On Being Greek

Gentle Reader;

I’ve come to the opinion that life is too short. Its time to stand up in some small way and be counted.

The upshot of todays blog will be to recognize massive flaws in the way we in the West perceive things. And then invite you to participate in a more robust style of cognition known as “Greek Thinking”.

Below is an article recently sent to me by a good friend. The contents of it stuck in my craw.

Upon perusing the article, it occurred to me to ask rhetorically “Just WHO (in the hell) is the CIA, or Turkey, or the IMF to utter such threats unabashedly from on high?”

CIA Warns Of A Greek Military Coup, Rebellion, If Austerity Intensifies

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/30/2011 10:30 -0400
Turkish daily Hurriyet, which paraphrases German Bild, which in turn references a CIA report, warns that Greece could face a military coup if the “tough austerity measures and the dire situation” escalate any further. On the other hand, one can avoid this belabored hypertextual chain and simply look at what happens practically every day on Syntagma square where yet again we are witnessing record numbers of people protest against what everyone now realizes is a dead end regime (luckily, in a peaceful manner, for now).
More Captain Obviousness (thank you Grant Williams) from Hurriyet: “According to the CIA report, ongoing street protests in crisis-hit Greece could turn into escalated violence and a rebellion and the Greek government could lose control, said Bild. The newspaper said the CIA report talks of a possible military coup if the situation becomes more serious and uncontrolled.
Luckily, following last year’s Athens mob-inspired flash crash, and 2011’s MENA revolutions, the market is rather desensitized to this sort of thing, and nothing short of fat-finger driven invasion of Greece by Turkey, in its humanitarian bid to reestablish the Ottoman Empire 2.0, could dent the /ES or EURUSD by more than 0.01%.
Opposition parties have mostly refused to support the government in its quest to cut spending by trimming an overblown civil service and the sweeping privatization drive announced this week has attracted even stronger protests.
Meanwhile, the Dutch finance minister said his country, Germany, Finland and other EU members won’t give Greece any more bailout money, if the debt-laden country fails to adopt further austerity measures.
Jan Kees de Jager said Saturday that “it’s vital that Greece will live up fully” to conditions set by the International Monetary Fund if it’s to receive the next batch of a 110 billion euros ($155 billion) bailout loan deal it agreed to last year, the Associated Press reported.
Last year, as the financial crisis battered Greece, Bild went as far as to highlight a suggestion by a conservative politician that Athens sell off some of its many islands to help pay off its debts.
What next: CIA reports that monetary policy could set off mass food price driven revolutions in North Africa?
h/t Scrataliano

Looky-here now my fellow zombie:

Are we all so completely de-sensitized, mentally beaten into submission by mainstream opinion and media, and turned into drones that the CIA can now so openly and brazenly give notice of ‘someone’ unlawfully interceding in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation by inciting a military coup?”  Don’t they even bother to invoke the well-worn ludicrous facade of ‘secrecy’ when they perpetrate nefarious acts nowadays ?

You would think that the only parties who’d conceive of instigating military action in Greece should be domestic Greeks. In which case such decision makers would say; “we wish to impose harsher austerity measures to appease the grumbling EU financiers“.  But even so, to invoke the military in a supposedly “democratic” country with overt threats to shoot non-complying citizens just so as to repay bank loan facilities, simply reeks of external interference by some rather powerful vested interests.

It’s seems quite obvious that certain self-appointed “elite overseers” believe they have the capacity to forcibly bend  common greek citizens to comply with austerity and repay foreign debt. It’s as though they were mere cattle, and any level of force is permissible.

Is the ancient greek ideal of ‘democracy’ now dead?

SO; Is this abomination of circumstance what we are happy to call “Democracy” today? The mere fact that the CIA reportedly ‘warns’ confirms the complete disregard for individual freedom, and the cheapness with which they value human life.

Remember. All this is over M-O-N-E-Y. Its not as though the Germans, or the Brits, or the US couldn’t just print more of the stuff. They’re doing it more every day, aren’t they? Heave-ho. Here comes QE1, QE2, QE3 etc.

My Greekness has been awakened of late

I humbly admit I have, personally, in the past 2-3 decades formed a cultural cringe at my own greek heritage. With this blog post, I hope to make amends (at least in part).

Yes. In the past, I’ve succumbed to the mass media driven perception of Greeks / Greece as being one of the “PIIGS” {Portugal Italy Ireland Greece Spain} and who are – we are led to believe – solely responsible for the economic downfall of the EU.  In reality, there are of course numerous members of the European Union hungrily feeding from the same trough.

Perhaps more frustrating, however, is the lack of objective opinion OR downright dis-information and shallowness as to the ethos / motivation / consciousness of the Greek citizenry.  What reason do they have to riot? form mobs? throw Molotov Cocktails into Banks, and attack riot police?

Generalist perceptions (let’s call it ‘mainstream western media’) tell us that Greeks have been rioting in the streets of Athens, and that this general malcontentedness of the populace is some kind of blind arrogant protest against the banks, the multi-nationals, and the ‘Powers that Be’.  This is, of course because Greeks want to continue a bludger lifestyle of ouzo-drinking, all-night-partying and sleeping till noon (sic!) at the expense of the IMF and Germany (who are the de-facto father-figures and financiers of the European Union) who so graciously continue to give billions of dollars of un-repayable loans and bailouts to Greece and other EU PIIGS.

Why do they do it, then?

NOTE: I have not fully analysed the extent of Greek sovereign debt, nor the value of inflation since WWII, nor the history of loan repayments, I will reveal that it one of the common perceptions of Greeks that the many billions of dollars (do I hear $50Billion?)  of as-yet-unpaid war reparations by Germany against Greece due to its incursions since WWII is a predominant cause of the feeling of “entitlement” that Greeks feel, as they continue to receive EU moneys and Bailouts.

AND HEY ! Don’t flame me on the accuracy or honourable-neess of this as an attitude, Dear Reader, I’m not saying I AGREE with it OR that it’s right. I’m just telling you how it is.  Greeks, like any other passionate culture, have a long memory when it comes to those who ‘done them wrong’.

So, what’s wrong with the IMF and the Central Banks, Anyway?

  • Isnt it the case that the Federal Reserve Bank in the US was not created by legislation. The money it prints  ….. is not sanctioned by the people but by Corporate Interests…. YOUTUBE… Zeitgiest…
  • There is NOTHING NEW about the strategy of creating a modern serfdom of nations throughout the world by forcing their economies to be forever bound and controlled as ‘debt-slaves’ to the IMF and to their own central banks. Cases in point, Japan, South Korea Africa, Central America, and now we see the EU by the IMF, and its use of credit-control and loan-funding arrangements with central banks so as to force these nations and their poor peoples to be locked in a merry-go-round of quasi- servitude.
  • This is no different from forcing small third world countries to stop producing their own crops and thereby destroying bio-diversity in their agriculture (and of the ecosphere) by making them sell their donkeys goats and chickens, and then issuing them with farm-loans and debt so they can all be made to buy and then grow Genetically Modified (GM) crops like soya beans, tobacco, rice or cotton.  All the while using Monsanto seeds and Pesticides that effectively puts the control of wealth and the food supply of untold millions of people in the hands of Multi-Nationals. One nasty price rise in these products by a Machiavellian oligarch CEO, and you have a perfect tuning-valve that controls the sustenance or deprivation of life death and poverty for these millions of people.

Give me Freedom, or else give me …errm… Liberty ?

The true ethos of Greek Democracy is based on raw personal individual “freedom”. Not “political freedom” of any sort. I mean the true egoistic freedom to break the mold, OR to be Great like the fabled “Braveheart” or to be a mad failed eccentric bastard like “Zorba the Greek” who lives life and is ready to die satisfied fully and emotionally AS HE WANT TO, all the while challenging the imposition of false morays, blind custom and tradition, rules requiring civil obedience, and the wagging fingers of the judgmental neighbour or the politically correct dispassionate observer.

THIS is what truly should be meant by phrase “the human condition”. It is the psyche of the old Greek notions of Freedom and Democracy that are honest depictions of what the people of the world want. NOT what modern society has bent these words and phrases to mean.

Does being “Free” cost much?

When I speak of “freedom and democracy”, I don’t mean “the desire to be an anarchist” nor “the right to be a capitalist”. These are modern misinterpretations of what Freedom and Democracy are. The (old) Greek Notions of Freedom and Democracy DON’T promote the idea of chaos or terrorism to elicit human rights, NOR do the Greeks mean that it is okay to trammel upon your fellow-man in the never-ending quest to derive profit.

Further to the point of what it means to be “Greek”, is that life should NOT be Angry and Reactionary. To borrow a modern phrase I WOULD happily sanction, it means to be “PRO-Active”.

I’ll tell you what it means to be “Greek” by saying what it’s NOT.

NO! it doesn’t mean the sanitized, sterilized socialized and corrupted post-renaissance conception of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” sold to us by the French or American Revolutions. Unfortunately, as well-meaning as these recent modernistic tenets of “freedom of the human being” might have been, they are still inferior conceptions to the idea of “personal freedom”.

The taint borne by the terms “liberte, egalite, and fraternite” is to be found in the corrosive notions of subordinacy, compliance and obedience to the greater good of the hive of collective society. Sure, the french sans cullotte had good reason to rebel against the bourgeoisie in 1789. But that was a proto-typical revolution. It was immature children rebelling angrily against clearly identifiable oppressive masters.

The oppressive master enslaving modern man is something far more sinister and intangible. It is the creeping fear of being ostracized by the collective. It is the loss of each individual Human Unit’s right to be free, special, eccentric, flawed, excellent or even tragic. This is the quintessence of being a true Greek as the ancients advocated. Arrogont, wilful, prideful, emotive, passionate. To be gleefully Alive, until its time you became dead.

Manufacturing Consent

Noam Chomsky explains ever-so-well the techniques and methods used by modern propagandists to oppress today’s citizenry. I will not plagiarize or paraphrase him here. Just watch this:


Why we should ALL be Greeks.  ! Zito !

NO! Modern mankind doesn’t want mere ‘Liberty’ (meaning a freedom from bondage) because that implies they must break the chains of an existing oppressor. In this instance, we are oppressed by our OWN collective consciousness.

Furthermore, NOT all men are created “equal”; so what IS this moronic notion that all men are/should be the same? Isn’t this fake-philosophy of Egalitarianism some kind of call-to-arms for a mass of drones to pull-together, to ostracize the stragglers / to demonize the exceptions to the rule, and to celebrate the hive mentality? Question: Why do we need to fit all different people into the same box of blind obedience? Doesn’t this mean we are destroying the ends of the bell curve? By doing this, aren’t we trading-off mankind’s potential for compassion for our Less-Haves, and making martyrs of those members of society who proffer Brilliance, Excellence, or extreme achievement? How can THIS be a good thing? Once we denigrate all those who live as “Exceptions to the Rule”, do we not all become an homogenous mass who are unworthy of describing ourselves as “special”.

And lastly “Fraternity”. The notion of ‘Brotherhood of Man’. Sure, this SEEMS okay on the face of it, but look more closely and you’ll see the cracks. I ask you; Why have we abandoned the old Greek notions of “Philadelphia”… (let your fellow man be your ‘friend-brother’). After all, NOT ALL men should be force-bound together as brothers, should they? Isn’t THAT what creates wars and terrorists? Think on This: Is there not sufficient difference between the “ME” and the “YOU” in our hearts, that neither of us has the courage nor the choice to acknowledge that we can be mere Friends and Acquaintances rather than “obliged as brothers”. When we accept “fraternity” rather than “Philadelphia”, we are essentially endorsing an “existence by Black-Letter Law”, rather than a “Life lived according to evolved and mutable guidelines”. Which, gentle reader, would You honestly prefer for You and Your kin ?

Being a Hero should be our heroin

Being Greek is about celebrating the individual hero. We dont do enough of that any more. Being Greek is about being heroic. Even tragic if need be. If the hero comes to grief, so what? Too bad! There will be another crazy Greek right next to him to take his place in the phalanx.  If we ever needed an opiate for the masses for today, it should be the promulgation of individual heroism. Fie on it! Let us all decry this artifice, this phantasm, this manufactured Fear we are fed every day.

Its not “how you say it”, its “what you say”

As we can see, the falsity which underlies the words “Liberty” “Equality” and “Fraternity” is that they contain hidden strictures.

Such words fail because they are not the language of the Free Man. Such words are not “Greek” in their spirit.  They don’t invoke self-determinism. They contain the underlying presumption that you are already incarcerated and wish to be released.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity are mere shadow puppets of what should be the true aspirations of mankind.  Whilst they may foster the creation of “Community”, they utterly FAIL to promote the ability of the individual human being to rise above the crowd, to celebrate greatness, to revel in excellence or incredible accomplishments beyond that which the crowd believes is possible.

By accepting “Liberty” rather than “Freedom”, our psyche remains a reactionary child governed by fear. And not the free-thinking adult who peacefully celebrates with pride the true diversity and exceptionality of us all as members of this human species.

Instead, I entreat you, Reader:  to be Brave, be Reckless like a Greek! Do not utter words which have defeat built-in to their core. Do not bespeak your own oppression into existence.

The technological utopia we are promised in our far future is still many centuries away.  Do not make haste, it will come of its own accord in its own good time.

Look carefully my fellow hero, at the words you use every day. Do not use the language of the oppressor as though you were wearing the latest fashion accessory.  Use your own language, your own common sense.

Here, now is my (somewhat scattergun) tribute to Greeks

Lest we forget the past influences on Western (And Middle Eastern) Society by those known as the Greeks.

NOTE: Credit for the compilation of this list goes to another friend of mine who is much better versed in Greek culture and Greek thinking ancient and modern than I could profess to be. (Thanks Dude! Anonymity preserved. You know who you are).

“Had Greek civilization never existed … we would never have become fully conscious.” – W.H. Auden

“The legacy of Greece to Western philosophy is Western philosophy.” – Bertrand Russell



Ancient Greeks

Galen  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen
Aristotle http://www.edinformatics.com/great_thinkers/aristotle.htm
Plato  http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Philosophy-Plato-Philosopher.htm
Heron of Alexandria
Claudius Ptolemy


Greeks of modern renown

Nikos Kazantzakis
Elytis  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odysseas_Elytis
Angelopoulos (the film director)

Elia Kazan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elia_Kazan

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