Through Bridges Ventures we aspire to boost the Iberian entrepreneurial landscape by opening a path to Silicon Valley for local talent, without defeatist self-fulfilling prophecies or the adulation that Berlanga so well satirizes. Knowing them in detail I can assure you that Americans on average are neither smarter, more handsome or more innovative than us and that it’s all a matter of combining talent, capital and experience with the right opportunities. At Bridges we wholeheartedly believe that we can change the world together.
In my review of the masterful work of Antonio Escohotado “The Enemies of Commerce” I charged quite hard against religion, nationalism, and communism, accusing them of using the best objectives of the human being to justify the worst means. I do not have any remorse but several people have asked me, politely. “What about Capitalism?” Well, it is fair that we dedicate a few lines to talk about the dark side of liberalism, and I do not see a better way to do it than through the ideas of a Nobel prize, well known for his ability to question the status quo.
Reid Hoffman provides us a very interesting perspective on diversification, investments and entrepreneurship. For those of you who do not know him, Reid is a co-founder of the LinkedIn professional network and co-author of the book “The Startup of You“. For those of you who do not know LinkedIn, I recommend that you do not waste your time with this article, go back to the cave in which you have been living and continue with your ascetic life. Happiness is too precious a commodity for reality to intrude. For the rest of the audience, I invite you to continue reading.
Information is power. This is such a basic principle in finance that those who make privileged use of it get seriously penalized. But on the other hand it is perfectly legitimate to analyze widely available information in a novel way to obtain an advantage in the markets. Although such information is publicly available on the Internet, there will not always be a beautiful API in JSON or XML ready for consumption by algorithms; so having some basic notions of web automation will be of great help in our work.
One of the most surprising theses of the book The Enemies of Commerce is that triumphant revolutionaries are usually reactionaries in the most eminent sense. Its author, Antonio Escohotado, describes how before writing it he assumed that the revolutionary factor was focused on going towards the unknown, but his research suggests that the cycles of high activity in the communist movement run parallel to milestones in the development of prosaic freedom, of advances in the cultivation of risk coupled with the existence of civic liberties, drawing an analogous “jerk backwards” reaction that an attack of vertigo imposes. Returning to ebionism.
In 1705 Bernard de Mandeville publishes “The Fable of the Bees” and in a few weeks this booklet of few pages, sold through the streets at half penny, becomes the biggest blockbuster in English history until then, because no one had previously created a similar sarcastic criticism about evangelical poverism. His central thesis is that vice subsidizes virtue: with the right as an ally, specialization and private interest build a society incomparably preferable to that built on altruistic denials. This perspective will resonate half a century later in Smith’s prologue to his famous treatise on political economy “The Wealth of Nations.”
Recently I had the opportunity and pleasure of reading The Enemies of Commerce, a work of impressive depth and rigor, in which its author Antonio Escohotado goes back to remote history to trace and expose the origins of what would become the animosity against capitalism that unites national-socialists, communists, and so many other branches of utopian socialism.
If you are fortunate enough to understand Spanish (unfortunately, no English translation available yet) I strongly recommend that you buy the book because this exploration is full of lessons that can not be missed. However, make sure reserve a quiet time because the text is more addictive than a bag of chips and the language of Antonio, whom I admire as a philosopher, is as rich in expression as precise in the nuance, something really worth of praise in our current times.
I am sure it will be hard to take your eyes off the page until you have finished all three volumes with their corresponding notes on the margin. Meanwhile, here are some lines about what I consider its most fascinating and surprising angles.