The best way to convince most people to do something is to follow one or more of the following strategies:
1. Create a great sense of urgency
2. Tell them there is no alternative
3. Suggest there will be disaster unless the action is taken
4. Point to historical precedence as the ultimate proof of your case.
The Greek Parliament was last week given 48 hours to pass a law legalising a fire sale of everything the State owns. There was no alternative to this, the Greek people were told, other than bankruptcy – and no more money for anyone ever again. This would represent a human disaster far above anything the human race had ever seen before. And history proved it.
As with all situations like this one, every element of the Do As I Say pretext was bollocks from start to finish. The two-day window was created at random by the IMF, Brussels and above all, Angela Merkel. The alternative was to call the EU’s bluff – the result of which would’ve been total collapse by the aforesaid EU, which has far more to lose than Greece. The disaster called bankruptcy would actually have been a blessing both for the Greeks and the EU taxpayer. It might even have led to the break-up of the EU, hurrah. And historical precedents suggest that the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Russia and Germany after 1945 have all done very nicely thank you.
On such mendacious bases is history made, and wannabe empires unmade.