Every country and every culture has traditions that are unique and help make that country what it is, but just because something is part of your past doesn’t make it right; it doesn’t mean it defines your future. — President Barack Obama
There are many ways to think about the Rio de Janeiro metropolis. One is to think about the social, economic and political change that’s taken place over time. Another way is to compare Rio today to where one thinks it ought to be, or where other cities are.
The first way is useful for gauging change, comprehending its components and implications for the future — and sometimes, to “forgive” Brazilians for where they come up short.
The second way is relatively new. Up until about fifteen years ago there were still people who argued that one had to take cultural factors into account, that comparisons were unfair because they assumed…
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