I started this article with the intent of writing a simple explanation of the Greek crisis, but that is impossible, since any attempt of a simple explanation branches off into an infinite recursion of issues involved. But let’s attempt it, anyway.
The first thing we should make clear is that it isn’t about Greece. It’s about EU. Also, it’s not only about EU, it’s also about the way the world’s finances are interlinked with political interests.
Yes, Greece is in debt, it is bankrupt and its economy is unsustainable. But Greece has been that way since I remember it – “indebted like Greece” was a popular saying in Yugoslavia decades ago. How did such an economically unviable country manage to get such an avalanche of new loans in the EU, which is professing financial discipline?
Therein lies our little pickle. You see, one must ask how did the political elites in the Western Europe convince the smaller, economically weaker European countries to join the European free market project, which is hugely detrimental to their economies? You see, there’s that thing called the economy of scale. The more copies you make of a product, the cheaper you can make them. If you manufacture goods for a domestic market of hundreds of millions, you can produce things more cheaply than someone who makes the products for a market the 1/10th or 1/100th the size. You can also reduce your profit margin in order to sell things more cheaply, because you sell so much more stuff. The purpose of import tariffs is to protect the economies of the smaller countries from the flood of goods cheaply manufactured by the bigger countries, which are manufactured and sold so cheaply that the local goods have no hope of competing with them and the manufacturers will go out of business, creating a surge of unemployment and the collapse of the local economy. It’s the cycle of doom, because the consumers are actually motivated to kill themselves – they will prefer to buy the cheaper and often better made imported goods, merrily destroying their own economy and jobs in the process, and will feel an initial rise in the perceived quality of life, up to the point where they lose their job and are left to die.
So how did anyone in their right mind agree to join a tariff-free economic zone that is the EU? Well, there’s that thing called propaganda. If you perceive your own reactions to the terms “open market” and “free trade”, as opposed to “closed marked” and “restricted trade”, you’ll find it easy to figure out which set invokes the more positive emotional response, but what you’ll find more difficult to understand is how you were conditioned to feel that way. This is how this shit is sold to the ignorant electorate. Then there’s the logical argument, saying that creating a bigger market is essentially the thing that is so good that it creates those huge corporations in the big countries, and that if Europe wants to be competitive with USA and China, it needs to create a unified market. What they failed to mention is that this would immediately destroy all industry in all the European countries save the most developed ones. Of course, propaganda alone didn’t sell the idea; it was lubricated with copious amounts of money in form of very affordable and readily available loans, which were supposed to “increase competitiveness” of industry in the less developed EU countries, but this translated into bribing the electorate by artificially increasing the standard of living far beyond what was possible economically, and the myth of the great EU which benefited all the joining countries was born.
So basically, EU bribed the PIGS into joining by signing on a huge line of credit, which of course had to be repaid, and destroyed their industry, making them unable to ever repay their debt. The people didn’t complain because the loss of jobs in real economy was offset by an increase of jobs in bureaucracy, paid of course by foreign debt. And nobody complained about that until now because it was in nobody’s interest to publicize the fact that EU is a huge failure and the most harmful thing possible for the developing EU countries, which it intends to turn into colonies of the “prime” EU countries.
So if you want to find who’s responsible for the Greek crisis, find the ones who benefitted the most from the European free market project, which would be the countries with greatest and most competitive export capabilities, and guess what, it ain’t the PIGS.
The “open market” policies are beneficial primarily to those who have stuff to sell you, stuff they are able to produce cheaply and in huge abundance. It’s like the male-female sexual game: if you’re female, of course the males want you to be “open” and “free”, and they make propaganda about all the benefits of unrestricted sex, but you kinda know it’s not in your best interest, because this kind of “free” gives them everything and gives you nothing. You want “free” of the kind that is called “marriage”, where you give all of you and he gives all of him. “Free” and “open” are not necessarily good things; essentially, they are good only if you are the country with the greatest internal market and greatest industrial capabilities, and now that we think of it, which country is actually peddling this kind of bullshit for decades already? Hmm…
Essentially, the free market thing is a win-win for big countries: they get you as a new market for their products, and in order for you to be able to afford them, they will issue you loans, and the greatest hypocrisy of all is, this is not something that is talked about. All that is talked about is the fact that Greece took the loans and cannot afford to repay them. What is not talked about is why it took them, or why it cannot repay them. It’s presented as if the PIGS countries are populated by greedy lazy bastards who like to spend the money and then not cover the bill, and the role of EU in breeding corruption in all member states in order to benefit all sorts of nefarious agendas is overlooked. What would actually be fair is EU to have given its undeveloped members all the money that was produced by the increase of sales of goods and services due to their membership, in form of corporate shares in the corporations that benefit from the unrestricted export. Essentially, if the market is single, why are the wallets separate? It’s as crazy as if I kept lending my wife money and expected her to repay me. What mockery of a marriage would that be?
But that’s exactly what EU is: a mockery of a structure, doomed by the idiocy of its poor design, by which the powerful member-states can block everything that doesn’t directly benefit them, thus determining the direction of the money flow: always towards them, never from them, and if they appear to give, it’s all an illusion, because it’s only a loan. What you took from them is noted and will need to be repaid, but what they took from you is obscured by seven layers of deception. It all resembles a bad marriage resulting in a bad divorce: “I don’t know who she is; I know her but we didn’t have sex; We had sex but the child isn’t mine; Ok the child is mine but I can’t afford the alimony; But the money we used for life expenses during the last 5 years of living together, that was all a loan and I expect it back with interest; What do you mean it isn’t legally a loan if it was used to cover the costs incurred for my benefit?”.