Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flintstones are Muslims, Jetsons are Infidels

NYT "wise" guy Thomas L. Friedman (he of the over-used Stone Agers v. Space Agers analogy) gets it wrong, wrong, wrong again:
As I’ve tried to argue, this uprising, at root, is not political. It’s existential. It is much more Albert Camus than Che Guevara. All these Arab regimes to one degree or another stripped their people of their basic dignity. They deprived them of freedom and never allowed them to develop anywhere near their full potential. And as the world has become hyper-connected, it became obvious to every Arab citizen just how far behind they were — not only to the West, but to China, India and parts of sub-Saharan Africa.       
This combination of being treated as children by their autocrats and as backward by the rest of the world fueled a deep humiliation, which shows up in signs like that one in Libya, announcing to no one in particular: “I am a man” — I have value, I have aspirations, I want the rights everyone else in the world has. And because so many Arabs share these feelings, this Arab Spring is not going to end — no matter how many people these regimes kill.
Personally, I thought this uprising was more Sayyid Qutb than either Camus or Che, but that's only because, unlike Friedman, I haven't factored out the Islam (whose ethos is inimical to Western-style freedom).


Carlos Perera said...

But I thought Professor Friedman _wanted_ us all to be more like the Flintstones (while he gets to stay in his Beverly Hillbillies digs with the truly impressive cement pond)!

Actually, the good professor is practicing economicism in his analysis of what drives the "Arab Spring." Part of the reason is no doubt occupational--the old adage about everything looking like a nail if your only tool is a hammer, but partly I think it is colored by the reflexive Marxism that is part of the cultural milieu of the Western Leftist intelligentsia, so that if Prof. Friedman were, say, on the English lit faculty of a major northeastern American university, he would likely see events through a similar ideological prism of economic reductionism.

scaramouche said...

You put it very well, but I'd sum it up thus: TLF is a clueless, delusional lefty squish.