OPINION

10th Muse is not amusing

Since the ancient Greeks themselves were not wholly sure about the total number of Muses (estimates varied from three to seven or nine), the subsequent generations were free to make up their own. Hence, according to poet Costis Palamas, rhyme personified the 10th Muse while for Karl Marx, the 10th Muse was the muse of stock market prices. Only in this way, Marxist fashion, can the Socialist cadres’ passion for stock market investments be understood. Once upon a time, PASOK’s Socialists would speak in the name of Marx. Driven by ideology alone – not gain – they decided to find inspiration in, and be guided by, the 10th Muse of the stock market. And thus the legendary doctrine of «social capitalism» emerged from the ranks of the ruling party. Besides, the government cadres who are being criticized for profiting from stock market speculation are now invoking the people. «We only did what everyone was doing; we speculated on the stock market like every other Greek citizen; what’s wrong or illegal about that?» It’s cute of them to say «ordinary person» while they sit comfortably in their ivory tower, but this does not make them any more credible. After all, how many other «ordinary citizens» – apart from them – actually managed to escape unscathed from the rubble when the stock market came crashing down before the eyes of a government, which was barely moved by the fact that some dozens of billions of drachmas changed hands when the bubble burst? The government’s «small investors» use as an excuse the fact that the legislation barring deputies from speculation was introduced in 2000, whereas they had invested before then. Their socialist conscience, it seems, failed to inform them that abuse of power (and privileged access to exclusive information), gambling risk-free at the expense of the genuinely «ordinary» citizens is not really in line with social capitalism.