Politics

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Kilkis
Posts: 9814
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Politics

Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:26 pm

A definition I found today in a newsletter email I received today, originally penned by by American satirist Ambrose Bierce:

    “Politics (noun). A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”

I think this is applicable worldwide. And another in the same email, also universally applicable, by the German poet Bertolt Brecht:

    “Would it not be easier … for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?”

Warwick

Clio
Posts: 1530
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 pm

Re: Politics

Postby Clio » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:06 pm

To Politics (Noun) one might well add: The relating of fairytales in the guise of manifestos.

Did you see the piece about Mitsotakis promising to make the Greek streets flow with milk and honey?

http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2018/0 ... i-pledges/

Kilkis
Posts: 9814
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Politics

Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:02 pm

A philosopher, whose name I cannot remember, analysed the original Greek democracies and concluded that any democracy was bound to fail because the people would simply vote for whoever promised them the most. As the promises increased it would reach a point where the promises simply could not be met. He predicted that when a democracy collapsed the country would revert to a dictatorship. That would eventually collapse because the people would rise up against the iniquities imposed by the dictator and democracy would return. An endless cycle. Recent pronouncements by Mitsotakis and Tsipras tend to illustrate this tendency quite well. Don't you get a sneaking feeling that many countries are now in that collapse of democracy phase?

Nobody looks at the fundamentals. It doesn't matter what the political system is, i.e. what -ism you call it, mankind's endeavour consists of combining capital with labour to produce new capital. The new capital is then divided between the owners of capital and the providers of labour. Funnily enough, in the developed world, from the end of the second world war to the 1970s labour received around 50 % of GDP and capital received the other 50 %. Obviously there are fewer owners of capital than providers of labour so the 50 % split still results in an unequal split of wealth but there was a form of equality. Also as GDP increased the ratio remained about the same. Since the 1970s the proportion going to labour has steadily decreased until, today, only about 40 % goes to the providers of labour. In real terms labour is receiving the same reward that it did in the 1970s That is the underlying problem facing workers today.

The situation in Greece is even worse because it has been in a Troika induced depression for 10 years, far longer and deeper than the 1930s depression in the USA. Personally I cannot see how anybody can dig Greece out of that depression whatever their politics. Greece needs investment. I would guess that all contributors to this forum love Greece. Would anybody invest their savings in Greece, knowing what we know about how the country operates? I admit I wouldn't. I bring enough to Greece to live on and not a penny more.

Warwick

Phild
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Way out West

Re: Politics

Postby Phild » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:56 am

Kilkis wrote:A philosopher, whose name I cannot remember


Wasn't it Plato, in The Republic?

Kilkis wrote:Don't you get a sneaking feeling that many countries are now in that collapse of democracy phase?


Most definitely. My personal feeling is that it's due exactly to the fact that, as you say
Kilkis wrote:Nobody looks at the fundamentals


But it's also due to the fact that those fundamentals represent the people of whatever country we are talking about - the neo-liberal system concentrates on the mathematics of production of profit, rather than the means by which the profit is produced. i.e. the people - as you say, during the post-war years the rewards of production were allocated to a level where people could be content enough - however from Thatcher onwards, the standards of the workers were eroded so much that the capitalists were at liberty to cease wage increases.

In a societal context, again, nobody goes back to basics, as they should do every now and again, to take stock of where societies have been, and where they are headed. To really understand what people need out of a governing body, and what they need for a happy and contented life - and this is assuming a left-wing government, because a right-wing government doesn't care about those things - preferring the idea of a colossal meritocracy where everyone has the same opportunity to be a greedy, money-grabbing b@$&ard. They conveniently forget or more likely don't care about the fact that the playing field is skewed from birth, by accident of birth, to the already privileged or to the underprivileged.

Kilkis wrote:Greece needs investment


I would disagree with you there - I think that Greece needs a debt write-off, as was the case throughout history, even in capitalism. The difference is that the capitalists of today see their bank balance as being more important than the lives of people, or indeed the viability of whole countries. Once debts become more manageable, the people of Greece will work their way out of the rest of the debt in time, and there would be inward investment. Potentially, there might even be a return of some of the youth who have moved overseas due to lack of opportunity here - this, however, needs a shift in policy and attitude to hiring for ability, rather than via the old nepotism and favouritism methods.
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Phil
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Guy M
Posts: 259
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Politics

Postby Guy M » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:26 pm

It was Plato. As Bertrand Russell said ‘all philosophy is a footnote to Plato and Aristotle’ so it’s normally quite a good bet that one or other of them will have said something fit for most things humans do.


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