Lessons from Greece: Can Third World nations really afford ‘democratic’ governments?

You can almost hear Robin Leach snootily addressing his audience in the popular 1980s TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous when you read this:

See that demoractic government? You can’t afford it.

By hook and, literally, by crook a while back, Greece joined the European Union and replaced the drachma with the euro as its currency. Two national bailouts and another one currently cooking in the oven later, the country is on its knees, on the verge of swallowing a deal that will likely see its Scandinavian-styled welfare state severely downsized and its key infrastructure works and prized national treasures possibly seized or held as collateral by its wary creditors.

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The story of Greece is really a short one. First, the country entered into commitments it could not honour. It tried to join a clique of nations it was not equipped to keep up with and pandered to socialist ideals without the resources to back it. Second, it consumed without producing. By a lot of accounts, much of the proceeds from the massive debt it incurred were wasted on bloating its bureacracy and bribing its voters. Funds were spent rather than capitalised. Instead of going into permanent assets that generate income, improve productivity, and expand equity, funds were pissed away into the wind never to be seen again.

It’s simple financial management. You either save your money for use later when your income can no longer sustain you or you invest it in durable stuff that can deliver you value over a sustained period. If you spend your next euro on things that disappear (or significantly degrade) after a brief dopamine fix, that’s one less euro to brighten your future.

As my colleague Ilda wrote earlier, there is much the Philippines can learn from Greece.

For one thing, Filipinos must re-evaluate the things it focuses on. Democracy is one of them. Can Filipinos really afford “democracy”? Democracy is a tool rich countries use to govern themselves. But in the hands of a Third World society, democracy is a mere toy. A referendum early this month that resulted in a popular vote to defy Greece’s creditors did nothing to solve its vast problems. Funny enough, democracy extremists laud national referenda and call these exercises democracy’s “purest” forms. Referenda, unfortunately, removes the intellectual layer provided by elected representatives (such as the members of parliament) that acts as an intermediary between mob “wisdom” and the educated structured debate that parliaments and congresses facilitate.

So while it may be argued that ordinary Greeks “had spoken” in that referendum, the reality came to bear upon that quaint notion when the long-term consequences of that kneejerk vote came to light. Indeed, the biggest humiliation to the Greek government today is seeing a Far Left government bowing to the capitalist rules of the powers-that-be in the Eurozone. Nice work, comrade.

Coming back closer to home, to the Philippine setting, we see the way Filipinos have also retarded themselves to using democracy as a mere toy rather than a real tool for modern governance. We can see in the Philippine national “debate” in the lead-up to the 2016 national elections that there is hardly any trace of intellectual substance in the rhetoric dished out by the Philippines’ so-called “thought leaders” and opinion shapers. The candidates being evaluated all fall far short of the bar set by real statesmen of a calibre that makes real sovereigns and real national leaders. Yet the national obsession remains fixated on the three- to four-odd bozos vying for that lucrative seat in Malacanang.


That’s Philippine-style democracy at work. Moronism trumps intellectualism on a national scale to the tune of billions of dollars routinely entrusted to crooks and idiots thanks to the inconsequentially drivelous talk that passes off as “political debate” in the eyes of 100 million starstruck citizens.

Greece and the Philippines are the same. They are countries that happen to be physically located within the economic spheres of prosperous regions. Both may have once been prosperous, but it was more a sad prosperity-by-osmosis as neither are true engines of wealth creation in the sense that the highly-capitalised economies of Northern and Western Europe and northeast Asia are. Rather, Greece and the Philippines, like lizards, merely bask in the sunshine of Western European and northeast Asian wealth respectively, their reptilian internal metabolisms regulated by the hour by an external source of energy. Unfortunately whenever storm clouds move in, the rays disappear underneath. Meanwhile, the sun continues to shine above the clouds.

7 Replies to “Lessons from Greece: Can Third World nations really afford ‘democratic’ governments?”

  1. As long as people (voters) lack the education to truly value the “right to vote” and sell their vote to the highest bidder the answer is a clear NO – democracy does not work in third world countries. In developed countries people earn way more money working in the private sector than being a politician, meaning those people who seek public office in western developed countries do this to really serve their country and change things for the better – political leaders in the western democracies are NOT driven by money!!. The root cause for the non functioning democracies in third world countries is the incredible greed of their elected leaders which leads to a non functioning state. Democracy surely does not work in the Philippines – hey…a convicted ex President (who was proven guilty for plunder)is now a mayor in Manila!!

    Is there any third world country that managed to become a developed country under a western style democratic system?..i would not know any.

  2. First of all, we are not a Democracy. We are governed thru a Feudal Oligarchy system form of government.

    If your lifestyle of government is a form of free financial entitlements like: welfare; free medicare, etc… and, you have no good generating export industries. Your country will soon be bankrupt, like Greece.

    Unrestricted government spending; waste of government financial resources thru : DAP, PDAF, BBL Law, massive graft and corruption, etc… will also be the cause of our bankruptcy…

  3. Was it Aristotle who coined six forms of government? Those were democracy, monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy and polity. And he said, Democracy was even the perverted form of the Polity. So democracy was bad according to Aristotle! His own people in the future have shunned his points.

  4. What about DICTATORSHIP?
    I mean I took inspiration from the Emotional Speech of General Adminral Supreme Leader Aladeen in “The Dictator” and came up with this idea.

    There is no denying the fact that generations of pinoys are permanently scarred by the Martial Law dictatorship, but would it hurt if we take a “modern” view of Dictatorship and look it is a more “positive” way and MAYBE give it another try with a “better leader”?

    I mean think about, the things Dictators can do to “help” their people.

    In Dictatorships, MEDIA IS ALWAYS POSITIVE,
    TRUTHFUL AND HELPFUL to the plight of the people.

    They can help shape the opinion of the constituents to make pinoys feel proud, afraid or angry of certain individuals or groups. They can be asked to also influence people’s feelings in favor of certain laws and policies even if these are against our own interests, welfare and freedoms.


    Imagine, when prosecuting certain groups and individuals you can ask the Judiciary, the SolGen, Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan and Senate Committees’ cooperationin detaining opposition without needing to go through the long and tedious due process.

    In either drafting or blocking laws and state policies regardless if these are against our interests and freedoms, you can always get the Legislatures support in passing these policies in exchange for some monetary reward and bonuses for jobs well done.


    Friends can be allowed free pass when they fuck things up bigtime or can be bailed out when they make mistakes and naughty things since “if they are friends and allied with our dictator they are friends and allies of the people”. Any friend or ally of our dictator could not possibly mean evil against the people if he say, mess up the transport sector or get kickbacks on projects, diba? Only enemies have bad intentions, friends always act in good faith JUST LIKE WHAT THE MEDIA WOULD TELL US, diba?


    In contrast with “friends of the people”, enemies will be given a hard time. With the MEDIA, the SENATE, the STATE POLICE, the JUSTICE DEPT working as one with our leader, all enemies can be dealt quickly without the need of going through the long and boring course of DUE PROCESS stated in the Bill of Rights.

    In Dictatorships, THERES ALWAYS PROGRESS

    You can innocently RIG SURVEYS or CHERRY PICK STATISTICS and international opinions, so we can show the people how stellar our country is performing. That way we can keep the morale of the people high all the time with Pinoy Pride. And if people can be trapped in their “happy place”, they would forget all their problems plaguing their lives and the people around them. Nevermind the naysayers, they’re just utak talangka and un patriotic basterds who want Philippines to not succeed.


    Leaders are seldom wrong, when something goes wrong it’s others fault. It can’t be the dictators or his allies fault since they always mean good to the public they serve. As said before, only enemies have bad intentions, friends always act in good faith JUST LIKE WHAT THE MEDIA WOULD TELL US, diba?

    So if some troopers and people get killed in a bungled operations, relief efforts are delayed causing total breakdown of social structures, remember, it’s not the leaders fault. It’s the enemies and the oppositions doing because they are sabotaging and making all things negative.


    With the truthfulness of the MAINSTREAM MEDIA and the spot on reporting of people sentiments by SURVEYS, along with the total character demolision or imprisonment of government enemies without due process, people are always made to believe that they have all they need to make an informed choice. This will guarantee that FRIENDS of the previous dictator will likely be voted so progress and good dictatorial governance is continued.


  5. No not Greece’s fault. More like somebody else’s. Greece’s financial problems is a result of a handiwork of elites and the color of money. It all started in the hundred acre woods, suddenly the 2008 recession rang out! Greek banks fail after a shopping spree in bad investments. And who are the peddlers who charmingly sold these investments? Why none other than Goldman Sachs, who made a nice profit along the way. The banks were duly bailed out with $30 billion, all paid for by the Greek taxpayer. The banks were very happy. They decide to do one more time, but this time with manipulated bonds, so the whole nation went nearly bankrupt! The banks were bailed out by the EU with $110 billion in 2010. In return, things would have to get drastic here in Greece, so state utilities such as airports, electricity were privatized. Profits go to the new owners and social spending and wages were cut. Newly-owned TV networks now spout out fatuous pieces favoring the EU. After PM Papandreou refused a bailout in 2011, PM Papademos of the ECB tossed him off and got himself in power without, gasp, elections. Installing Papademous as PM is like installing Harry Stonehill as prez or Andal Ampatuan as Maguindanao mayor. Oh wait Andal did. While the party gifts of the elite are making huge monies for them, Greece goes further into debt being imposed upon them by the EU.

    1. “Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail.”

      According to this article “Greece — The One Biggest Lie You Are Being Told By The Media”:

      “Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can’t pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right?”

      “Except that it is a big fat lie … not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades.”

      Read the rest here:


      See also:


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