Sunday, October 22, 2006

Know Thine Enemy...

Yesterday, I mentioned my rather prodigious stack of books waiting to be read. Some books I am anxious to read and find it difficult to let them sit on the stack for more than a week or two. Others, I know should be read. Someone many years ago told me that "it's always good to know what the enemy is doing."

Last night, I forced myself to finish one of those "know the enemy" books. It was very difficult reading, even with the author's rather captivating writing style. The content however, left me feeling like I was reading a well-written snuff novel.

The book is "The World Is Flat" by Thomas Friedman.

Just for the sake of truth, let's start with Friedman's background:

He is a self-claimed liberal (yeah.. and I "claim" to be young, beautiful and rich) who wrote an article in the NY Times, supporting Madeline Albright's statement that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions but concluded that "we" had decided that "it was worth the cost".

Friedman is eager to authorize the use of US power - including military force - to support this anti-democratic world order. "The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist ... And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

In Friedman's perverted world, if people are to realize their deepest aspirations - the longing for a better life which comes from their very souls - they must be willing to stare down the barrel of Uncle Sam's gun.

This same guy supported the Iraq war in a NY Times article after 9/11 and then changed his tune in late 2005. Recently, he has also written several articles supporting the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

The message is "flatten the world by force." It is blatant imperialism and hegemony.

At no point in this book does he address the impact on working people throughout the world. People are pawns in this overall scheme to keep the rich very rich and poor poorer. Now it needn't be limited to third and fourth world countries. We can have it all over the world! We can exploit everyone! It is a perverse version of equality, eh? This is so obvious that it nearly made me want to heave. Somehow, the idea that someone would write a book promoting the idea that this is both acceptable and inevitable is beyond my comprehension. It reminds me of those who justify human trafficking by offering the sociopathic, "if we didn't do it, someone else would". Absolutely appalling!

Anyone who has known me for a few seconds knows that I am no friend of Big Business. Guilty as charged. The basic amorality at the root of commerce is something I find repugnant.

That aside....

Friedman's persistent yapping about technology being at the root of globalization is a clever disguise. I am certainly not an anti-technology Luddite. I have high- speed zippidee doo internet, a few computers, cable TV, a cell phone and a whole assortment of technological gadgets that enlarge my world and make it more convenient. And I am far from wealthy! Like anything else, these are tools. The truth of character is in how we choose to use them. Blindly putting the tag on "technology" is shallow and careless. It hides the real objective of the globalists.

He goes on to tell us that in the future, we must begin to educate our children to understand that they will be competing in a "global marketplace". There is no examination of the human price paid for this, no examination of the ethics or morals of it and no examination of the long range implications. Nothing. Nada. Just "this is inevitable. Accept it and get used to it." How well the new "moral relativism" promoted in education will serve this objective! Wowza palooza!

He used > 500 pages to say what could be summarized in three words: Commerce Uber Alles.

Don't bother with this book. Extend your subscription to "The Economist".

Peace Uber Alles,

Thailand Gal



Stephen Newton said...

Nice book review, Gal. Now that I know what the gist is, I'll take that one off my reading list. There's a great documentary you might want to watch on DVD: "The Corporation." Talk about knowing the enemy, the movie was very enlightening and explained exactly WHY corporations have no regard for the rest of us. I recommend it highly. What's next on the book list?

meno said...

Thank you for that. Now i won't need to read this "vitamin" book. (Books i read because they are good for me.)

Anonymous said...

Yap Yap instead of sticking around here you're going to move to Thailand and live happily everafter? Super large-size cop-out, girly. I loved his book and agree with him. You are simply a through-back to the 60's and 70's where people sat around bitching about the state of this country, dropping out, meanwhile the hardworkers kept things going. Go live in Thailand and leave the U.S. alone.

Stephen Newton said...

Thanks for Patricia's blog address. I sent her an email. Glad you enjoyed the pics.

Anonymous said...

Wow...that dude two messages up was REALLY pissed!

I love it when people get pissed ;)


Thailand Gal said...

Yes, Steven Novak. He was pissed. The unfortunate thing is that he chose to remain anonymous. I'm willing to dialogue the issues. Is he?


Thailand Gal


Thailand Gal said...

Stephen Newton,

Thanks for the reference. I will definitely get that if Netflix offers it. (See? I'm not a Luddite. :) I obviously agree with the premise.

Next book? I'm thinking it's time to tackle Bob Woodward's new book. After that, I'll take a break from politics for a few weeks.

Thailand Gal


Annie said...

Have you watched the movie (on DVD) called "Dear Frankie"? It's a treasure. A total treasure. Let me know if you do and what you thought of it. Have a lovely day!