Furthermore, today, Greece tends to become a political and economic “black hole” capable of consuming the political authority and influence of Germany and the Troika, since the Germans’ and the Troika’s policies in Greece tend to failure and collapse. Thus, Greece may very well prove to be the “Waterloo” of the German government’s and the Troika’s ambitions and agendas.
However, the Greek political system’s resistance to change is not a consequence of noble political strategies. Instead, the Greek political establishment and especially the government of Samaras-Venizelos-Kouvelis refuse to restructure the Greek economy and society simply because their own survival at the top of the Greek political system is intimately related to the preservation of established economic and societal structures.
For instance, the Greek political establishment has created a system in the context of which votes are traded for jobs in the public sector, thus creating political mercenaries (“public servants”) maintained through the national budget. Additionally, a significant part of the Greek private sector is vitally dependent on the public sector and on corruption, since many Greek businessmen owe their “success” not to the forces of the free market but to their shadow relations with Greek policy-makers. In other words, Greek policy-makers create business elites in order for the first to be financially and socially supported by the latter in exchange for state contracts.
Thus, any significant progressive change in Greece will take place through catastrophe, in the sense that the well-known mathematician René Thom has defined this term. Whereas classical mathematical analysis and Newtonian mechanics are ideally suited to analyze smooth, continuous, quantitative change, René Thom’s catastrophe theory is a controversial new way of thinking about change, one that is created to analyze such phenomena as the abrupt bursting of a bubble, the discontinuous transition from ice at its melting point to water at its freezing point, the qualitative shift in our minds when we come up with a new idea or when we feel “inspired”.
In general, by the term catastrophe, Thom means any discontinuous transition that occurs when a system can have more than one stable states, or can follow more than one stable pathways of change. The catastrophe is the “jump” from one state or pathway to another. In the context of catastrophe theory, the transition is discontinuous not because there are no intervening states or pathways, but because none of them is stable.
Furthermore, another important concept of catastrophe theory is that of potential. This concept was used by Thom in order to sum up all the forces acting on an object in a single quantity. Thus, the concept of potential is closely linked to that of equilibrium.
Going back to the “Greek problem”, we believe that it should be tackled from the perspective of catastrophe theory. This means that, first of all, one must analyze all the forces acting on the contemporary Greek economy and political system, i.e., in the terminology of René Thom, one must analyze the Greek potential, or the contemporary status quo. The second step is to change the Greek potential, i.e. the Greek domestic political, economic and societal balance of power, in order to bring about the required change of state, or systemic change. This is the essence of the required catastrophe for Greece.
I have methodically studied the application of catastrophe theory to the problems of Greece, because Greece needs significant structural reforms and, therefore, models of discontinuous change. On the other hand, the contemporary domestic political, economic and societal balance of power in Greece preserves structural problems in both the public and the private sectors of the Greek economy and leads to the recycling of the same decision-makers in the key government and public-sector positions. Furthermore, in the context of the established Greek domestic political, economic and societal balance of power, backward mentalities dominate in the Greek society and maintain the corrupt model of state that was created in Greece by Ioannis Kolettis in the 19th century.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that Greece –utilizing its ancient and Byzantine cultural heritage as well as its geopolitical and geoeconomic advantages– can become the “Switzerland” of Eastern Mediterranean, i.e. a paradigmatic republic of libertarian economic structures and democracy, a major exporter of civic ethos, democratic institutions and cosmopolitan humanism and the leading civilizing power in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.