The Euro­pean dream appears quite sta­ble. Chi­na may be head­ing for a bump in the road if its pop­u­la­tion ever demands democ­ra­cy. Rus­sia had a peri­od of fast growth (with pre­cious lit­tle ben­e­fit for most Rus­sians) but what hap­pens if Vladimir Putin is becom­ing a mil­i­tary adven­tur­er? Europe looks to have those trau­mas behind it. Nor has it become an Amer­i­can-style plu­toc­ra­cy.”

Europe still has lots to learn. A French friend recent­ly attend­ed a Cal­i­forn­ian recep­tion packed with bril­liant French engi­neers work­ing in Sil­i­con Val­ley. He came home think­ing: “What would it take to bring those peo­ple back to France?” That’s the sort of ques­tion Euro­peans need to ask: how to con­vert their won­der­ful idea net­works into Apples and Googles? Lon­don, Europe’s de fac­to busi­ness cap­i­tal, with its bud­ding tech sec­tor, may be find­ing an answer. If it does, the rest of the con­ti­nent will try to copy it, because non­stop cross-bor­der learn­ing is still the secret of Europe’s suc­cess.”

The first para­graph and the sec­ond here are odd­ly dis­so­nant to me. Isn’t the finan­cial­i­sa­tion of Sil­i­con Val­ley (and for that mat­ter, London’s Tech City) a sure sign plu­toc­ra­cy comes rid­ing in on the back of “Apples and Googles”?

(via Why Europe works — FT.com)