Chinese Autocracy Has Great Advantages – Thomas Friedman
Say it ain’t so Tom!
Has The New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman gone over to the dark side?
In his Times epistle on Sept.9, Friedman actually writes that one–party autocracy has its drawbacks, “But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.”
After this preamble, Friedman goes on, quoting various “experts”, to develop the thesis that the U.S. is becoming a one–party autocracy due to Republican obstructionism.
As proof, he inserted the following quote by Edward Goldberg, a global trade consultant who teaches at Baruch College: “Globalization has neutered the Republican Party, leaving it to represent not the have-nots of the recession but the have-nots of globalized America, the people who have been left behind either in reality or in their fears.”
One wonders just what part of China Friedman is using as an example of a government led by “a reasonably enlightened group of people.”
For God’s sake, Tom, China is a Communist dictatorship!
Ask any Tibetan about how “enlightened” the Chinese leadership is. Ask the Dalai Lama – Ask the hundreds of Chinese who dared to protest the system that are either in prision or committed to mental institutions – Ask Rebiya Kadeer, head of the pro-independence World Uyghur Congress about China’s repression of the Uighur ethnic minority – And, Tom, don’t forget Tiananmen Square.
Michael Barrone is the Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner. He has responded to the Friedman proclamation with a detailed and astute critique.
He cites Jonah Goldberg, author of the scholarly best-seller “Liberal Fascism” as noting, “This is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s.” Mussolini, we were told then, made the trains run on time. He drained the Pontine marshes. He got things done while Americans, with their chaotic democratic politics, dithered.
Barrone adds, “Most of the Mussolini fans of the 1920s didn’t really want a dictatorship in America, and any fair reader of Thomas Friedman’s oeuvre knows that he doesn’t want an authoritarian government here either; the word limit of his column apparently left him no space to regret the Chinese one-party autocracy’s Internet censorship, forced sterilizations, imprisonment of political dissenters, and the like.”
As an example of Friedman’s description of the Chinese government as a ”reasonably enlightened group of people,” Barrone states, “Back in the 1970s, when the elites were convinced that overpopulation would destroy the Earth, the Chinese acted as only a one-party autocracy or totalitarian state could: It limited women to one child. The result was that millions of female fetuses were aborted so that China now has about 120 males to every 100 females — a potentially destabilizing imbalance — and a slow-growing population that means China will get old before most of its people grow rich.”
As a byproduct of the mostly male children born as a result of the one child edict, China is faced with an emerging group of men that are not only spoiled by their doting families, but who are now facing a severe shortage of women to choose as mates. According to Now Public, Edward Tu of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology thinks this could cause a surfeit of a million men a year for four decades.
As a result, there is a horrible increase in the kidnapping of young marriagable Hmong women from across the border in Vietnam that are then sold to be brides in China. Trafficking in women for sale as brides in China has now become a lucrative business.
As the pampered young Chinese men reach maturity, it will be most interesting to observe the kind of leadership they will produce.
Barrone states that,“Friedman declares that “our one-party democracy is worse” than the Chinese model. He is upset that the minority party, the Republicans, won’t go along with Democrats’ plans to raise the price of carbon emissions and pass a government health care plan — though, perhaps wisely, he refrains from praising the Chinese health delivery system. But he does get an essential bit wrong: It’s our two-party system he’s complaining about, and the fact that the current minority party won’t act like it’s just one wing of the majority.”