The oligarchs of Solon’s time just weren’t smart enough to have economists and central bankers at their beck and call.

From → Dynamics, Suppression

  1. Stephan permalink

    Agreed. I just wrote a piece in German whether the Eurozone is on the way to become a technocratic dictatorship? The EU, the ECB and the IMF are now installing their minions as prime ministers in Greece and Italy without bothering with such cumbersome procedures know as elections. The Troika is not contend with its past role as negotiator and blackmailer of democratically legitimized governments. Now they want to govern themselves.

    Eurozone: auf dem Weg zur Technokraten-Diktatur?

  2. Papademos was selected by the Greek President and elected by the Representative Democratic Parliament of Greece. This process may not be possible under your constitution or under my constitution, but it is permissible under the Greek Constitution! The provision was put there for precisely sort of situation in which Greece found itself – an elected Parliament unable to solve a crisis of its own making.

    Hopefully Papademos can find a way out of the mess created by successive ND & PASOK regimes over several decades, or at least engineer managed default and/or exit from the Eurozone. And hopefully he can put a stop to the blowing up of Central Bank auditor’s homes.

    All Papandreou & Samaras were/are interested in is scoring political points off one another, they have no interest in addressing the problems their country faces, nor are they capable of doing so.

    If Papademos starts changing the social fabric of Greece then there will be cause for concern. As long as he sticks to the economic matters Greece has a chance, the alternative would be ugly.

    I could say precisely the same thing about Italy – there the problem is caused by weak confected coalitions – which are almost inevitable in Italy. And again the Italian Constitution provides a process where the elected President and the elected Parliament can invite a technocrat to form a government to resolve a crisis.

    Within living memory both Greece & Italian have experienced life under the jackboots of foreign and home grown dictators. When was the last time Colorado was under the jackboot of a dictator.

  3. Hello Rightpaddock,

    You’re certainly correct that Papademos was appointed under the laws of the Greek constitution. While formally democratic, I don’t think Aristotle would recognize the Greek polity as such. The average Greek is hardly represented, the moneyed essentially rule, and most important decisions are taken at the EU level where the same undemocratic forces are in play. The same reality exists here in Colorado and in the United States. All talk about democracy in my opinion is mere form. The substance is oligarchy.

    Beyond all the talk of debt and economics, the essential fact is that populations throughout Europe, the US, and elsewhere are being forced into austere sub-standard lifestyles for no reason other than accounting. We clearly have the capacity to provide excellent living standards for all. The logic of Papademos, the central bankers, et al will force the human race back to medieval times for no reason other than we can’t “afford” to live better. It’s criminal.

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