It’s the “I don’t give money to beggars – they’ll only spend it on drugs” attitude, only on a much larger scale. And the meme for the last several years has been precisely this – Greece has been consistently portrayed as having brought this mess on itself.
Well, yes—who else is responsible for the vast amounts of debt piled up by the Greek government?
Let us ignore, for a moment, the Greek citizens' near-legendary propensity for evading payment of their taxes (although it is a major factor in the economic situation, to be sure) and concentrate, instead, on what this says about democracy itself.
Is NM implying that the people are not, in fact, responsible for the actions of their governments? If so, then it begs the question of who is responsible...?
More importantly, this suggests that "representative democracy" is not, in fact, representative of the demos at all. In which case, of course, we do not live in a democracy, but in a dictatorial oligarchy.
Which gives the lie to the validity of our politicians' claims to rule in our stead, in our voice, or in our interests.
Alternatively, the Western system of "representative democracy" is valid, and the Greek people are, in fact, responsible for the predicament in which the now find themselves.
Given the Greek people's attitude—the constant strikes, riots and protests against the austerity measures, for instance—and the general attitude of wanting to have their cake and eat it would, in fact, rather suggest that this is the case.
Not that this conclusion can apply only to the Greeks—it applies just as much to the rest of the peoples of the so-called Western democracies.
The Western social democratic model is bust—but there is no shortage of ideological idiots and selfish morons who think that things can carry on as before.
This is dangerous stupidity.
A step change in the attitude of the Western demos is required—for it is, let us to beat about the bush, they (we) who are at fault.
I propose that the first start should be an attitudinal change: whenever someone receives benefits, they should also get a covering letter with the following inscribed in large, red, block type:
This money was stolen by force from your neighbours. You are a thief and an extortionist. Enjoy!
It's a small thing, but might be a first step in to pointing out the intrinsic truth of our benefits system.