Porphyrogenitus

If one is going to go after sacred cows, one should really go after sacred cows. Most of the people in our society who get credit for "going after sacred cows" are just going after unfashionable ones. At least ones that are unfashionable in the circles they want to appeal to. We live in a world of iconodules posing as iconoclasts.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tom Friedman: "Slavery is Freedom. Freedom is Slavery"

While quotting Joe Romm (scroll) as some sort of impartial observer, Tom Friedman calls for a One-Party State while claiming to desire the opposite:

Our one-party democracy is worse. The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying ā€œno.ā€
So an opposition party that dissagrees with and opposes makes for a "one-party democracy". Oddly, hundreds of years of Anglosphere parliamentary tradition might suggest otherwise, but who are they to disagree with the enlightened majesty of Tom Friedman? Burke, Palmerston, Gladstone, morons!

Hillary once said "we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration", but since the election the entire Progressive movement has been modifying that to mean "as long as it's a Republican Administration". Disagreeing with, debating, a Progressive one is being "divisisive". As Obama himself keeps reminding us, the time for talk - for debate - is over. So who is really advocating a one-party state here?

No one should be surprised that Friedman is in favor of the Permanent Party of Government. What he wants is a two-party one-party state, where politics will be separated from public policy, and no one will get in the way of implementing the vision.

Note the disingenuity Friedman must display in the column, sending reams of information down the memory hole, in order to construct his straw man thesis. One that will be lapped up and repeated by progressives everywhere.

Friedman of course thinks he is clever here. He relies upon cleverness masquerading as insight. One day he woke up and decided it would make a clever column to claim America is a one-party state because the opposition party opposes, and only by going along with the Permanent Party of Government, and ceasing to resist it in any way, can it escape this opprobrium. Then he designed a column around the clever double-phrase (Friedman loves such), introducing only what supported the turn-of-phrase and eliding over anything that might contradict it. With public intellectuals like these, who needs simpletons?

We live in an Orwellian kultursmog. Perhaps Friedman thinks that if we adopt Chinese methods of dealing with political opposition, then we will escape the trap of being a "one party democracy".

See also here:
Rarely, however, has he been quite so clear about the directness of the connections he sees between his preferred set of substantive outcomes; his contempt for American democratic processes that have, despite all, managed to hang in there for, I don't know, a few times the length of time between the Cultural Revolution and today; and his schoolgirl crush on autocratic elites because they are able to impose from above.

Let me just say for the record that this is a monstrous column. When faced with American public defection from elite-preferred outcomes on certain policy issues that involve many difficult tradeoffs of the kind that democracies, with much jostling and argument, are supposed to work out among many different groups, Friedman extols the example of ... China's political system, because it's both enlightened and autocratic? Who among us knew?
and here:
Thomas Friedman, golden boy of the NYT op-ed page, is writing love-letters to dictatorships because they have the foresight to invest in electric batteries and waterless toilets or something.

This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.
and one more:
The next time anyone tries to tell you that Thomas L. Friedman is a serious thinker, or a tribune for global democracy, or even a good columnist, or basically someone who isn't worth sending on the next slow boat to Shanghai, please refer him to this despicable column
Just to be even more dumfounding, Friedman wonders in the column why Republicans aren't gung ho for unrestricted immigration, because they're supposed to be in the pockets of big business and all.

Friedman seems to want desperately to confirm that Moldbug is right about Progressivism:
The whole point of electing Democrats is to allow the permanent government to do its thing. When you vote for a Democrat, you are saying: I am tired of politics. I am loyal to the permanent government and trust in its prudent guidance

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