Back in the late eighties, there used to be a joke, especially among radio and nightclub DJs.
Q: If Tiffany and Debbie Gibson got into a knife fight, who’d win?
A: The world
But the same joke could be applied to the Greek crisis – where two of the most noxious ideas of the past 100 years are duking it out.
On the one hand, you have the Greek people, who yesterday resoundingly proclaimed “We can’t be broke! We still have more checks!”. They represent the impulse De Tocqueville warned of when he said (I’ll paraphrase) “a democracy can only survive until the majority discovers they can vote themselves goodies from the public treasury”. What do we call it? Populism? Mob Rule? Let’s call it “Krugmanism”.
On the other hand, we have the EU – a monolithic bureaucracy which is intending to overturn an elected (if deeply stupid) sovereign government. Call it the bureaucratic nanny-state.
If they kill each other off in Greece, the world will win. But I’m not holding my breath.