All Against All In Anger

The citizens of Greece are angry. They have begun a two-day strike, the “biggest in years” to hear union leaders describe it. Some have threatened to encircle Parliament to prevent a vote on austerity measures. The 70,000 gathered in central Athens today make Occupy Wall Street look like a coffee klatch.

Witness the final act of the great liberal politics play–the war of all against all. Perhaps Hobbes will forgive me for invoking him well before we are slashing each other’s throats in Starbucks. The sad thing is that this reference is appropriate at all.

Greece has lived fat on the idea that government provides. It provides this, it provides that, it provides damn near anything one could need or want. When individuals receive from the government, they soon stop noticing where what they receive comes from–their neighbors. When the chickens came home to roost, Greeks were aghast that international creditors refused to support their profligacy any longer. The answer? Strike!

Americans, watch closely. Somewhere near the end of this decade, maybe sooner, we will be paddling in the same leaky canoe that Greece is in right now. Only there won’t be anyone to bail us out. Greeks are angry, all right, but their anger is useless. They think by stamping their feet and demanding, they can get something that isn’t there. They have forgotten how to be adults, and when the dam breaks, they will childishly not have bothered to learn how to swim.

Like children, it is much easier to convince those to behave who have not first been spoiled. The liberal (or “progressive,” as liberals now like to say) agenda requires all to submit their wills to the collective, at least enough to make them forget how to provide for themselves. Ironically, the Anointed Ones who carry the liberal agenda forward soon find the beneficiaries of their superior morality turning against them as the sack of candy nears empty.

If the Greeks were to stop for a moment, they would find a nasty but perfectly natural choice confronting them. They can either face the music and accept that government can no longer provide more than a tiny fraction of what is has up to now or they can bring the whole show down. I predict the latter.

Liberals believe, whether they admit it or not, that sacrificing oneself to the collective is both right and achievable on a wide scale. They are shocked when the inevitable happens and recipients of government largess start grabbing more than giving. Their answer is always the same–take more from someone to keep someone else happy. Eventually, the numbers don’t work and we face one set of people who refuse to give anymore and one who is quite willing to take when the giving ends.

We are passing close to world-wide anarchy. Nature will prevail and one way or another we will be driven back to a social structure in which each provides for himself. We can do it peacefully and voluntarily or by being forced to resort to humanity’s Hobbesian default setting. I for one, would like to enjoy my Starbucks coffee without having to keep a weapon at hand. How about you?

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to All Against All In Anger

  1. How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.
    Adolf Hitler


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