joi, 9 august 2012

Nu sintem noi unici

Deci sa nu va mai auz ca noi sintem exceptionali in prapastiozitatea noastra mediocra. Si italienii sint fics la fel, doar ca trebuia sa vina nasoii de nemtzi sa ne-o spuna. Enjoy the Latin apocalypse, now in a new presentation.

Italians have two explanations for their dilemma: gerontocrazia, rule by the elderly, and raccomandazioni, recommendations. Both ensure that jobs are passed on to friends and family. Universities -- an educational institution that was invented here and helped establish Italy's worldwide fame -- have become intellectual wastelands, not least because of the antiquated concorsi, the selection process for senior positions at schools and universities, in which applicants are crammed into gymnasiums and forced to write essays like elementary school students.

The country is also suffering from a cultural decline, says Savaglio, the physicist. There is an almost adolescent form of anarchy, in which motorists don't stop at red lights because no one does, as well as a paralyzing fatalism; it's always been like that and there's not much you can do about it. "We wallow in our glorious past," she says, "but what good are the old Romans if the buses aren't running?" What is missing, she argues, is respect and a sense of civic responsibility -- fellow citizens who feel not only responsible for themselves, but also for the common good, the "res publica".


Labate says that Italians lack seriousness and speed, and that they have an allergic reaction to everything new. She groans over the endless bureaucratic formalities, the record tax rate of up to 55 percent and 60-year-old CEOs who don't know what Facebook is. She longs for Silicon Valley, where she sometimes flies because she "accomplishes more in one month there than in Italy in half a year." Why did she nevertheless return? "Because Italy's crisis is an opportunity," she says, and because it's more satisfying to see lemons growing on your own soil, no matter how barren it may be. "Anyone who remains abroad only clears the stage for those from whom he once fled."

Fiona Ehlers, "Italy's Lost Generation. Crisis Forces Young Italians to Move Abroad" (Der Spiegel, 6 august 2012)


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