Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras: ‘It’s a war between people and capitalism’, The Guardian, May 19,2012
Greeks, Italians and Spaniards need a say in the plan to bring their countries back to health. In addition, the ailing countries should not be allowed to become too assimilated with the rest of Europe so as one country is not too big to fail.
Greece is rebelling against the austerity being imposed on it by the rest of Europe. Mr. Tsipras is leader of a political party in Greece that seems to be in the best position to decide not only Greece’s fate, but also that of the euro. I admire his will to fight for what is right for the Greek’s; however, it should not be a fight against capitalism.
The fight should be to fix capitalism. Capitalism was created to serve society. Society does not exist to serve capitalism. The same war is being waged in the United States. Our leaders have lost sight of the fact that it is not just government that can destroy free markets. Large corporations that are either monopolies or part of an oligopoly also destroy free markets.
One of the primary roles of government is that of a referee to make sure free markets are not destroyed. No sane professional soccer fan would advocate the game be played with no rules and no referees. Yet many of our politicians advocate that government should let capitalist “fight it out” without rules; winner take all. The problem is society does not win.
‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some contrivance to raise prices.’ (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776).
Greece is the cradle of democracy. Maybe it once again leads us back to what is at the heart of what made nations prosper. The United States was founded on the principle that everyone is born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Early on our forefathers decided the best economic model to reach these pursuits was capitalism. Free markets was chosen to best attain the nations economic objectives.
Per the article World War 1 Treaties And Repatriation, United State Holocaust Museum
“For the populations of the defeated powers — Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria — the respective peace treaties appeared an unfair punishment…. Revision of the Versailles Treaty represented one of the platforms that gave radical right wing parties in Germany, including Hitler’s Nazi Party, such credibility to mainstream voters in the early 1920s and early 1930’s.”
It is ironic that ninety years later the Euro Zone, led by Germany, is imposing strict conditions on Greece resulting in Greeks rioting in the streets objecting to the sanctions. The two situations are not identical; however, they are very similar. Other countries are imposing stiff santions on another soverign country that are perceived to be unbearably strict from the perspective of the citizens who must live by the sanctions.
Germany resented austerity imposed on them by other countries in 1919. The German people accepted their self-imposed austerity to unify East and West Germany towards the end of the last century. The Euro Zone needs to be more realistic with the sanctions imposed on Greece if they indeed want to be a United Europe.