In New Hampshire, at the foot of Mount Washington, a coal tycoon built an all-white luxury hotel in 1902. In summer, it is said that the hotel resembles a fragment of light casting itself at your eyes, like silent incandescence shooting towards the blue sky, rooted in the midst of miles of greenery.

On July 22, 1944, representatives from 45 countries gathered in the wooden hotel, set in the middle of a golf course carved out of the great forest in the mid-mountain region. There, just a few hours drive away from Montreal, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were born, two institutions now in their 70s, which are, nonetheless, still not very wise.

With the woes resulting from the war of 1914, we have at least learned that politics do not solve everything. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles gave prominence to the victors, without giving much consideration to the defeated. Yet, by only considering their immediate interests, the victors sowed the worst for the future, without so much as thinking about providing themselves with the means to stem inflation and promote reconstruction.

There in Bretton Woods, this international system established the mighty power of the U.S. dollar. In that summer during the time of the Normandy invasion, when the Russians were also driving back Nazi defenses, Western countries gathered in a New England forest to coolly consider reconstructing a Europe on fire.

Washington then took action and imposed its own pace. England’s longstanding upper hand on world affairs certainly seemed to have disappeared. While opinions on the new way forward for the world were divided, such as the disagreement between British economist John Maynard Keynes and U.S. economist and Treasury Department official Harry Dexter White, the American point of view would surely prevail.

The war was not yet over, but the international system was already definitely in the process of being subjected to U.S. politics, due to its overwhelming military and economic domination. In 1950, the golden age of die-hard consumption, the United States collected 60 percent of the production equipment for all capitalist countries.

Even though the Bretton Woods system crumbled in 1971, the year in which an end was put to ensuring the U.S. dollar’s convertibility to gold, the greenback’s reign would still live on. Free to wander, the dollar thus galloped off toward the vast meadows of speculation, where an increasing number of neoliberalist animals had been grazing since the 1990s, offering to stem public spending and bleed the state dry. As a result, today’s world has watched investment and solidarity logic get swept away by the logic of predation and competition.

In the case of Greece, the latest and most apparent sign of this downward spiral, there has been an imposition of measures that require the state to pull the plug on itself so that through its complete ruin, it could be said that prosperity has returned. Is Greece dead? Long live Greece!

Upon visiting Bretton Woods this summer in 2015, I could have easily imagined that the peaceful sight of the area was about the same as the one that ‘money’ had already set its eyes upon in 1944. In the large terrace located at the back of the hotel, everyone casually drank their coffee amid the rattan chairs. There, in the long wooden gallery, stood an old panoramic stainless steel telescope. For a few coins, you could take a closer look at the surrounding mountains, or even the golfers that approached in groups from afar, as well as a few horsemen riding beautiful horses.

In a short story entitled “Beautiful View,” Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard tells a story of two professors, both friends, who had reached the summit of a glacier for the sole pleasure of seeing the heights. They then found themselves in front of the telescope on top of the glacier. They each wanted to let the other have the first look. The first to take a look was delighted by the scenery he was able to see through the telescope. But when the other fixed his eyes against the telescope’s cold metal edges, he gave a loud cry and dropped dead. The friend who survived spent years asking himself what had his friend been able to see through the telescope that was so strange.

The same can be said today for those in the European Union who, sitting comfortably upon the heights of the world that they inherited from Bretton Woods, look down at Greece from so far above that they can only see the tips of their noses, which blend into the landscape that they admire for its details rather than its entirety.

The all-powerful, who hold to the provisions of this voracious economic world like a biblical truth, are then so bold as to believe in their own social senses by offering bread and essential goods to those whom they tread upon in the name of their lawful right to corpulent monetary figures.

What a sick world it is where the price of all things is currently known yet their value remains unknown.

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