My eyes! My eyes!
So I'm reading Thomas Friedman's latest Indian globalization cheer, oops, column. I am sympathetic to neoliberalism (though I abhor the Washington Consensus) and, like most people, enjoy seeing my political positions echoed by professional opinionmakers. Unfortunately, Friedman blindsides me halfway through the column with one of his patented analogies:
"While India has the hardware of democracy — free elections — it still lacks a lot of the software — decent, responsive, transparent local government. While China has none of the hardware of democracy, in the form of free elections, its institutions have been better at building infrastructure and services for China's people and foreign investors."IIRC, he used the same metaphor in The Lexus and the Olive Tree (Oh, dear Lord, another one!) but my mind must have protected itself by suppressing such horrible memories. But now it's all coming back! The horror! The horror!
Taking their rightful place alongside "The Jews are getting tattoos" are God 1.0 (for Judaism), God 2.0 (for Christianity) and God 3.0 (for Islam). This one is apparently communicable; I've heard both Irshad Manji and Karen Armstrong use it.
I usually agree with Friedman on globalization (but not the Middle East). The inexplicable leftist predilection for precious acronyms played a minor yet indisputable role in driving me from liberal orthodoxy. It would be profoundly ironic if he succeeded where many antiglobalists have failed through the unrivalled cheesiness of his prose.
That said, watching Friedman bitch-slap Don Rumsfeld sure makes for an effective antidote.