The Instinct to Political and Economic Suicide – Sympathy for the Devil

The Greek voters decided to go with the bail-out party rather than the “damn the torpedoes” left. There is a part of me that is happy for my retirement funds and a part of me that is disappointed that the people of Greece decided not to stick it in the eye of the European elite.  Sometime, somewhere, somehow some one is going to walk away from the the government/bank feudal overlords who have made it impossible to walk away while they ring every last cent from the working poor.

Russ Douthat puts it this way in his NYT column:

When a system the entire European establishment promised would deliver prosperity and stability delivers political paralysis and 20 percent unemployment, it becomes hard to convince voters that they have much to lose by listening to extremists and radicals instead.

Second, countries that vote to stay the course now may find that they lose their right to vote at all in the future. The answer to the current crisis, every eurocrat agrees, is further integration: In the words of Germany’s Angela Merkel, “not just a currency union,” but also “a so-called fiscal union, more common budget policies … [and] above all a political union.”

Unelected technocrats are calling the shots for the 27 nations of the Eurozone.

Now the only way to restore national sovereignty is to flirt with economic suicide, the devil himself, economically speaking.

Americans have an instinct toward sovereignty. But we found out during the 2008 crisis that the choice before us was to let the banks get away with it, actually pay their top brass more money, and allow them to consolidate power into now just five large banks instead of the larger number before the crisis so that “too big to fail” continues was a way of life — and all of this at taxpayer expense OR face economic ruin. The gun was to the head of the citizen.

In this situation many Americans felt themselves flirting with economic suicide. If the way to stop the madness was economic collapse for a time, so be it. Better be rid of these cannibals and take a trip through hell than pay one more bank fee. The New Hampshire motto sprung to life again – live free or die. The banks called out cards and the citizens folded. You can get some idea from this what was happening in Greece.

At some point dignity and honor are sufficiently trammeled underfoot that economic survival’s luster begins to tarnish. How far does the wage earner go before he finds that he is in fact a slave and is without choices? How long before he finds out that it can and will only get worse? Maybe at some point the citizen will pull the trigger and stop the madness of debt, higher taxes as a way of life, and the collusion of banking and government.

I have had many friends over the years who have committed economic suicide over a principle. They have had jobs and careers that went a step too far in demanding that they sell their soul to something destructive and dark, to participate in an act or loyalty that was so destructive of the human spirit, theirs and others, that they had to walk away.

Soon there might be enough of those people who had rather suffer in the fight for a new way than succumb to the darkness rolling in. Some Greek citizens saw the feudalism for what it was and simply said “no more.” Maybe the banks’ awareness that they are jeopardizing their own interests will warn them to pull back. Probably not. But who will wade into the waters?

Meanwhile the church is quiet over this new slavery. It rightfully deals with many of the moral issues that threaten human flourishing. But is virtually absent from this discussion. I wonder why.



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