Free Markets, Free People

Quote Of The Day

I can only assume Thomas Friedman has finally gone round the bend:

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. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

This, from his lament today in which he waxes idiotic about our country being much to constrained by democracy. The poor Democrats are so hobbled by having to deal with the other side (and public opinion, for heaven sake!) that they’re not able to ram through what Thomas Friedman wishes for.

Ah, for a few “reasonably enlightened” autocrats in our time of need.  Sure it has its drawbacks, but what’s a gulag or two when provided the opportunity to “move society forward” with or without its consent?



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17 Responses to Quote Of The Day

  • IIRC from my reading of it a long-time ago, Hitler made similar comments in Mein Kampf, essentially saying having one leader meant there was only one politician to blame as opposed to the hassle of dealing with a parliamentary system.

    FWIW, I’m loathe to invoke Hitler in political discussions because of the hyperbole to which his name is used, but it does seem appropriate here.

  • Well, I hope nobody is surprised to hear a lefty waxing poetic about the virtues of dictatorship. LEFTY dictatorship, that is.

    I spit on these people.

    • Well, when Congress turns 180 in 2010 and Obama gets bumped out of office, I’m sure he’ll be tickled when the NY Times is banned and the Repubs run roughshod.

      Hey,Tom, be careful what you ask for, punk.

  • This guy has a national forum to spout on eh?
    Gosh I love when the left makes these statements. So revealing of their fundamental views.

    Reminds me of the guy I once heard ask “Well, when IS it okay to beat your wife?”. To his way of thinking it was okay, you just had to do it when it was appropriate and avoid it when it wasn’t. Simple, see?

    So too with Friedman, obviously he thinks there’s a time when a one party dictatorship would be a great thing to have. I’m sure he’d say we should avoid it when it wasn’t appropriate to have, you know, like, when George W. Bush was President, and the Republican Party controlled the Legislative and executive branches of government.

  • This is exactly, and I mean EXACTLY, the same sort of things that journalists said about Mussolini in the 1920’s. He was not constrained by Democracy, he could make the hard choices, he could look to the future, he made the trains run on time.

    Of Course, I am willing to bet good money that the Chinese will not overtake us in any sort of clean energy. Maybe nuclear because we don’t build any nuclear, but not in the other areas.

    Command economies can do some things if they concentrate on them, but it is mostly just copy cat. In the area of innovation they can not hold a candle to free markets.

  • This isn’t new nonsense from Friedman. “Let’s be China for a day” is a fantasy from his last book.

  • This democracy stuff is just too slow and inefficient. Friedman knows that if you really want to “leap” forward, or even “great leap” forward, totalitarianism is the only way to go.

  • I am reminded, once again, of what Dubya once said in jest: “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” He was raked over the coals for that off-the-cuff musing, but now it seems the ones who did the raking are openly pining for the very thing.

  • Hey, Thomas Friedman got a house with a mortgage (probably held by the Chinese) and a big “carbon footprint” to boot.
    Give the guy a break … somebody has to pick where Walter Duranty left off.

  • That column in full is quite possibly one of the most horrifying reads in years. The ideas (or lack thereof) behind it is frightening.

    Such people cannot be reasoned with.

    • And yet they have a not only a public forum, they are paid to use it, and are feted as ‘respectable’.

      Hang on I need to go and check to see if the Bizzaro Supermen are flying around my building.

  • ya know, my grandparents left this sort of crap when he was almost killed by Che after fighting for his freedom. It’s a sad day indeed to see this drivel in the country he fled to to escape exactly that kind of rhetoric.

    God help us.

  • Shouldn’t Dr Erb get into this discussion pretty quickly?

  • China contrives a lot of buzz concerning electric cars which are generally filled to the brim with batteries to the point that even die hard environuts would question their practicality.

    Otherwise China is atrocious in terms of pollution. They are Thee Green House Gas generator. So not only is his praise of autocracy disturbing but even a bit more disturbing that its actually unfounded in his example. He would sell our freedoms on a mistakes and/or falsehoods.

  • Ha! I always said I wanted to be benevolent dictator for a few years – just long enough to take care of what needs taking care of.

    Of course, “benevolent” is in the eye of the beholder…

  • Its easy to visit China and see all the infrastructure going up and feel jealous…like why does it take a million years for a power plant to get done in the USA?

    Is it because we have a democracy? NO.

    Its because we have lots and lots of lawyers and environmental regulation.

  • “I have seen the future and it works.”

    Lincoln Steffens, 1921.

    “Those who do cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    George Santayana.