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Where is Samson when you need him?
by Nikos Laios
2015-01-06 13:25:00
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The Euro currency must be junked, without this action, the southern European countries will not survive, and the question Europe must ask itself; where is Samson when you need him?

Does this unnatural Frankenstein of a construct called the European Union need to be brought down around our heads to save the common man?

In considering the answer to this question, one needs to consider some pertinent facts; in Italy for example in 2014, growth contracted for the third year in a row, and youth unemployment is currently sitting at 43%, and in neighbouring Greece, the national unemployment is 27%,and the future is starting to look increasingly bleak.

Where Europe was once the factory of the world producing growth, it has now become an efficient manufacturer of European poverty. The toxic effects of the Euro are obvious, where Southern Europe is chained, held back from any chance of ever recovering from its great depression, yet the Brussels bureaucrats ignore the simple economic logic of the failure of the EU experiment.

One can argue that Southern Europe needs to get its act together and to undertake structural reforms - and indeed they do - but this is not the cause of the malaise. The simple fact is being ignored firstly that an insufficient tax revenue does not fit well with an unsustainable spending; or that internal devaluations have reduced balance of payments, but which have also simultaneously killed off any internal economic demand and reduced incomes.

Tight fiscal Merkelist policies and internal devaluations do not work, and which is a fact that the economic world accepts; they are the cold hard facts, devoid of the mythologising by the European elite that the European Union serves some higher purpose - other than that of an imperialistic dream of the subconscious Germano-Franco ideal of resurrecting a new Charlemagnesque Holy Roman Empire through the guise of the European Union, with the   common man of Europe being sacrificed on the pyre of this delusion.

Whereby the most significant delusion is that Europe has been solely living on the dream of the Euro currency; which has provided an undervalued currency for Germany, Holland and other northern European nations, and on the other hand, an overvalued currency for Southern Europe; whereby the Southern European currencies are geared towards selling German Mercedes Benz, and other Northern European manufactured goods instead of their own products!

This is the crux of the weakness of the European project, and in Greece for example; even hypothesising that they can achieve and keep a 2% annual growth rate -and on that calculation - it will take thirteen or more years for Greece to recover economically to a 2008 level and maybe a decade or two to find jobs for its unemployed.

The only solution to save the EU project is federalism, for a central treasury to set socio-fiscal measures and policies to foster growth, and not via internal devaluations; but federalism is something that will never be accepted by European nations, or its people, and we come back to the question, what other solutions are there?

The other social factor that does not help at the moment is in education, whereby 50% of children and young adults are sent to institutions of higher learning, with the visions of their parents being that all of their children will enter the job market and somehow become high-paying legislators, or the economic or social elite of Europe. But the problem with this vision is that the employment market is a pyramid, and whereby many mid and low-tech jobs have been sent overseas - and jobs which European young adults are now not prepared to undertake - and where migrants are thereby brought in to undertake these menial occupations, and then we have the veracity as Europeans to complain against an immigration or refugee problem?

The sad fact regarding the education system is that it has become subserviated to an ethos of instrumentalism; where art, culture, education, scholarship, the search for the truth are now valued only where they serve some kind of wider economic and practical purpose; where institutions of higher learning have become the catering industry of the economy - but this is subject for a more thorough consideration for another time.

The even sadder fact is that we now live in a new philistine age; an age deficient in liberal culture and where the interests lie simply in the material and commonplace - and if this were not so - Europe would have by now found the solution for the economic ills faced by its citizens, which in turn is now starting to tear at its social fabric.

What is advocated here is not a dissolution of the European Union itself, but a realistic appraisal and the destruction of the false temple of its currency; and the question needs to be asked, where is Samson when you need him?

In the ancient Jewish myth of Samson and Delilah, Samson - a Jewish national hero - was brought down by his betrayal by the beautiful Delilah. Who with her enticing charms, destroyed Samson's strength and vitality when she cut his hair; thereby betraying him to his enemies, the ancient Philistines.

But when power returned to his limbs as he was chained to the columns of the Philistine temple dedicated to Dagon - the Philistine deity of grain fertility, and agricultural plenty - Samson brought down the columns of the temple to bring it crashing down on the decadent Philistines.

Is Greece our Samson?

Though I do not advocate either the left or right sides of politics - mine would be a party of  humanists if there was one - could the potential election of Syriza be the breath of fresh air, and the strength of hands to bring down the columns on the decadent temple and religion of the Euro currency? I hope so, for if nothing is done soon, Europe will soon see decades of miserable economic, political and social failure.

Let us pray then for our Greek Samson, for then the common man will be able to breathe a sigh of relief when they finally hold their fates in their own hands; to live life with passion, rebellion and freedom -  as the great French philosopher Camus once stated in his book 'The Myth of

Sisyphus' - otherwise, the entire European Union will become a Sisyphus of its own making.

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Emanuel Paparella2015-01-06 17:51:20
Indeed Nikos, democracy was born in Greece and may die there unless Europeans find the courage and the imagination to envision a democratic polity that is more than a cover for nationalism and Machiavellian politics. In my opinion, we need to review the ideals and the principles which are the foundations on which the EU was built by its founding fathers who were quite clear on the European cultural identity which indeed starts with the Greeks and their unique concept of the West and democracy.

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