Friday, September 26, 2008

Adam Yoshida on Conservative "Vision"

H/T to Canadian Cynic.

Adam Yoshida of "The Western" (what is it now? a blog?) fantasizes about what the Cons could do with a majority government:

Do too much, rather than too little. Don’t shift these things around. Burn them down and salt the Earth. A future Liberal government won’t have the guts, the time, the wherewithal, or the money to recreate them all at once. Sell the land and the buildings. Shred the records. Disperse the staff. It’s easier to destroy than it is to create. A Tory government on a rampage could destroy in a couple of months what it took four decades to create – and what it would take another forty to recreate.

This is just a restatement of the fanatic Milton Friedman's Tyranny of the Status-Quo wherein he advocated a Republican administration should try to destroy as many welfare-state institutions and as many centre and left power blocs as possible in its first six months.

Yoshida, like Friedman and other right-wingers, is, at the end of the day, really only capable of destruction. Friedman's pupils got a blank slate to work with in Chile and it was an economic disaster. Friedman's own recommendations on the money supply and inflation were tested by the Reagan administration and almost destroyed the economy. (Reagan's massive military spending might have been what saved US manufacturing from the impact of the overpriced dollar.) Like the failure Friedman, Canadian "conservatives" have been equally as destructive. Mike Harris destroyed Ontario's finances and managed to kill people with their drinking water. His incompetent finance minister went on to Ottawa where he's backed us up into a deficit situation while Canadians have been dying from eating contaminated meat. These people are insane and stupid and should be kept far from the levers of power.

Yoshida's alternative to state services for the general public is militarism and jingoism:

Build big things. Canadians, for all that they claim to be a peace-loving people, want to love their country. That’s why, in the absence of a more compelling national identity, they hold onto the things that they do. Build a pair of Aircraft Carriers – giant, expensive, deadly, and useful symbols of Canadian pride that children can hang on their walls. Name them after Wolfe and Montcalm or something like that.

Yes. Canadian-made Aircraft Carriers. Yoshida doesn't really have any idea about what he's talking about.

Who is this Adam Yoshida fellow? I don't really know. I think that I've heard his name before, associated with something bad. My last comment on him is that I think the left has to think about destroying the political and economic strength of nutbars like this with the same level of enthusiasm that they would bring to destroying our healthcare system or to starting wars with impoverished countries (while they yammer about how "dangerous" the world is).

Like Friedman said (imagining different targets): "Hit them everywhere, all at once. Don't give them time to mobilize in defence of anything."


Mark said...

It's been a looong time, and I never read the original post, but Yoshida is famous for a "sack dance" style post, extremely bitter and very angry, celebrating the defeat of John Kerry.

Beijing York said...

"Hit them everywhere, all at once. Don't give them time to mobilize in defence of anything."

Isn't this exactly to what Naomi Klein describes as a doctrine of Shock and Awe. These fanatics frighten me because they have amassed lots of power in the last three decades, especially in the US.

My involvement on US boards has shown me how insurmountable these bastards become once they achieve power. And even when you get a brief reprieve with a change of government, the goal posts have been so dramatically shifted to the right, that a new government can barely keep its head above water, let alone pass anything that resembles a progressive agenda. Blair's Labour Party is a great example of that.

thwap said...

Beijing York,

Friedman's a big villain in "The Shock Doctrine." A lot of it is based on the ideas he presented in that book.


I'll have to check out that link and find out what a sack dance is.

thwap said...


How interesting. The link is a reason magazine defence of Friedman.

Friedman was an interesting character in some respects, but this is just what I said in that other post. "Reason" appears willing to defend the disastrous Chicago School activities in Chile. Free markets uber alles.

I think Klein responded to that one. Hold on:

She doesn't. But she does respond to some similar criticisms. You can read it if you want.

I did a quick search on my own. Yoshida is definitely committed.