I end this year with an apology to my readers for not having posted anything lately. I will start the New Year with the customary list of resolutions and wishes. My first and most obvious promise, starting in February, is to write here more often. The second pledge is that I will explore further the relationship between aims and means to reflect in particular on the role of fairness and fraternity as important parts of human happiness.
Apart from the usual longing for good health and peace, here are two of my wishes for 2011:
a) A return of enlightened reasoning in the media and politics. The “celebrity” &”sound-bite” takeover of modern culture has to be reversed. As a strong believer in individualism and market competition I am still hoping that the ongoing revolution in the entertainment and publishing businesses will be able to generate quality products. However, failing daily to find a single worthwhile prime time TV program after zapping more than 100 channels is getting me distressed. After all, even during the Roman Empire decline there was more than the Coliseum.
b) On the Portuguese (domestic) front my wish is that 2011 will see the departure of the current Prime Minister. He bankrupted the country and, to add shame to injury, rather than go to the IMF he is now peddling the world’s dictators (China, Libya, etc.) for financial assistance. What a disgraceful record for the democratic process in Portugal. After dilapidating the huge reserves inherited from Salazar and wasting the billions in grants received from the European Union the country is now broke. And for what? For an economic record that pales in comparison with that of Salazar, an unprecedented rise in inequality, a frightening increase in criminality and an education system in disarray? Still, despite this horrendous cost I would still chose the freedom gained in 1974. It was not democracy’s fault that we replaced a right wing form of state capitalism with a left wing variety. Nor do I believe that replacing Socrates will necessarily reverse the situation. But, even if the outlook is the same as with his predecessor, and the new Prime Minister turns out to be worst than the current one, it is still essential to change him to reach the bottom and get rid of the generation of “Jotas” who is destroying the country.
To finish on a positive note: best wishes for 2011!