Aside

I’m slightly surprised by Friedman’s stance on China’s one-party autocracy which he describes as being “led by a reasonably enlightened group of people.” [1] In my opinion, the Eastern ability to reach consensus is pretty impressive and something unfathomable to achieve in the West.  Having said that, a consensus amongst an autocratic élite is still not nearly as impressive as a natural ability for people to get along in the face of ever shrinking forms of illegitimate control.  That’s why I think the more natural anarchist approach would eventually be the best for the future.

(Also, Friedman may not be praising the Chinese one party state for their ability to reach consensus; he may only be praising them because of their willingness to maintain China’s status as a market economy relatively open to trade and opportunity for the West.)

A major bone of contention I have with Friedman (and his equivalents) is his upholding of “radical centrism” [1] – one of the most oxymoronic and sinister terms not at all unlike The Economist’s formal declaration of the collective stance for their writers as being “high-centre.”  There is a desire amongst people like Friedman, Power, and the elitists working for the Economist to create a cleverly-crafted heir of heroism, radicalism, and dissent for themselves (redolent of a controlled chemical-reaction using a catalyst) only because true radicals and dissenters of the past have been so lauded for their efforts.  However, the tactic of sinister sorts like Friedman or Power, who don’t actually want to put up with the backlash or persecution of being a true radical/dissident, is to just pretend/declare that they are while staying squarely in line with whatever’s convenient to those that matter most (ie. those that call the shots.)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman

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The Daily Servant of Power

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Today’s servant of power is:

Thomas L. Friedman

Friedman is an American journalist, columnist and author who currently writes a twice-weekly column for The New York Times. [1]


Political views:

  • Support and justification provided for the Iraq war (I was unsure of my stance on war during the invasion, but I was also only in High School at the time.)
  • Support for economic imperialism and subservience to corporations by developing nations cloaked in the “what’s best for them”-mentality [2]
  • Servicing the economy of the developed world by scolding developing nations and independent opposition movements for getting in the way of mindless growth and expansion [3]
  • Desire for energy independence only because it allows for greater leverage in international relations
  • Defence of Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon as a form of “educating” Israel’s opponents [1]

Journalistic Tactics:


Rewards granted for subservience to unethical power structures:

  • Triple Pulitzer Prize wins
  • His entire career

As a servant of power only concerned with his own lot, what does he care whether others are ruled by authoritarian regimes or not? (·Outside of it being inconvenient for corporate expansion and domination, that is.)

References:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman
[2] “One of Friedman’s theses states that individual countries must sacrifice some degree of economic sovereignty to global institutions (such as capital markets and multinational corporations), a situation he has termed the “golden straitjacket”.” via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Flat

Aside

When China moves, it will move the world.

-From the Soong Sisters film (2007) where the quote is attributed to Napolean (So many quotes are improperly attributed nowadays, I’m not sure if it’s actually true…)

China is a big country inhabited by many Chinese.

-These words of wisdom have been attributed to Charles de Gaulle

In that vein, I think China should arrange for a single national holiday where all Chinese people are coached to walk in perfect unison with one another just for the heck of it 🙂

Don’t act like you’re not just as curious as I am…

Foreign Aid Hinders Development. Discuss.

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  Babatunde Onabajo

via The Lucas Critique

In the same way that the ideological war between imperialism and Third World Socialism distinguished 20th century Africa, with the triumph of Third World Socialism seen from its rapid proliferation within the continent, it is apparent that a new war is to define Africa in the early parts of the 21st century. Namely, what development economist William Easterly – author of The White Man’s Burden – regarded as the standoff between “Planners” and “Searchers”. Planners advocate “top-down” solutions to alleviate poverty whilst Searchers operate through “bottom-up” solutions. Despite their opposing methodologies, both schools of thought share common ground on one notion: No serious emancipation of Africa, and more broadly LEDCs, from poverty can come to fruition in the absence of a market environment. Continue reading

Keeping the eco…

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Keeping the economy afloat is not actually an objective or something worth applauding within itself. We need to start asking: “What direction should humanity be heading? What should we as people be trying to achieve?”


“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.”

― Albert Einstein

A Challenge to the Economists

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I would challenge any economist, economics professor, or economics student to take a look at my model for High-Efficiency Capitalism and tell me it is not superior to current models associated with traditional capitalism.  I think the models for traditional capitalism are inherently flawed.  For example, I think Adam Smith’s model has inherent problems within it and he identified some of these himself in “The Wealth of Nations.” On top of this, the American system goes even further beyond these flawed models and has resulted in a lumbering hodgepodge of broken economics and inefficiency.


High-Efficiency Capitalism:
A New Economic Model for a New Age
Raymond Li BSc Pharm

High-Efficiency Capitalism is a simple concept. The first principle is that the basic necessities of life are guaranteed: food, shelter, water, electricity, and health. People will work hard just to do better than others on relative terms.

This economic model is far superior to either pure socialism or pure capitalism alone for various reasons. It is also not so much a compromise between the two as much as it is both systems at the same time.

1) Ethical Reasons:
a) It is frankly not ethical for people to be homeless and starving when society is able to provide for them.
b) No matter how wicked people are, as human organisms we all deserve the basic necessities of life.

2) Efficiency Reasons:
c) People want job security and even more decent individuals will block progress in technology and other sectors in order to maintain job security. For example, if I am a receptionist I might block phone automation in order to keep my job. If I was confident the basics of life were still guaranteed, I would allow this automation to occur. I could then live off the system until I find a new job. In our society today, jobs require far greater training and are far more standardized than in the past. Thus, there needs to be sufficient time for people to transition from one job to another.
d) Allowing greater automation and for people to transition to areas they are actually needed is far better for the economy overall.
e) People naturally want to work, to feel they are making a difference in the community, to feel they are useful, to look like they are not lazy, to look healthy, to be doing well relative to their peers and people in the community, to keep ahead or keep up with the group etc. All of these factors will drive people not only to work, but to do that which is actually of maximum value to society.
f) On top of this, people will work to have luxuries. Video games, jewellery, and fancy cars are not things the state will be providing for under this economic model.  Market forces are still considered valuable to set prices for these non-essential commodities.
g) Competition can be of value when not overdone. When children play soccer, the competition drives them to do better; but no matter how poorly a child performs, they are still fed at the end of the day and still get to sleep indoors.
h) It frankly isn’t worth it to maintain a level of poverty in order to punish the lazy. Society hurts itself far more than it helps itself in the long run.

3) General Knowledge:
i) Ayn Rand only argued for individualism and detested weakness in men because she herself is incapable of standing alone and these views allowed her to find a stronger mating partner. Women such as Dickinson and Bronte who did not detest the weak to indulge the strong should be the true heroines among feminists.
j) Nobody argues for traditional capitalism with the intent of making the world a better place. People only argue for traditional capitalism because it is the ideology of the strong. Those who argue for traditional capitalism do so out of purely selfish pathology. Selfish individuals such as these still have a place in the economic model of High-Efficiency Capitalism because it is assumed that selfish individuals will still work hard to benefit themselves.

Read More…