Thursday, 26 February 2009

in praise of... unchangeable national characteristics

On Italy's obsession with its own past:

An infinity of subtle chains tend to keep us stationary, convinced that we are at the top of the social scale; we are too satisfied with ourselves to look carefully around us, so that we move only slowly and uncomfortably, wrapped in an insoluble bureaucratic complex.

Giulio Douhet, air strategist, in 1904, contemplating the Russo-Japanese War.