It's a tragic end that most of the world's richest countries may face as well. What's happening in Greece is a window into the future of the West. True, the U.S., U.K. and other debt-heavy nations may never tumble into crises as severe as Greece's. America, for a host of reasons, is not Greece. But the Americans, Brits, French, Italians and most other Westerners can't avoid the budget cuts and potentially lower living standards the Greeks are suffering through today as governments across the developed world will inevitably be forced to restore order to their shattered finances. It's the price of living beyond our means like the Greeks have done. Those painful adjustments will have to be made as the West confronts a challenge to its dominance and competitiveness from a rising East. The Greeks need to reform their economy to have any hope of a bright future. So does the rest of the West.

Centuries ago, Greece was the leading light of Western civilization. Now Greece may be leading the way towards the decline of that civilization, at least economically. It's enough to make Antigone cry.

Read more: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/06/17/watching-a-modern-greek-tragedy/#ixzz1Sg5efN6A