04 enero 2007

German Paradox

I grew up thinking that the more to the north you are, the richer, smarter and taller you are. I know it sounds stupid, but when one is a child with little information and reasoning tools, it is a “normal” way to think.

When I was a teenager I visited several times Barcelona, and I observed people there was neither smarter nor sillier than in Madrid, even though they are clearly more to the north and “closer to Europe”. It sounds stupid again, but many people interiorise those sort of arguments.

By then I started to think about religion and its influence in social values. It is easy to get to the conclusion that Protestantism leads to wealthier societies since it puts a lot of value on individualism and meritocracy.

For many decades I would say that this pattern was the norm, however if one takes Germany as an example (a good one since Protestantism was generated in there) one would find a very interesting paradox: Germany’s richest area is Bavaria, the Catholic region. Additionally they have a reputation for been the party-goers of Germany, and they are to the south.

¿My conclusion? Maybe values are not that religion-link as I supposed. Maybe their influence is not that high. Maybe we must forget religion while thinking about these sort of topics, either for Germany-Bavaria, or for Turkey-EU.



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