Thomas L. Friedman’s Boundless Naïveté Wrapped in Monumental Conceit


As we mentioned Friday, what is so flabbergasting about Thomas L. Friedman’s work is that it is a piece of boundless naïveté wrapped in a monumental conceit.

The man has been jabbering for many years… but thinking for none of them. Could he really believe that this old world… sweated over so feverishly by so many gods and men for so many generations… is still so trivial and transparent that an abject simpleton such as he could not only understand it, but improve upon it?

We stand back in awe… not only of the great world itself… but also of the extraordinary creature in it – the New York Times journalist who has so captured our attention. Oh, if only he could think! Then, he could explain what goes on in that wooden noggin of his. If only he had some imagination! Then, he might begin to appreciate the complex and intricate webs of private plans, hopes, dreams that his own Public Policies and Programs interrupt. If only he had eyes! Then, he could open them and stare at the yawning jaws of Hell that await him and other pious meddlers.

But Thomas L. Friedman is only a journalist. He is like a junior officer in the Charge of the Light Brigade. His role is not to think about things… and certainly not to ask questions. He looks neither to the left, nor to the right. But only ahead… and only in order to get the troops moving.

Oswald Spengler described the part played by the modern media:

“The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. But, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and the war aims and operating plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play. There is no more appalling caricature of freedom of thought. Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it anymore. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to want to think, and this they consider freedom.”

One of the things they are supposed to think is that democracy is the most perfect form of government. Reading El Pais yesterday, (we read the news in Spanish in order to try to learn the language), we found a columnist who praised this week’s French elections as a “triumph of democracy,” because so many people voted. Why did so many people vote? The answer is simple – because so many people had a dog in the fight.

In France, it is hard to find a family that doesn’t get some form of revenue from the government (which is to say, money that doesn’t belong to them) – farm subsidies; government jobs; jobs with the quasi-governmental corporations such as utilities, railroads, airlines, health care, education and automobile industries; welfare payments; pensions; health care; and so on. One candidate offers more of the same. The other candidate offers even more of the same. With a lot at stake, the French went to the polls to decide how the stolen goods will be divvied up.

And Americans? Obama… or Hillary? John… or John?

This little item comes to us from our old friend, Doug Casey’s newsletter, Big Gold:

“On April 16, the Christian Science Monitor published the results of a study showing that a majority of Americans – 52.6%, to be exact – now receive ‘significant income’ from government programs. At the same time, the percentage of the working population ‘not employed in a government reliant job’ has fallen below 29%.

“Now consider the implications. Fewer than 30% of workers are airmailing large portions of their paychecks to more than half of the rest of the population. And as the Baby Boomers retire, the latter number is inexorably headed up; it’s projected to close in on 60% by 2030.”

When wolves and sheep sit down to dinner the menu has already been decided.


Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

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