A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
I’ve got nothing against the Greeks. After all, democracy is still one of the biggies and you can’t argue with Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. Plus, there’s Herodotus, Pythagoras, Euripides, Archimedes etc. etc. etc. and Venus de Milo still has the best ass known to man. Okay. That said, there’s been a lotta sunshine on the Acropolis since Pericles and the boys were calling the shots in Europe. These days, aside from Adrianna Huffington, nobody takes the Greeks seriously. Why? They don’t pay their bills.
I don’t care what your particular pet theory on the current Euro/Greek monetary fiasco is: call it First World waste, corporate banking greed, aliens, Elvis back from the dead — it doesn’t matter — nothing escapes Economics 101. Here’s the deal. Whine all you want about the evils of modern capitalism, it’s still just a pumped-up version of the barter system. I work for you; you give me coloured paper. I give the coloured paper to KFC; they give me chicken. And on and on. It’s that simple. You can complicate it with mutual funds, venture capital, bonds, debentures, George Soros and Bill Gates, but at the end of the day, it comes down to coloured paper. And if you don’t manage your coloured paper properly, you’re going to get screwed and some faceless banking vulture is going to drop by and pick your bones. Don’t believe me? Quit paying your credit card for a couple of months. This has been our monetary system since before Diocles was counting his drachmas. The thing that astounds me is the Greeks, who basically invented it, have now decided the system doesn’t apply to them. They believe they can spend what they want, when they want, and somebody else should pick up the tab. It’s kinda like they’re giving anyone who actually pays their bills the financial finger.
I wonder what Aesop would have made of this whole mess. I’m certain that he would have come up with some kind of a tale. Unfortunately, it’s been a lot of years since Greek thinking and innovation shaped the world. Today, Aesop wouldn’t have a voice because Greece has become just another silly little country living on the kindness of strangers — and very pissed off with themselves because of it.