Ancient Greek solution for debt crisis
1. Debt, division and revolt. Here's the 6th Century BC news from Athens. Revolution was imminent, but the aristocrat Solon emerged as a just mediator between the interests of rich and poor. He abolished debt bondage, limited land ownership, and divided the citizen body into classes with different levels of wealth and corresponding financial obligations.
2. What happens next? The Delphic oracle "Know yourself. Nothing in excess."
3. Nothing new under the sun: The sage Pythagoras "everything comes round again, so nothing is completely new".
4. Mind you, it could be worse… Odysseus and endurance one should recognise that things could be, and have been, even worse. Harder challenges have been faced and -- with due intelligence and fortitude -- overcome.
5. Are you sure that's right? Socrates and tireless inquiry Fellow Athenians were so offended by his scrutiny of their political and moral convictions that they voted to execute him in 399 BC, and thereby made him an eternal martyr to free thought and moral inquiry.
Well, at least he did not not need to fight against tetchy intolerance that would have kicked him off an internet site. · ·
6. How did those jokers end up in charge? Aristophanes the comedian His comedy Frogs of 405 BC...contained heartfelt and unambiguous advice for his politically fickle fellow citizens: choose good leaders, or you will be stuck with bad ones.
7. Should we do the same as last time? Heraclitus the thinker While change is constant, different things change at different rates. In an environment of ceaseless flux, it is important to identify stable markers and to hold fast to them.
8. Tell me the worst, doctor. Hippocrates faces the facts Magical or wishful thinking cannot bring a cure. Only honest, exhaustive, empirical observation can hope to reveal what works and what does not.
That last seems to be the one with which Americans perennially have the greatest difficulty.
9. Seizing the opportunity: Cleisthenes and democracy The ancient Greeks were strongly aware of the power of opportunity -- in Greek, kairos. Seizing the moment -- in oratory, athletics, or battle -- was admired and viewed as an indication of skill.
10. Big problem, long bath: Archimedes the inventor Finding the solution to a knotty problem requires hard thinking, but the answer often comes only when you switch off -- and take a bath.
Few people today seem to know that the dictum of Hippocrates, Life is short, art is long,
continues on : "the opportune moment [kairos]
is critical, the attempt is hazardous, judgment is difficult."