"The morality of our time, whatever else may be claimed, is that of achievement. Five more or less fraudulent bankruptcies are acceptable provided the fifth leads to a time of prosperity and patronage. Success can cause everything else to be forgotten. When you reach the point where your money helps win elections and buys paintings, the State is prepared to look the other way too. There are unwritten rules: if you donate to church, charities, and political parties, it needs to be no more than one tenth of the outlay required for someone to demonstrate his goodwill by patronizing the arts. And even success still has its limits; one cannot yet acquire everything in every way; some principles of the Crown, the aristocracy, and society can still to some extent restrain the social climber. On the other hand, the State, for its own suprapersonal person, quite openly countenances the principle that one may rob, steal, and murder if it will provide power, civilization, and glory. Of course, I'm not saying that all this is acknowledged even in theory; on the contrary, the theory of it is quite obscure. I just wanted to sum up the most mundane facts for you. The moral argumentation is just one more means to an end, a weapon used in much the same way as lies. This is the world that men have made, and it would make me want to be a woman — if only women did not love men!"
— Robert Musil, "O Homem sem Qualidades", na tradução inglesa de Sophie Wilkins e Burton Pike (Londres: Picador, 1997)
Isto foi escrito há 60 anos, para um livro cuja acção decorre em 1914. A actualidade é arrepiante.