Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"A Monstrous Column"

Thomas Friedman wrote an astonishing, appalling column today in the increasingly rancid New York Times extolling the virtues of China's political culture. MC wishes it was kidding.

Kenneth Anderson at Volokh:

It is characteristic of Thomas Friedman's thought to move from particular issues of policy to sweeping conclusions about the Nature of Man and God and the Universe, typically based around some attractively packaged metaphor - flat earth, hot earth, etc. 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 preferences 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?

MC isn't linking to the column, thanks just the same.

Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg

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