May 23, 2010

"[W]hat if we could just be China for a day?... You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions...."

"... and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment.  I don't want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness.  But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions."

So said Thomas Friedman on "Meet the Press" today. And the funniest part of him saying that wasn't the horrible vision of America as a dictatorship.... though it must be hilarious to think of America as a dictatorship, because famous funnyman Woody Allen said it too: "It would be good… if [President Obama] could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly." Nor was it the fact that he said it and at the same time tried to deny that he was saying it with all that "I don't want to be China for a second, OK" business.

No, the funniest part was that he said it right after he deplored the way the political center has been "decimated" in part by the "an Internet where I can create a digital lynch mob against you from the left or right if I don't like where you're going." He's reminding us Internet folk of our lynch-mob powers and then throws us the rope to hang him with that wish that "we could just be China for a day." Come on, everybody, let's destroy Thomas Friedman for saying he knows all the "right solutions" and wishes — or would wish if he could get away with it — that we could have a dictatorship to get it done. 

A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them. And Friedman openly deplores the internet, which decimates moderation because there are people like me who who persecute elite truthbearers like him. Ooh! It's a lynch mob. Ha. Sorry. I don't want the rope. I just want to laugh at you.

It's late now. Let me sign off with a crazy old song that supposed to be beautiful but that's really dreadful, the way Friedman's lament is dreadful:
If I ruled the world, every man would be as free as a bird,
Every voice would be a voice to be heard
Take my word we would treasure each day that occurred
My world would be a beautiful place
Where we would weave such wonderful dreams
My world would wear a smile on its face
Like the man in the moon has when the moon beams
If I ruled the world every man would say the world was his friend
There'd be happiness that no man could end
No my friend, not if I ruled the world
Every head would be held up high
There'd be sunshine in everyone's sky
If the day ever dawned when I ruled the world
Nighty-night.

234 comments:

1 – 200 of 234   Newer›   Newest»
Seven Machos said...

This isn't the first time Friedman has shown this disgusting authoritarian bent, either (though it;s late for me, too, and I'm too lazy to find previous ones).

What a moron. It was so much easier when there were media gatekeepers. Also, Democrats have the presidency and both houses of Congress. That's a lot like China. Pass laws, motherfuckers. Pass laws or shut the fuck up.

Eric said...

Wait a few years and see how avidly Friedman is pining for a dictatorship when conservatives are in charge again.

Eric said...

I was reading an analysis of China's economy in which the analyst believed 60% of the Chinese workforce is engaged in construction. If that's true, the country is in the biggest bubble the world has ever seen, and that's about as sub-optimal as you can get.

Seven Machos said...

I'm certainly no Ayn Rand cultist but I was fascinated by her in college. I always remember something she wrote. I paraphrase: All socialist states are total failures. Nevertheless, the socialist dream thrives because every socialist believes that if only their own gang was in charge, things would be different.

Incidentally, Rand was certainly authoritarian in her own right. Whittaker Chambers breathtakingly eviscerates her in his review of Atlas Shrugged. The justly famous money quote is: From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber — go!".

Seven Machos said...

Eric -- I was reading something in a reputable publication about how there are serious analysts who believe that China is largely Potemkin village. All these cars are sold, they say for example, but there is no large increase in sales of gasoline.

I'm not advocating the position. But would it really be surprising if it's true?

Kensington said...

I guess I must have missed all those "get to a gas chamber" passages from Atlas Shrugged.

Seven Machos said...

Kensington -- You should read the review. It's easy to find.

Jason said...

A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer.

Scratch a libtard, you'll find a fascist.

reader_iam said...

A love of autocracy

I dunno. What's made me cynical is the realization that such a thing cannot be tidily ascribed to one neat category. If you were to ask me--and I know, you didn't--I'd say that a love of autocracy is a lurking thing in the heart of humanity. That means it lurks in the hearts of individual humans, and for whatever my experience may be worth, this characteristic is not primarily defined by political affiliations or philosophies.

Seven Machos said...

I'd say that a love of autocracy is a lurking thing in the heart of humanity.

I'd agree. However, I'd also say that we all try real hard to fight against that lurking thing in our better moments. Our better selves want no part of autocracy. Certainly, our better selves wouldn't shill for it with a wink on national news shows.

danielle said...

..."A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them. "

oh come off it right-wing-nuts. conservatives like bush just play on people's fear to try to push through what they want .... at both extremes they think they know what is best and would love to be dictator for a day to push things through.

Seven Machos said...

Danielle -- You are so confused and shallow and shrill. It's hilarious. Do you really believe that Althouse is a right-wing nut?

I remain shocked that anyone here has ever taken you seriously.

Palladian said...

Nothing in the world, save the randomness of chance, can explain to me the ascent of a complete and utter mediocrity like Thos. Friedman.

But then most partisans believe in the republican form of government the way that most journalists believe in objectivity.

I think we should be Nazi Germany for a day! Delusional socialists with gas chambers! Yeah, that's what America needs!

Just for a day, mind you!

Palladian said...

"I remain shocked that anyone here has ever taken you seriously."

Danielle is a lot more flexible and individualistic than most of the "liberals" here. I'd take a hundred danielles over one "Jeremy" or AlphaLiberal or What-You-Talkin-Bout-UrbanRitmo any day. I know what they're going to write before even they know it. At least with Danielle you know you're reading a human being rather than a badly programmed comment spambot.

Seven Machos said...

You know, Palladian, that is completely true.

Danielle -- I do take you seriously. That should be obvious, as I so often reply to you. I have grown into a person who ignore Jeremy and the rest of them now.

I stand by my contention that you are shallow and shrill, though.

Beth said...

There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them.

Althouse, when are you going to apologize for being too deluded and distorted to vote for the right candidate in 2008?

Oh wait, sorry. It's only liberals who think the right answers are known and people are just to distorted to vote for them. A conservative would never think that way.

Beth said...

reader at 12:56 am - exactly.

ABP said...

"A republic, if you can keep it."

It was a pretty good run.

Seven Machos said...

I have to stand up for Althouse here. You people all know this is true. When was the last time you heard any conservative say liberals won because of a "temper tantrum" (Gumbel, 1994)? When was the last time you heard a conservative politician talk about liberals clinging to -- I don't know -- abortions and atheism?

I saw all this firsthand in 2008. My friends are almost all Democrats. All they are all relatively very wealthy compared to the rest of the country. However, they all talked about raising taxes as something that you could only disagree with if you were greedy. They, the wise, knew that the right, fair answer is higher taxes and people who disagree are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for the.

The same can be said for almost any issue. Many, many liberals believe that their answers are based on some empirical, intelligent inquiry into rightness. Thus, conservatives are unwashed and dumb.

danielle said...

I dont think Ann is right-wing-nut. but I do think this post was a bit blind to the fact that people on both extremes say these sorts of ridiculous things.

My comment was more aimed at all the people who were going to agree with her, and not acknowledge that their people are prone to saying similar things.

A agree that Friedman is useless, and that his comment was beyond the pail; but I dont agree that its reasonable to characterize all liberals in this way.

Beth said...

Seven, I can't cite a "clinging to guns and religion" example because that wouldn't make sense. The content is different, but the framework's the same: that other side has to be deluded to think that way. This blog's thread counts depend on a great many commenters who bloviate that way day in and day out, from both ends of the spectrum.

Seven Machos said...

Who has characterized all liberals in any way? When you are arguing semantics, you have lost the argument.

Largo said...

@7M:
"Kensington -- You should read the review. It's easy to find."

It is easy to find, and worth the read. And the moral absolutism in her tone is not subtle. However, seeing what she actually says with that tone, I never could get that "to the gas chambers go."

"From railways tunnels with coal engines, run!" I can see. And yes, she casts the victims there as deserving of their fate. But deserving only in terms of natural consequences--not a final solution.

So I would join Kensington in saying "I guess I missed all these ... passages".

wv: vibedics. No comment!

Beth said...

Seven, are you seriously denying that these comment threads aren't full of gross generalizations about liberals, day in and day out? Or are we talking at cross purposes?

Beth said...

Seven, I believe you're referring to the qualifier "often lurks" but my point isn't whether "all liberals" are characterized one way or another. I take issue with what Althouse goes on to say in defining what she means by this liberal "love of autocracy" as the "idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are." I'm saying it's deluded to believe that description doesn't describe what often lurks beneath the conservative veneer as well. As reader_iam says, it's a human characteristic to believe one's opponents simply can't see the truth, that they're deluded.

New York said...

A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them.

Indeed. This attitude frequently derives from never having had responsibilities outside of academia or gov't. People who have lived in the real world and have experienced both success and failure will have a more modest sense of their abilities and limitations. They will also be more effective.

Chip Ahoy said...

Who has characterized all liberals in any way?

"Scratch a liberal and find a fascist "would do it.

Now everybody SHUT UP and stop using the internet ! Oops. That was me trying to be China.

reader_iam said...

People who have lived in the real world and have experienced both success and failure will have a more modest sense of their abilities and limitations.

Sometimes so, sometimes not.

They will also be more effective.

Um, not necessarily...

...as I leave and breathe here as a standing example, for instance.

; )

Chip Ahoy said...

You know what? This whole day I thought it was Monday.

But now is Monday. It's like having two Mondays. I think it's really weird whenever you guys get stuck in a time-warp like this.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Eric, I don't know what the statistics are, but when I was in China 2 years ago, I was amazed at all the skyscrapers that were going up in every city (I was in 5) It was incredible--most of them for housing. All of them using bamboo scaffolding.

I have other thoughts on this topic, but have a cold and am up too late or in the wrong time zone--or both. Maybe get back later. Maybe not. À bientôt.

Toy

Just Lurking said...

Yes, Friedman has brought up the idea of "being China for a day" on more than one occasion (google "thomas friedman china for a day"). I'm starting to suspect that Friedman is working on a new book that will be a discussion of the "right solutions" that would fix our troubled world, under the guiding hand of enlightened absolutism.

As a follow up to his bestselling book, "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century", he can title his new work, "The World is Now Flat Broke: How To Absolutely Fix It".

Can't wait to find out what those "right solutions" are. (His friends should really tell him to drop this "China for a day" thing already...)

Methadras said...

These fucking marxists and their wish fulfillment fantasies. We know what you are leftards and you are not the friend of the US. You are its enemy. If you don't like to hear that, then fuck you. You are what you are.

Methadras said...

danielle said...

I dont agree that its reasonable to characterize all liberals in this way.


Well, boo-fucking-hoo. You are what you are. Leftards show who they are constantly and consistently while trying to hide behind the thinnest veneer of their greater good. The brush might be broad, but it stains those that are frankly guilty.

Christian said...

Ah, but the right answers are known. It's just that those answers all involve giving people the freedom to live according to their conscience and only requiring them to answer to the government when they've committed a serious crime.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Friedman: ...the fact that money and politics is so out of control--really our Congress is a forum for legalized bribery.

In China every single bureaucrat and government official has a high chance of being like Congress.

from the economy

They have entire cities, with no one living in them, that were built only for people to invest in the real estate. Pig farmers stockpile copper. College students pay other people to write their papers and get them published in journals...

to environment.

Remember how before the Olympics they were worried about having boat races, because the ocean was full of green, stringy, algae? Or the city that had to shut down its water supply because the river that ran past it was so contaminated with chemicals?

China doesn't let people complain freely on the internet. Which is why it has these problems. And I bet if America didn't let its citizens complain, or its journalists cover stories the government didn't want reported, that our country would seem a lot better to outsiders. At least clueless ones.

Fen said...

Beth: are you seriously denying that these comment threads aren't full of gross generalizations about liberals, day in and day out? Or are we talking at cross purposes?

Cross purposes, I think. You need to define what you mean by "liberal". Because they're aren't many actual liberals on this forum.

Or in America, for that matter. Sadly, most that label themselves "liberal" are of the AlphaLibtard/Jeremy model.

AllenS said...

Man, if only we could be like the Aztecs for, oh, let's say about 1 year.

Fen said...

Beth: I'm saying it's deluded to believe that description doesn't describe what often lurks beneath the conservative veneer as well.

To follow up, you and MadisonMan might qualify as true liberals, but the only time we hear from you is when you play the tu quoque fallacy: "we believe both sides do it, so our side is excused"

Bob_R said...

AllenS -

Unfortunately, I don't think Friedman is a virgin. Though with a face like that you never know.

AllenS said...

Bob,

I was thinking more of using a stone knife and removing the heart. But then again, does Friedman have a heart?

edutcher said...

As I noted in an earlier post, this has been a feature of the Left for 40 years. It's just come out of the closet in the last couple of years. Admiration for Red China and the VC was a big part of the Lefties' canon in the 60s and little has changed. The same kind of America-hatred and admiration for authoritarian institutions is what drives them.

And, of course, they want the same here. As an illustration, how many times did the Demos use the word, "rule", instead of, "govern", in the '08 campaign? Especially The Zero?

Eric said...

I was reading an analysis of China's economy in which the analyst believed 60% of the Chinese workforce is engaged in construction. If that's true, the country is in the biggest bubble the world has ever seen, and that's about as sub-optimal as you can get.

You're reading the same stuff I've been seeing and it's why, when the roof falls in, the crash will be everywhere.

Peter S. said...

@Althouse: "A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them."

This statement only means as much as saying something like:

"A love of mobocracy often lurks beneath the conservative veneer. There's this idea that the best answers have emerged through the wisdom of history and unsatisfied people are just too deluded and distorted to see that they live in the best of all possible worlds."

Of course -- even as criticism -- such a statement oversimplifies its target. Conservatism has its own deep love of autocracy, often in the form of cultural elitism (hence the need to protect and conserve the wisdom of the past), a strong sense of class and entitlement, a vision of the few strong and the many weak (see Rand), etc., etc.

Ann shows that it's too easy to cover a stupid statement with an equally stupid statement, if that's all you want to try.

Peter S. said...

@Machos: 'Incidentally, Rand was certainly authoritarian in her own right. Whittaker Chambers breathtakingly eviscerates her in his review of Atlas Shrugged. The justly famous money quote is: From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber — go!".'

Machos, very nicely put. It's never seemed that "knowing what's best" -- and contempt for those who don't accept that fact -- is hardly a prerogative of the left.

Scott said...

The usual leftist trolls are absent this thread.

That's because when you accuse a leftist of warming up to authoritarianism, they won't argue with you. They may try to gainsay you if they feel uncomfortable, but they won't deny it.

Libertarianism is the radical notion that people should be left alone to do what they want. No liberal ever wants that.

Kelly said...

Back when the bailout was being proposed, I lived in a red state, and my former college roommate, a Democrat, lived in Chicago. I mentioned to her that I didn't think it was fair that the Republicans were being portrayed as uncooperative just because they didn't like Obama. I told her that I couldn't step foot out of the house without hearing rants against the bailouts. The grocery, gas station, bank, everywhere people were adament that the if big corporations had made stupid mistakes then they should rail, just as many of these people would lose their houses if they made stupid mistakes.

I said to my friend, if the people back home are so opposed to the bailout, then these obstructionist politicians are just representing the view of their people, which is their job.

Her reply was that maybe we should have a form of government were people who were educated decided what to do, instead of people who didn't understand complicated issues. I was really horrified at that, but I have noticed since then that it isn't an unusual sentiment.

Jeff said...

FRODO:If you ask it of me, I will give you the One Ring.

GALADRIEL: You offer it to me freely. I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this. In the place of a Dark Lord, you would have a QUEEN! NOT DARK, BUT BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE AS THE DAWN! TREACHEROUS AS THE SEA! STRONGER THAN THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH! ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR. I pass the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.

Terrible as the Dawn.

Scott said...

@Kelly:

Good morning!

Yeah that's another recurring theme. Liberals think they're more intelligent, and point to the fact that they're liberal as proof.

This would be funny, except that people with this mindset are running the country.

tom faranda said...

Great posting. Love it.

quash said...

We have this problem all the time at our Anarchists United! meetings.

Scott said...

Anarchists Untied?

Peter S. said...

@Machos: "When was the last time you heard a conservative politician talk about liberals clinging to -- I don't know -- abortions and atheism?"

Among pundits and conservative publications, I think that Ponnuru's "party of death" meme fits the above model. Among politicians, the shallow populism of pointing ominously at "east coast elites" who hate "real Americans" does much the same work.

Of course one could say that one of these forms of attack are accurate, while the other is a smear. But I don't think that was your point.

What do you see as the difference between these rhetorics?

GV said...

Kelly:
Her reply was that maybe we should have a form of government were people who were educated decided what to do, instead of people who didn't understand complicated issues. I was really horrified at that, but I have noticed since then that it isn't an unusual sentiment.


This sentiment reappears whenever the majority doesn't agree with you and therefore must be dumber than those who agree with you.

The key word in Friedman's missive is "suboptimal". I'm willing to wager that a vast majority agrees with the sentiment that our current democracy produces suboptimal solutions. That vast majority dissolves into something quite different when asked what the "optimal solution" is. I'm quite sure my optimal is different from Friedman's optimal.

Friedman's position is just a nuanced version of Woody Allen's desire to have Obama dictate optimal solutions.

Scott said...

OMFG, I hope this thread doesn't start drifting into a debate over epistemic closure.

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucid said...

Ann wrote:
"A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them."

These are beautiful sentences, Ann. They focus precisely on what is profoundly mistaken in the liberal, big government types approach to everything, from salt in food to financial regulation and healthcare: They assume that they, or that any one perspective, can know the answer.

The best analysis of this was given by Friedrich Hayek, who argued that free market mechanism and democracy are both methods for creating decisions out of an accumulation of knowledge that is not available at ANY single point in the system, no matter how well informed, or well educated, or even if he were editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Readers might want to look at his essay, "The Use of Knowledge in Society" for his description both of how markets function as information mechanisms and for his view of the errors that inevitably follow from attempts at centraized planning.

This is also why free speech is so essential to a strong society--because better ideas emerge from the friction and interaction of many ideas.

The irony of Friedman's autocratic yearnings is that China has become newly powerful preciswely because it has now engaged Hayek's view in the form of market mechanisms in its economic activities.

Franco said...

Our Democratic Republic is a result of lessons learned the hard way. Now even our supposed intellectuals are forgetting.

lucid said...

Also as a comment on Firedman and Woody Allen, there is Bertolt Brecht's poem, The Solution, written about the East German government:

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?


This is why people like Friedman,
Allen, Frank Rich, Jonathan Chait, and many other liberals, lefties, and members of the Obama administration may be accurately described as Leninists: They would like to dissolve the American people and elct another, of their own devise and to their own preferences.

All the while, of course, these folks live lives at the most extreme ends of elite entitlement.

E Buzz said...

So this is what the lefties want, huh.

Do they have history books in the schools liberals attend? Perhaps they have been scrubbed of any bad words about authoritarianism...maybe it just doesn't get taught anymore, it wouldn't be surprising.

But they are bright and smart and know everything, and even if it's a bad thing, this time it'll be so different.

There will be no huge extravagant parties by the government leadership while people go hungry.

Oh wait...

AllenS said...

If we could only be like the Comanches for a week, I could have Friedman's scalp hanging from my belt. How cool would that be?

WV: pernifit

Liberals would have a perni fit. Perni is the illegal son of Conniption.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Now even our supposed intellectuals are forgetting."

Yes, they've forgotten that we're well-armed.

They've also forgotten that every man in our military has sworn an oath to protect our Constitution from all enemies - even the domestic ones like Thomas Friedman and Woody Allen.

Our military oath assumes that some people inside the United States want there to be a dictatorship in America. Our military stands ready to protect our country against such an outcome by "bringing those people to justice."

The moment Friedman's buddies try to execute their plan for an Obama dictatorship is the moment it becomes open season on the people who set the stage for it.

"Thomas Friedman and his family live in baronial splendor in an "palatial 11,400 square foot house ... on a 7 ½ acre parcel just blocks from Bethesda Country Club."

I wonder what does Mr. Friedman think is going to happen to that nice house the day the Barack Obama dictatorship begins?

I would think a regiment of United States Marines could take that hill fairly easily. Or even a squad of ordinary Americans fed up with the kinds of abuses of power that Friedman is agitating for.

Moira Breen said...

Seven Machos: I remain shocked that anyone here has ever taken you seriously.

Yes, I've often thought that about ol' Tom Friedman. Oh, you were talking about somebody else.

Say what you will about Danielle, the intellectual seriousness of the NYT would be raised significantly by giving her Flat-man's column space.

Anthony said...

I do not think the issue is "left" or "right" which I find to be increasingly irrelevant terms anyway. I do think the issue is between statism and liberty. And all too often, intellectuals believe in statism. It can take the form of silly comments such as Friedman's or Allen's. Or it can take the more dangerous form such as in the 1930s, when large numbers of intellectuals were enamoured with Stalin, and a smaller number with Hitler.

I simply wonder if the superficial exhaulted status that statists give to intellectuals (special uniforms, awards, priviledges not available to the masses, etc) co-opt the intellectuals or do the intellectuals think they will be in charge?

lucid said...

Oh New Hussein Ham, give it a rest.

It's time for you to go outside and play with the other children now. Maybe you can play cowboys and indians or cops and robbers.

AllenS said...

I've had a bit of fun with this blog post. But, you know what's absurd, or absurderer? That would be the fact that this Friedman character would propose, on a MSM outlet, something so bizarre, so outrageously stupid, that we give up our freedoms and be like China for even one minute. And he's probably not the only one at places like the NYT that think like that.

George said...

"This is why people like Friedman,
Allen, Frank Rich, Jonathan Chait, and many other liberals, lefties, and members of the Obama administration may be accurately described as Leninists: They would like to dissolve the American people and elct another, of their own devise and to their own preferences."

Thus explaining their desire for mass immigration of the Guatemalan peasantry.

lucid said...

I think we should be aware that what Woody Allen, Cass "the nanny state" Sunstein, Tom Friedman, Frank Rich, and Jonathan Chait all long for is already happening

--not in the overt form of an announced dictatorship, but in the continuous expansion of government rights and controls and the corresponding contraction of individual rights and free spheres of choice and action.

Friedman just let slip that he wants it to happen all at once, right now.

Robert Burnham said...

The people who grow up to become intellectuals are those who have been given, starting early in their school years, repeated rewards from teachers for reason, clear thinking, and intelligence. If these kids eventually go through university and grad school (as virtually all do), they will have had roughly 20 years of authority figures praising their ideas, reason, etc., etc.

So why is anyone surprised these people think they are fit to rule? And second, is it no wonder that intellectuals view politics as a series of problems that require their intelligence to resolve? And third, that all politics comes down in the end to questions for which reason alone is how you find the solution?

Two observations: these people are stunted, but it's not really their fault. Second, they must never be given control of a state.

Roger J. said...

I believe we are over analyzing Friedman's rather dumb comment--the history of the world is replete with examples of dictators of all stripes who only want to impose their view on their subjects--if they have a philosophy at all it is only used to buttress their personal desire for control--Makes little difference to the subjects if the dictatorship is by philosopher kings or mandarins in China. To paraphrase, the fault is not in our philosopies but in ourselves

Big Mike said...

It appears that I missed a heck of a thread by going to bed on time.

@Beth and danielle, I'm going to disagree with you (well that's certainly something new!). What you call "the right" is composed of the so-called "religious right," and a few of the most extreme members of that group come across as wanting a theocracy as bad as any Muslim theocracy in the Middle East. With their sect of their Protestant church on top, of course.

But they aren't all of the right, and I do believe, based on my own face to face discussions with liberals -- and not just in these blog threads -- that most liberals really do want a government where they set all the rules for everybody all the time. And you will find fiscal conservatives lined up against that attitude every time.

Simply put, one cannot have the left-wingers dream world without coercion. People resist. People try to take advantage. People must be whipped into line.

I don't find anything "authoritarian" in pushing for less regulation -- just enough to level the playing field but not so much that everybody drowns in paperwork -- quite the opposite. (Or, actually, call it make work for bureaucrats so that they can justify larger budgets and more wooden furniture in their offices).

Fen said...

But, you know what's absurd... this Friedman character would propose, on a MSM outlet, something so bizarre, so outrageously stupid, that we give up our freedoms and be like China for even one minute.

Its not absurd, its a tactic. By pushing the enevelope to the extreme, he's setting you up to accept "lesser" limitations to your Liberty.

Anthony said...

One other thing. If this is what Friedman says PUBLICLY, what does he say PRIVATELY, Friday night after one to many gin and tonics?

(My mother in law once knew I drank too much wine because I stood up and loudly proclaimed that mandatory education requirements were an instrument of totalitarianism)

sprx said...

Now you can go where people are one
Now you can go where they get things What you need, my son:

Is a holiday in Cambodia

DK's ca. 1980

AllenS said...

That made no sense.

Sofa King said...

Jeff:

Funny, even before I read the comments I was thinking to myself, "Didn't J.R.R. Tolkien write about this very subject?"

"I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo."

-Faramir

TMink said...

"A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer."

I think this is completely true regarding progressives who are socialists, but not so much about liberals who can be socially liberal but see the danger of the feds on HGH.

Trey

garage mahal said...

Liberals always think they're smarter than me. Whaaa! Then when they get elected, they want to like make laws and stuff.

roesch-voltaire said...

Oh my let us jump to hasty conclusions:"A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer." Didn't Freud point out that we all share that at some level? This cheap rhetoric and simple minded political division is one of the reasons that our country seems unable to find any solutions to our looming problems other than name calling: Liberal retards Vs. Republican thugs etc. I suggest what Friedman is doing, as he has done in a number of columns, is pointing out how China ,with its state controlled industry, is leaping a head of the US in so many ways because we have lost the will to encourage technological innovation that will secure our future. He does not want us to become a China, but he does want our democracy, or as some would suggest our oligarchy, to become focused on the problems.

Brian said...

@All of y'all:
The context of Friedman's comments was that government didn't have the expertise to take over the oil spill. They need BP to do their job and contain the spill they caused by their negligence.

As we've seen in the news, BP is doing CYA by shifting blame to others -- Haliburton (a boogeyman), Transocean, or other smaller players (detailed in our local paper). This is sort of like a trucking company blaming a 35 car pileup (due to driver error of one of their drivers in an 18-wheeler), on Peterbilt.

And really, it's understandable. As a country, we demonize Big Oil, and Wall Street, or corporations in general, so BP is simply trying to cover their butts politically. Its one of the consequences of another industry group, Big Bailout. Once you've gotten all the big companies into bed with government, then you use your political machinery to alternately cover for them, or extract what you want from them.

I heard on NPR this morning an official from a Louisianna coastal parish bemoaning the fact that no one (and he was primarily directing his ire at government agencies in this) is stepping up as a leader in this. There ain't no Rudy Giuliani of the Big Spill.

That said, Friedman followed that with his "like China for a day" comment. He went on to bemoan the fact that America hasn't overcome its "oil addiction," something as a great country we should be able to do. So he's griping about how the government doesn't have the expertise to deal with the spill, then how we haven't engineered a crude oil-free economy.

But he doesn't have a clue about any of it either, except to play "Dictator for a Day."

Fred4Pres said...

Shit Tom, how about if you were China for a day you free political dissentors, allow for freedom of consciousness in matters of religion and faith, and reneg on tryng to take over Taiwan. How's that for a start?

rhhardin said...

Mike Munger on what happens when the government replaces the middlemen.

("Gets rid of profit, so it's got to be cheaper")

SMGalbraith said...

The late intellectual Jean Francois-Revel called this, i.e., the desire to impose the right answers on others, "the Totalitarian Temptation" and it's a sentiment that, it seems to me, transcends the left-right spectrum. Or politics at all. As others have noted, it's part of human nature. Will to power, libido dominandi, et cetera.

However, it is odd that someone like Friedman can be so open about promoting it and not receive much criticism (although I guess he could be making a figurative point and not a literal one).

Stranger still is his belief that we can simply have a dictatorship for 24-hours, impose a law or program on that one day and, presto!, the problems have been addressed.

It's not that easy getting the trains to run on time, Mr. Friedman.

Joseph said...

"A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them."

I agree. But it is also true (I'd argue more true) that a love of autocracy often lurks beneath the conservative veneer.

virgil xenophon said...

"lucid" has been extremely lucid this thread. To his recommended readings I would also suggest Thomas Sowell's early 70s book "Knowledge and Decisions"--another useful tome arguing along the lines of Hayak on the superiority of markets and capitalism over command and control top-down economies so beloved of all statists.

HDHouse said...

It must be an interesting bed there in Madison Ann. A few years ago you slept in the middle and your arms dangled off both the right and left edges.

since Meade took the right side it appears that he has crushed your household mattress to the point where your natural inclination is an arm of the floor off the right side perchance you fall out completely....

And I believe that it was GWB who had the first laments about not being a dictator...

former law student said...

Is Thomas Friedman a liberal? He is certainly too boring to read, a Baron of Banality.

Gail Collins is the best NYD Oped writer. I'm hooked from the first sentence, and read quickly all the way to the bottom. Friedman reads like a high school history text approved by Texans.

Roger J. said...

Joseph--I do not believe that excesses of totaliarianism can be easily attributed to political ideology--They are certainly one component, and in the 20th Century, as Robert Conquest has demonstrated in his works, some ideologies seem to be more deadly--

Now that is probably a function of 20th century technology--Had Tsi Huang Ti had the resources in 200 BC in China, I am sure he would have been as deadly--

When we get involved in trying to link excess to ideology, no one comes out very well--and there is the whole secondary issue of defining "liberal versus conservatism." That is primarily why I am more comfortable (bad expression) as defining the urge to control as a physchologigal variable rather than an ideological variable.

HDHouse said...

I might also add that a country that is in the midst of poisoning the Gulf of Mexico for a decade or so and those of us on the East Coast with the Gulf Stream flowing calmly by has very little in the bag of rocks to toss at China.

TMink said...

"Didn't Freud point out that we all share that at some level?"

Yeah, but then hardly anyone pays any attention to Freud other than as a historical figure. It is VERY difficult to find a true Freudian analyst, even in Manhatten.

Trey

former law student said...

another useful tome arguing along the lines of Hayak on the superiority of markets and capitalism over command and control

A month after the BP oil rig blew up and I'm still waiting for the free market solution. Instead even right-wingers are complaining that the government hasn't supplied a tops-down solution. Further, they're starting to blame the government for letting BP drill in the first place.

TMink said...

"I heard on NPR this morning an official from a Louisianna coastal parish bemoaning the fact that no one (and he was primarily directing his ire at government agencies in this) is stepping up as a leader in this"

This is from the same NPR that was critical of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal being so hands on! You need more accurate and less idieological news sources.

Trey

Joseph said...

Roger--I agree.

damikesc said...

The only possible pluses of us turning into China for a day is that Friedman and Allen would be imprisoned.

That'd be some good irony.

MadisonMan said...

I for one do not want the Federal Govt to take over the Gulf Clean-up. There is no guarantee that they'll do a better job than BP. What is a guarantee if the Feds take over, however, is that BP will wash its hands of any responsibility. A lawsuit against them will end with BP saying Well, we were going to clean it up, but then the US Government told us not to!

I think this spill could bankrupt BP. Deservedly. They have gambled that they could drill "close" to shore cleanly. And they lost. Now why should the Govt rescue them -- are they too big to fail?

The Free Market solution to me is that many shrimpers and fishermen seek recompense in the Courts from BP, Halliburton, and that other of the 3 companies that was playing the It wasn't me, it was them blame game before Congress. And that they are given that recompense -- because it seems like their livelihood has been destroyed.

PatCA said...

"A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer."

Yes. See the French Revolution and every "people's" revolution thereafter.

Where will this madness end? Apparently not at the NYT.

GMay said...

I thought the phrase was "scratch a liberal and you'll find an aristocrat" or something like that.

I've always felt the same way, and cherry picking a few of the comments (though certainly not all) it seems many commenters do too.

"I do think the issue is between statism and liberty. And all too often, intellectuals believe in statism."

"Thus explaining their desire for mass immigration of the Guatemalan peasantry."

"So why is anyone surprised these people think they are fit to rule?"

"...the history of the world is replete with examples of dictators of all stripes who only want to impose their view on their subjects--"

"People who have lived in the real world and have experienced both success and failure will have a more modest sense of their abilities and limitations."

It explains the Europeans who are still bizarrely infatuated with nobility to varying degrees. It explains why those in our country who pine for everything European tried to elevate Obama to the same status. These people have created political systems and institutions that are simply modern facades of terminology to mask an essentially medieval/ancient belief that there are just a few people who have the capacity to save us from ourselves.

The modern liberal believes this with every fiber of her being while secretly believing to have this same noble blood in her veins.

former law student said...

Admiration for Red China and the VC was a big part of the Lefties' canon in the 60s

Huh? Let's not even talk about the improbability of anyone admiring Mao's starvation of millions during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Left supposedly admired Red China's forcibly exiling its intellectual elites to the countryside to do manual labor? Surgeons digging ditches, the American Left grooved on that?

That sounds more like a Sarah Palin fantasy (the good people of the small towns of the real America would surely have a good influence on liberal eggheads) than a Leftist one.

Scott said...

"And I believe that it was GWB who had the first laments about not being a dictator..."

And I believe that it's one of those observations that certain leftists would believe is true because it should be true, even if it isn't. (Of course, this is the internet, so you can link to the source quote, can't you? But that's so difficult.)

And it proves my earlier point that you'll only get gainsaying from liberals--not a rebuttal-- when they are confronted with evidence of their morbid chummyness with authoritarians.

SMGalbraith said...

I might also add that a country that is in the midst of poisoning the Gulf of Mexico for a decade or so and those of us on the East Coast with the Gulf Stream flowing calmly by has very little in the bag of rocks to toss at China.

There was an accident on an oil rig. Run by British Petroleum.

To equate this accident with the deliberate and massive oppression that the Chinese people live under is quite remarkable.

Truly.

Joe said...

I love the whole "sub-optimal" thing...

Friedman can't grasp the ESSENCE of democracy. It's all about sub-optimization!

It's not always clear what IS the right answer, and so democracies, thankfully, very seldom "plump" for THE Right Answer.

They end up slowly approaching the "right" answer, thru a series of half-measures.

Tom IT'S A FEATURE NOT A BUG!

Friedman's or Krugman's or Woody Allen's or even say Ron Paul's problem is that society doesn't see that their answer IS the right answer...and they get frustrated because of the "blindness" of others.

Franklin said...

As the saying goes...Scratch a Liberal, find a fascist; scratch a Conservative, find an anarchist.

Tom Armstrong said...

Yeah, I'm with ya Thomas. Let's just pass The Enabling Acts. What could go wrong?

Joe said...

Admiration for Red China and the VC was a big part of the Lefties' canon in the 60s

Huh? Let's not even talk about the improbability of anyone admiring Mao's starvation of millions during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Left supposedly admired Red China's forcibly exiling its intellectual elites to the countryside to do manual labor? Surgeons digging ditches, the American Left grooved on that?

That sounds more like a Sarah Palin fantasy (the good people of the small towns of the real America would surely have a good influence on liberal eggheads) than a Leftist one.


FLS, I’m afraid you jumped the shark here…but please whip out the Anthony Lewis articles condemning Mao, say from 1965-72. Did you miss the whole Hippies with the Little Red Book Thing? As my foreman once said, “You need to tell lies small enough at least you’ll believe them.” Certainly Chomsky and Lewis denied the Khmer Rouge Holocaust until it was undeniable….

Roger J. said...

To echo Joe--the quintessential scholar of public administration, Herbert Simon, has made a convincing case for what he calls satisficing solutions. Which is basically an academic term for sub-optimal solutions. And yes, it is fundamentally "conservative" in its approach. Go slow when time permits.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Friedman is undoubtedly thinking of the deficit-reducing effects of billing the families for the bullet.

holdfast said...

Tom:

Is that your final solution?

Comrade X said...

The Left supposedly admired Red China's forcibly exiling its intellectual elites to the countryside to do manual labor? Surgeons digging ditches, the American Left grooved on that?

yes it's crazy because if you went around quoting Chairman Mao you wouldn't make it with anyone anyhow.

Salamandyr said...

"no leader is stepping up"

Let's all remember that at the same time BP's shills are blathering before cameras trying to spread blame around to avoid legal liability, hundreds of engineers, mechanics, and divers are going about the job of actually cleaning up the mess. What we see on the news is only the blame game; nobody's waiting on a "leader"; in fact, we don't even really need one.

It happens every time there's a disaster. The news points its cameras at the finger pointers and the blame avoiders, the voices screaming that "you've ruined everything and it will never be the same!" all the while ignoring the actual work being done. A few months later, everything's fixed, and everybody pretends they didn't act like idiots. See, the Persian Gulf Spill, the Exxon Valdez Spill, etc...

ricpic said...

Turd rate intellectuals are absolutely gaga about power: raw total power.

Saint Croix said...

You really see the liberal love for autocratic dictators in the people they want sitting on the Supreme Court. They want people unbound by text or history. They want really smart Ivy League scholars, philosopher-kings, and they want to dictate, dictate, dictate new rules to us.

Plato was the original libtard.

Rob Crawford said...

"I might also add that a country that is in the midst of poisoning the Gulf of Mexico for a decade or so..."

Overly dramatic much?

It's oil. Oil is no more poison than any other substance. There are natural seeps just as large.

Joe said...

The most chilling thing I ever heard at college was from a slight, red-haired female graduate student, who declaimed, "We must come to understand the "libratory' nature of manual labour."

Yes, the 'libratory effect" of "manual" labour, now it was OBSIOUS that this little, Leftist waif hadn't performed any libratory labour in her life, but of course she never intended to.

She and her like-minded "comrades" were going to be in charge of those who were being "liberated" by this labour! Sure Sarah Palin and her children would get the chance for "community service" but not this little wisp of a girl.

It was such a nice way to describe the basis for the American GULAG....

No, she didn't vote Republican.

garage mahal said...

You can imagine the big conservative freakout had Obama said the same:

There ought to be limits to freedom.

I care what 51 percent of the people think about me.

If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier...

Dealing with Congress is a matter of give and take. The president doesn't get everything he wants, the Congress doesn't get everything they want. But we're finding good common ground. A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it.

Source

chr1 said...

Statist (quite possibly) or not, true liberal or not, Friedman has to make sure the world fits into his theory about the world, and the theory about the world into his book, so he can sell more books.

This is tied in with what I take is his genuine moral concern about getting America ready to compete on a global stage, or whatever he's pushing nowadays.

In this, he resembles another, chubby, mansion-owning gasbag.

They like to confuse their theory of the world with the world, their own self interest with everybody's interest, tying their fortunes to the passing donkeys of the day.

A few truths, and a deep claim or two and a lot of hot air.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Since when is it "moderate" to daydream about having dictatorial powers in the US?

Joe said...

Except, of course, GM, Bush was using it in an ironic sense, making the point it would only work if HE were the dictator, and sense that couldn't really be the case, no that was why democracy was ever so much better....

But thank you for playing.

George said...

"Huh? Let's not even talk about the improbability of anyone admiring Mao's starvation of millions during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Left supposedly admired Red China's forcibly exiling its intellectual elites to the countryside to do manual labor? Surgeons digging ditches, the American Left grooved on that?"

I'll leave it to John Lennon to answer:

"You say you'll change the constitution, well, you know,
we all want to change your head.

You tell me it's the institution, well, you know, you better free you mind instead.

But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao, you ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow"

MPH said...

I decided this weekend I am taking back the word Liberal. If the English language is to mean anything, Thomas Friedman's obvious love of authority can not be defined as liberalism.

SGT Ted said...

FLS,

BP is doing and has done more to clean it up than the Feds so far.

But, if this were Bush as prez, there'd be wall to wall coverage of oil slicked birds and the usual bitching about "in bed with big oil" and "Bush hates black people" and "how come he's on his ranch in Texas when cute wildlife is DIEING!?!?!. He must hate Mother Gaeia!"

What people are calling Obama out on is his bullshit claims that under his leadership, Federal responses to disasters such as this would be so much better and faster, because he's so smart and cares so much more than Republicans. The press and Obamas fellators(but I repeat myself) slurped this up unquestioningly. Oh yes, he's a law perfessor dontyaknow! He so smart!

Instead he played golf and went to parties and the press doesn't say one word about his lack of involvement. Whereas with Bush, it would be bash W all the time and call him lazy and stupid and WHERE'S FEMA!?@@!eleventy! birds are being killed by BOOSH!

spunky said...

In case you missed it.

Let’s say you think the world needs a parody Tom Friedman column. Dutifully, then, you set out to create one.

http://marylandconservatarian.blogspot.com/2010/05/quintessential-tom-friedman.html

Includes a test of the theory as well as links to others who have seen through this fraud's scam.

Anthony said...

Has Friedman ever had an original thought in his head? I remember when his "World is Flat" book came out and everyone was going ga-ga about it, but everything in it had already been said about a thousand times by everyone else for years.

bagoh20 said...

Of course Friedman assumes he would be in the ruling class which is the only group who is better off in China. He does have a point for that group of enlightened. China has no Tea Party-pains-in-the-ass giving you crap when you take them into bankruptcy.

We can test his idea by allowing free immigration between both countries and seeing which government people prefer for real. We just need to annex Canada to make room.

garage mahal said...

Except, of course, GM, Bush was using it in an ironic sense,

Of course.

GMay said...

"Let's not even talk about the improbability of anyone admiring Mao's starvation of millions during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Left supposedly admired Red China's forcibly exiling its intellectual elites to the countryside to do manual labor? Surgeons digging ditches, the American Left grooved on that?"

Ask Anita Dunn.

richard mcenroe said...

You know, if only Obama could be dictator for a day, he could do something about people who say the wrong things like you do...

W Allen

SGT Ted said...

And FLS your denial of the American liberal/leftist romance with Communist, Socialist and Fascist totalitarians is ignorance squared.

Synova said...

Oh, I think that conservatives are just as prone to statism and control as liberals are. I think that on the internet, particularly, we're more likely to encounter those who tend toward a libertarian or small government outlook. Certainly the studies done on what either liberals or conservatives value show that conservatives value cooperation with authority and the sorts of things people believe make our communities orderly.

What I do think, though, is that conservatives are less likely than liberals to view the primary purpose of government as solving our problems. Maybe it's enforcing order instead, but I do think that the autocratic tendencies have different focus.

Now, maybe, maybe liberals figure that since they're not all for enforcing order that they're off the hook, but it seems pretty obvious to me that enforcing solutions is just as much about enforcing as is enforcing order. It's just expressed in caring terms... we're here to help. Every time I hear a politician say "We were elected to get things done!" I cringe.

But that's all sort of tangential to what Friedman said about suboptimal solutions. On that he is fundamentally and horribly wrong.

Joe said...

Aaaaaah, so you hae evidence that Bush meant it in any other way? Please bring it forth....othrerwise I'm afraid you are just admitting you lost the argument.

richard mcenroe said...

"...are you seriously denying that these comment threads aren't full of gross generalizations about liberals, day in and day out? Or are we talking at cross purposes?"

Liberals are gross enough without exaggeration.

Joe said...

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier; just so long as I'm the dictator." seems fairly clear to me this is irony, except to the Irony-Impaired BDS sufferers who "know" the evilllllllll Booooosh wanted to create some kind of Baptist Theocracy in the US!

HDHouse said...

TMink said...
"I heard on NPR this morning an official from a Louisianna coastal parish bemoaning the fact that no one (and he was primarily directing his ire at government agencies in this) is stepping up as a leader in this"

That's an interesting federal question for the board...

Those who bemoan the federal overreach into the responsibilities of the individual states are often the first standing in line with a tin cup when it comes to actually taking responsibility for action.

AJ Lynch said...

Ricpic said:

"Turd rate intellectuals" Good one Ric - I plan to borrow this from time to time!

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Those who bemoan the federal overreach into the responsibilities of the individual states are often the first standing in line with a tin cup when it comes to actually taking responsibility for action.

Well oil spills in the NATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE, are the responsibility of the Federal Government...but thank you for playing HD.

Brian said...

@FLS:
That sounds more like a Sarah Palin fantasy (the good people of the small towns of the real America would surely have a good influence on liberal eggheads) than a Leftist one.

You had to bring up Sarah Palin, didn't you? I saw in the paper she's now saying Obama's feckless response to the Gulf oil disaster is due to Obama's ties to the oil industry. According to her, he should give back the money BP and other oil companies gave him.

My test for this: If Obama had an R by his name, what would the reaction to his handling of the oil spill be in the media?

@TMink:
You need more accurate and less idieological [sic] news sources.

If I don't cite NPR, or the AP, or our local Gannett owned paper, or some other MSM, then Jeremy, AlphaLib, or HDHouse or will dismiss whatever I say as coming from a lying tea-bagging nutjob in the FoxNews/Rush/Right Wing internet echo chamber.

Moira Breen said...

The Mustache of Understanding.

edutcher said...

I think it's fascinating that some of the National Socialists are trying to paint the Conservatives as being as much in love with authoritarian rule as they are. Unless, of course, they're talking about being in love with the rule of law, as opposed to the crowd in DC today, which Charles Krauthammer characterized as, 'lawless'.

Ayn Rand may be the idol of some, and I do mean some, libertarians, but conservatives on the whole don't pay her much heed.

Joe said...

Admiration for Red China and the VC was a big part of the Lefties' canon in the 60s

Huh? Let's not even talk about the improbability of anyone admiring Mao's starvation of millions during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Left supposedly admired Red China's forcibly exiling its intellectual elites to the countryside to do manual labor? Surgeons digging ditches, the American Left grooved on that?

That sounds more like a Sarah Palin fantasy (the good people of the small towns of the real America would surely have a good influence on liberal eggheads) than a Leftist one.


FLS, I’m afraid you jumped the shark here…but please whip out the Anthony Lewis articles condemning Mao, say from 1965-72. Did you miss the whole Hippies with the Little Red Book Thing? As my foreman once said, “You need to tell lies small enough at least you’ll believe them.” Certainly Chomsky and Lewis denied the Khmer Rouge Holocaust until it was undeniable….


As Clayton Moore once said, "Thanks..., for doing my job for me". I had some errands to run and got back a little late for a timely rebuttal.

garage mahal said...

Liberals always think they're smarter than me. Whaaa! Then when they get elected, they want to like make bad laws and stuff.

Fixed it for you.

Tantor said...

Tyranny is the product of third rate minds. Democracy requires the best minds.

I suspect the insufferable load of self-righteousness many liberals carry makes them feel entitled to trample on the rights of their neighbors who don't drink their Kool Aid.

garage mahal said...

Impaired BDS sufferers who "know" the evilllllllll Booooosh wanted to create some kind of Baptist Theocracy in the US!

Ah, no. Just showing how idiotic you guys consistently look pooping your pants over a quote.

former law student said...

Did you miss the whole Hippies with the Little Red Book Thing?

Can you not tell the difference between thoughts Mao wrote down while hunkered down in the mountains in the 1930s, and the horrible reality of Red China in the 1960s?

Joe said...


Ah, no. Just showing how idiotic you guys consistently look pooping your pants over a quote.

Well since we've gotten to arumentum ad hominem I guess it's safe to ignore you...once you get past the thsis/evidence/rebuttal phase and move into you're a "Dooie-Head" realm.

Lee Reynolds said...

There is no shortage of people in this world who think they have all the answers and who are more than willing to violate the rights and autonomy of others to see those solutions implemented. The political ideologies that inspire their ideas are as varied as the seasons.

It is easy to point out the leftists who think this way. But what about the so called "social conservatives" whose desire for control is every bit as strong, if not stronger?

As a libertarian I have no use for tyrants, whether they be of the marxists or members of the religious right.

A pox on both their houses!

JAL said...

"...the right solutions..."

Haven't we heard something like that before, a few decades ago ... mmm .... mmm m m ...

And your song reminds me of the old newsreels, the TV clips, and now the youtube stuff of North Korean children smiling and dancing (while they're not starving), and other Communist masses all in harmony. All with smiles. All with the sun shining.

Are these people (Freidman & Co.) real?

(These are the 60s and 70s "Question Authority!" people.)

Synova said...

The primary error is in desiring optimal solutions. It involves both the hubris of thinking that he knows (or someone knows) what those solutions are and that they could be enacted with authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness and would then work optimally. They won't.

By their nature any solution at all will only be optimal for a severely limited number of people. It's not just that dictatorial powers are bad by definition, but that any broad rule is going to be sub-optimal for a majority. Always. And if people don't realize that they will always think that if only they can implement the right solution then it will be different. No matter how many times History proves that taking away freedom for the common good leads to human horror, it's always going to be different if this time the right solutions are imposed.

There are no right solutions. There are no optimal solutions.

What there are are suboptimal solutions and either local control and flexibility or... China.

The trick is going with a system that produces suboptimal solutions in the context of flexibility. It matters far more that inoperable "solutions" can be easily abandoned than it matters that the solutions that are found that work, work less well than they might have done or that not everyone is tied to the same plan and it all seems disorganized and messy.

The alternative isn't the best solutions applied uniformly, but suboptimal solutions applied uniformly with a corresponding loss of freedom.

JAL said...

no time to read all the comments, but did danielle really say bush was a conservative?

hahahahahahahahah

Joe said...


Can you not tell the difference between thoughts Mao wrote down while hunkered down in the mountains in the 1930s, and the horrible reality of Red China in the 1960s?

One and the same, guy....in one case Mao was NOT in charge and in the other he WAS in charge, but in both cases he was a Marxist-Leninist.

But again, if you want to defend a murderous Marxist Leninist be my guest...But it will tned to undercut the argument that Progressives/Liberals don't really support dictators.

Or did you forget the Revolutionary Vanguard Party necessary for the Dictatorship of the Proleterians Leading to Socialism and then Communism?

holdfast said...

MadisonMan - Why would you want to see BP ruined? Do you hate all the pension funds, 401k investors and others who own their stock? I would much rather see the BP employees who cut corners, violated procedures and otherwise actually caused this mess to be sentences to scrubbing oily birds in jail for the next 20 years, on the same cell-block as the government inspectors and engineers who signed off on the shoddy practices.

Wiping out a multi-billion dollar company in a fit of pique does little good and hurts many - are we too scared or queasy to go after the actual individuals involved? And yes, if the trail goes all the way to the top, then so be it.

JAL said...

Bush is a Methodist.

Having been a Methodist at one time and hanging with that bunch for a while, even the more conservative theologically are not into theocracies.

The Bush yapping stuff really is stupid.

And it is interesting that he's not out running around like Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter trying to pretend he's still sorta' POTUS.

As they say: "Nothing here. Time to move on."

Maguro said...

Can you not tell the difference between thoughts Mao wrote down while hunkered down in the mountains in the 1930s, and the horrible reality of Red China in the 1960s?

There is no difference. Maoist ideology led directly and inevitably to the "horrible reality" of Red China in the 60s.

How can you not understand that? It's like saying "Can you not tell the difference between thoughts Hitler wrote down while hunkered down in a Munich jail cell in the 1920s, and the horrible reality of Nazi Germany in the 1940s"?

orbicularioculi said...

Thomas Friedman still believes in the anthropomorphic global warming Hoax. His liberal touted book about the "...The World is Flat..." or something like that has an entire chapter on how we are going to die if we don't address our destruction of mother earth. Friedman is a liberal turd. And his closeness to Islamofascists is a bit off putting.

Yes, he'd love Obama to be Dictator for a Day. Tommy, your mustache is funny looking.

former law student said...

One and the same, guy....in one case Mao was NOT in charge and in the other he WAS in charge, but in both cases he was a Marxist-Leninist.

You must separate what a man does in later life from what he accomplished in the past, as no less a thinker than Fen commented on this very blog:

So? Whats your point? You agree with Alpha that we should demonize Arnold as a traitor and ignore his earlier contributions to creating this Republic?

But let me remind you further, we were taling about Red China, not Mao. Unless you think Mao is the state, the state is Mao.

Joe said...


But let me remind you further, we were taling about Red China, not Mao. Unless you think Mao is the state, the state is Mao.


Uh ever hear of the Cult of Personality? Jeeeeeez, dood you missed the whole Stalin thing too, didn't you?

Duncan said...

"Oh, I think that conservatives are just as prone to statism and control as liberals are."

Save that conservatives believe in many fewer regulations (much shorter Federal Register) than liberals. So the total quantity of oppression is smaller.

Plus to quote PJ O'rourke, "Republicans are superior to Democrats because they don't believe in gun control so if they do something you don't like you can shoot them."

Joe said...

Tell me FLS, would you care to explain how the Marxist Leninist Mao was different in Yan'an and Beijing?

former law student said...

Maoist ideology led directly and inevitably to the "horrible reality" of Red China in the 60s.

Really? I can't tell from this chapter:

17. Serving the People

-----------------------------------------------------------------



We should be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and serve the Chinese people heart and soul....

"China's Two Possible Destinies" (April 23, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III p. 253.

Our point of departure is to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from one's self-interest or from the interests of a small group, and to identify our responsibility to the people with our responsibility to the leading organs of the Party.

"On Coalition Government" (April 24, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 315.*

The organs of state must practice democratic centralism, they must rely on the masses and their personnel must serve the people.

On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People (February 27, 1957), 1st pocket ed., p. 8.*

Comrade Bethune's spirit, his utter devotion to others without any thought of self, was shown in his boundless sense of responsibility in his work and his boundless warm-heartedness towards all comrades and the people. Every Communist must learn from him. We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With this spirit everyone can be very useful to the people. A man's ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already nobleminded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people.

"In Memory of Norman Bethune" (December 21, 1939), Selected Works, Vol. II, pp. 337-38. *

Our Communist Party and the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies led by our Party are battalions of the revolution. These battalions of ours are wholly dedicated to the liberation of the people and work entirely in the people's interests.

"Serve the People" (September 8, 1944), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 227

All our cadres, whatever their rank, are servants of the people, and whatever we do is to serve the people. How then can we be reluctant to discard any of our bad traits?

"The Tasks for 1945" (December 15, 1944).

Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people's interests, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected - that is what being responsible to the people means.

"The Situation and Our Policy After the Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan" (August 13, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 16.

Wherever there is struggle there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence. But we have the interests of the people and the sufferings of the great majority at heart, and when we die for the people it is a worthy death. Nevertheless, we should do our best to avoid unnecessary sacrifices.

"Serve the People" (September 8, 1944), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 228.

All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Szuma Chien said, "Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather." To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather.

Ibid. p. 227.*

Fat Man said...

Does Friedman have a deal with Jonah Goldberg to promote "Liberal Fascism"?

comatus said...

Whittaker Chambers? Seriously? Jay Vivian Chambers, failed Soviet spymaster, the boy who neutered Bambi? Seemed he did a lot of "breathtaking evisceration," mostly under those hot lights.

Other than accounts of how shabbily his Muscovite slavemasters treated their own party faithful, why should I care what he had to say about gas chambers or railroad novels, in the back pages of Time magazine?

Because Buckley liked him? Whoa.

Roger J. said...

FLS--I gotta tell you, like Joe did above--if you missed the point about Mao and the state and cult of personality, you really shouldnt be posting this kind of crap. Come on, man--you have to better than this. You may have missed the video of the Chairman swimming 17 miles down the Yang Tze river waving to the happy peasants on the shore. Nahh no cult of personality there. did the entire last 60 years of history totally escape you?

mrs whatsit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

The organs of state must practice democratic centralism,

Code word for dictatorship….The Vozhd sets the policy and the Politburo and the Central Committee rubber stamp it, and then the “National Government” follows the lead of the Vanguard Party….but hey if you haven’t understood Commie-Speak that’s not my problem.

Oh and BTW, can you find anywhere where Hitler discusses the Holocaust in Mein Kampf? But I don’t suppose you’ll be as forgiving of a NATIONAL Socialist as you will be of an INTERNATIONALIST one?

Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people's interests, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected - that is what being responsible to the people means.

But oddly, FLS the People, though often mentioned, don’t get to determine the PEOPLE’S Interests, the Party does. So all this means is if the Party says you starve, you starve…even if you don’t think it’s in your interest to do so, because well the Party understands the People’s Needs, better than you.

You really ARE trying to apologize for one of the greatest Mass Murderers of the 20th Century, aren’t you?

bagoh20 said...

Just another example of someone who somehow missed the obvious lessons of the most murderous century in human history. I think it's the most serious and clear truth ever evidenced, so I don't know if it's even possible to demonstrate greater stupidity than not getting that lesson. Friedman occasionally makes sense, but this is just foolish, old dumbness that keeps getting repeated by those unclear about where evil comes from.

Andrea said...

FLS, just admit you put your foot in it with the "hippies" (with their communes!) "and leftists in the 60s and 70s didn't admire Mao" comments. Because I am actually old enough to remember the 60s and 70s.

You remind me a bit of those old commie radicals P.J. O'Rourke wrote about in "Ship of Fools," about going with them on a trip to the USSR. In the face of the crumbling infrastructure of the great Soviet Socialist Republic, all they could do was prattle about all the "wonderful" advances of communism. But yeah, no one in the US left ever admired the totalitarian dictatorships of the Communist bloc ever.

Joe said...

And FLS lets not forget Bill Ayers celebrating the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela or the adulation of Castro by Oliver Stone and his ilk...no, the American Left has NEVER, NEVER adored the Communist authoritarians/totalitarians....

MikeR said...

Glenn Reynolds says frequently: Those nasty libertarians. They want to take over, and then - LEAVE YOU ALONE!

Joe said...

I guess Jane Fonda and Tom hayden, just got lost, took the wrong turn at Albequerque and ended up in Hanoi, sitting on a Flak Gun....

Or Ramparts magazine didn't run the headline, "Alienation is when you country is at war and you want the Other Side to win!"

Or there were no chants of Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh is going to win or the waving of DRVN flags by the hippies...

Andrea's got it right, you put your foot in it, just own it, dood....I mean I ahve no problem saying that Ford liked Mussolini, or that there were Conservatives who, if not supported Hitler, then at least "understood" his dilemma and supported many of the ings he did. My side gets it wrong too...

Just own your sides lunacy(ies).

Bill R said...

Anne, drop the "often." Liberals and leftists love authoritarian solutions to what they consider the "messiness" of democracy. What they ignore (either willfully or through ignorance) is that while Democracy has the capacity to be self-correcting, authoritarian dictatorships double down on their mistakes because they cannot admit to error. This is why authoritarian regimes are for instance the worst polluters and the most corrupt systems. Friedman is a shill and frankly has no business even being though of as a serious thinker anymore.

Natalie said...

I do think Ann Althouse is being too hard on the song "If I ruled the world". I read the very impossibility of the goodies promised in the lyrics ("There'd be sunshine in everyone's sky / If the day ever dawned when I ruled the world") as being a humorous admission that it's all fantasy and whimsy.

Oh, and I've gone right off Friedman.

Alex said...

Conservatives are just as in love of autocracy as liberals. It's only centrist moderates like me that deplore all that nonsense and strive for consensus-building!

HDHouse said...

Joe said...
"Well oil spills in the NATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE, are the responsibility of the Federal Government...but thank you for playing HD"

Always happy to play Joe. The Gov. of Louisiana is talking about the beaches and wetlands in his state within the confines of the state and within his authority.

You know, Joe, you can always find someone reaching for the 1st reaction with just a second's more thought would have led him to the next question.

HDHouse said...

Tantor said...
"...feel entitled to trample on the rights of their neighbors who don't drink their Kool Aid."

After 8 years of Bush Cheney you have the audacity to talk about drinking Kool Aid?

HDHouse said...

orbicularioculi said...
"...The World is Flat..." or something like that has an entire chapter on how we are going to die if we don't address our destruction of mother earth. Friedman is a liberal turd."

I politely point out the the Gulf of Mexico is having some issues dealing with the distruction of mother earth even as we speak...

I can send you some links if you want or you can fly over it and look at it from you window seat on Air Force One....your choice.

Brian said...

@Alex:
It's only centrist moderates like me that deplore all that nonsense and strive for consensus-building!

As has been noted elsewhere about extreme left & right: It's a clock dial, you go far enought one way or the other and you meet back up. Or two sides of the same coin. Pick your metaphor.

You can be an extreme centrist, if you will:
(1) You are so paranoid about the left & right that you use any means necessary to quash any groups or views you believe are dangerous, or "not helpful."
(2) You strive to be neutral, like Switzerland, to the point that you either can't get anything done, lest you be labelled as right or left, or you royally f**k it up trying to accomodate everybody.

Sometimes trying to be the middle ground just means you get caught in the crossfire.

roesch-voltaire said...

Former law student interesting quotes from Mao, but of course these lines: "But we have the interests of the people and the sufferings of the great majority at heart, and when we die for the people it is a worthy death" are part of the state ideology so often developed by countries to justify war. For me it is Interesting to see how so many are quick to point the authoritarian finger at the other guy, or claim they just meant it ironically. Clearly this is the shadow side of ourselves that democracies must counter, as a number of you have pointed out. But I do not trust these late to party Tea Party complaining about the interlocking of big business and big government; where were you when I was forced to make my protests from enclosed "free speech zones," these last eight years?

Joe said...

Always happy to play Joe. The Gov. of Louisiana is talking about the beaches and wetlands in his state within the confines of the state and within his authority.


The roigin of the oil in the STATE'S Wetlands is oil from the NATIONAL economic zone, created by INTERNATIONAL LAW, but thank you for playing.

Or would it be your contention that it's YOUR problem if your neighbor's septic tank over-flowed onto your property, not a responsibility of your neighbor, after all the "poop's" in your yard?

Joe said...


But I do not trust these late to party Tea Party complaining about the interlocking of big business and big government; where were you when I was forced to make my protests from enclosed "free speech zones," these last eight years?


Last eight years, Boo-Hoo, try the last 20 years at my alma mater...so no it wasn't the Booosh Cabal/Regime.

maninthemiddle said...

"The Urge to Save Humanity is Almost Always a False-Face for the Urge to Rule it" HL Mencken

Joe said...

At the end of the day, however, I AM all for "China for a day." Really China for 30 days….let everyone see China, the China where the government is corrupt, takes your property, does as it will and ignores the wants of the governed, the China with horrific air and water pollution, the China with a horrific Human Rights Record, the China that is going to tell feminists how many children they can have, the China that oppresses Uighurs because they’re Muslim.

I figure after 30 days of China, it will be DECADES before anyone listens to the likes of Friedman…..

Jason said...

Once again, FLS demonstrates he had a big, heaping bowl of Dumb Flakes for breakfast.

Jeebus Christ, knucklehead... You're going to deny that sixties libtards were supporters and admirers of Mao? The White House itself featured portraits of Chairman Mao on its Christmas tree ornaments this year.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/23/white-house-christmas-decor-featuring-mao-zedong-comes/

You're so ignorant I don't even know where to begin. One of the biggest, if not THE biggest mass-murderer in history, and you're trying to argue his case by quoting some nice things he wrote years before seizing power.

The man was a monster to his bones. And libtards are stupid, at the molecular/DNA level.

Get help.

Chef Mojo said...

As regards to the oil in the Gulf? I found it sadly amusing that the Army Corps of Engineers wouldn't give Louisiana the go-ahead to create sand berms along their shores, because the Corps had to study and evaluate the environmental impact of constructing the berms.

The environmental impact. Of constructing sand berms to block the inflow of oil from the worst environmental disaster in years.

Yes. We're the government, and we're here to help you.

No wonder Jindal told them to piss off and get out of the way.

Alex said...

Jason...wingnut... Listen to The Beatles "Revolution" - "if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao you are not going to make it with anyone anyhow..." that was John Lennon "supposed Commie".

I laugh at your wingnuttery.

Jason said...

Alex...

Can you try to make that point once again, this time with coherence?

kthnksbai.

The Elder said...

"A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There's this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them."

It is that same love of autocracy that argues for "merit selection" of State judges. "We know who the 'correct' people are to serve as your judges, so for the sake of 'an independent judiciary,' the people should give us the power to control the selection process behind closed doors."

It is a terrible, antidemocratic idea!

jr565 said...

HD House wrote:
I might also add that a country that is in the midst of poisoning the Gulf of Mexico for a decade or so and those of us on the East Coast with the Gulf Stream flowing calmly by has very little in the bag of rocks to toss at China.



RIGHT! Because no country other than the US has any environmental issues to worry about, just as no country other than the US is an imperial power. It seems that libs only find the sin in themselves never in others, because Alinsky like they seek to use the Wests Goodness to argue that because it can't live up to perfect expectations that it's as evil as the country, group that doesn't even bother to try. So Israel, despite having a better humanitarian record than any other ME country is singled out for its anti humanitarianism, and though their are other occupations in the ME by Muslims, the only occupation worthy of mention is Israels. Just as, though the entire world,including Africa, took part in the slave trade (and though some countries STILL are involved in the slave trade) only the US's involvement makes it culpable. Liberals are so hateful of the very systme that provided them their freedoms to be freely educated as liberals that the only sin they find is in their own systems. They of course are blameless of the rot that is the West, with its imperialism and hatred of women. IT's just the non educated conservatives who don't listen to the liberals that make this country a bad place.
This by the way was one of the main arguments made by Obama and why libs flocked to him. HE was going to move us away from our sinful ways (read, anti liberal) towards a pro liberal foreign and domestic policy filled with smartness and compassion. And then of course, the water levels would lower and the sun would shine all the brighter. Hows that working out for ya so far?

By the way here's a few environmental issues that China is dealing with:
http://matadorchange.com/10-environmental-atrocities-in-china-that-you-didnt-know-about.

Can we get out our bag of rocks about those issues? Or are they exempt for exaple of a red coastline due to untreated sewage because they are China and not the US?

Bryan C said...

Conservatism has a fail-safe, in that it recognizes that human beings are innately greedy, flawed, amoral, and power-hungry. That can't be changed, so a democratic system just makes the best of it, leveraging human ambitions to produce good/acceptable results while setting up internal controls to limit the power - and therefore the damage - that any individual or faction can inflict. There's no such thing as an "optimal" solution, just a least-bad one.

OTOH, if, as many liberals do, you think human nature is malleable, controllable, and perfectible, then it's not much of a stretch to determine that you're the one(s) qualified to do the job. And, because you're also human, arrogant, and can easily rationalize your lust for power, you convince yourself that you and your pals know best. And you sincerely believe that you won't make the same mistakes and destroy people with your inept meddling, like all those other guys did. But you're wrong.

DADvocate said...

Friedman from last September: 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.

Yes, he loves autocracy and firmly believes he and those like him are superior to the rest of us and have every right to force us to do their bidding.

Fen said...

Libtard: a country that is in the midst of poisoning the Gulf of Mexico for a decade or so and those of us on the East Coast with the Gulf Stream flowing calmly by has very little in the bag of rocks to toss at China.

See: Kuroshio Current -> North Pacific Current -> California Current; China dumping radioactive waste into Kuroshio.

Joe said...


See: Kuroshio Current -> North Pacific Current -> California Current; China dumping radioactive waste into Kuroshio.


It's different for China, they are only emulating Great Britain which dumped radioactive waste into the Irish Sea.

See there's no difference between us and them, except we sub-optimize...

MadisonMan said...

holdfast, I'm not cheering the demise of BP -- if it happens. I'm saying that they should take responsibility for their actions. They've made a tremendous mess of the Gulf (well, them, and Transocean, and Halliburton) -- shouldn't they have to clean it up?

There is risk in any investment. The people/funds who have invested in BP would reap rewards were the well brought in successfully, right? Should they somehow be shielded now that things are going south? Why?

Waltlaw said...

@Seven_Machos: I don't think liberals are the only ones motivated by arrogance and desire to control others. I think politicians, in general, suffer from this pathology.

Re: Chambers' quote on Rand: I have no idea how he concluded that from Atlas Shrugged. Can you enlighten me? Rand upheld political freedom, individual rights, a constitutional replubic, and living according to one's rational standards and virtues, including rationality, integrity, and productivity. To help others, whether they are poor or disadvantaged in some way, Rand upheld volunteerism (charity), not statism. In what way does this necessitate killing off people?

Franklin said...

Because that old saw evidently warrants repeating (for the big-el Liberals on this thread).

"Scratch a Liberal, find a fascist; scratch a conservative, find an anarchist"

Too true.

Scott M said...

"Scratch a Liberal, find a fascist; scratch a conservative, find an anarchist"

This. I've been saying it here for as long as I've been posting here. The further you move to the left, the bigger the government until you reach totalitarianism. The further you move to the right, the smaller the government until you get anarchy. I don't know what's so hard about this to understand.

Hilter wasn't right wing and there's nothing inherently right wing about violence of any kind...much like there's nothing inherently violent about the left wing. The line can be drawn, however, at the amount of coercion involved. Coercion requires force, be it law backed by guns, or simply guns.

Without drawing theological parallels, and borrowing only from the phrasing, "the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing everyone Nazis are right-wing".

AJ Lynch said...

Why would anyone defend the dumb ideas Friedman is expressing in his column? Because he is a Dem or a liberal or a member of the Beltway insiders? So what!? Just because one generaly agrees with those type of people, it's no reason to offer a knee jerk defense of him in this instance.

Freeman Hunt said...

sTime to get going on space travel. Then we can get out of here before the power-hungry like Friedman get their China for a day.

Patm said...

Friedman is the most useful of the useful idiots. As long as his idiocy remains nebulously perceived. The internet is making his idiocy clear. Which is why either it or he must go.

He chooses it, of course!

John D said...

I came from China. Have you all been to China?

In China, a man can be found guilty, sentenced to death, and actually be dead in a month. Do you actually envy that efficiency?

In China, Sichuan to be exact, after the earthquake, the only building left standing was the municipal building, while all the school buildings were destroyed.

In China, due to the one-child policy, and forced abortion, the boys-to-girls ratio is so big that it will lead to eventual civil unrest.

I could go on and on. What's liberals' obsession with dictatorship and authoritarian regime? You have Sean Penn, Woody Allen, and now Tommy boy, all want government they approve of to rule, instead of government, or serve the people to be exact. It's creepy.

Thorley Winston said...

It is easy to point out the leftists who think this way. But what about the so called "social conservatives" whose desire for control is every bit as strong, if not stronger?


I think what you’ve identified is a false symmetry. Most “social conservatives” seem be pushing for things like school choice and/or home schooling, “shall issue” concealed carry laws, freedom of association, and policies that promote self-reliance and less dependency on the government in general.


About the only issue I can see where “social conservatives” have advocated new policies* that would lead to a further expansion of the State is in restricting abortion although even that’s debatable IMO largely because I don’t think that using the State to protect one group of people from violence by another group of people (which is how pro-lifers see abortion) is indicative of a “desire for control.”


* The War On Some Drugs generally being a bipartisan policy supported by majorities in the Left, Right and Middle although it’s generally people in the Middle and the Left that want to expand the WOSD to include tobacco.

Bill White said...

Althouse's Maxim: "A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer." Its corollary, the General Theory of NPR: http://summa.blogspot.com/2010/05/general-theory-of-npr.html

Joe said...

John D
I came from China. Have you all been to China?...You have Sean Penn, Woody Allen, and now Tommy boy, all want government they approve of to rule, instead of government, or serve the people to be exact. It's creepy


Because the PEOPLE, might elect Sarah Palin or George Bush...and it's OBVIOUS those are bad answers. And the PEOPLE might want $2.25 gasoline, rather than a government mandated $7.00 per gallon gas. And the PEOPLE might object to their standard of living being reduced drastically by carbon taxes and cap and trade....The PEOPLE like to eat at McDonald's even though it's fattening and "unsustainable" and does nothing to support the "Buy Local/Organic" Movement.

And so since the PEOPLE, "stink on ice"-as Mel Brooks would say-the Better Sort of Person (BSP) and the BSP's trusted comrades need to intervene to save the People from themselves.

Along the way the BSP and their trusted servants will have all the kewl stuff, but they won't be seduced by it and they'll maintain they're steely resolve to improve the People. Even if this Steely Resolve requires the deaths of millions or BILLIONS....

Can't make an Omelette Without Breaking a Few Eggs, Or Steely Resolve.

Thorley Winston said...

I guess I must have missed all those "get to a gas chamber" passages from Atlas Shrugged.


Yeah me too, also when I did a word search in the electronic version for the words “gas” and “chamber,” I find plenty of references to “gas station” but no actually references to “gas chamber.”


It’s a pity that so how many people’s knowledge of “Atlas Shrugged” is based on a book review by a man who later admitted that he hadn’t actually read the book.

HDHouse said...

Joe said...
"Or would it be your contention that it's YOUR problem if your neighbor's septic tank over-flowed onto your property, not a responsibility of your neighbor, after all the "poop's" in your yard?"

Well Joe, as long as you keep posting the poops on here.

The issue raised was one of ACTION not jurisdiction. He (the gov.) wanted the federal government to move faster. The question I raissed was why didn't he get off his lard ass and get the Louisiana national guard or other state workers or others period out there and get to work.

The bullshit screeches from the right on this are just stupid. If you don't like what is happening and you have potential or real jurisdiction get off your ass and get it done.

Hear that Joe? Get it?

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