Search This Blog

Saturday, May 05, 2012

On Friedman and Wal-Mart

On reading Thomas Friedman's piece on Wal-Mart (cf. his book The World Is Flat), I envisage this state of affairs existing between him and those who take him seriously:

A Pavlovian Dancing Master  (and a "dancing master" in the sense that Samuel Johnson used  in describing the letters of Philip Stanhope Dormer, Lord Chesterfield)  and his trained hounds doing a minuet.

Of course, it is to be expected that I would say something like this about a journalist who was deeply enmeshed in the propaganda of Iraq; one month after the invasion, he was in Iraq:
“It would be idiotic to even ask Iraqis here how they felt about politics. They are in a pre-political, primordial state of nature.”
I find it extremely telling that Mr. Friedman would speak of the people of Iraq in the same manner that anthropologists used to speak of native peoples for whom they had culture-contempt and little empathy. All the peoples committed to the mercy of genocidal and depradation were "idealized" as being "primordial" and not being agents in their own history, thereby justifying the agency of others - their superior oppressors.


No comments: