Sunday, December 30, 2012

"The stench of dirty money"

This article from the Ekathimerini (by Nikos Xydakis) is just as much interesting for the many comments made to it as for its content. I recommend reading those comments. There is only one word to interprete the comments: rage. Presumably, justified rage.

Back at university 40 years ago, I remember taking a course in Political Science about the size of political elites. The course was taught by Professor Karl Deutsch, a Czechoslovak emigré; highly sophisticated; highly empirical in his research; in love with models explaining how politics worked.

If I recall correctly, one of his themes was that the number of people influencing the political fate of a society was actually a very minute percentage of society. Perhaps a few hundred people in a country of small to medium size.

Suppose that the number of people required to change the political fate of Greece would be around 1.000 (Deutsch would probably have argued that it is smaller). Is it possible to think that, in the entire Greek society, there are not around 1.000 people of competence, exceptional character and high moral decency?

I can't imagine that there aren't!


  1. There is a flaw with this argument. You say

    "Is it possible to think that, in the entire Greeksociety, there are not around 1.000 people of competence, exceptional character and high moral decency?"

    Yes, there are for sure. Only do they want to exert any political will? Because doing this sort of thing in a troubled country takes a great deal of courage.

    That begs more of a person than simple competence or decency.

    Because Deutsch was forgetting that determined people can also be misguided. They can also be led.

  2. "(....)...there are not around 1.000 people of competence, exceptional character and high moral decency?"
    A question.
    After a theory.

    What I do believe, even stronger than the professor, is, that there are millions of them, as far as they realize what IS "high moral decency".

    That depends on what has been teached, by who, and who teached them, and them, and so further and so on.
    The high moral decensy is related with the culture. The Greek culture is different from Europe. Europe is a mix, but let us name it "Western Civilization".

    What can be a "high moral decensy" for instance in Norway, and people live in the way they say they understand it and believe it: when the moment arrives that the person gets drunk, the real moral comes out. Not only in Norway, but here alcohol is so expensive that it is hardly possible to get drunk. People drink anyway. and yes, then all what is under the surface of that what is named "civilized" is exposed, in words, acts....

    Anders Breivik has been seen as a decent man, not doing any harm, kind, as if he had a high moral decensy.....
    The real Breivik was hidden behind that mask.

    I do not blame the Greeks. They live in patterns and habits that they do not know better. If there was a person with a high leveled moral dignity he could not live in Greece.

    Some people left because of that. I know one of them.
    He found out yesterday that his grandfather is still alive.
    He passed a way in 1960.
    But Greece does not know.....
    He is ashamed of his own country, his own people. He is afraid to be seen as a Greek, with the same moral. Maybe those thousand Greeks your professor spoke about live abroad....

    To come back to the story of the grandfather: the millions of Greeks we think there are, are maybe the half in reality because of the registration and administration systems, which do not work. Who knows what consequences this has for a country.

    There should be a new registration! This is the only way to know how many Greeks there are really...., as 2012 years ago somewhere more to the east of Greece. There was a pregnant woman, and she had to go anyway, with her husband. During the journey she gave birth to a child what has been killed later on his 33th. Because he had competance, an exceptional character and high moral decency.

    More of that kind of people have been there, and killed.
    Mankind does not accept people with a high moral decency. Not on high positions. Not in families. It needs courage to change, to start with the self, within a family, a circle of friends. The most human beings are cowards.
    But after many life lessons, and many reincarnations, finally they are evolved enough to dare to be different, to show moral, and swimming against the stream of the blind people.
    Because then the moral is within.
    Then they ARE the high moral, the high leveled personality.

    It needs many years of true education and high leveled media information before the Greek minds will change, bad habits are gone, and only the right traditions are left.
    That counts also for the priests in the orthodox churches. For each single detail or man/woman of the entire society.

    The European Commission is helping in that. I hope they realize how difficult it will be. They need to understand the Greek mentality. It is a must to survive, to make it a success. Words are not enough. Promises are not enough. Only facts may count, so it has to be checked time after time again.

    Wishing all a wonderful "Silvester Abend"... and a very very excellent New Year.
    But even that: the word excellent, is for everybody different to be filled in.
    Let us stay to the subject of today's post: May it be it be filled with competence, exceptional character and high moral decency.

  3. Karl Deutsch's estimates reflect reality as it is. The question is, whether this reality is good (obviously no) and whether countries will agree to continue into the future in this way.

    Greece already has its 1000, consisting of the parliament, the oligarchic families and various high placed officials - Governor of the Bank of Greece, judges, heads of universities etc. These constitute a strongly interlinked 'lid' sitting on top of society which is extremely difficult to get rid of or unseat, and of course this 'lid' owns the media and has the police and the army at its command for enforcement.

    It would be one thing if these individuals / group were honest, incorruptible, believed in free competition and governed well. Since in Greece this has been shown to be completely untrue - they are corrupt, immoral, abusive, criminal, incompetent, unprincipled and hold the country in contempt - the problem is how to get rid of them.

    This is Greece's problem.

    There are honest, capable and honourable greeks. But our power is limited to demonstrations, alternate media and the ballot box. We are more or less locked out. Between elections we are powerless.

    Secondly, having suffered the corrupt government of the 1000, it is clear that we need to evolve our democracy beyond this state of affairs to something more participatory.