A decade-old Tom Friedman column serves as a Rosetta stone for the elite embrace of China; with comment from Tom Friedman.
Why is America’s political, corporate, and cultural establishment so eager to mimic and embrace China, a country that our outgoing intelligence chiefs identify as a daunting threat to American interests? Consider the response to the coronavirus. It was Beijing that pioneered the lockdown measures being implemented by mayors and governors like California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo. The fact that lockdowns were never before part of the American public health playbook and are being widely applied in ways that have been rejected by the Supreme Court seems to have only cemented their appeal to those who look to China as a model.
With the unemployment rate at 6.7%, and the largest economy in world history in ruins, what could America’s ruling class possibly have in store for us next after it has used the lockdowns to facilitate the largest transfer of wealth in human history. After all, it is not the coronavirus, which has a 99.7% survival rate, that has plunged nearly 8 million Americans into poverty over the last nine months while destroying 40% or more of local stores and restaurants even in wealthy states like New Jersey. Those numbers are the result of an offensive waged by the American political and corporate elite that aims to legitimize the destruction of private wealth in the name of public health.
Where did all the money go? Ask the owner of Washington, D.C.’s hometown paper, Jeff Bezos, who as the founder of Amazon has added $80 billion to his personal account by supplying citizens confined to their homes by unconstitutional edicts that have shuttered local businesses and keep children from going to school while also sucking up the CIA’s data into Amazon’s proprietary cloud services. Facebook, Twitter, and Google did their part by blocking negative stories about the Biden family’s lucrative involvement with China from reaching the public before the election—earning seats for their executives on the Biden transition team. All in all, it seems fair to say that the top-down merger of corporate monopoly and party interests that is taking place in Washington looks a lot more like China than it does like America.
The enthusiasm with which large portions of the American corporate and political elite have apparently embraced the Chinese one-party model—complete with an ever-growing appetite for state control of information and warrantless surveillance—against the messiness of life in a democratic republic under the rule of law was prefigured in an article written by New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman more than a decade ago. In a Sept. 9, 2009, column, “Our One-Party Democracy,” he expressed dissatisfaction with Republican obstructionism. “There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy,” wrote Friedman, “and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.”…[ ]