Friday, June 15, 2012

Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Greek Tragedy Plays Out

To reach his home and beloved wife and son, perhaps the most dangerous obstacle the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses) had to overcome was the two fold danger of the monsters Scylla and Charybdis. The former was a multi-headed snake that ambushed sailors and ate them from the top of a great cavern. Sailors would have to survive this monster only to face the more dangerous threat: a living maelstrom called Charybdis that swallowed whole ships.

One cannot help but cynically recall the great Greek epics and tragedies when viewing the current Greek fiasco. Greece has but two choices: exit the euro or stay in it. Despite the threats of the ultra-Left Greek political parties to simply ignore the EU's earlier deals because "they won't go on without us" is stupidity in its most blatant form, not to mention insufferable arrogance. The Germans will certainly let Greece go: why would they want to bail out (again) a nation that simply refuses to change its ways? If I were a German, I would refuse to allow my tax money to go towards bailing out a country that, to the rest of the world, is full of tax-dodgers, rioters, and corrupt bureaucrats? I'm sure that the Germans are not the only ones who feel this way; I imagine the Poles, the Czechs, and several others will not be sad to let the Greeks leave or collapse.

But if the Greeks can't ignore Brussels, then they have to choose between the two options I stated above. I personally would advocate that they leave before it can get any worse. And now I can hear the howls and baying of the bleeding-hearts of the Left who smell blood on the wind. "But what about the people, the widows, students, the children? What about the homeless? What about the common man?" HA! Don't make me laugh. If the Greek government had cared about the "common man" then they wouldn't have pursued social-democratic welfare state policies in the first place. Instead they looked to line their own pockets, and convinced the Greek people that they didn't have to work and could live the good life while the grim and frugal party-crashers up north (see Germany) toiled away. Here's the riot act: LIFE IS NOT A PARTY. There is a price for everything. For all men to have a chance to be saved, God sacrificed His own Flesh and Blood on the Cross. So, for their own mistakes, the Greeks must learn the hard way. They must (if they choose to) leave the eurozone and grow up the hard way. They must begin a new sovereign currency, liberalize their market and laws so that business can be done easier, and the public pension systems must be reformed from top to bottom. They must also get rid of the rampant corruption in their government and make tax evasion harder. It will be tough, it will be painful, and not everybody will come out happy in the end. But this is what it means to learn and grow from mistakes. In short, get over it.

But what if they decide to stay in the Euro-Zone? What if they do agree to go along with Brussels (or Berlin-it's a little difficult these days to know just who's in charge of Europe)? I would not advise it. The Euro is in its own death-spiral and probably will last maybe two more years at maximum, and that's if it can survive the end of this year. If it does collapse, then Greece will have to do the same thing I said it should do above, but with the second option it WILL have hit rock bottom. If, by some miracle or, more likely, deal with the devil, the Euro-Zone does survive, then Greece will reform some but little will change. It will continue to die a slow, painful cultural death, where the glories of Athens and the martial legacy of Sparta, the legacies of Pericles, Thucydides, Leonidas, Euripides, Aristotle, Socrates, and even of the Greek Saints and Church Fathers and the Byzantine Emperors will slowly be lost to time before the culture-killing plague that is modernism and it's cohort, socialism.

Greece is truly between two monsters: the fiscal Charybdis and the little by little torture of the modernist Scylla. Pray for a miracle for Greece, because only God can save them now.

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