Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tom Friedman Has Found A New Way To Sell Globalization

We do have a global economy and we will continue to have one if the sovereign states can figure out how to manage it.  Tom Friedman has been selling a version of globalization for a decade by promoting its virtues, and not concerning himself with many of the problems.  He, and the college professor on whom he relies for many of his ideas, has come up with another selling point for globalization.

Friedman opens this op-ed with some pointless paragraphs to engage our interest.  He then quotes Michael Mandelbaum who uses the current issues in Ukraine to promote the virtues of globalization.  Mandelbaum begins by inventing a new concept that he calls Putinism.  He then explains how globalization provides the means to end Putinism.  He argues that Putin is a product of globalization because, as everyone knows, Russia's economy is dependent upon exporting oil and gas to the rest of world (primarily Europe).  Therefore, we can end Putinism as long as Western Europe is willing to stop importing oil and gas from Russia.  The US would have do a few things as well but the threat of Putinism presents a test for the West.  Mandelbaum tells us that we can put an end to Putinism if we have the moral courage to do so.

Putting an end to Putinism is a moral story.  It is a story that Friedman used to defend our invasion of Iraq.  It was necessary to let our enemies know that America had the moral fortitude to do what was necessary to eliminate the threat of terrorism in the Mideast.  We did what Friedman proposed, but it has not put an end to terrorism.  We have been fighting that battle, without making much progress, for a long time.  However, we may have convinced the rest of the world that we have the moral courage to make sacrifices that are required to defeat evil empires.

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