Disciplining Greece….again

On the day that Greece is once again being harangued about ‘austerity’ by the wealthy of Europe, a resonant thought from Henry Miller writing in 1944:

“In her hour of greatest need Greece was betrayed by the great powers of the earth.  What in fact can they supply her with, assuming that they regain ascendancy over the common enemy?  Food, machinery, money perhaps.  And distorted codes of justice, of education, of economy.  And in return for these dubious gifts? In return they will ask, as all great powers have always asked, that Greece obediently play the role of cat’s paw.  Perhaps they will renew their archaeological burrowings, turn up new ruins, new evidences of ancient splendour.  And they will weep copious crocodile tears over the things of the past while rearming themselves to befoul the present beauties of the earth.  They will encourage their heroic little ally to fight again with the ancient ardour in the name of all that is un-Greek, un-Mediterranean.  At the utmost they will only be able to teach the people of Greece how to become efficient, soulless work dogs.”

Miller, H, 1944, Sunday After the War, New York, New Directions Books: 61

2 thoughts on “Disciplining Greece….again

  1. 20 years later, LBJ at his best:

    When the Greek ambassador said that the Greek parliament and constitution had not authorised to him to give away parts of his country, President Johnson let the customary cover of diplomacy slip, revealing the realities of US power politics, and yelled: ‘Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked good …We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitution, he, his parliament and his constitution may not last long… Don’t forget to tell old Papa-what’s-his-name what Ι told you.’

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