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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