Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Would any other generation have found Tom Friedman persuasive?

For most of the nation's history, America was guided by deeply realistic thinking, and idealistic rhetoric was trotted out mainly to clothe cold strategic aims. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in that moment of self-congratulatory euphoria, much of the US's ruling elite came to believe the rhetoric itself. The result was a uniquely American, fin-de-siecle paganism -- absolute faith in the ability of an all-determining market mechanism to deliver universal prosperity and peace, in perpetuity -- which was then hawked abroad with evangelical zeal.
Barry Lynn, "Globalisation must be saved from the radical global utopians," Financial Times 15 (May 30, 2006).

The Weimaraners would have lapped that right up. Sweeping end-of-the-species pronouncements were the top sellers, I believe, but I think sweeping was the essence. It's fun to sweep. Go, Tom, Go! Fukuyama shouldn't have all the fun. Naturally, I haven't read the Friedman piece in question. Nor Fukuyama for that matter.
Well, I didn't have any particular Friedman piece in mind. More his whole ouevre.
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