Must read: Friedman hearts one-party autocracy, Goldberg’s devastating response
Here is as clear a distinction between left and right political philosophies as you will ever find.
On Tuesday, Thomas Friedman wrote this in the New York Times.
Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.
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.
Unbelievable. One-party autocracy “can have great advantages.” Like forcing women to have abortions and executing prisoners for their organs. Politically difficult decisions to be sure, but thank goodness China has an autocracy in place that can move these critically important policies forward.
All right, that’s enough of my poor impersonation of Jonah Goldberg. Read Goldberg’s post in response to Friedman’s column. “Thomas Friedman is a Liberal Fascist” is a must, must read.
So there you have it. If only America could drop its inefficient and antiquated system, designed in the age before globalization and modernity and, most damning of all, before the lantern of Thomas Friedman’s intellect illuminated the land. If only enlightened experts could do the hard and necessary things that the new age requires, if only we could rely on these planners to set the ship of state right. Now, of course, there are “drawbacks” to such a system: crushing of dissidents with tanks, state control of reproduction, government control of the press and the internet. Omelets and broken eggs, as they say. More to the point, Friedman insists, these “drawbacks” pale in comparison to the system we have today here in America.
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.
I have no idea why I still have the capacity to be shocked by such things.
Read the whole thing, because Goldberg’s response is brilliant. And for more, check out the Corner, where they are ripping Friedman to shreds.