Socrates and the Troika

9 March 2015 by Eric Toussaint

In The Republic Plato [1] tells of a discussion between Socrates [2], and condemned to death and executed in 399B.C.) and a rich Athenian. Socrates pulls apart an argument of the rich Athenian, who insisted that debts should always be repaid. He used the following example: A man lends you his sword, then while he is in the grip of furious anger he claims it back; it is quite right to refuse and so not repay the debt.

Now, 2,400 years later, the Troika Troika Troika: IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank, which together impose austerity measures through the conditions tied to loans to countries in difficulty.

(who no longer use this word that has become synonymous with illegitimate) has lent a sword to the tune of €240 billion with attached “bail-outs” and “memoranda”. The Troika has become furious over austerity, privatisations and also infringing economic and social rights. In application of Socrates’ reasoning the Greek government and the Greek people can refuse to repay the loan tied to the sword used to cut to pieces democratic and social rights, as well as the popular dignity and sovereignty.


[1Plato (428/427 B.C. - 348/347 B.C.) was born in Athens.

[2Socrates was a 5th century B.C. philosopher(Born around 470/469 B.C.

Eric Toussaint

is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France.
He is the author of Greece 2015: there was an alternative. London: Resistance Books / IIRE / CADTM, 2020 , Debt System (Haymarket books, Chicago, 2019), Bankocracy (2015); The Life and Crimes of an Exemplary Man (2014); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago, 2012, etc.
See his bibliography:
He co-authored World debt figures 2015 with Pierre Gottiniaux, Daniel Munevar and Antonio Sanabria (2015); and with Damien Millet Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers, Monthly Review Books, New York, 2010. He was the scientific coordinator of the Greek Truth Commission on Public Debt from April 2015 to November 2015.

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