....................... the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the land...
It's really disheartening how frequently and aptly one can quote Yeats these days. What passed for the center in Greece took a clobbering as Greek voters moved both left and right. In a couple of days, we'll get to find out if the leftist coalition, Syriza, can form a government now that New Democracy has failed to do so. It doesn't look good; both because New Democracy was awarded an extra fifty seats in the 300 seat legislature because it squeaked into first place, and because the Communists refuse to join any coalition government.
Next, the Socialists get a turn to fail, and then there will have to be a caretaker government while new elections are held. At that rate, it doesn't look good for Greece getting the next installment on its bailout. A Greek default — which just about everybody expected was inevitable anyway — might do the trick of loosing "mere [economic] anarchy upon the world."
François Hollande disrupted a decades-long pattern of French incumbent victories by defeating Sarkozy — despite Sarkozy's pandering to first round supporters of Marine Le Pen. In both Greece and France, "the worst," demonstrating quite a bit of "passionate intensity" helped the quasi-fascist Golden Dawn and National Front parties lay claim to influence that will not be ignored.
Yes, left and right, voters were voicing their discontent with German dictated austerity measures — and, in a larger sense, with the plutocracy that came to replace the natural "center" over the past three decades. They are tired of having their lives twisted this way and that for the sake of a cabal of big banks, hedge funds, and multinational corporations. The question remains, though: do they truly understand who they hate and why they hate them?