Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Lessons for Greece

By Evaggelos Vallianatos - posted Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Greece is thousands of years old. At her golden age, some 25 centuries ago, Greece was like light, giving birth to democracy, philosophy, science, technology and other arts of civilisation.

At that time, Greece was several hundred states spread over Greece proper and all over the Mediterranean. In the fourth century BCE, Alexander the Great united Greece and created a vast empire that disseminated Hellenic culture all over the world.

The Greeks then were pious to many gods. They considered the earth mother of the gods and the cosmos eternal and divine.


However, Rome changed the Greek world forever. Rome took advantage of Greek disunity and jealousy and ended the independence of Greece in the second century BCE. Six hundred years later, the Roman Empire took another step with even more deleterious effects on Greece.

The Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity a state religion. Christianity then with the blessings of the Christian emperors made Greece a palimpsest: violently removing the Greeks’ many gods and culture from Greece and writing Jesus on the body of the country.

Fragments from the ancient Greek culture, five centuries ago, made the modern world, including America. Greece, however, was not included in that Renaissance because the Turks captured it.

As a result, Greece today is of little consequence. The Christianisation of the country and the effect of four centuries of Turkish conquest all but extinguished the Hellenic culture of the country.

America, on the other hand, is a giant country of gigantic consequences. At its revolutionary moment in 1776, America recognised its debt to ancient Greece, borrowing Greek democracy and wisdom.

Thomas Jefferson, schooled in classical Greek learning, met the great Greek scholar Adamantios Koraes who was working in Paris for the liberation of Greece from Turkey. Jefferson advised Koraes how the emerging Greek republic should organise itself.


Now, however, America is bereft of politicians like Jefferson, keeping the Greek classics strictly in the college classrooms. Politicians dream of empire and wealth. They, and those who fund them, resemble the oligarchy of the Roman Empire. They are obsessed with money and “security” to protect their ill-gotten riches.

Greeks and other Europeans come to America to learn how to make money the American way.

This moneymaking machine - known as globalisation - wrecks national cultures and threatens the viability of the planet. First, corporations are free to do as they please. So they pollute and undermine life on earth. Global warming is largely a corporate product. Second, America’s preoccupation with money and greed is universal corruption, eating away at democracy and recreating feudalism. And, third, in the case of Greece: globalisation pushed the country to its current existential crisis.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

3 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Evaggelos Vallianatos is the author of several books, including Poison Spring (Bloomsbury Press, 2014).

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Evaggelos Vallianatos

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 3 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy