Meritocrat: A person who believes in a “social system which gives the highest positions to those with the most ability,” the meritocrat’s argument will typically be concerned with the most capable parties rising to the top.
There is a new world order out there, one where wars are not fought by uniformed armies but by unarmed protestors. Theirs is a fight not against tanks and mortars but against the machine that has turned their dream of economic equivalence into a squalid nightmare. These citizens of the new millennium are brought face-to-face with the reality that the post-war economic miracle of Germany seems to have succeeded in taking effective control of Europe with a power that is different yet mightier than the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe that made a bid for European hegemony during the Second World War. Today, the battle is fought with economic decrees and not with gunpowder. There are no lives lost in war-torn fronts, but utter desperation, men no longer leave their homes to go to the front but stay at home depressed and chronically unemployed.
The newly disenfranchised people of Europe are pointing their collective fingers at Germany. Millions of people are blaming Germany and its unwavering emphasis on austerity measures for their fall from grace. When you hear of middle-class Italians becoming homeless and living in cardboard boxes or of the heart-breaking story of the Greek musician jumping from a roof with his 90 year old Alzheimer-stricken mother, it is hard not to feel extreme sadness and bitterness. And bitterness always looks for somebody to blame. But is it really Germany, its economic success, its desire to see its neighbours act in a fiscally responsible way that is the culprit? Is it not, rather, the weakness of Germany´s European neighbours in not controlling their indulgence for massive overspending and unfettered corruption that has brought them to their knees?
Europe is suffering and is going to suffer more. In 1940 Winston Churchill, pointing out the dire situation of the Allies suffering serious defeats at the hands of Nazi Germany, said that there was no other solution than “blood, toil, tears and sweat”. The defeats that Europe is facing today are played out in the offices of bankers and bureaucrats, on factory and supermarket floors, in the kitchens of homes with empty larders, and not in the battlefields, but this time around too the condition that Europe is facing will require sacrifices of herculean proportions. Blaming Germany, a country that has itself crossed the economic desert of fiscal adjustment in the last decade and a half post-integration, is like blaming your parents for refusing to give you more money after you have thoughtlessly and recklessly squandered the fortune they left you in trusts.
This European crisis may well be a Darwinian “survival of the fittest” but in this case the fittest may have shackled themselves by the ankles to their weak and irrepressible neighbours. And so, whether we speak of German conquest or of German blame, the endgame of the solution of European evolution is a much closer and honest union where everybody plays and pays for their part.
The Periscope Post is a trademarked brand of Periscope Media, Ltd, a company Registered in England and Wales with company No. 6875068. VAT Registration No. 977995522.