Freedom Circle logo
Freedom Circle

Where Can You Find Freedom Today?

Territory in southeast Europe, ruled since 1975 by the Elliniki Dhimokratia

Greece (Greek: Ελλάδα, Elláda), officially the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, Ellinikí Dimokratía), historically also known as Hellas (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλάς, Hellás), is a country located in Southern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 39° N — Longitude: 22° E

Area: 131,957 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: GR

Birthplace of

Aristotle, in Stagira, Macedonia, on 384 BCE

Deathplace of

Aristotle, in Chalcis, Euboea, on 322 BCE

Measures of Freedom

Greece | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2022
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 83, Political Rights: 2, Civil Liberties: 2
With Greek voters exhausted by austerity measures required by international in exchange for debt relief, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) won snap elections held in January 2015, ousting the previous governing coalition of the center-right New Democracy (ND) and the center-left Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). With support from its smaller coalition partner, the right-wing populist Independent Greeks (ANEL), SYRIZA then sought to renegotiate the onerous terms of bailout loans the country had agreed to in 2010 and 2012, but faced resistance.
Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2021
2019: 7.86, Rank: 56, Personal Freedom: 8.37, Economic Freedom: 7.15
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 6.93, Rank: 86


'Anarchist' Idiocy, by David Boaz, 14 May 2011
Discusses a Washington Post story about Greek so-called "anarchists" who were protesting the "rolling back of social safety nets"
And what is the actual "system" that [20-year-old Nikos] Galanos wants to fight? Greek journalist Takis Michas described it ...:
In Greece, the fundamental principle that has been dictating economic and political development since the creation of the Greek state in the 19th century is political clientelism ... The origins of political clientelism can be traced back to the origins of the Greek state in the 1830s ... What makes the case of Greece interesting is that Greece can be said, in a certain sense, to provide the perfect realization of the left's vision of putting people above markets ...
Related Topics: Anarchism, Government
Empire or Liberty: The Antifederalists and Foreign Policy, 1787-1788 [PDF], by Jonathan Marshall, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1980
Describes the arguments regarding foreign policy made during the period of ratification of the United States Constitution by the Federalists and the counterarguments, "largely ignored" by historians, from the Antifederalists
George Clinton ... dredged up the mandatory historical proofs: "The duration of the republic of Sparta was owing to its having continued with the same extent of territory after all its wars; and that the ambition of Athens and Lacedemon to command and direct the union, lost them their liberties, and gave them a monarchy." Americans ..., aware of their inexperience with republican government, searched ancient history for parallels to their own situation. Colonial era revolutionary propaganda had etched into their minds the distinction between affluent, corrupt Athens and virtuous Sparta.
The Idea of Liberty is Western, by Ludwig von Mises, American Affairs, Oct 1950
Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
Recent historical research has traced back to Oriental sources ... some of the scientific achievements previously credited to the Hellenes. But nobody has ever contested that the idea of liberty was created in ... ancient Greece ... There were among the Greek authors also champions of government omnipotence, such as Plato. But the essential tenor of Greek ideology was the pursuit of liberty ... In denying [liberty] to metics and slaves they virtually advocated the despotic rule of an hereditary caste of oligarchs. Yet it would be a grave error to dismiss their hymns to liberty as mendacious.
Improve the CIA? Better to abolish it, by Chalmers Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Feb 2004
Lists countries where the CIA conducted subversive operations and recommends abolishing the agency.
Since the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953, the CIA has engaged in similar disguised assaults on the governments of Guatemala (1954); the Congo (1960); Cuba (1961); Brazil (1964); Indonesia (1965); Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (1961-73); Greece (1967); Chile (1973); Afghanistan (1979 to the present); El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua (1980s); and Iraq (1991 to the present) -- to name only the most obvious cases.
Liberty in the Ancient World, by Roderick T. Long, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Surveys the ancient civilizations in Sumeria, Hebrew Palestine, China, Greece and the Roman Republic and Empire, and their thoughts and practices about liberty
The Greek world, including the Greek colonies in Italy and Asia Minor, benefited from political decentralization and a geographical situation favorable to trade. During the 10th through 6th centuries B.C., trade brought new wealth and new ideas—both destabilizing forces—into the Greek city-states, undermining the traditional warrior nobility and bolstering the power of an artisan class. The ensuing class warfare gradually transformed most Greek city-states from aristocracies into mixtures of oligarchy and democracy, with the proportions of each varying from state to state.
Related Topics: China, Benjamin Constant, India, Liberty
The Roots of Modern Libertarian Ideas, by Brian Doherty, Cato Policy Report, Mar 2007
Survey of the history of libertarian ideas, from ancient China and Greece to 20th century writers; adapted from Radicals for Capitalism (2007)
[T]he idea of severe restrictions on the power and reach of government goes back long before the American experience ... In classical Greece, Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (featuring Prometheus defying Zeus in the name of a justice higher than the gods), Antigone by Sophocles, and Euripides's attacks in various plays on slavery and the barbarity of war indicate a people who understood the distinction between what earthly, or even divine, authority commanded and what was right and just.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Greece" as of 16 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.