The Lisbon Syndrome
Published on: May 3, 2010
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  • Luke Lea

    If Germany accepts and the EU can indeed impose discipline on the Greek economy, then that would be great. Go Europe! You’re not dead yet.

  • LuizdoPorto

    This is the central problem with Europe today.

    The current political class expends all their dwindling political capital in the “European Project”, as seen in the way they rammed through the Lisbon Treaty after the Irish referendum defeat, when they had promised that if it was rejected by any member state, it was over.

    The Euro, while it made them feel very macho since it surpassed the value of the Dollar, was a major factor in the crisis, and is now behaving as professor Milton Friedman predicted it would in a serious crisis, i.e. falling appart. They were also warned, all the way back in 1977, by Churchills statistician, Sir Donald McDougall, and kept creeping on.

    That’s what living in Europe is like. We are not run by a hidden conspiracy. The 1977 McDougall Report is online. One presumes they take pride in record-keeping in Brussels.

    Here, Desmond Lachman on Friedman: http://www.american.com/archive/2010/february/maybe-milton-was-right-about-the-euro/

    Here, the Telegraph on MacDougall:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/7664328/Chronicle-of-a-disaster-foretold-plays-out-on-the-streets-of-Athens.html

    Now think how this bunch will deal with the coming entitlement crunch and shudder.

    As to the Turkey business, since the immigrants Europe has the most trouble assimilating are muslims, often turks, why should adding 100 million muslims to the EU, with complete freedom of mevement be confused with an improvement on the present situation?

    Even the eurocrats figured that out, even if it makes them digusted with the bigots they rule.

  • It’s tempting to blow off Mr. Mead’s plea for Europe to get its act together because of the long-standing chronic tendency of Europeans to bash America. They’ve for so long wished and hoped (and even at times plotted surreptitiously) for our failure, it takes a saint to, in turn, wish them well. But of course Mr. Mead is correct here. With a seemingly simultaneous unravelling of nation states all over the world, those relatively few countries that have a history of tolerance and fairness should be seen as santuaries in a storm. Conversely, one is almost ashamed to realize that “tolerance” itself is a double edged blade, as it results from the sort of terminal softening of national pride and ambition that isn’t likely to reverse itself. When a culture stops repopulating itself, it is making an unspoken national suicide pact to discontinue its existence, which makes one wonder where America–also a tolerant nation–exists on the same societal suicidal spectrum.

  • Hmm. One of the goals of the Lisbon Agenda was to make Europe a high-tech leader, and this “flopped.” Could this be in part because Europe successfully expelled and murdered its Jews, and that those who survived have gone on to make Israel and America high-tech leaders?

  • Some predictions, Walter. The Bundestag will buy the deal, barely, but may attach conditions. The CDU/CSU will get pasted in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Greeks will soon prove congenitally incapable of reform…and the bond prices will spread. The Eurozone, as presently constituted, will not survive this crisis. Neither will the PASOK government; but what comes after it, well, I don’t know: a rightwing nationalist government bathing in Orthodox chauvinism? Ah, the Balkans…..

  • It seems to me that the desired goal is a society in which individuals accept the fact that life is difficult but good. This kind of society is not a utopian vision — it existed everywhere before the onslaught of gnostic revolutions starting with the French Revolution and still exists in the third-world. We got into this mess by believing ideologues that promised a life free of difficulties (what they call oppression) but now the the lies are being seen for what they are. The ignorant among us (the majority of Greeks apparently) will not go back to living lives in the real world voluntarily. The return to sanity happens only when all the alternatives are eliminated and you need something to eat.

  • Peter
  • phil g

    The Greeks are way beyond simply needing something to eat; they want someone, anyone to continue to fund their decadence. All parties have to come to an end sometime. Depending on how raucous and long the party was the clean-up can be quite difficult.

    Greece has a choice, make difficult reforms or go bankrupt, with real austerity forced on them for a long time. They are now so culturally emaciated they will only have the capacity to destroy their own cities, they don’t have the capability to project their anger outside their own country. These may be the convulsions of a dying country/culture.

    I’m not gloating; it is a very sad thing to witness.

  • Mike M.

    The Greek tragedy gets more tragic by the day, as an unruly mob got completely out of control and firebombed a building with people inside, leading to the deaths of three innocent bank employees.

    From Plato and Socrates, to this. Some New World Order we ended up with.

  • Karl Maier

    The EU and the Euro will not survive the stresses of Great Depression 2.0. The brittle, inflexible, and uncompetitive EU, with its massive regulations, huge government burden, and attendant socialist parasites, will break apart, much like the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact before them.
    The bear market bounce from march of last year to April 23 last month is over, this was exactly a fibonaci .618 retracement from the original fall from 14,000 on the Dow. We will not see 14,000 again for at least 2 decades.

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  • Andrew Allison

    Good analysis which would have benefitted from discussion of the path from Israel’s Leviathan field to Turkey. By cooperating with the Kurds and Israel, Turkey gains access to two sources.

  • wigwag

    This potential alliance could be the proverbial win-win-win. It’s time for the Israelis, the Turks and the Kurds to realize that reconciliation with Arabs is impossible; Arabs are for the most part, simply hopeless. To see what I mean, read this extraordinary essay by Richard Landes,

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/176673/emotional-nakba

    • Curious Mayhem

      This administration will eventually acquiesce in the arrangement, one of the few good results of the current mess, as a fait accompli, once it gives up on Obama’s Mini-Me Maliki. Brute facts are sometimes beautiful things.

      It remains to be seen if and how long it will take for the Erdogan government in Turkey to drift back into the reality zone. There are good recent signs, but you never know. Erdogan’s authoritarian tendencies and conspiracy theories don’t leave a good impression, and neither do the AKP’s vacuous but still dangerous pan-Islamic fantasies.

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