Monday, June 20, 2011

Solon’s Solution: Freedom From Debt (Servitude)

Athens, unlike Sparta, was a money-mad commercial city. The constitution written by Solon mitigated the class struggle between rich and poor, and allowed for the growth of democratic institutions.
Solon "Lawmaker of Athens" 638 - 559 BC

Let's go back to Athens around 602 BC to: The Laws of Draco

I wont even begin to discuss the esoteric implications of "Draco" (reptilian) laws being written for the Athenians at that time, that were so severe all crimes were to be punished by death. I don't know if these humans were interacting with 'entities' .. but this had to be a specific power group who showed little regard for their fellow man.

Aristotle described the crisis prior to Solon`s economic reforms:
There was contention between the nobles and the mass of the people for a long time.. the poor were in servitude to the rich…now the whole country was in the hands of a few…the hardest and bitterest feature for the masses was their servitude…for in nothing, one might say, had they any share.

Solon’s Solution: Freedom from Debt
Solon’s first action was to proclaim the celebrated law known as the “shaking off of burdens”. He cancelled the debts of the poor. That’s right, he cancelled debt! And every citizen who had been sold abroad into slavery was brought back to Athens with public funds. “Shaking off of burdens” became the name of a festival of thanksgiving held every year in Solon’s honor, and the Athenians never tired of extolling Solon, whom they proudly called the “Father of Democracy”.

Solon also required every man to teach his son a trade, and forbade the export of selected raw materials to foreigners. That is, he mandated local production before “free trade”.
On The Verge of Civil War

Does all of this sound familiar? Do the struggles of ancient Greece sound sort of similar to the social and economic struggles of today? Well, it seems to be a human drama playing itself out in cycles .. perhaps because we do not learn; but simply repeat the patterns of the past.

Under Athenian law at that time, if a loan went into default, the creditor could seize the debtor and his family and sell them as slaves to get money to pay off the debt. The cruelty and arrogance of the rich caused the poor to form into gangs to save themselves and rescue those who had been made slaves through usury.
Solon by Plutarch

Well, in reality what are we talking about here? Surely about resource conflicts. This is the basis of current economics. Resources are wealth, land is wealth, populations are wealth. For example, when the Anglo Saxons invaded Celtic Britain they enslaved the local populations to their laws and designs. Colonizing Celtic Wales, Ireland and Scotland was not only about land ownership; but it was also about ownership of the local populations - who are considered a resource until today.

Let's go back to Athens and Greece, where banks and institutions consider land, resources and populations as 'wealth'. I am not talking about 559 BC .. I am talking about now .. as in today!

Sovereign Debt & Servitude
As the future unfolds surely everyone knows or is aware that Greece will never pay back its 'debts'. Athens will also not agree to a 'land grab' .. assets for debt. Go back and study the history of this region. To the people of Athens and to the people of Greece any attempt to exchange land and resources for 'debt' will be seen as an 'invasion'. I am assessing this purely from a historical perspective.

You can 'lend the Greeks money'; but they will never exchange their land resources for 'debt' .. nor do they make good slaves .. from a historical perspective that is just the way they are. They wont do it for God, they wont do it for banks and they wont do it for the EU...

You may as well call the debt institutions 'Draco', from a historical perspective!

Some wicked men are rich, some good men poor,
But I would rather trust in what's secure;
Our virtue sticks with us and makes us strong,
But money changes owners all day long.

- Solon of Athens