Friedman: The World Is Flat


In the book by Friedman it is conditionally possible to distinguish two parts - the technical part and the ideological part. The first tells us in detail about how the “leveling” took place, the second is events assessment by the author. For those who are interested in particulars and details of the century turn technological breakthrough the technical part of the book will be interesting. The ideological aspect of the book was of the greatest interest to us, but ... Thomas disappointed us. Among other things the book is written sugary and the process of chewing it did not give us any pleasure. But as a reason for several own remarks on the meaning of modern processes will fit.

We understood that we are waited by nothing good from an ideological point of view from the African parable about the lion and gazelle launched by Friedman. Suddenly stumbling upon this masterpiece (in the context, of course) we did not know to laugh or cry. Is this all that the advanced ultramodern bourgeois can offer to the plebs!? Run, run and run again so that you are not trampled and eaten! From this kind advice and wishes, which for several hundred years old, a bad laugh has been rolling to throat. Run! Paw through! Get tense (“tension of success” - ha!)! Make super ice cream instead of ice cream! - with these appeals our bourgeois journalist addresses absolutely everyone: the Chinese, the Indians, the Europeans, the governments of all countries, the scientists, the workers. You, scoundrels, didn’t run fast enough for 300 years, but now a flat world opens up before you, you are lucky - so run even faster!!! On the one hand, there is a wish to give in a muzzle for such advice, with another – you understand how pitiable and impudent at the same time the modern bourgeoisie is. It is pitiable because it can not squeeze out a drop of ideological creativity from itself, it is impudent because without shame and fear it offers all the same rotten cabbage of its always identical teachings to its foamy rickshaws. And a carrot before a nose is always identical – "amazing era of prosperity and innovation".

But, hell, we can not get this mad-racing future prosperity because it has Enemies. Names of these dragons are Envy, Rage, Humiliation and Disease (lol, this is for Africa). I.e. an analysis of the alienated globalization problems appears to us in the form of some psychological nose picking. Nothing new. We hope Friedman lies and grimaces otherwise he is just disabled. The fact that he can lie shows phrases like: “more and more economies would be governed from the ground up, by the interests demands and aspirations of the people, rather than from the top down, by the interests of some narrow ruling clique”. An absolute liar, it means there is hope - we have a healthy person who sold his goods.

All right. A problem, Thomas, that even if the strongest capital, i.e. the strongest monkey, will gobble up all national bourgeois monkeys,

- After all, this is the meaning of the ongoing processes, is it true, Thomas? and the resistance of these national bourgeois monkeys is the main obstacle to the graceful “leveling”, is it true, Thomas? After all, you are crafty, Thomas, when you say that you would be glad if some country arose on this planet that is equal in the level of United States economic development and that perhaps it will be so. You know that there will be one and only one winner, is not it? This will be a valid and genuine “leveling”. About 15 years have passed since you exhausted yourself with forced, joyless, senseless and low-paid labor, wrote your book - the tension is growing. And terrorists-“leninist” have already calmed down, but tension is growing. Highly leveled China grits its teeth, Russian bourgeoisie showed its fangs without giving the Most Important Monkey a juicy piece of the Crimea (oh, you are so lying, smearing snot that "terrorism" is at least some kind of problem; the scale of the problems is completely different, Thomas, you know this very well). Well, Thomas, let, finally, the Most Important and Strong Monkey win, well. After all, in fact, the most important…

….problem is that people change, people develop, and this playing field no longer suits them, be it three or four times flat. Nobody needs your senseless squirrel-wheeled future. Nobody needs your “transition from old winners to new ones”. Even with illusive "prosperity" in which nobody believes. This flat future no different from today and yesterday. You say hungry, homeless and ragged "Hindus" will be less? They will not remain at all without that ancient and moldy little world, the sunset of which you enthusiastically suggest to meet us as the dawn of a new day. We will do everything simply and efficiently, and neither money, - nor it absence, nor it presence, - nor harmful local governments will prevent us from doing so.

«Given the phenomenal advances in technology in the last twenty years, it is easy to assume that we already have all the tools to address some of these challenges and that the only thing lacking is money. I wish that were the case. But it is not. In the instance of malaria, for example, it isn't just the drugs that are missing. As anyone who has visited Africa or rural India knows, the health-care systems in these areas are often broken or functioning at a very low level».

- So that’s your game! I.e, looking at technologies development narrow-minded people could think that problems can be solved. Further, these narrow-minded people who have just committed one stupid thought, put forward an even more stupid assumption – probably, these flatheads think, we don’t have enough money for it. But no, no. The main root of a problem are parochial health care systems and if to dig on even more inconceivable depth – the corrupted parochial governments, and officials, Officials, OFFICIALS. In short, everything is very, very difficult, guys, very, very difficult. Therefore, chew margarine, and I flew to a business meeting in Shanghai. Classic.

“A new milestone in human progress”, “a great opportunity for India and the world” - so optimistic Friedman estimates the changes in the life of the global community he describes. Yes, these events are significant. But they are significant only so far as are signs and prerequisites something actually grandly new.

“Idei said that a change was under way in the business-technology world that would be remembered, in time, like "the meteor that hit the earth and killed all the dinosaurs." Fortunately, the cutting-edge global companies knew what was going on out there, and the best companies were quietly adapting to it so that they would not be one of those dinosaurs”.

Ah, Thomas, Thomas, impending changes will not allow “quietly adapting" to any one - neither small, nor large, nor backward, nor advanced dinosaur. The field will be destroyed, Thomas. In essence, this field is also the last and only dinosaur. This is what characterizes the valid scale of events and not those trivia you so pathosly speak.

«India has had its ups and down since it achieved independence on August 15, 1947, but in some ways it might be remembered as the luckiest country in the history of the late twentieth century». – LOL, you also are stunted small dinosaur believing that the meteor it sees will bring good luck to it and its degenerating fellows.

What in fact occurs? First, let's use Friedman's words, “the net result of this convergence was the creation of a global, Web-enabled playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration - the sharing of knowledge and work-in real time, without regard to geography, distance, or, in the near future, even language”. Let's slightly tweak our Pulitzer Bearer - creation the beginnings of a global “playing field”. “Playing field” which will become the platform of our further movement towards universal freedom. We note along the way that the Net is a significant step forward in overcoming the space-time dependence within the planet.

“Giving so many people access to all these tools of collaboration, along with the ability through search engines and the Web to access billions of pages of raw information”, - together with access to global means of production, Friedman, together with free access to the entire volume of benefits and freedoms provided by planetary civilization for every inhabitant of the planet, - “ensures that the next generation of innovations will come from all over Planet Flat. The scale of the global community that is soon going to be able to participate in all sorts of discovery and innovation is something the world has simply never seen before”. That's it, Friedman, - the scale and goals that you can not even imagine.

Secondly, this “convergence” together with local isolated economies destroys traditional bourgeois and in general alienated values: national religions, national “cohesion”, national “pride”, etc., i.e. any parochial limitation of separate groups of people. From our point of view this is entirely and completely, without any reservations, the most positive and major aspect of “leveling”. Since these values are completely bourgeois, Fridman as a representative of bourgeois ideology is crumpled and nervous from cognitive dissonance:

“Some obstacles to a frictionless global market are truly sources of waste and lost opportunities. But some of these inefficiencies are institutions, habits, cultures, and traditions that people cherish precisely because they reflect nonmarket values like social cohesion, religious faith, and national pride. If global markets and new communications technologies flatten those differences, we may lose something important. That is why the debate about capitalism has been, from the very beginning, about which frictions, barriers, and boundaries are mere sources of waste and inefficiency, and which are sources of identity and belonging that we should try to protect”.

“Some obstacles…”,” something important…”,” inefficiency…”, ” we should try to protect…” – a lame duck.

The subject of nationalities and cultural traditions is too extensive and, to a certain extent, is serious so we will not to get into substance. Let's say the main thing: nationalities, local cultural traditions is a historical slag which especially is toxic because the local bourgeois monkeys will actively use it in the process of their resistance to capital trying to dominate totally (i.e., “American” capital). Whatever people trying to resist "spiritless Americanization", "global corporate machine" imagine - they just play into the hands of their own national bourgeoisie and nothing more.

At this stage the development of information and communication technologies plays the most important role in creating a platform for meeting people from the most remote regions of the planet. On the basis of muddy, stupid and infernal market "economic" relations, people of completely different cultures learn to work together, recognize themselves in each other and begin to realize the simplest, it would seem, thing - exactly how different we are, exactly so we are identical. They begin to realize that their own autochthonous cultures are a basic, initial step in personal development, that none of them, due to their historical limitations, can give a person something that the future will necessarily demand. Sooner or later, the cultural tradition of united humanity will be melted on this base.

This communication, interaction begins to occur at the individual, atomic level and not at the level of alienated peoples and "nations" and will inevitably decompose these latter, i.e. decompose the foundations of the territorial domination of all the specific “princes” of this planet. Of course, now it is in the interests of the largest “kingship” who settled in the territory that we call the United States today. This is part of a big historical movement and in it is the importance of the events but not in those mouldy trivia which Friedman speaks.

*******

Thomas sees and bravely accepts the problems that alienated globalization faces or will face. These problems are partly inherited from the "non-flat" world, partly generated by the process of globalization itself. We note the main ones: 1) ecology, resources, 2) hopeless backwardness of some regions, 3) the problem of the fat proletariat. There is another terrible threat that Friedman is trying to scare all of us – “mutant global supply chains - that is, nonstate actors, be they criminals or terrorists, who learn to use all the elements of the flat world to advance a highly destabilizing, even nihilistic agenda”. We don’t pay attention to this as we are sure that all of the influential carriers of “destabilizing, even nihilistic agenda” are tools in the hands of players on a flat global field.

Ecology, resources. Friedman talks about potential struggle for power, “energy power - that could ensue if the Great American Dream and the Great Chinese Dream and the Great Indian Dream and the Great Russian Dream come to be seen as mutually exclusive in energy terms”. Ah-ah-ah, "come to be seen", "come to be seen"… well, we just have to sit and nervously gnaw our nails in the hope that maybe not “come to be seen”. Friedman is a clown.

Along the way, we make a small remark only indirectly related to the problem of ecology and resources. Dear inhabitants of “USA”, “Russia”, “India”, “China” and so forth! If the scope of your dreams remains at the level of mentioned Great national dreams, i.e. at the level of insects or, let's take to the maximum, at the level of territorial monkeys associations – nothing good awaits us all. We have to aim high. This is a requirement of history and evolution. That is why hucksters and bulls around the world…

“We in the West have a fundamental interest in keeping the American dream alive in Beijing and Boise and Bangalore. But we have to stop fooling ourselves that it can be done in a flat world with 3 billion potential new consumers - if we don't find a radical new approach to energy usage and conservation. If we fail to do so, we will be courting both an environmental and geopolitical whirlwind”. Friedman hopes to see “joint research projects” and so forth, with the help of which sweet united market humanity will lovingly solve all resource and environmental problems. What can we say? Yes it is possible. Is possible in the event that the strongest carnivorous monkey devour its competitors without a trace and will solve the mentioned problems as exclusively it own, in it own united kingdom. But, gentlemen, this is the problem: to remove the severe confrontation you need to remove the severe confrontation. Well, go ahead, solve, agree, but on those ruins that remain after your negotiations and “joint projects” leave us at least something we could rely and move forward.

Failing regions. Aha ha! Friedman says that they are hopelessly sick (just like that, literally, sick), and they can’t be helped by anything, because even if you give them money (an extremely stupid and silly offer) they will either be plundered or will be spoiled by a monstrously health system. On this all.

The problem of the fat proletariat. This is an interesting problem which is already generated by monetary globalization. Its essence is that the governments of the countries dominant on the planet, first of all, the US government, have to deal with their own national proletariat to which they no longer care. The national bourgeois state grows out of two parochial bulls needs: 1) to control (crush, persuade, feed) its own exploited proletariat and 2) fight back from the same states that have formed by the same bulls. The second part of a picture does not interest us here. And so. The capital which face and hands is "state of USA" with escalating rates and volumes begins to exploit foreign cattle (and as a result inevitably wants to control it, but now the speech not about it), and its own native cattle no longer interests it exactly the same way. However, inopportunely, this cattle continues to wait for some kind of masters’ “care”, especially as owing to historical circumstances the owners were forced to feed it relatively well. The state in its former, becoming obsolete sense, continues to exist. The national proletariat turns into an uncomfortable, unnecessary, whining, but still, one way or another, potentially dangerous burden. The same applies to developed countries of Europe. To a certain extent all domestic policy of these countries will be determined by this problem (plus the problem of the relatively petty national bourgeoisie; the right renaissances in very interesting nuances and everything else are there). There is a bit of humor in whole situation so we are laughing will observe the course of events. It's fun to watch Friedman squirming, trying to invent solutions to problems that he and his friends don't care. Such annoying trifle but he still have to pull the owl on the globe. However, this is the eternal curse of the bourgeoisie.

*******

Total, according to Friedman. The described processes are wonderful. Those who expect to see a masterpiece of bourgeois ideology will be disappointed. Nothing new. Those who expect to see a masterpiece of bourgeois journalism and journalism in general will be disappointed. The book is written sugary, with the expected surprises, trivial nontrivialities, the slobber moralizing of a full-grown wolf and other beauties that cause a yawn.

And finally:

“IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU ARE FRIEDMAN OR BILL GATES.

WHEN THE SUN COMES UP, YOU BETTER START RUNNING”