Tuesday, April 25, 2017

O Regime de Abril

Quando eu nasci, em 1959, Portugal tinha entrado há pouco, e assim prosseguiria até 1973, num período de crescimento sem paralelo em toda a sua história registada. A minha infância e princípio de adolescência foram vividos num país tomado de aceleração vertiginosa, pelo menos por comparação com qualquer outro período conhecido. Para se ter uma ideia gráfica: entre 1960 e 1972 – foi o princípio da minha vida – o PIB português duplicou. Uma pessoa que em 2015 tivesse nascido em 2002, com 13 aninhos, os mesmos que eu tinha em 1972 depois daquela década de crescimento e mudança trepidantes – o PIB duplicara, crescera 100%! – viveu num país onde o PIB aumentou ao longo de toda a sua vida… 0,1%. Isso. 0,1%. Não é gralha. É verdade: essa pessoa nasceu num meio incomparavelmente mais rico do que o meio em que eu nasci. Mas eu nasci num meio em que a melhoria constante, a abertura permanente de novas possibilidades, o enriquecimento ano após ano eram a regra. O jovem que nasceu em 2002 nasceu num meio em que a crise, a ameaça e o impasse são a normalidade. Acreditem: o socialismo não foi uma boa ideia. Valia a pena tentarmos outra coisa.

Evolução do PIB por habitante - Portugal

Friday, April 21, 2017

Driving Homogeneity Through Diversity

(from The Economist and The Spectator)

The mood in Jakarta was jittery in the days leading up to its gubernatorial election on April 2017. Islamist agitators accused the incumbent governor, Ahok, who is both Christian and of Chinese ancestry, of "Christianising" Jakarta because a mosque built by the city government resembles a cross. Anxious ethnic-Chinese, in turn, shared posts warning that the election of Ahok’s rival would lead to the forcible imposition of Islamic law. However, the election passed off peacefully. Unofficial counts showed Mr Baswedan easily beat Ahok with around 58% of the vote. Ahok would have been the first Chinese Christian to win the job in an election. In the end, however, a row about religion upended his campaign.

His election seemed secure. But early in the campaign he gave a speech in which he urged voters not to heed those who used a particular verse from the Koran to argue that Muslims should not vote for Christians. Hardline Islamists, who had attacked Ahok for his race and religion since he became governor, edited the speech to make it sound as if he was criticising the Koran. The agitators organised massive anti-Ahok rallies. In November prosecutors charged Ahok with blasphemy.

Mr Baswedan spoke at the headquarters of the Islam Defenders Front and later joined its leader, Rizieq Shihab, for prayers before a big anti-Ahok rally. In the wake of his victory, Mr Baswedan made all the right noises, pledging to defend diversity. But he celebrated in the company of Mr Shihab, once again. Marcus Mietzner of the Australian National University worries that "it demonstrates that militant Islamists have become more organised, established better connections with elite networks, and have found ways of building alliances with mainstream politicians." Mr Baswedan is not about to impose Islamic law in Jakarta. But hardline forces certainly helped him win. That genie is not easily returned to the bottle.
It was the 34th annual convention of France’s Muslims at the weekend in le Bourget, just north of Paris, and the main topic of conversation was the upcoming presidential election. Five years ago, when François Hollande beat Nicolas Sarkozy to become president, the Socialist candidate benefited from 86 per cent of the Muslim vote. That won’t happen in 2017. The man who stands to gain most from the disenchanted Muslim electorate is Jean-Luc Mélenchon. 

Although in the past the far-left candidate has spoken out against the wearing of religious clothing, he was firmly on the side of those young women forbidden by court orders to wear what they wanted to wear on the beach, the notorious burkini row. ‘In our country’, he tweeted, ‘we have persecuted the Jews, then the Protestants and today the Muslims’. The conservative newspaper, Le Figaro, was quick to ridicule the former communist with an article headlined ‘Comrade Mélenchon converts to Islamo-gauchism’. Following Mohammed Merah’s rampage across France in March 2012 in which he singled out Muslim soldiers and Jewish schoolchildren for cold-blooded execution, Mélenchon dismissed any link to Islam. Two years later, when violent pro-Palestine demonstrations broke out across Paris, Mélenchon insisted anti-Semitism was not a factor and blamed the burned-out Jewish shops and businesses on ‘a handful of nutters’. Then, in November 2015, days after an Islamist terror cell had butchered 130 people in Paris, Mélenchon declared to the European Parliament that ‘the cause of terrorism is money and religious fundamentalism is the mask of a war for money’. 

"When they touch the precepts of our religion, it’s like they’ve insulted us. They talk about us, but our voice is not heard". That’s why he and many other Muslims are voting for Mélenchon, in the hope their voice will be heard.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Temos de distinguir entre movimentos particulares de preços (causados pela procura e a oferta de determinadas mercadorias), movimentos que correspondem a ondas, e movimentos gerais de preços (causados pela procura e a oferta de dinheiro), movimentos que correspondem a marés.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


While in each other’s arms entranced They lay, They blessed the night, and curst the coming day. - Matthew Lewis

Almada Negreiros