Monday, April 25, 2005

Friedman Undone

I fulminated over the weekend when I saw that moronic blowhard Thomas Friedman had a new book out on how wonderful globalization was. This from a guy who once said, "the hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist—McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas," demonstrating an unfathomable capacity for economic ignorance. In line with this militaristic fetish, he has been a cheerleader of every Imperial war since at least Yugoslavia 1999 ("give war a chance" and "we can do 1389").

I'm not an anti-globalist; any sort of unimpeded exchange of goods, services and ideas promotes civilization and general well-being. But Friedman's "globalization" is an Imperial nightmare - and unfortunately, because of nitwits like him, too many people go sour on true market freedom and confuse it with evil democracy.

Fortunately, the intrepid Matt Taibbi of the New York Press reviews Friedman's claptrap in a fashion certain to dissuade anyone with a functioning forebrain from reading The World Is Flat - not even for laughs. Says Taibbi:
Friedman is such a genius of literary incompetence that even his most innocent passages invite feature-length essays.

And it just gest better from there.

PS: Ironically, I noticed Taibbi's review on EastEthnia, a blog by Eric Gordy; he authored a book on Serbia a little while ago - which I haven't read yet - but a perusal of the blog suggests he's a fan of people I tend to despise. For instance, he cites favorably a Jacobin Youth website Zamisli Srbiju and a specific contribution by professional Serb-baiter Petar Luković. Gordy actually says he's "happy to remmend just about anything" by Luković. So am I - as examples of damn-near-criminal hate speech. But hey, if he likes Taibbi, he can't be all that bad...

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