Comment: Europe Crisis & Theological Sophism



This post was suggested by Rummuser


People say that my writing is provocative, but I am a provocative-wannabe compared to Stephan Richter

Richter (in this articleMartin Luther and the Eurozone: Theology as an Economic Destiny?”) basically suggests that Lutheranism is the symbol of hard work, fiscal discipline and thus Lutheran countries are economically solid. On the other hand Catholicism (due to its cancerous practice at the time of demanding indulgences [money donated to the church in exchange for forgiveness of one's sins]”) is the symbol of fiscal indiscipline, corruption, sloth and therefore Catholic nations are fiscally unhealthy.

A priori, given the present European economic crisis, we would be compelled to agree with Richter’s sophism. However, if you look into the past we will perhaps realise that the economic soundness of countries like Germany, and other Lutheran nations, is the result of the lessons learned from the past.
For example, Germany is a predominantly Lutheran country since the 17th century and the Weimar Republic, amid the Great Depression, suffered a severe economic crisis that pushed the nation toward extremism and eventually led to the rise of Adolf Hitler – we all know how well that went. But the point is, given her dark past I bet Germany does all it can to avoid the slightest recession lest history repeats itself.

The European crisis is in no way related to a theological background (although the concept is interesting); the Euro-crisis is related to a feeble European Model that needs to be re-shaped based on Euro-hindsight.

The economic crisis in some European nations is rooted in a deep mismanagement of public funds based, most of the times, on the illusion of redistribution of wealth.
If a political leader focuses more on policies to redistribute the state’s wealth (under the form of subsidies) rather than on policies of growth (under the form of empowering the business community and the people in general to be creative, produce, sell, export and innovate the country etc.); if he lacks fiscal discipline, eventually the country will have serious economic issues.
If people live beyond their means and are allergic to paying taxes and a government is unable to show them that their allergy is psychosomatic and that they must contribute to the state’s soundness; eventually there will be troubles.

Europe must tone down social policies and make more use of neoliberalism (bearing in mind, though, the abuses committed due to excessive deregulation of markets).
Europe must learn from Vusi Mahlasela (a South African artist) the true meaning the word “redistribution”:  redistribution of knowledge, values and culture.

The European Union must start thinking in terms of a European Unity, Vision and Project (because so far, it has been all about Germany and France only); if it wishes to foster Euro-Stability and Wealth... 

Comments

  1. European countries, in particular those in the EU, introduced us to three behaviours: 1- lets work for ourselves cause one day this may end; 2- lets not work cause the EU will be our cushion forever; 3- my partners and I will rule over EU members.
    No, theology has nothing to do with it but the european model does. It needs to be changed.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      "European countries, in particular those in the EU, introduced us to three behaviours: 1- lets work for ourselves cause one day this may end; 2- lets not work cause the EU will be our cushion forever; 3- my partners and I will rule over EU members."

      lol excellent criticism.

      "No, theology has nothing to do with it but the european model does. It needs to be changed."

      Absolutely.

      Anonymous, thank you ever so much for your input (and criticism) :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Ha, I wonder what he would say about us Mormons. :)

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    1. Hi D! :D

      "Ha, I wonder what he would say about us Mormons. :)"

      It would be interesting to know, wouldn't it? :)

      D, thank you so much for your input, darling :D!

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. In India, we use the term populist for the kind of social welfare programs that try to redistribute wealth. So far, the beneficiaries have not been the target population but the operators, read politicos and bureaucrats in between. Sooner than later we will have to face the same problem that say Greece is facing now but the message does not seem to reach the policy makers.

    The point is we are neither RC nor Lutheran!

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    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      "In India, we use the term populist for the kind of social welfare programs that try to redistribute wealth. So far, the beneficiaries have not been the target population but the operators, read politicos and bureaucrats in between."

      Oh-oh that will not end well *nodding*...it never does.

      "Sooner than later we will have to face the same problem that say Greece is facing now but the message does not seem to reach the policy makers."

      The Greek example is appalling. And the public reaction (and the leftists' reaction) is baffling: they are in utter denial; they won't take responsibility for their own situation; and they blame foreigners for their own mess. And I am not even sure that leaving the Euro will help them...

      "The point is we are neither RC nor Lutheran!"

      And a good point that is. Like I said, Richter's article was a sophism (even if an interesting one).

      Rummy thank you so much for having suggested this article and, thank you for your fabulous comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Hi Max,

    Happy Tuesday my friend!

    "If people live beyond their means and are allergic to paying taxes and a government is unable to show them that their allergy is psychosomatic and that they must contribute to the state’s soundness; eventually there will be troubles."

    Brilliant. ^5

    I guess the problem is that we all want what we want whether we can pay for it or not (thanks mostly to the concept of credit). I agree about mismanagement and the illusion of the redistribution of wealth. That does nothing except transfer the power from one group to another.

    I also love Vusi Mahlasela's definition. I would go one step further and add that we also need to redistribute love, for that is our true inherent wealth.

    Keep being the bright light of politics.

    Bright Light Cheers!

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    1. Hi Lady A :D!

      "Happy Tuesday my friend!"

      Happy Tuesday, my darling!

      "["If people live beyond their means and are allergic to paying taxes and a government is unable to show them that their allergy is psychosomatic (...) eventually there will be troubles."] Brilliant. ^5"

      Thank you ^5.

      "I guess the problem is that we all want what we want whether we can pay for it or not (thanks mostly to the concept of credit)."

      Yeah, thanks to easy credit...

      "I agree about mismanagement and the illusion of the redistribution of wealth. That does nothing except transfer the power from one group to another."

      You know it, girl!

      "I also love Vusi Mahlasela's definition. I would go one step further and add that we also need to redistribute love, for that is our true inherent wealth."

      It is a gorgeous definition. Indeed: we also need to redistribute love and kindness.
      I utterly loved this paragraph - thank you.

      "Keep being the bright light of politics."

      Aaah, you are generous: nevertheless, thank you so much, darling *bowing*.

      Lady A, what a fabulous comment: thank you ever so much for it :D.

      Enlightened Politics Cheers

      Delete
  5. Olá Max,

    When are we going to let Germany forget about her past sins? Never!
    I agree that Stephan Richter got his proud German-self a little bit carried away, even if he calls himself a catholic-born individual: theology doesn't explain this present crisis; but permissiveness does. And if we start talking about the Greek then irresponsibility and tax evasion may be added to the list.

    The European union needs urgently to undergo reformation (a bit of theological language lol).

    Rummuser did well to suggest this article and you did a good job at it: congratulations!

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      "When are we going to let Germany forget about her past sins? Never!"

      lol it is part of their history, what can we do?

      "I agree that Stephan Richter got his proud German-self a little bit carried away, even if he calls himself a catholic-born individual: theology doesn't explain this present crisis; but permissiveness does. And if we start talking about the Greek then irresponsibility and tax evasion may be added to the list."

      Indeed, indeed. Aren't the Greeks shocking? And yesterday, I saw the leader of a political party (far-right) slapping a member of the communist party around...it was dreadful.

      "The European union needs urgently to undergo reformation (a bit of theological language lol)."

      LOL I hear you.

      "Rummuser did well to suggest this article and you did a good job at it: congratulations!"

      Yeah, he did. Thanks, darling *bowing*.

      Celeste, thank you ever so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. The U.S. government encourages people to live beyond their means too. Easy credit to buy houses people can't afford. Easy credit for kids who want to go to college, resulting in college prices going through the roof and students signing themselves up for years and years, sometimes a lifetime, of debt. So the country is up to its ears in debt and the economy is going down the tubes. Who would have guessed?

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    1. Hi Jean :D!

      "The U.S. government encourages people to live beyond their means too. Easy credit to buy houses people can't afford. Easy credit for kids who want to go to college, resulting in college prices going through the roof and students signing themselves up for years and years, sometimes a lifetime, of debt."

      Easy credit seems to be a western malaise then...*nodding*.

      "So the country is up to its ears in debt and the economy is going down the tubes. Who would have guessed?"

      You know?

      Jean, thank you ever so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. This is what can be called the Revivalism of the German Superiority. Interesting how Richter hurries to say that he was raised Catholic, so what? So was Heinrich Himmler.
    Richter's article is nothing but inflammatory rubbish, but the only comment I make to the European situation is through Margaret Thatcher's words:

    "In the thirty-three years that I represented [Finchley], I never had a Jew come in poverty and desperation to one of my [town meetings],” and she often wished that Christians “would take closer note of the Jewish emphasis on self-help and acceptance of personal responsibility.”

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      "This is what can be called the Revivalism of the German Superiority."

      That is a wonderful title for a book, a post, or something...

      "Interesting how Richter hurries to say that he was raised Catholic, so what? So was Heinrich Himmler."

      lol Ai, Ana...but you are right, being Catholic or having been raised as one doesn't mean a whole lot to some people.

      "the only comment I make to the European situation is through Margaret Thatcher's words:
      «In the thirty-three years that I represented [Finchley], I never had a Jew come in poverty and desperation to one of my [town meetings],” and she often wished that Christians “would take closer note of the Jewish emphasis on self-help and acceptance of personal responsibility.».."

      Very good comment, Ana! Indeed the people in the EU should learn more about self-help and acceptance of personal responsibility.
      I used to have this article but I think I deleted it: will you send it to me?

      Ana, spectacular comment: thank you ever so much :D!

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Mais non...you are not provocative, you are a pussy cat, and compared to this German reporter you are a kitten ahahahah. Europe is in deep merde because its model envisages austerity which is limiting and a model that doesnt suit all european countries. Lets speak of the rules they came up with forbiding people from having small catering business unless they obeyed to certain conditions. I heard that now people selling their cooked goods have to use powder eggs etc...this limits people's ability to generate business, boost the economy. C'est une merde!

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    1. Hi Louis :D!

      "Mais non...you are not provocative, you are a pussy cat, and compared to this German reporter you are a kitten ahahahah."

      LOL very funny, monsieur *nodding*.

      "Europe is in deep merde because its model envisages austerity which is limiting and a model that doesnt suit all european countries."

      Now, you have spoken a great truth: the one-size-fit-all EU model is obsolete. Some of its rules are absurd because they don't take into account the political and economic identity of each individual country. You and the Irish are right.

      "Lets speak of the rules they came up with forbiding people from having small catering business unless they obeyed to certain conditions. I heard that now people selling their cooked goods have to use powder eggs etc...this limits people's ability to generate business, boost the economy. C'est une merde!"

      Yes, in Portugal at least they had to start baking traditional sweets with egg in powder - go figure. A complete disrespect for Portuguese traditions and sweet industry.
      And how about that rule that families couldn't kill their own cattle and herd for home-consumption? They had to go to a slaughter-house and pay to eat their own animals *nodding*...thank God that was reverted. But there are many similar laws that haven't been reverted and indeed hinder small business and survival of unemployed families.

      Louis, excellent points you have raised here: thank you so so much :D!

      Cheers

      Delete
  9. Just can't agree more with your thoughts...another thing I feel is the so called great economists are forgetting the very first chapter of Economics, which taught us Upsing/downswing, inflation/deflation is inherent, inevitable and a part and parcel of any economy, so its all natural that after a boom period a recessionary period will also come. Maybe not everyone is well conversant with economics, but atleast the Governments, who employ so called stalwarts in economics should take a lead in spreading the awareness. I guess the problem lies in the fact that Governments take an undue credit during boom periods and try to show off normal growth as achievements resulting out of their so called successful policies and then when the recession comes, they just can't find a place to hide their face. Socialism or capitalism, both have its advantages as well as pitfalls and the problem is the followers of both the system tries to outdo the other instead of some logical thinking. Its about understanding the concept rather than that of wishful hoodwinking.

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      "another thing I feel is the so called great economists are forgetting the very first chapter of Economics, which taught us Upsing/downswing, inflation/deflation is inherent, inevitable and a part and parcel of any economy, so its all natural that after a boom period a recessionary period will also come."

      That is what we were taught indeed...

      "Maybe not everyone is well conversant with economics, but atleast the Governments, who employ so called stalwarts in economics should take a lead in spreading the awareness."

      I agree with you.
      Looking at how financial and economically ignorant most people are (and that is why many fell in the loan-traps), it wouldn't be a bad idea to include basic economics and finance in school programmes (from the 5th grade until the 12th)...

      "I guess the problem lies in the fact that Governments take an undue credit during boom periods and try to show off normal growth as achievements resulting out of their so called successful policies and then when the recession comes, they just can't find a place to hide their face."

      lol lol good point.

      "Socialism or capitalism, both have its advantages as well as pitfalls and the problem is the followers of both the system tries to outdo the other instead of some logical thinking. Its about understanding the concept rather than that of wishful hoodwinking."

      Agreed!

      Kalyan, outstanding comment (as usual): thank you ever so much for it :D. Always a pleasure.

      Cheers

      Delete

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