Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Cradle of Civilization?

Civil society is breaking down in Greece.  Riots, civil anarchy, violence and a rapidly descending respect for the rule of law is being played out on the streets of Athens daily.  What once was the "cradle of civilization" is now a country descending into barbarism.  The road to anarchy is often paved with good intentions.

Left wing governments for three generations, originally inspired by the American-trained economist Georges Papandreou, have fought the fairness battle -- the same battle that Obama is engaged in today -- and Papandreou emerged the winner in Greece.  They got what they wanted -- a bloated government, a massive government bureaucracy, and promises of fat government retirements and free health care for their citizenry.  They got it all.  They had the same dream that the Obama folks have in the US.

Now we can see clearly where that dream takes you -- the modern nightmare that is Greece and will soon expand to Portugal, Italy, Spain, France and, yes, even Germany.  Slowly but surely civil society is unraveling in Europe and economic collapse is unfolding.  This is the inevitable outcome of a society that believes that no one is responsible for providing for their own health care, their own retirement, their own housing and for their own family.  As the government, whatever "government" means in this context, gradually assumes responsibility for all of the basic necessities of life, there is no one left to produce the goods and services to provide those necessities.  That's where we are in Greece.

One can only guess the ultimate outcome of the Eurozone collapse, but one thing for certain, it won't be freedom and democracy.  When the respect for law and personal responsibility have disappeared from society, that society becomes fair game for demagogues and that's most likely where this is headed.  If you think twentieth century Europe was a continual warzone, watch the unfolding drama now taking place in Europe.  Finger pointing is now the major government policy in every European country.  There are no political solutions to what ails Europe.

The roadmap to Greece is plainly in front of the US.  If Americans want to travel down this road, it is pretty easy to see where it leads.