THE FACE OF SOLIDARITY
Alexis Tsipras was elected prime minister of Greece, because he promised what the people wanted.
Not European bankers and top politicians, but the people of Greece. It is easy to say that an average Greek is greedy, lazy and foolish too – he wasted billions, had a great time and now doesn’t want to pay up. The truth lies somewhere else.
If a person cannot pay his debt, he can announce bankruptcy as a private person. Five years of patience and you are in the clear. It is the same with a company. If markets fall out or a company cannot find a market, then debts are left unpaid. Why can’t a state go bankrupt?
It is generally believed that a private person needs to be protected from creditors. Estonia is also considering that instant loans are evil and a mortgage loan debtor should just be able to hand the house keys over to the bank and be free of paying back the loan, as is done in Latvia.
There is one main reason
There is only one primary arithmetical reason why people, companies and states find themselves in financial difficulty – they spend more than they earn. If such a situation has lasted long enough, it results in insolvency. A western/socially responsible understanding is that the cause of insolvency is not the debtor, but the creditor. They are greedy vermin who only think of how to relieve the debtor of all of his assets.
Tsipras’s situation is not so straightforward – he cannot walk into a courthouse, apply for insolvency and exemption from debts, wait for five years and this is it. It is hard, very hard without export of international communication. But only force works against a power position.
If Tsipras would announce that Greek will not pay back any of the debts and releases its own currency (as new states have done for hundreds and thousands of years and as Estonia did in 1992), then people would be pleased. And this would be a sobering experience for Europe. Germany and the Netherlands were ready to return to their own currency already in the beginning of the crisis, but as the crisis deepens, they will eventually cut loose anyway. The Baltics may keep the rubble Euro has become, if they like.
At some point, we got the strange illusion that world politics has become stable after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But each new generation wants to make their mark. 1914, 1939, 1961 (erection of the Berlin Wall), 1989, 2014 (Ukraine). When this happens, everything changes suddenly. Nobody cares about yesterday’s promises or agreements. About state boundaries.
The danger of a debt economy
The perspective of 30 years of starvation for the Greek is of course absurd. Most of them will die before the debt is paid back. They have nothing to lose and revolution is what they need. The resentment towards the capitalists (banks feeding on interests) is natural even in Germany, not to mention in the impoverished Greece. No one wants to pay for the soup already eaten by themselves and by others, even if it once filled the stomach.
Here lies the great danger of a debt economy – people (for example the Greek) receive benefits on the account of someone else and do not agree (to me more precise – cannot) pay for them. Whether the Greek are to blame for their debts or not, isn’t important. It is important that they refuse to recognise their debt.
Many of them are very much right – solidary liability is unacceptable for debts. Why would the whole nation need to pay for the incompetence of some? It is vice versa with the consumption of benefits – here we demand solidarity, nobody wants to give up even one cent.
It is much the same in Estonia – all political parties promise to give people more money. Just like once in Greece.