In an Orwellian and disturbingly candid vision of “what’s good for you”, Thomas Friedman lays out his belief that China’s one-party autocracy is superior to the US’s political system because it has “great advantages.”
Well, yes, a totalitarian regime has the “great advantage” of totally crushing dissent and killing anyone who dares think otherwise. It can, for instance, kill millions of people during Mao’s Great March, Great Leap Forward, and Cultural Revolution. It can run mines that have the highest death rate in the world. It can tear down – overnight – historic districts to put up new high-rise buildings. It can open new coal electrical power plants without an iota of air pollution controls. Indeed, as Ed Morrissey points out,
Oh, those enlightened Chinese government officials! When they’re not executing people to harvest their organs, and when they’re not forcing women to have abortions to satisfy their one-child policy, and when they’re not tossing people in prison for political dissent, they have a great energy policy … even though they reject Kyoto and any attempt to hamstring themselves on economically-suicidal cap-and-trade policies.
If you are to believe Friedman, you would think China is the greenest country on earth, too:
It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.
Anyone who has visited China will tell you that it is one of the most poisonously polluted countries in the world.
But Friedman tells you because he knows better than you. His self-anointed vision enables him to tell you that whatever the Republicans may object to is a function of “ideological naysaying,” not of any well-reasoned objection, or, in Paul Mirengoff‘s words, “Political discourse is flat, or would be if autocrats would only impose Thomas Friedman’s way.” Indeed, a monstruous column.
Bill Whittle (via Instapundit eloquently describes A Tale of Two Revolutions: The War of Ideas & the Tragedy of the Unconstrained Vision. Listen to the entire video.
The fundamental difference between right and left — right including libertarians, left including everyone from Marxists to mainstream liberals — is how we see such problems being addressed, i.e. the role of government. For the Thomas Friedman types paralysis is proof of the need for more, stronger, bigger, better government. For most on the right, the paralysis is proof that we have too much government. Lawyers and bureaucrats aren’t the problem for the left. They think the problem are the citizens and businesses that resist progressive change.
Friedman’s vision comes from a complete disregard for the individual and for liberty. And there lies his blindness.
Also via Instapundit, Cato healthcare experts are liveblogging Obama’s healthcare speech.