How witchhunters taught the IMF all about communication

I once famously wrote an article about the Business Software Alliance and how it’s methodology is similar to the Holy Inquisition.  The Middle Ages are to me a truly inspiring historical period, a time when many of our modern concepts were created.   Except they were in their more raw, essential form.  For example there were quite a few “tests of witchery” in order to ascertain whether or not someone was indeed possesed by the devil.  One was called the test of the tear.   Someone would recite in detail excerpts from the Testaments including all the sacrifices Christ made for us.   If, at the end of it,the accused didn’t shed a tear they were obviously a witch!

My country is one of many areas of the world currently the focus of financial speculation.   And a pattern is emerging in terms of the communicational methods used.   Public statements of support for the enormous burden of measures dictated by the IMF are a bit like the test of the tear.   Another common test was conducted in deep water (either a lake or a specially designed big barrel) whereby the accused was left to sink or float.   But it wasn’t that simple; they were held for some time with sticks from outside.   So in effect they could be hurt in the ribs and made to get tired for quite long until they were truly exhausted; then they were let loose.    This is a lot like an economy taking a beating with rumors,  debt being rated “junk” and all the rest of the ways the international money markets work on a country to soften it up.

The other great thing about witch hunting, is that it was a game that could only have one ending.   If the witch passed the tests it was because “the devil helped”.   In the same way there are plenty of countries much less guilty of mismanaging their finances than Greece.  Ireland is completely different for example.   But when the Inquisition comes to town we are all witches…

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