Friedman: in defense of autocracy

Thomas Friedman explodes the myth of the intrinsic liberal attachment to democracy as well as underlining Jonah Goldberg’s basic thesis:

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. 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.

Remarkable. No sooner do the Democrats have the benefit of a Democratic White House, Senate, and House of Representatives than they start calling for autocratic rule because they dislike the limitations which the remaining tatters of the Constitution place on their ability to achieve their goals. Sooner or later, the Left always ends up pining for a dictator.

Can you even imagine how they’d be howling “Nazi!” at any right-wing writer who wrote in open favor of autocracy? If, at this point, you don’t understand that Communists, socialists, National Socialists, Fascists, Democrats, and neocons are all just different flavors of would-be autocratic authoritarians, you are simply ignorant of ideological history.

JG himself weighs in thusly: “I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it’s the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearend for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn’t picky in this regard). This is the argument for an “economic dictatorship” pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It’s the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.”