A wry view of life for the world-weary

Deja Vu Of The Week


So the Greeks have elected in Syriza in an attempt to put pressure on the EU to reduce or cancel the burden of debt.

Of course, the Greeks (or more precisely) the Athenians have previous in this regard. Take the case of Solon’s economic reforms around 600 BCE.

Under Athenian law debtors who could not pay back their loans were made slaves of their creditors. The inability of many small to middling farmers to meet their debt obligations prompted civil unrest.

Solon’s solution was a series of economic reforms known as the seisachtheia or the shaking off of burdens. Under these reforms debtors could not be enslaved by their creditors and that all who had already been enslaved because of debt would be liberated. To prevent the concentration of land falling into the hands of the few again, which caused the problems in the first place, Solon limited the amount of land any one person could own.

Having done it before, no wonder they think they can do it again.


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