The Greece Lightning Effect
Greek culture has sparked many Black Swan–Huckleberry Finns throughout human history. These are the outlier anomalies that unsettle conventional wisdom. Modern science, art, technology and the many renaissances would not exist without Greece. The Flash Crash of May 6, 2010 is a great example of this. After this day, no one could help but feel that the stock market was a rigged financial casino, and that the sanctity of our institutions is dangerously fragile. The spirit of Prometheus has never been stronger.
The history of how Greece got into debtor’s prison is a story full of symbolism and ominous parallels. It has inspired many to question the nature of trust, justice, and the scope of fraud present in communities throughout the world. Who owns your mortgage? Who owns your debt? Who will be the next Lehman? Who is betting against the next Lehman? These are questions–with many perspectives and narratives–that are now mainstream. What does it mean to a community when it becomes obvious that some have the legal immunity to operate above the law? Now you know why some have cultivated the art of shmoozing and snitching. It is a psychopath’s paradise.
There have been many intelligent blogs, articles and films chronicling the revolving door of corruption between finance and government. Consequently, it has been frustrating to maintain or generate any trust towards the leaders in insurance, banking, finance, education, government and the legal system. Again, like a Thriller video, Socrates is back from the dead and it’s with a vengeance. Once again, the quest for truth and justice is in motion.
As the world tries to righteously deconstruct Greece’s troubles and to defame them into bellittling caricatures and scapegoats, the world has soon realized that Greece has again taught us more about ourselves. They do have a history in doing that. Plato’s Republic has always been our Brave New World. A utopia for some has always been a gulag for others. Everyone needs to reread their Greek and look at this world.
But this information is ancient history. Or is it? Today, worshipping the easy-money soma of modern finance has allowed us to get a rare glimpse at how the Alpha Dr. Feelgoods operate and how rules and regulations are now bankrupt concepts. How do you teach kids that they really exist? Who are the financial drug dealers that pushed their product on PIGS? Who are the ones who were paid just enough to look the other way while they watched their fellow citizens drown in debt? Are these the role models of civility that we ask countries like Greece to emulate? Why are those who caused this mess a part of any restructuring when they really should be on trial facing jail time? These questions don’t only apply to Greece, do they.
For close to two hundred years, the world has tried to make Greece more civilized, more Western. The same could be said about the Native Americans and the people of Afghanistan. But, in the spirit of Achilles, Odysseus, Oedipus, and Socrates, Greeks has intuitively understood that their freedom, their rights, their rule of law, their analytic spirit, and their sense of life must be created and respected on their own terms. Whose interest was being served for the the Greeks not to have a referendum in 2011? A free market has to have a legal system that everyone can believe in and that can be applied to all. Isn’t it interesting that the Occupied movement and the Tea Party have arrived at the same conclusion?
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