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Ninth Doctor

Greece bailout because…Kant?

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One may think that this retreat from game theory is motivated by some radical-left agenda. Not so. The major influence here is Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher who taught us that the rational and the free escape the empire of expediency by doing what is right.

 

How do we know that our modest policy agenda, which constitutes our red line, is right in Kant’s terms? We know by looking into the eyes of the hungry in the streets of our cities or contemplating our stressed middle class, or considering the interests of hard-working people in every European village and city within our monetary union. After all, Europe will only regain its soul when it regains the people’s trust by putting their interests center-stage.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/opinion/yanis-varoufakis-no-time-for-games-in-europe.html?_r=0

 

I find myself looking forward to some able Objectivist writing a reply that explains: No Greece bailout because…Aristotle.  Hopefully it won’t be an intellectual embarrassment that misrepresents Kant.  Honestly I don’t even see the connection to Kant in what Varoufakis wrote. 

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One may think that this retreat from game theory is motivated by some radical-left agenda. Not so. The major influence here is Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher who taught us that the rational and the free escape the empire of expediency by doing what is right.

 

How do we know that our modest policy agenda, which constitutes our red line, is right in Kant’s terms? We know by looking into the eyes of the hungry in the streets of our cities or contemplating our stressed middle class, or considering the interests of hard-working people in every European village and city within our monetary union. After all, Europe will only regain its soul when it regains the people’s trust by putting their interests center-stage.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/opinion/yanis-varoufakis-no-time-for-games-in-europe.html?_r=0

 

I find myself looking forward to some able Objectivist writing a reply that explains: No Greece bailout because…Aristotle.  Hopefully it won’t be an intellectual embarrassment that misrepresents Kant.  Honestly I don’t even see the connection to Kant in what Varoufakis wrote. G

His game-theory reference was in response to the German accusation that Greece was, in the american parlance, playing chicken with the fate of the EU: either give Greece it's re-negotiation or it will quit the EU, inviting economic catastrophe.

 

Vara says that this is not the case at all. Rather it's the Kantian categorical that demands he must act in a way consistent with having drawn a red line. Lives are threatened beneath the red line, making it non-negotiable; SIRZA was elected with that promise to keep.

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His game-theory reference was in response to the German accusation that Greece was, in the american parlance, playing chicken with the fate of the EU: either give Greece it's re-negotiation or it will quit the EU, inviting economic catastrophe.

 

Vara says that this is not the case at all. Rather it's the Kantian categorical that demands he must act in a way consistent with having drawn a red line. Lives are threatened beneath the red line, making it non-negotiable; SIRZA was elected with that promise to keep.

Even if I was to buy into the altruistic premise that the rich should support the poor, I gotta break it to you: Greeks are not "the poor". They retire earlier that other Europeans, they work less, they receive more generous welfare packages, all funded by not only European taxpayers, but  also taxpayers from around the world (through the IMF).

 

All the while, there are billions of actual poor people in the world, who live in misery and get no help from anyone. Please, explain to me how Syriza plans to use moral blackmail to try and convince the world to give them even more money. I find the notion fascinating. I know how they did it last time (they got lucky, because Europe had to protect its own financial institutions during the financial crisis, there was no choice but to bail out Greece). But now there's no financial crisis, and there's not much private exposure to Greek debt anyway, so they have nothing. All they have is the nonsense you're talking about, and even that doesn't work since the Greeks are not actually poor.

 

Comparing Greece to a beggar with its hand out asking for money is too generous. Greece is a beggar in a fancy suit, driving up in a nice car, standing outside a factory with its hand out, asking workers passing by for money. Please, explain to me why they should be given any.

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Even if I was to buy into the altruistic premise that the rich should support the poor, I gotta break it to you: Greeks are not "the poor". They retire earlier that other Europeans, they work less, they receive more generous welfare packages, all funded by not only European taxpayers, but  also taxpayers from around the world (through the IMF).

 

All the while, there are billions of actual poor people in the world, who live in misery and get no help from anyone. Please, explain to me how Syriza plans to use moral blackmail to try and convince the world to give them even more money. I find the notion fascinating. I know how they did it last time (they got lucky, because Europe had to protect its own financial institutions during the financial crisis, there was no choice but to bail out Greece). But now there's no financial crisis, and there's not much private exposure to Greek debt anyway, so they have nothing. All they have is the nonsense you're talking about, and even that doesn't work since the Greeks are not actually poor.

 

Comparing Greece to a beggar with its hand out asking for money is too generous. Greece is a beggar in a fancy suit, driving up in a nice car, standing outside a factory with its hand out, asking workers passing by for money. Please, explain to me why they should be given any.

My post explained why Vara would cite Kant. As to whether or not the country is 'really' poor, feel free to take your discussion and argument to Vara himself.

 

Yet what everyone agrees to is that Greece no longer has a functioning banking system, and must be given injections of cash in order to become a lender, which is what banks are 'spozed to do.

 

It's otherwise clear to most of us that banks are necessary--therefore, their lack thereof would create poverty ipso facto. 

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No, it didn't. You post was some nonsense about some red line under which lives are threatened.

The red-line is that of Varo; the thread is about explaining what he meant. To the extent that you feel it's nonsense, go take it up with him.

 

Otherwise, it's rather clear that you don't understand Kant.

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