The following text is some extracts of ideas I saw.
By Dominique Moïsi
In China, capitalism prospers without democracy. In fact, a contemporary Chinese joke is very indicative of how the country perceives its role in today’s world. “In 1949, communism saved China; in 1979, capitalism saved China; and in 2009, China saved capitalism.”
One can behave in such a manner, many Europeans outside of Scandinavia say, only if one has been raised according to the Protestant ethic. For Greeks, Italians, and many French, evading taxes is a kind of national pastime, which some even perceive as a moral duty. Politics is a game, and power a drug that allows you to rise above ordinary citizens. And the temptation to consider oneself the incarnation of the state, rather than its servant, is often irresistible among southern European politicians.
Of course, it is dangerous to idealise the Scandinavian model. Scandinavian countries have their share of problems, such as Denmark’s significant xenophobic extreme right and Norway’s occasional bouts of provincial Puritanism.
But the difference between these countries and their southern counterparts in terms of economic performance, social climate and political culture are plainly visible. The weak and sick men of Europe – from Greece to Spain – are to be found in the south, not the north.