Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tom Friedman And Mao: Brothers In Arms

This is an excerpt from Fareed Zakaris' interview of Tom Friedman a couple of days ago:
ZAKARIA: Aren't we already going green? I mean, every magazine you read nowadays gives you 10 ways to go green. The (inaudible) of merit (ph) have these initiatives. Schwarzenegger in California has it.

It feels like we're in the middle of something.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I always love when people say we're having a green revolution. I say, "Oh, really? Really? Us, a green revolution?"

Have you ever been to a revolution, Fareed, where no one got hurt? That's the green revolution.

In the green revolution, everyone's a winner. Exxon's green. GM's green. They've got a little cap now, a yellow cap on those flex fuel cars they've been making for 10 years -- never told anybody, so they could make more Hummers.

Yes, everybody's green now. But when everyone's green, Fareed, that's not a revolution. That's a party. We're having a green party. And I've got to tell you, it's so much fun, because I get invited to all the parties.

But it has nothing to do with a revolution, because a revolution -- you'll know it's a revolution. I wrote a book about the IT revolution, OK. And in that book, I really learned one thing about the IT revolution. There was just one rule in that revolution: change or die.

And this is our good friend Mao, more than a few years ago:
Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.


bubs said...

I feel the same way about Thomas Friedman the way you (or was it AKS?) feels about Najam Sethi. I don't care what he says; I just hate him. Which brings me to your Wednesday poll. I think we've argued about Hitchens before but I don't understand how I'm the only one who hasn't voted for him being the most infuriating columnist. I understand how he pisses people off with this pomposity but unlike Bill Kristol he does actual reporting, he can write very well and very occasionally has original thoughts.

Also, just for balance I think you should have included one annoying liberal columnist. Bob Herbert would be my choice.

Ahsan said...


AKS made the Najam Sethi comment.

Also, I feel Bill Kristol can't or doesn't believe half the things he says. This almost makes him more endearing in my view, because he's just being a cynical talking-points parrot, rather than anything truly harmful.

As for the balance thing, I don't know how you're defining "liberal" but I definitely consider Tom Friedman to be a liberal.

Also, I don't find Bob Herbert infuriating as such. He's just boring, that poor guy.

Zak said...

I liked his comments but Friedman looked like he was high on something in that speech.