January 25, 2005


Nokia CEO voices concern about U.S. mores (AP, 1/24/05)

The head of Nokia - the world's largest mobile phone maker - expressed concern Sunday about disintegrating values in society and an apparent resurgence in conservative attitudes in the United States.

Nokia's chief executive, Jorma Ollila, said in a rare television interview that the world is living in "an era of selfishness" very different from his childhood days in a small town in central Finland, when family values were of prime importance.

"Put in a nicer way, it is an era of individualism. This is a very self-centered period, which also has plenty of good features too because, when understood correctly, it can help you live independently and stand on one's own two feet," Ollila, 54, said in a candid interview broadcast on state-run YLE television.

Speaking with Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen, a personal friend, Ollila said he thinks people are more concerned about individual rights than taking responsibility for their actions and trying to have a positive influence on society.

"What I'm worried about is that if this disintegration of values continues and develops further, we'll get a conservative counter-reaction precisely like what has actually happened in the USA," he said.

"This ultraconservatism, coupled with the elements of the church ... which, as we well know, has also supported the current (U.S.) administration, is a powerful counter-reaction to a longtime vacuum of values in society," Ollila said.

He's right about the choice anyway.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2005 10:22 PM
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