Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Thomas Friedman

I think that the period Thomas Friedman took off to write his book, which I haven't bothered to read, was a little less miserable for those of us who do a lot of reading. No rattling on about the joys of the new financial system, Davos Man, and his unfortunate construction of globalization. But watching him now is almost fun. It reminds me of the writing on Cuba just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the government there stayed in power by repressing the population at the same time (and sometimes in the same article) that the government was entirely unable to control the population. What that confirmed was that they can't see that their analysis is wrong, even when the contradictory facts are directly before them.

So in his column of November 16, we are informed that while shopping may have gotten us into this mess (which isn't exactly right anyway), we must get ourselves out of it by--by--more shopping! But by the next week he's changed his mind and, on November 23, he's--silently we hope--admonishing the young people in restaurants to go home and eat tuna fish. In other words, stop shopping. I should be critical, but right now it's just fun to watch people who spend their time justifying the unjustifiable depredations of the elite try to negotiate their way through this.

Update December 9: I can't believe that this piece ended up on NetRightNation. Uh, I'm kind of embarrassed to be there.

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