Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The World, and the Steamrolled Worker, Are Flat

A good part of Tom Friedman's argument in 'The World Is Flat' accepts the inevitability of globalization at its worst, and celebrates the boundless future available to those who go back to school and retrain for a new job market. As always with Friedman, he's most useful as a mirror displaying the views of his constituency. The position amounts to the following propositions:

1. Change is inevitable. No point to resisting it, any more than Canute's feet stayed dry.
2. Anybody can not only maintain themselves but improve themselves and their lot by expanding their knowledge and skills base, being open to new opportunities and like that.
3. Those opportunities are not merely available, but available in profusion and everywhere.

He, and most of his ilk, leave out the logical consequences of this Panglossian crap:

4. An individual's bad fortune arises solely from a failure of that individual, and not of the Wondrous Cornucopia of the world economy.
5. True, too, of towns, cities, regions, even nations.

Therefore:

1. The only one responsible for an individual is that individual; nobody else need bother their beautiful mind in the presence of human suffering.
2. Every last social entity humans have created, or are likely to create, other than economic entities, is a waste of time, energy and resources, based on dubious premises at a distance from reality, and which divert people from Doing What Needs To Be Done.

2 comments:

BlakNo1 said...

Feh, I was damned lucky to have not only the opportunity to take computer repair classes paid for by the state(hurray for MA!!)but to then have the school owner offer me an internship to pay for network design/admin classes as well. I got some of that on my own merit, but most of it was luck.

ProfWombat said...

And some would think even this an inappropriate role of the state.

It bemuses me to think that pulling oneself up by one's own bootstraps is, literally, physically impossible...