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More Friedman Hypocrisy

From his column today:

The primary ingredient of a democracy — real pluralism where people feel a common destiny, act as citizens and don’t believe their minority has to be in power to be safe or to thrive — is in low supply in all these societies. It can emerge, as Iraq shows. But it takes time.

And also:

Make no mistake where my heart lies. I still believe this Arab democracy movement was inevitable, necessary and built on a deep and authentic human quest for freedom, dignity and justice.

Of course, you’re not going to find any real pluralism or democracy in a country like China, but that’s fine, because they like electric cars n’ stuff:

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Why can Friedman come out in support of “freedom, dignity, and justice” in one place but not another? Don’t Falun Gong detainees and the countless other political prisoners in China deserve justice?  

Unfortunately, when it comes to implementing a “progressive” environmental agenda, it seems that the ends justify the means for Friedman.  I’m pretty sure that if dictators like Hosni Mubarak or Bashar Assad had banned plastic grocery bags or mandated that all their nations’ drivers purchase Chevy Volts, today’s column would have read slightly differently.

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More Friedman Hypocrisy

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