Saturday, September 11, 2010

Antiquated Europe

It is six thirty pm in Firenze, Italy. From this point onward, shops, services, markets, supermarkets, and shopping centers start to become closed. In little more than one hour, it will be impossible to buy anything until it is Monday morning. It is already way too late to go and have my hair cut.

In those European countries, like Italy, where everything is closed at seven and nothing is open on Sunday, people argue that shopping centers and big supermarkets are places with no character, they are "capitalist" (what a big sin here in Europe!), they are excrescences of the horrible globalization. Those neo-liberal (which is worse than "terrible") institutions are also responsible for the death of traditional shops. Finally, those countries where supermarkets are allowed to be open as long as they will are the example of the ways in which progress can be bad.

The truth is (=my opinion) much simple: freedom to buy and sell when one wants should not require much ethical defense. Freedom is good, period. It is only dictators (like the one Portugal had when it was, in fact, antiquated decades and decades ago) and the common people from very rich/very proud/very nationalist countries who can ignore their own ridicule when claiming that "freedom is sometimes too much" and they talk about shop schedules.

Freedom to buy and sell at every time one wants is good, it is useful. Having to wait till Monday morning to cut my hair, buy some technology, and, why not, get some groceries is just irritant and stupid.

I wished Italy was a bit more like truly modern countries like Portugal or Estonia. But I guess I will have to wait till Monday morning... of the next century.


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