Our Self: Um blogue desalinhado, desconforme, herético e heterodoxo. Em suma, fora do baralho e (im)pertinente.
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Pensamento em curso: «Em Portugal, a liberdade é muito difícil, sobretudo porque não temos liberais. Temos libertinos, demagogos ou ultramontanos de todas as cores, mas pessoas que compreendam a dimensão profunda da liberdade já reparei que há muito poucas.» (António Alçada Baptista, em carta a Marcelo Caetano)

30/12/2011

CASE STUDY: Óropa, uma Downton Abbey da classe média

«Apart from technology, the three most successful industries of the past 50 years have been finance, pharmaceuticals and energy. Look at the way those sectors are portrayed in films and in TV dramas and the same attitudes prevail. Financiers are unthinking brutes, whose obsession with numbers is a form of autism. Multinational drug companies are vast conspiracies selling products with fat margins and hiding their deadly side-effects. Energy companies are despoiling the planet.

All these industries are, of course, legitimate subjects for criticism. But such lofty attitudes towards commerce are easy to adopt in a relatively rich society, in which few have to worry where the next meal is coming from. Europeans have had a pretty privileged existence over the past half-century or so, riding on the back of America’s global dominance. But the economic power is shifting towards Asia, a region where many people are prepared to work hard to get ahead and business isn’t always a dirty word.

Eventually, the great estates like Downton Abbey fell into decay. The cost of maintenance soared while death duties depleted the owners’ capital; the servants found better-paying jobs in manufacturing. The aristocrats were forced to discover a head for business, turning their estates into safari parks and their conservatories into tea shops. As their populations age and their relative economic weight declines, Europeans may need a similar change in attitude towards the sordid business of earning a national living.»

Not in front of the servants. An ancient snobbery towards commerce remains, Economist Dec 17th

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