Thomas L. Friedman Wants Us "to be China for a day," to "authorize the right solutions"

If we know anything about America's worst successful columnist, it's that he won't rest until he's flogged a terrible idea again and again and again. The latest, care of Jonah Goldberg, was Friedman's authoritarian envy on Meet the Press over the weekend:

Well, David, it's been decimated. It's been decimated by everything from the gerrymandering of political districts to cable television to 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, to the fact that money and politics is so out of control—really our Congress is a forum for legalized bribery. You know, that's really what, what it's come down to. So I don't—I, I—I'm worried about this, it's why I have fantasized—don't get me wrong—but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one 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.

If we're going to be China, I wonder which politically restive province Friedman would support removing Internet access privileges for 10 months? Maybe Maricopa County? Which bloggers will be imprisoned for reporting on a gang-rape, or contradicting official accounts of earthquake damage? Will Friedman's Propaganda Department be issuing directives expressly criminalizing any domestic reporting on school violence, the Shanghai Expo, or criticism by international journalists, with marching orders to "not ask national leaders questions during their visits to Shanghai" and to "only use reports containing explanations by government officials"?

You do not get the "stick-to-itiveness" of Friedman's authoritarian one-party fantasia without the violent, freedom-depriving assault on those (especially though not only activists and bloggers and journalists) who are seen as threats to the regime. Dreaming about removing checks and balances to impose a super-genuius policy is not the work of a geopolitical thinker, but the tantrum of an impatient sloganeer.

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  • ||

    Caption contest:

    "Prizewinning Whistling Pig Performs Wagner's Greatest Hits."

  • ||

    I won't even submit a caption out of respect for the awesomitude of yours.

  • ||

    You know who else liked Wagner?

  • Godwin||

    No, who? Tell me!

  • Attorney||

    Natalie Wood?

  • Ted S.||

    What's the only kind of wood that doesn't float?

  • ||

    It's rare that I make such a comment, Ted S., because I reserve it for extreme circumstances... Fuck you.

  • Joshua||

    Hilter loved Wagner.

  • ||

    "And so the store owner says to me, 'stop squeezing the Charmin', and I said 'you wouldn't dare say that to me if we were China for a day'."

  • Ragin Cajun||

    "...You could put charcoal in my hand and I could crush it into a diamond!"

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Yeah, I had something in mind but it isn't worthy to even bow to your submission.

  • ||

    "can create a digital lynch mob against you from the left or right if I don't like where you're going,"

    If only Tom could live in a world where he could through the government create a real lynch mob for people he doesn't like. God, what does it take for this man to finally no longer be taken seriously?

  • ||

    God, what does it take for this man to finally no longer be taken seriously?

    He could get a job writing for the NYT an appearing on Sunday morning news shows.

  • ||

    Caption:

    So I grabbed Mao's balls, puckered up and...

  • Sean||

    +1

  • kraorh||

    I seem to recall Bush 43 being mocked for what he intended as a joke - dictatorship is fine, as long as he gets to be the dictator. I'm trying to figure out how Friedman's sentiment is any different.

  • WTF||

    Friedman's not joking.

  • ||

    Yeah, he's on China's PR payroll.

  • ||

    I'd be OK with a dictatorship if I were the dictator too. I wouldn't be corrupted, I promise.

  • ||

    Heh heh. I got a "Doctor's Plot" for you, Tulpius Caesar.

  • ||

    That sounds like borderline-sedition, sawbones. Take care to stay on the right side of the border.

  • ||

    Natural Law is a bitch, isn't it?

  • ||

    Just try to imagine the wondrous architectural monuments to government efficiency we might have had, if the lowly naysaying peasantry of Chicago could have been swept aside for the sake of Olympic glory!

  • Astrid||

    Can we have a "Everyone ignore Thomas L. Friedman Day" instead?

  • Mike M.||

    And why exactly must he be Thomas L. Friedman anyway? Is there a risk that we might confuse him with Thomas Q. Friedman or Thomas Z. Friedman or something?

  • ||

    "The 'L' is for 'Leftist'."

  • ||

    I thought it was for Loser.

    Laughable.
    Limp-wristed.

  • ||

    All synonyms.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I would imagine that Thomas' A-K & M-Z sued to force him to use his middle initial to prevent any further TPing, crank calls, or letterbombs that they had experienced since he started writing.

  • Astrid||

    I really wouldn't blame them.

  • marlok||

    Instead, can we have an "Everyone ignore Thomas L Friedman for Eternity"?

  • ||

    The scariest part is that he evidently believes there are "right solutions" to everything. I continue to be amazed at the left's undying belief in "the smart person" system. We just need to put those smart people in place and let them make all our decisions for us. Horrifying.

  • Attorney||

    This.

  • mark||

    You mean super-awesome ideas like a $3/gallon gas tax?

  • Madbiker||

    It's not news to most people here, but it starts in school (the public ones, usually, but not always).

  • ||

    Actually, there is a right solution as far as govt involvement in most affairs: don't.

  • Pulseguy||

    Obama made a similar comment during one of the debates with Romney. It was about medicine and he said how 'a committee of the best and brightest would make treatment decisions for different diseases that would save money and give better outcomes'. I wanted Romney to leap all over that, but he didn't. Maybe everyone in government believes in decision by committee.

  • PIRS||

    "But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions."

    That is all any government EVER does except in the very rare cases when it gives up some of its own power.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Why does this guy still have a job?

  • Attorney||

    His employer can't go under soon enough.

  • ||

    Because train wrecks are entertaining and the New York Times wants to cash in?

  • ||

    It is really breathtaking how childish and profoundly ignorant Friedman is. He is basically pissed that people won't go along with his program. He either can't comprehend or doesn't care that people could be acting in their own interest or in sincere disagree when they object to his ideas. Think about what he is fantasizing about. He wants to be king for a day just so he can ram his policies down the country's throat. And in doing so, he would want to tell most people in this country that their interests don't matter and that they have no say in how their own country is run.

    There are few people that I catch myself actively hoping for their death. Friedman is one of them. The man is truly a cancer on civil discourse in this country.

  • DRATER||

    +5

  • ||

    Dreaming about removing checks and balances to impose a super-genuius policy is not the work of a geopolitical thinker, but the tantrum of an impatient sloganeer a tyrant in short pants.

    In a sane society, Friedman would never be able to show his face ever again. Complete Alcibiadean occlusion from even the tiniest lever of power or opinion-shaping.

  • ||

    His continued public existence is absolute, pure, damning truth about leftists: they don't have the tiniest problem with tyranny, as long as their guy is in charge. Otherwise he would have been ostracized the first time he floated this idea.

  • ||

    I would have personally broken the pottery over his misshapen head.

  • ||

    We do it with punchcard ballots now, you primitive. Hanging chads make for some exciting results.

  • ||

    Not all progress is an unalloyed good.

  • ||

    I might pay to see Chad hang. And I don't mean "Hang Ten" either.

  • cynical||

    Well, if Matt Taibbi is any indication, some leftists loathe the fucker too. I assume he keeps having a column because the Chinese keep paying NYT.

  • ||

    Alcibiades wasn't an idiot.

  • ||

    I was merely describing the exile style, not making comparison. Although, I bet Friedman drifts off to sleep every night dreaming of hermai. Dozens of hermai.

  • John||

    Yes he was and a reckless one, after defecting to Sparta he proceeded to impregnate (successfully) the Spartan king's wife!

  • ||

    To fair, who among us hasn't impregnated a Spartan Queen?

  • ||

    Spartan chicks are hot.

  • John||

    .....or comitted treason by defecting to the enemies side......twice.

  • ||

    I didn't say he was principled, loyal or good. I said he wasn't an idiot. And he wasn't.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    The Optimal Solution is a good name for a prog rock band.

  • ||

    I was thinking more jazz fusion. I always thought The Joe Wilson Implosion would have been a great name for a prog rock band.

  • Joe_D||

    A little too close to "The Final Solution", which would be a different genre of music.

  • ||

    The Optimal Solution would work as a name for a German techno band.

  • ||

    He is basically pissed that people won't go along with his program.

    Friedman is Tony?

  • ||

    Honestly, that is an insult to Tony.

  • ||

    Honestly, that is an insult to Tony.

    I am not so sure. Tony actually thinks what our government is doing is working. Tom is smart enough to realize that it is not and thinks the solution is a tyranny.

    I have seen no evidence that Tony would not want the same thing if he was smart enough to realize that Obama and the Democrat controlled congress is huge failure. In fact i have seen plenty of evidence that he would.

  • Tony||

    Huge failure? No. They've been wildly successful historically speaking in making progressive change. Now, it doesn't go nearly enough, but it's not because Democrats are unwilling, it's because the Republicans absurdly control a governing minority in the Senate and their only policy platform is "embarrass Obama so we can get our grubby hands back on power."

  • ¢||

    "I'm left-handed, so I can just jack that one."

  • ||

    Freidman is a fucking idiot with an unhealthy obsession with Barack Obama. I don't know if it's solely ideological, white guilt bubbling up through his less than rational brain or some homoerotic hero worship, but the man has completely gone off the rails when it comes to The Chosen One.

    This undritical adulation makes the most fervent Reagan worshippers look staid and emotionally reserved.

  • mark||

    I think this is what happens when you live in a bubble and never interact with an "average" person for years and years.

  • ||

    Barack Obama reads his books too. Even though "The World Is Flat" was not SO bad, I think it's time to purge my house of it.

  • ||

    Another mental giant of the political left.

    Governor Deval Patrick, even as he decried partisanship in Washington, said today that Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda has become so obstinate that it “is almost at the level of sedition.”

    http://www.boston.com/news/loc.....ys_ob.html

  • ||

    Wherein Deval Patrick borders on not being a complete fool.

  • ||

    You're not doing that right. You just said he was a complete fool.

  • cynical||

    No, that sounds right to me.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Caption Contest:

    "In China, it's considered bad form for columnists to grab the buttcheeks of the Party Official while paying proper respects."

  • ||

    But since Obama lets me do it, you can understand my confusion.

  • Michael||

    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.

    Thomas Friedman, ladies and gentlemen! Give it up for Thomas Friedman! What a funny guy!

  • ||

    "My democracy has a first name,
    It's T-Y-R-A-N-N-I-C-A-L.
    My democracy has a second name,
    It's A-S-S-H-O-L-E."

  • ||

    Honestly, why doesn't he just move to China?

  • ||

    Secretly hates The Yellow Peril.

  • ||

    I have a theory that he is on the Chinese payroll. I seriously wonder if he is an honorary board member on some state owned Chinese companies and gets payouts over there doing speaking engagements and investment opportunities. The Chinese are smart enough not to be too obvious about the bribery. They would just mention to him every time he gives a speech or gets a check for being on a board how happy they are with his writing and how wonderful it is that someone in America is getting the truth out. That would be enough for even Friedman to get the message.

    Owning a weekly columnist in the NYT is not a bad thing for a corrupt autocracy to have. And certainly something the Chinese would like to have and something craven enough for Friedman to agree to do.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Friedman should have a picture of Mao tatooed on his forehead - by force if necessary.

  • ||

    If the Chinese are paying him a dime they're suckers of the highest order.

  • Damian P.||

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist

    (thank God!) the British journalist New York Times columnist

    But, seeing what the man will do

    unbribed, there's no occasion to.

  • DRATER||

    Caption:
    "Today we have passed the McCain-Friedman Dictator-For-A-Day Act. For the next 24 hours High Chancellor Cass Sunstein will have complete control over the entire country."

    Sunstein, 3 seconds later: "I hearby extend the powers granted to me by McCain-Friedman for the rest of my natural life, and the lives of my hand picked successors."

    Any 5-year-old can play this stupid game. If a genie grants you 3 wishes, the first thing you wish for is more wishes. Friedman should be mopping floors in the NYT cafeteria.

  • ||

    What was once a fetish has become an obsession.

  • ||

    The real embarrassment is that he doesn't get called out for his idiocy on MTP.

  • mark||

    Paul Gigot retorted, btw, "We'd all be in jail if we were China for a second."

    Now, if your head has not yet exploded today, watch the whole roundtable! Andrea Mitchell wins the award for full-on stupid:

    If he is true to his beliefs, why is he running for the United States Senate? If he does not believe in the purest sense that the government should intrude on businesses' rights to discriminate against... gay people, against people who have, have, who have disabilities, who need wheelchair access, if he doesn't believe in that, why does he think he can go to the Senate and pass laws? That's what senators do, they legislate.


    And then watch George Will wax poetic about legislating morality on This Week:

    The simple fact is that, in 1964, we as a nation repealed one widely exercised right, the right of private property owners to serve in public accommodations whom they want, and replaced it with another right, that is, the right of the entire American public to use public accommodations.

    We were correct to do so. And in the process, we refuted an old notion, that you cannot -- and this offends some libertarians -- the notion was you cannot legislate morality. Yes, you can. We did.

    We not only got African-Americans into public accommodations, we changed the thinking of the white portion of the country, as well.

    And of course make sure to note all of the
    Lies about Rand Paul on Sunday talk shows
    Thomas Friedman: "I think when you, you know, come out against the 1964 Civil Rights Act..."
    Sam Donaldson: "Dr. Paul thinks we should reopen the debate on Title II."

  • ||

    I don't know how people watch those shows. I really don't. What a collection of morons. The Will comment, while I disagree with it, is not offensively stupid like the others. That is just unbelievable that people that dumb are put on TV.

  • ||

    I used to watch them every week. After Obama took office it became seriously painful.

    This isn't a power-switch thing either. I hated the Bush administration nearly as much and still was able to watch back in the days when the press loved him in 2002-03.

  • ||

    Didn't watch them under Bush, don't watch them now. I just can't stand the people on them. I don't care if they agree with me. They all suck

  • alan||

    Just a hunch, but I have a feeling from that quote, George Will may be a little murky on Jim Crow and the history of integration before those laws came into being.

  • alan||

    Andrea's quote is just so fucking weak.

    Only those who believe in the efficiency, benevolent efficacy and the righteousness in the totality of what it encompasses should seek a seat in congress?

    How convenient it is for these illiberals to believe that!

  • ||

    Clearly, libertarians should not be allowed in government since we believe in limited government. That makes perfect sense.

  • cynical||

    Ummm... most people consider murder immoral, so I'm pretty sure there was no real debate over whether you could legislate morality. But not all morality is created equal, and all law enforcement has a cost -- in terms of labor, in terms of money, and in terms of the inherent immorality of using force against another human being (which, depending on why you're using it, may still result in a net positive morality).

  • Joe M||

    He actually said "stick-to-itiveness" out loud???

  • mark||

    Yes. Friedman's top three qualities of enlightened Chinese leadership: Authority, Focus and Stick-to-itiveness

    For instance, China doesn't just tell you not to have more than one child. They will abort your baby, sterilize your wife and throw you in jail for complaining. Now that's focus and stick-to-itiveness!

  • ||

    These days they just rape you with taxes if you live in the city, and generally overlook an extra child in rural areas.

    Of course if you can't pay the taxes, they'll probably "fix" you all right.

  • alan||

    Apparently, he isn't the only one of them with totalitarian fantasies

    Patrick says Obama critics are 'almost at the level of sedition'

    http://www.boston.com/news/loc.....ys_ob.html

    Almost, Patrick? If you are qualifying your statement with 'almost' and believe that means you can just throw words around without meaningful action, you are wrong. 'Almost' means that it is at such a level that you as a governor are required and obligated to meet this threat head on. Go get them, Patrick! What the fuck are you waiting for? They are at the gate trying to overthrow the country!

  • ||

    Mao for a day? OK, let a thousand flowers bloom, at the NYT building.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Friedman just says this crap because he thinks it sounds cool.

    If the US were China-for-a-day, Thomas Friedman would be a guest at one its many intensive re-education facilities. And his house would be seized and retrofitted to become a dormitory for the a few hundred Party cadres. That's the reality of China-for-a-day ... and it doesn't just last a day.

  • Jack||

    Hmmm... Advantage to China-for-a-day: The U.S. could kill Thomas Friedman and then send NYT the bill.

  • ||

    Apparently, the US could have Friedman killed anyway, what with predator drones and all.

  • ||

    Friedman's fundamental problem is that he thinks it was a wise and just government that brought about the market reforms that lead to such prosperity in china. The reforms did not come from the top they came from the bottom. Farmers did most of the heavy work of creating property rights and markets and they did it against the will of the government. It was only after the black market and illegal property rights schemes become so pervasive that the government simply decided to legalize them.

    I guess you could say that act was some sort of "blessed tyranny" but i think it was more of an act of exhaustion. After years of government destruction to china its economy and its people i think a more accurate description is that government control of everything that leads to wholesale destruction is unsustainable...so like all things unsustainable it stopped.

  • alan||

    Leftist! The reality based community is showing a lot of frustration dealing with the way things are and not how they wish them to be.

  • Paul||

    What is with the desire for a totalitarianism, lately?

  • Hugh Akston||

    We finally have the right person in charge, but those pesky checks and balances keep getting in His way.

  • Thomas Friedman||

    which politically restive province Friedman would support removing Internet access privileges for 10 months? Maybe Maricopa County? Which bloggers will be imprisoned for reporting on a gang-rape, or contradicting official accounts of earthquake damage?

    I said "the right solutions", Matt.

  • Jason||

    I hope this guy isn't any relation to Milton...

  • ||

    OK I'm in but with a twist. We'll be a tyranny for a day but the day will be picked at random for some day in the next 12 years starting after the next election.

    Still wanna play Tommie?

  • Obama||

    I can't wait that long. The time to act is now.

  • Marc||

    Did I hallucinate The Road to Serfdom? It exists, right? And other people read it?

  • ||

    You know what always occurs to me? I have to assume all these highfalutin folks who dominate our national dialog went to school like I did and read the same books that I did - say, Animal Farm and 1984 and Brave New World and all that. Did they just not grasp the morals of these tales? Did they think that Big Brother was the good guy? It seems as though they came away with precisely the opposite message that I did.

  • Paul||

    Did they just not grasp the morals of these tales? Did they think that Big Brother was the good guy?

    No, they did read the stories, did the assignments, but concentrated mainly on their "leadership seminars" and were waiting on their Congressional internships and organized Fraternity events.

  • j||

    Orwell advocated socialism. That's a mystery to me.

  • Madbiker||

    "Animal Farm and 1984 and Brave New World"

    No longer in the curriculum of many NJ schools. I've researched the contents of curricula in a sampling of NJ schools (27 schools, varying in size, socio-economic and ethnic make up, academic rating, per-pupil spending, etc.) and did not see 1984 or BNW on any reading lists. Animal Farm was on some summer reading lists. None of these books is in the curriculum of my high school. We teach Secret Life of Bees and Catcher in the Rye, Mockingbird, The Crucible, lots of Shakespeare, Gatsby, Huck Finn, and others, but very little literature that deals with anti-totalitarian sentiment. The Crucible may be the closest thing we have.

    I salivate over the opportunity to teach 1984 but I don't see it happening. Encourages too much thought about authority and what authority is all about. Same for Fahrenheit 451, a fantastic freshmen text.

    Holden comes to some sort of reconciliation with authority in Catcher; Gatsby falls victim to the powerful in a society he attempted to penetrate; Huck Finn eventually escapes "sivilization" by leaving the only place he knows as home - perhaps the only real rebel in any of the standard lit is John Proctor, capable of facing death to expose hypocrisy and espouse his morals.

    Schools of the public variety teach tolerance, obedience, compliance, respect for authority, punishment for being an individual, and encourage opinions that fall in line with liberal status quo. Sad, but true. I don't remember the hammer being so heavy when I was in school...

    My experience teaching in public schools has been decidedly negative. I love what I do but I am strangled by the demands to adhere to a curriculum that is not terribly stimulating, either for me to teach or my students to learn.

    The people who think like Friedman are the products of this mono-train thought policing.

    One of my students was reprimanded in her science class for voicing her opinion that Gov. Christie is doing the right thing in NJ...her chem teacher upbraided her for having political views that damaged the careers of teachers and told her she had no respect for the people who work hard to provide for her education. Unreal.

  • ||

    They really teach Secret Life of Bees? Jesus, what a bland, Oprah-fied choice (I can say this because I actually read it at my mother's request). What's next, Nicholas fucking Sparks?

    That was the cherry on top of an overall depressing post, Mad.

  • Madbiker||

    Also taught: Persepolis and American Born Chinese (graphic novels about the immigrant experiences of a teenage Muslim girl and a Chinese boy, respectively).

    I don't see the literary value of SLoBs. Good enough story to keep my attention for a while, but I'm not sure what value it has in a classroom. I've never taught it and never will. They teach a lot of David Sedaris in the honors lit classes. I am glad that they have In Cold Blood on the curriculum, but I don't teach honors sophs so that is not in the purview of my teaching duties.

    We also had a project called "One School, One Book" wherein we all read a memoir about a girl caught up in the Florida foster care system. Not even the most well-written book, and a memoir to boot (I have some general problems with the genre). In the end, it became a project where all students were required to read it and write about the story, and participate in a fundraising event for a local foster care center. Now, I don't oppose to the cause, as it is a good one - I oppose the forced participation (under penalty of failing grades) of students who otherwise felt they had better things to do with their money and time, even if that meant playing X-Box instead of engaging in proper socialization activities.*

    *this is sarcasm, for the detection-impaired

  • ||

    Is Vonnegut, I assume, off of the list as well?

  • Madbiker||

    Most kids don't even know who he is. Fellow teachers see no merit in teaching Slaughterhouse Five, which is one of his finest works (according to me, at least) and best suited to academic examination in a high school.

    I'm inclined, lately, to think that English as a separate subject needs to be abolished altogether, in favor of assigning fiction and non-fiction readings that pair with the actual subject at hand. Sagan, Asimov, Kaku, Hawking, Capote, Salinger, Miller, Fitzgerald, Twain, Crane, Orwell, Shelley, Plato...I'll stop now; the point is, so many great works of literature evolved out of the times as descriptions of or responses to the political, philosophical, social, and scientific developments that surrounded the time of their writing that I find it incredibly disconnected to teach them A) asynchronously with regard to the history surrounding the work, and B) out of the context of the subject matter at hand (reading Crucible while studying Ancient Western Civ makes no sense; same for reading (the highly accessible) Sagan on matters of physics while studying biology.

  • ||

    English isn't my subject, so I don't know anymore than anyone else, but isn't a main goal of literature classes also to teach students how to write well? You're going to need something to replace that.

  • Madbiker||

    Writing well is based on reading quality literature, both fiction and non-fiction, and in various modes and genres. The English teacher would not disappear completely; I envision a system of co-teaching perhaps, where the ET dovetails instruction specific to the discipline, using selected writings to demonstrate writing techniques appropriate to the subject, genre, mode, and topic at hand.

  • ||

    And Kafka too?

  • ||

    Groovester, FWIW we read Metamorphosis in my 10th grade honors class. But that was in the wild and wacky Great White North.

  • ||

    I read the Metamorphasis in my sophomore year as well. I had a remarkable teacher. And this was in both flyover country and a public school, Dagster. The imagery in that story made imagine everything in shades of brown and grey, with Gregor being a brownish black. The only color I imagined was Gregor's sister emerging from a chrysalis when the spidery parents figured out they could suck the life out of her too.

    Very much a welfare state allegory.

  • Madbiker||

    you betcha.

  • ||

    I weep.

  • ||

    participate in a fundraising event for a local foster care center.

    As long as sabotage counts as participation, I'm all for it.

    The black slaves in the Old South had some seriously shrewd ideas on how to make their masters suffer without getting punished. Modern white kids learning from them would be a wonderful bit of multiculturalism.

  • ||

    SLoBs

    Ha. I love an apt acronym.

    I was always in honors English, so I'm not sure what they had the other classes reading, but back in my day (like, you know, the early 00's and stuff) pop-lit like that would not have been tolerated. But, I guess it's probably on par with A Separate Peace on my personal fluff-meter, and we all had to read that.

    I don't think it's a bad idea to teach more current works, but it would be nice if there were some evidence of criteria other than Poignant Story About Race.

  • ||

    How 'bout V For Vendetta?

  • ||

    My wife runs a private school in our town, and 1984 is definitely a part of the curriculum, as is Brave New World. If I recall correctly, past literature classes have studied Harrison Bergeron, too.

  • Madbiker||

    Harrison Bergeron is not taught - I am not allowed to, since it used on one of the common exams we administer to sophs. At least they get that little bit of exposure to the great Vonnegut - but they only have to answer 5 multiple choice comprehension questions, and then move on. No chance to really explore Vonnegut's chilling statement on true "equality." Pity.

  • ||

    I dunno -- I've heard of a lot of younguns having to read Atlas Shrugged in school. Also such anti-tyranny books as Watership Down and anti-state ones as Enemy Mine.

  • Pulseguy||

    They read the books, bought the Coles notes, wrote the essay, and promptly never thought about any of it ever again. Because they just wanted a job with a pension and they got it.

  • Paul||

    We've exited the Road to Serfdom, and are currently on the Turnpike to Mediocrity. At some point we'll take a junction to the Interstate to Slavery.

  • Tony||

    Read something else.

  • mark||

    What did you think of RtS, Tony?

  • ||

    Initially horrified at the idea of China-for-a-Day, I am now warming to it -- as long as Friedman gets to be the one who "donates" his kidneys and corneas.

    "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc."

  • Milano||

    Let's get rid of checks and balances in government. Peer review has been bothering me too, let's get rid of evidence-based science.

  • JB||

    Someone should put the retarded fetus out of its misery. It just keeps bleating.

  • j||

    Don't be mean. He'd could be an entertaining Sea World attraction with the other walruses.

  • Chinese American||

    The school I go to gets the NYT for free, so I read it occasionally over the past year. I have noticed that this Friedman dude is obsessed with China and includes a reference to Communist China in almost all his editorials, whether or not it be admiration for their directives to enter the "green" market or their so-called streamlined system of one party rule. Ask even the most diehard Chinese nationalist and you'll be told that China has got huge problems to deal with that no amount of governmental force can push aside. With one party rule, enormous embezzlement and corruption cases arise every year on both the local and national level, and even little schoolchildren look at this mess and aspire towards growing up to be corrupt politicians so that they'll be able to fleece and push around other people. I'm sure glad that my family got the hell out of that place when they did.

  • cynical||

    Yes, but unlike Friedman, they aren't paid by the Chinese government to spread propaganda.

  • ||

    I declare myself "Chinese emperor for the day"
    First edict: Firing squad for Thomas L Friedman, and charge his family for the bullet.

    T.L. Friedman at the wall - Gee, maybe a fast and efficient legal system isn't all its cracked up to be.

  • ||

    Hopefully it won't be the day they decide to send tanks after peaceful protesters.

  • Elena Kagan||

    "I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness."

    And vigor.

  • ||

    ---Friedman is an obvious, by-the-book
    sellout and suck-up Red China apologist ---THAT we already know.

    What's even -MORE- disturbing are the
    levels of unacknowledged consensus
    between fake 'conservative' (i.e. biz-nihilists) ---and the lowest dregs of PC franchise slum Hollywood and media
    (Cameron, Spieleberg, Turner, Murdoch
    et al).

    CATCH how systematically even FOX News,
    and, certainly Buchanan are blindsiding
    the looming, indeed, gargantuan implications of our disastrous, decades long suck-up to history's --MOST-- awesomely genocidal regime -bar none! --ACROSS the Pacific.

    AND BTW ---are we the ONLY ones noticing that the 60th Anniversary of the staggeringly relevant, indeed, STILL unfolding KOREAN WAR is, once again, being 'mysteriously overlooked'
    by one and all? ---even as people continue to suffer and die by--the--million..?

  • ||

    I guess Hayek agrees with Tom, kind of:
    “It becomes more and more the accepted belief that, if one wants to get things done, the responsible director of affairs must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure” - F. A. Hayek, 1939, “Freedom and the Economic System”

  • ||

    Matt Welch is being too caustic and biased when commenting on Friedman (who is not considered a pro-china journalist, but distracts onto an alleged external threat to motivate us on our own problems). Look at his tantrum of china abuses, which are numerous, but so are ours, and if pulled out of context and singled out look silly.

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