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Philip Stephens rightly points to the malaise of Western democracy that comes from within (“The West is the author of its own weakness”, October 1). It was the hubris of victory against an authoritarian enemy, followed by choices, which ultimately put an end to democracy’s first flourishing in the west (followed by submission to a cruel and ambitious warlord).
Just as Solon’s reforms of the Athenian financial system laid the foundation for the liberation of a bourgeois class (demos), who could finally understand (kratos) power, permitted by the reformer Cleisthenes during the 6th century BC, we must now take a close look at the way in which our financial system supports and undermines the political foundations of our modern democracies.
The crisis of 2008 clearly showed that it is not just politics, our financial system, its purpose and function that is politics. We must learn to trust ourselves when it comes to controlling our money or running the risk of losing the freedom to control ourselves.
Joint Managing Director, Abundance Investment, London W10, UK