Those words of death slip so smoothly along the tongues and out the mouths of international bureaucrats of the Troika. “Austerity” sounds like a description of the blank inner walls of a Lutheran chapel. In the German psyche, at least, the images collide: iconoclasm, the rational destruction of the Greek polis, becomes the call for taking responsibility for oneself. And those who won’t take responsibility will suffer. The troika, for all its talk of rationality (“your suffering is the rational consequence of living unsustainably”, “it is rational therefore, for us not to care for your suffering”) reappears in mythical form as three moirai or fates. Atropos, death, leads the charge.
When Robert Zoellick demands of the Greeks that they vote for New Democracy, he demands the self-sacrifice of a nation for the sake of “the rest of Europe” (by which he means Germany). The only thing new about this democracy would be its imperative to quietly negotiate the destruction of its demos. Only the new remains; its coldness is an echo of death. The falling of yields is directly proportional to the falling of those who reap the fields.