Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

I have argued for decades that Western civilization has been an invisible worldwide blessing. Democracy, science-based decisions, courts and laws, widespread schooling and respect for the natural world are good things that make civilization possible.

I am pleased and proud that my Hellenic ancestors’ science, technology, philosophy, and culture sparked these blessings all over the world, especially to Western European societies, helping their metamorphosis from feudalism to enlightened democracies.

Historical decline of the West

I noticed, however, that these Western societies, including that of America, have been shedding their Greek origins and reverting to their tyrannical roots.

The industrialization of the nineteenth century was the first blow against the science and humanism Western societies discovered in the Greek-inspired Renaissance of the fifteenth century. Then came the two World Wars of the twentieth century and the atomic bomb. The West almost drowned in medieval barbarism.

America survived the holocaust of WWII. In fact, it thrived. The smashing of Nazi Germany and the American victory over imperial and aggressive Japan boosted American power the world over. America was the new Rome.

Russia and China

The only resistance to America came out of nuclear weapons-armed Soviet Union

(Russia) and, eventually, in late twentieth century, China, also armed with nukes. Russia discarded its 70-year communist government for capitalism in the 1990s. China did not abandon communism. Instead, it created a hybrid communist-capitalist political economy and government.

Russia has always been closer to the West. It is a Christian country that received its Christianity in the ninth century from medieval Greece. China, however, was never a Christian country. In the early twenty-first century, it retains its communist-capitalist government but, as civilization, it is returning to its Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist traditions.

Both Russia and China did not participate in the Renaissance of the fifteenth century, though they have been borrowing heavily from the West. China in particular has been borrowing so much from the United States that it is an almost American clone.

Western occupation of Greece

A strong sign that the West has been in deep trouble emerged from its recent encounters with Greece. In fact, the treatment of Greece by the financial center of the West – the European Union and America’s International Monetary Fund, strongly suggest decline and fall of Western civilization.

Debt precipitated the violent confrontation between Greece and the West. Greece borrowed money from French, German and American banks.

The American financial tsunami of 2008 triggered forces of violence covered up by the polite shine of civilization. The American-European condominium of the West abandoned any pretense of cooperation even among the countries of the European “Union,” which include Greece.

The bankers of Germany and France, imitating their big American Wall Street brothers, were almost bankrupt and needed immediate state support. But EU law prohibits states from bailing out their banks.

As if by divine intervention, Greece owned money to those banks. Working closely with America’s IMF, the EU leadership proceeded to treat Greece like a lab animal in order to save its banks and to send a strong undemocratic message to other countries about the absolute rule of money.

IMF sent to Athens a Greek employee to take over the Greek statistical service. This man, Andreas Georgiou, was a statistics guru. The Greek Supreme Court accused him of harming the Greek national interest. He was said to have increased the 2009 budget deficit figure, thus triggering the recent debt tragedy of his own country at the hands of IMF. The 2015 Truth Commission / committee of the Greek parliament put it more diplomatically, and correctly connected the crime to the October 4, 2009 election of George Papandreou who deceived the Greeks with fake socialist promises of ending the austerity and fixing the economy.

The parliamentary report of the Truth Commission said Papandreou assured the Greeks their country had money, promising increased employment and more redistribution of wealth. However, the report says, “ just a few weeks after the [2009] elections, a series of substantial revisions of statistical data took place. As a result, the political climate changed sharply.”

No doubt about that. The revised statistics had dire consequences for Greece.

According to the Greek economics professor, Zoe Georganta, Georgiou probably massaged the Greek budget and debt statistics. Georganta says the man was arbitrary and authoritarian, not allowing transparency or staff discussion of the integrity of statistics. He was doing the bidding of Papandreou and IMF. She should know. She worked at the Greek statistical service under the direction of Georgiou.

In addition to IMF, Georganta says, the other primary actors responsible for the West’s aggression against Greece include the European Commission and the European Statistical Service. She says the EU bureaucracy and, indeed, the EU countries are rife with corruption. They, including Germany, fiddled with their deficit and debt statistics in order to satisfy the EU requirements for forming the EU.

Georganta did not limit her criticism to the European-American political class. She expressed the same contempt for the Greek elite. She said Greek politicians for the most part are traitors, reigning over parties that are by no means patriotic.

Illegal, illegitimate, odious, and unsustainable debt

In 2015, the president of the Greek parliament, Zoe Konstantopoulou, empowered a special audit committee to investigate the debt. The committee declared the debt “illegal, illegitimate, odious, and unsustainable.”

In her speech to the United Nations in New York, September 3, 2015, Konstantopoulou assured the world parliamentarians that the

Greek sovereign debt was “illegal, illegitimate, odious and unsustainable.” The procedures used for figuring out the amount of the debt (meaning the statistical manipulation of the deficit and debt figures) grossly violated constitutional law, parliamentary procedures, and  human rights and freedoms guaranteed by international law.

The debt owned to IMF, the Truth Commission concluded, was illegal. It contradicted the statues of IMF. But more importantly, it violated the Greek Constitution as well as international customary law and treaties signed by Greece. The Greek debt to IMF was also illegitimate because the IMF demands to Greece for debt repayment infringed on the obligations of Greece to respect and protect human rights.

Furthermore, the audit parliamentary committee said, the debt to IMF was “odious” because everything IMF did to collect its loans was undemocratic, with harmful consequences on the ecological and public health and wellbeing of the Greek people.

The parliamentary report added that states under the political stress of sovereign debt, and especially when the debt is illegal, illegitimate, odious and unsustainable, can repudiate it without violating norms of international law.

In the case of Greece, the committee said, repudiating the debt was easy. Creditors and the EU-IMF were tainted by hostility towards the country. Besides, the creditors’ bad faith forced Greece to violate its own laws and its international human rights obligations. In addition, creditors and the EU-IMF had exercised coercion against a sovereign nation, their unfair requirements, the committee said,  “flagrantly violating Greek sovereignty and violating the Constitution.”

The parliamentary committee emphasized that international law gives the right of self-defense to states threatened by illegal, illegitimate, odious and unsustainable debt. This means an indebted country can declare itself insolvent without liability. In other words, a state has the legal right to “invoke necessity in exceptional situations in order to safeguard those essential interests threatened by a grave and imminent [debt] peril.”

Konstantopoulou appealed in vain to the world parliamentarians and the United Nations to reject and oppose the EU-IMF violence against Greece.

The eclipse of the West

At that moment, from 2009 to 2015, when IMF and EU took over Greece, Western civilization eclipsed by the giant rising star of multinational banking oligarchy. The European and American bureaucrats and politicians used the loans to Greece to help their banks, starving the Greek economy to near paralysis and dissolution. Such illegal acts essentially abolished the Greek Constitution and international law, both crimes against humanity.

The violence of the pre-Renaissance days became the new West. This outrageous subversion of democracy climaxed in the United States with the administration of Donald Trump, 2017-2021. This president intensified America’s class war. He chose billionaires for his cabinet, and embraced billionaires; he refused to admit the flaming danger of climate change, and, simultaneously, all but he wiped out America’s environmental regulations and protection. The election of Joe Biden to the presidency triggered Trump’s revenge by inciting the US Capitol insurrection of January 6, 2021. Trump was the first “legal” tyrant in America who tried to subvert the American Constitution and take over the government.

The IMF-EU “memoranda” to Greece from Washington, DC, Brussels and Berlin were Trump-like tyrannical orders, empowering foreigners to do as they pleased to prostrate Greece. Greek “prime ministers” and “parliament” became a façade and the whip of foreign occupiers.

The results of this onslaught on Greece “saved” the EU-American banks. The starvation diet EU-IMF imposed on the very country that gave the West civilization and the Europeans their name, will not be forgotten or forgiven.

No less important, the ferocious attack against Greece shows the collapse of capitalism. The money oligarchs have no love for their country, unless they control its wheels of power. They imposed austerity to the people of the West, too. America’s central bank, the Fed, pumped billions primarily into the pockets of the very rich during the pandemic year of 2020. The excuse was to “stabilize and boost” the shut-down economy, but the winners were bankers and billionaires.

Westerners, including Americans, like the Greeks, are struggling to find better alternatives to the unethical banking oligarchy managing the world.

What to do

The Greeks need a new patriotic government to set their house in order. Abolish the corrupt political parties and return to the classical Athenian model of direct democracy. Abandon industrialized farming for small-scale ecological agriculture, carbon neutral, and sufficient to raise nutritious and pesticides-free food for all, including tourists. Turn to the Sun (Helios) for fueling the country’s electricity needs, transportation, and industry. Revive traditional crafts and appropriate, but not polluting, industries for the production of necessities like defensive weapons, pharmaceuticals, clothes, shoes, bicycles, electric cars and electric bullet trains and trams.

At the same time, Greeks must wake up to the danger from the new money oligarchy of the West. Georganta says Greeks must resist foreign and domestic agendas designed for their disappearance. She is not saying this lightly.

Greeks need to stand up and be counted. Expel all EU-IMF representatives from the country and restore national sovereignty and authority of the Constitution and international law. Take back the national property “sold” to foreigners. Stop paying the illegal, illegitimate, odious, and unsustainable debt. And if the EU-IMF threaten to cut off euros to Greece, the country should return to its own currency, the drachma.

Use the international and Greek system of laws to collect the huge debt Germany owns Greece. If Germany continues to deny its debt, confiscate any German property in Greece and cease importing German goods. Maria Negroponti-Delivanis, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Macedonia, has calculated the costs of WWII German occupation of Greece to equal about 1 (one) trillion euros.

The Germans in Greece, 1941-1944, were ferocious bordering on barbarism. They nearly starved the country to death. They killed the domesticated animals of the peasants; they cut off cities from the countryside, and wiped out dozens of villages. They looted the country’s archaeological treasures and destroyed Greek infrastructure. They also took a forced loan from the occupied Greek government.

America knows this history, but for Cold War reasons it supports Germany. Greek Americans can lobby American politicians to the justice of the Greek cause for German reparations. Israel and the Jewish American lobby are excellent models for enlisting the American government for forcing the Germans to pay up for their crimes.

America also supports Turkey, which remains the nearly unspoken factor behind the efforts of the West to diminish Greece, and worse: dismember the country as they did in the aftermath of the fourth crusade of 1204. Several Greek academics and intellectuals see Turkey as a mortal enemy on whose behalf the West (EU-IMF) has been undermining Greece.

Nevertheless, Greece must stand up to this danger. Stop the illegal Turkish export of Moslem migrants to the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos. Close the Greek sea border to Turkey and repatriate all illegal migrants in Greece.

Draft all young Greeks to military service for two to three years — and strengthen the Greek armed forces. Again, Israel is the model.

This agenda demands that Greeks are working together, not against each other. Merchants funded the Greek Revolution of 1821. They (in Greece and America and Europe) can do it again for the remaking of Greece into Hellas: a self-reliant, democratic, green, strong, and free country, once again, at the center of Hellenic civilization.

Finally, the government must revive education, immersing the young into ancient Greek, Latin, Hellenic history, as well as the knowledge and achievements of their ancient ancestors. This will make it possible for the flourishing of young people who have the ideas, intelligence, courage and love to make the country the best it can become.

Evaggelos Vallianatos, Ph.D., studied history and biology at the University of Illinois; earned his Ph.D. in Greek and European history at the University of Wisconsin; did postdoctoral studies in the history of science at Harvard. He worked on Capitol Hill and the US EPA; taught at several universities and authored several books, including The Antikythera Mechanism: The Story Behind the Genius of the Greek Computer and its Demise.