1+1=2 but 1,000,000+1,000,000=history

February 25th, 2012

The popular media are full of ‘news’ about Greek finances and their impact on the political landscape of Europe and beyond;

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick: Greece’s 130bn bailout merely buys it time

Robert Zoellick, the outgoing President of the World Bank, has warned that Greece’s latest 130bn (108bn) bailout would merely buy it time, adding that a European recession would hamper crucial reforms needed to lift the area out of the crisis.

The desperate acts of vainglorious politicians (not to mention the blinkered journalists who insist political /economic restructuring is the big story here) are of interest for one reason only: to remind us of that feature noted by Thomas Carlyle in his opus of 1837.

Hunger and nakedness and righteous oppression lying heavy on 25 million hearts: this, not the wounded vanities or contradicted philosophies of philosophical advocates, rich shopkeepers, rural noblesse, was the prime mover in the French revolution; as the like will be in all such revolutions, in all countries.

I am indebted to Edward Hallett Carr and his magnificent lectures collected in ‘What Is History?’ for selecting this quote in his discussion that history is ‘a matter of numbers’.

Athens mayhem raises fears of Greek social explosion

(Reuters) – Greek political leaders say the nation must accept yet more punishing austerity or face a social explosion, but after a night of violence and destruction in Athens, some people fear this explosion may already be about to begin.

‘Punishing austerity’ lies heavy on more hearts every day. The number grows. History awaits.

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