Day By Day

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The New York Times Hits A New Low

No contemporary pundit has been such a reliable font of repulsive ideas as Tom Friedman. This time, however, he has topped himself. In today's column he opines.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century....

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 “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist. But if he’s forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
This is not simply an endorsement of enlightened as opposed to tyrannical rule -- it is all out and explicit advocacy for fascism.

Read the whole nauseating thing here. Even for the New York Times this is bad stuff. Friedman is an unapologetic and enthusiastic proponent of technocracy and for a command system in which a credentialed elite dictates policy from the top with no interference from those whose lives would be affected by those policies. There is no room in Friedman's vision for democracy in any meaningful form. Not since the days of Walter Duranty has the Times stooped so low as to publish tripe like this.



Jonah Goldberg, who literally wrote the book on the subject, also brands Friedman a "liberal fascist". He writes:
I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). 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.


Friedman lives in a liberal democracy but has his nose pressed up against the candy store window of a cruel, undemocratic, regime and all he can do is drool over the prospect of having the same power here. It's disgusting.
I agree wholeheartedly.

Read Jonah's comments here.

And of course Iowahawk has some thoughts on Tom Friedman -- Read "What Good Is Democracy If It Doesn't Give Us the Stuff I Want?" here.