The Failure of the Greek State Engendered a Disillusioned Society
By Harris Samaras - Why did German people support Hitler? The Weimar Republic appeared to have no idea how to solve the problems of the Depression. The Nazis on the other hand promised to solve the problems (Nazism at the time was a small fringe movement seeking power through revolution...).
Hitler promised most groups in Germany what they wanted. Hitler used the Jews and other sections of society as scapegoats, blaming all the problems on them. To Germans at the time Hitler made sense, he united everyone by providing explanations for Germany's problems not necessarily solutions.
People in Germany were tired of their poor quality of life. Hitler promised to make Germany proud again – it was exactly what people wanted to hear. Hitler pledged something for every part of the disillusioned German society:
1. He promised farmers higher prices for their produce – making up for all their losses during the Depression;
2. He promised unemployed workers jobs and security of jobs;
3. He promised middle class to restore the profits of small business and the value of savings; to end the Communist threat.
To all Germans he promised to restore German honor by tearing up the hated Treaty of Versailles and by making Germany great again.
Now replace the Weimar Republic with the Hellenic Republic, the Depression with the Financial Crisis, Jews with Immigrants, Germany with Greece, Communism with Capitalism and the Treaty of Versailles with the EU austerity measures... and replace Nazism and Nazis with every radical and extreme party in Greece that gained from obscurity seats at the Greek parliament... Do you also see the resemblance?
Walter Lippmann explains about Hitler’s Germany: “The German experiment, except to those who are its victims, is particularly interesting... For the Germans are the most gifted and most highly educated people who ever devoted the full strength of a modern state to stopping the exchange of ideas; they are the most highly organized people who ever devoted all the coercive power of government to the abolition of their own intellectual life; they are the most learned people who ever pretended to believe that the premises and the conclusion of all inquiry may be fixed by political fiat".
It was a conditioned lack of mass self-awareness, along with love of ease, unwillingness to dispel social and moral delusions, headlong rush into the mindless attitude that "everything is okay" that “forced” the majority of the German people to follow Hitler.
It was lack of the ability to think critically. A whole nation lived in denial, polarized by a leadership that cleverly and systematically “indoctrinated” its citizens by “selling” to them what they wanted and liked to hear; touched and entertained their complexes, to such an extent that discrimination was acceptable; elimination of the thinking elements of their society was made tolerable because they were somehow convinced that they were a threat, mass murder and torture as a means to an end, bullying and jingoism were all unobjectionable because the followers lacked critical thought and their leadership lack thought – a society of madness.
Do you still see the resemblance?
The oxymoron is that although more than 70% of Greek voters would like to remain in the Eurozone, the vast majority of them voted for far left-wing parties and far-right wing parties and the neo-Nazi Gold Dawn party, most of which want Greece out of Europe or are fiercely against the EU austerity measures... What is certain, rightfully or wrongfully, this vote means that Greek people are fed up with both the political parties that have ruled Greece for the past three decades and they believe that the Eurozone as a whole should follow a new direction more focused on growth and less on austerity, pay cuts, and the like that have devastated the Greek economy... They also don’t believe that they should sacrifice everything to belong to the EU... They see that is very difficult to get out of the crisis and they are just desperate...
Oddly, the country that bred such great thinkers and statesmen – like Hesiod, who at 8th century B.C., that is more than 3000 years ago, theorized on the entrepreneurship typical of the market (an early laissez-faire), identifying the effects of government debasement of the coinage, which causes a decrease in its purchasing power (think Adam Smith, Keynes and post Keynes), arguing about the importance of competition and the importance of justice and the law in order to foster order and harmony in society... Solon’s balance between classes... Pericles’ open society... Socrates’ justice, virtue, self realization and critical thinking... Protagoras’ arguments on the importance of pricing, discounting, commodity exchange and management... Democritus’ causes of economic phenomena and rational behavior for the fulfillment of psychological and economic needs... Aristotle's approach to the exchange process and private property... Xenophon’s comments on the division of labor, and Plato’s remarks on the same subject and his theory on the economy of specialization... – whose contributions are considered to be the basis of modern economic thought and management of the world of today, is a country that failed at almost every aspect and a state that is not in a position to provide for its citizens engendering a disillusioned society.
Greece is a case of a state that failed, a case of despair that forced its citizens, those that are at least self-conscious, to exclaim instead of the more than valid “I am proud to be Greek”, the self-pitied “I am sorry to be Greek”. These are the same Greeks that abstained from voting in the recent elections or as an “immature” form of protest voted for radical parties than now possess a catalytic say in the future of the Country.
Overall the average Greek has been bombarded with jargons, polarized by an ignorant in the vast majority, populist, irresponsible, anachronistic and scandalous political leadership and labor unions, and sacrificed in the name of power and political party benefits!
Important to note that the Citizens of the Country are equally responsible for the crisis as are the country’s EU partners. The conditioned Citizens of the Hellenic Republic accepted the love of ease, a mindless attitude that was provided to them via political favoritism and moral delusions and lived by it for decades to such an extent that it became part of their DNA – for the vast majority of Greeks not to cheat income tax was as idiotic as to be efficient and productive while working for the over-staffed public sector; “corruption” to that effect found in the eye of the average Greek a new synonym: “Bravado” (Μαγκιά)!
The think-tanks of the EU are inexcusable not to foresee such an outcome, not to take into serious consideration that the crisis in Greece is not just a financial crisis but primarily a social crisis! Moreover, it took the EU ages to realize that this was equally a problem for Brussels as it was for Athens. It took Germany, France and others much too long to react, firstly trying to protect their own and profit for their own ignoring the big picture, for the longest time... Additionally, the incapability of both Brussels and Athens to respond promptly and effectively gave abandoned weaponry to those circles that are antagonist to the Eurozone and aspire to its collapse...
The inability of the EU to react promptly and efficiently to the Greek Crisis but also the Financial Crisis in general gave room to financial speculators, investment houses and hedge funds – who are doing of course what they have been doing since their existence: make money – to roam the markets usually at the expense of the weakest contributing in an indirect way to making a complex problem more complex...
The responsibility lies with everybody but mostly with the Greek political leaders and citizens who have to surpass themselves, their complexes and despair. Characterized by a spirit of collectiveness putting their personal and party interests aside they have to all brawl for a European Greece. Only an idiot and the ignorant would even insinuate that a Greece outside the Eurozone would be a better Greece.
► BBC – Hitler’s rise to power
► CAE – Triggers of state failure
► Carleton University – Anticipating state failure
► Daily Mail – Rise of the Greek neo-Nazis
► Princeton University Press – When states fail: Causes and consequences
► Stefan Wolff – State failure in a regional context
► The Financial Times – Consequences of a Greek default
► The Financial Times – Greek-led fall points to euro exit worries
► The Financial Times – Greek left attacks “barbarous” austerity ► University of Oxford – State failure and conflict recurrence
► Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – Failed states, collapsed states, weak states: Causes and indicators
► You Tube – How and why Hitler came to power.
An Economist and presently the Chairman & CEO of Pytheas, an international investment
banking organization, Harris Samaras has also worked with the Bank of America Group, Thomson Financial BankWatch, and Moody’s Investors Service. His expertise lies primarily in the areas of investment and corporate banking, private equity and finance, risk management, corporate restructuring and business development. His research and extensive publications in these areas range across practice rather than theory, economic and business thought, entrepreneurship and geopolitics.
He has been an adviser to various governments, central banks, financial institutions, and
other corporates and has been a member of the board of directors of multinational
Harris’ extensive and in depth knowledge of the emerging markets of Central-Eastern Europe, MENA, Gulf, and Africa is complimented by his diverse expertise in industries such are Banking, Real Estate & Construction, Hospitality, Minerals & Mining, Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment & Alternative Energy Sources, Energy, Satellite Telecommunications and Shipping.
He advocates rather strongly, that investment banking is an art and not a science, that
performance can be improved only by changing behavior, that critical thinking is what
distinguishes the beautiful crazies of the world from the ugly “sane”, that a businessman
without entrepreneurial spirit is not a businessman.
His passions include the sea, especially the Greek sea.
Only the dead fish swim with the stream.