Many scholars have called Athens, Greece the birthplace of Democracy. The Athenians invented a new kind of government in which the masses chose their leaders. If the leaders began to act as tyrants, the population would have the power to choose new leaders. In a case of historical irony, Athens has now become the birthplace of the end of Democracy – for themselves and any country which follows in their recent tendencies of overspending and embracing socialism.
Terrified Greek pensioners – men and women who have worked their entire lives – have swarmed closed bank branches this week. Lines of jostling, panicked Greeks assembled outside ATM machines, not even knowing whether or not their life savings will be available. This jumble followed a period of time when no one in Greece was allowed to access their money.
The banks and the country’s stock market have been closed for the week, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ surprise call for a referendum next Sunday. With the European Union refusing to budge on the budget and reform proposals, a rejection of austerity by Greece will certainly cause expulsion from the European Union.
While the American government has spent the last eight years refusing cut-backs and attempting to spend their way out of debt, we can see an example of how that philosophy works in other parts of the world. Many in Greece now face the grim fate of losing everything they own to their socialist government, but so many in America still maintain socialism’s superiority over capitalism. Although the Greeks of ancient times gave America a great example to live by, the present-day Greeks have given us a perfect example of what not to do.