I generally read the editorial section of the New York Times to get a sense of what elite "Progressivists" are thinking. (I'm referring to the official editorial page as opposed to the rest of the "news" sections which supposedly are not connected to the opinion of Gail Collins and company.)
Progressivists, as one knows, are motivated by grand visions – which they believe should be imposed on everyone else, given that most people would resist such elite wisdom (because, after all, they are too stupid and too uneducated to appreciate the grandeur of the vision that others have for them). Since governments are the only entities that can impose this vision, it should surprise no one that the NYT is thoroughly statist in its news and editorial approaches.
Because the NYT is famous and calls itself the "Newspaper of Record," its Grand Vision (GV) is not limited to the Great Unwashed of the United States. No, Gail Collins and company have a GV for Iraq and Russia, although one doubts that Iraqis and Vladimir Putin really give a damn about what the Grey Lady is telling them what to do.
I saw in today's editorials that Iraq "finally" has a new government, which I guess means all sorts of possibilities of Greatness. From what I can tell, however, this new government might not be up to the NYT standards, or at least the high standards that come from the City of New York (which seems to be having some difficulty removing snow from its streets at the present time).
Anyway, Collins and company had these pearls of wisdom for Iraq's new government:
Iraq's factions, with their competing priorities, are going to have to work hard to make progress on the country's many problems. They must pass laws ensuring an equitable division of the country's oil wealth. They must make sweeping economic reforms, without which there is no chance of creating jobs for the 450,000 mostly young Iraqis entering the work force each year. They need to keep their promise of jobs to the thousands of Sunni fighters who came in from the cold.
I am not sure which "sweeping economic reforms" the editors mean, given that the "sweeping economic reforms" they advocate for the USA usually are socialistic. Nonetheless, I'm just a bit reluctant to say that people who cannot get snow from their own streets (at least without busting up cars in the process) should be giving advice to people living in a desert thousands of miles away.
Given that the NYT was instrumental in leading the U.S. Armed Forces to invade Iraq in the first place (Who can forget Judith Miller, although we might want to forget Judith Miller?), it seems to be the ultimate of chutzpah for Collins and company to be giving that poor country even more advice, but Progressivists know more than we do, and are happy to let us know.
Besides Iraq, there is Russia to consider. Yes, Russia, the place that gave us the NYT's favorite dictator, Josef Stalin. Russia is the place that murdered millions while the NYT's man on the spot, Walter Duranty, worked hand-in-glove with Stalin's people to file false reports in the NYT, with the editors at home covering for him. (For those falsehoods, Duranty and the NYT received a Pulitzer Prize which still proudly is on display in the lobby of the NYT building.)
Today, Collins and company urge Russia to engage in the "rule of law." Russia, it seems, does not have fair courts and the NYT wants those Russkies to have courts that are just as just and fair as our own, especially our federal courts.
The collective memory at the NYT tends to be a bit short-term, given that some of us on the outside recall how the "Newspaper of Record" teamed with Rudy Giuliani and his fellow federal prosecutors to publish illegally-leaked grand jury information in order to stack the deck against Michael Milken. You know, Milken, that guy who did not suck up to the other investment banks on Wall Street and who managed to secure financing for a number of important firms whose technological development has changed our lives. A man who does not suck up to Goldman Sachs and David Rockefeller is up to no good, as he fails to share the Same Grand Vision which Progressivists believe should be imposed on everyone else (except themselves).
You see, "rule of law" only applies to the Little People. Really Important People don't have to worry about taking part in criminal schemes to gain false indictments and railroad people into prison (i.e. Martha Stewart). Remember how the NYT was outraged that the late Leona Helmsley allegedly told someone that only "little people" pay taxes? (It seems that the Helmsleys were among the "little people," given that they paid huge amounts of money in taxes, but the editors of the NYT could not let the facts get in the way of a good story, so Leona went to prison, too.)
Progressivists are different than you and me; rule of law does not apply to them, as they are above the law. They have a GV for the rest of us, be it how we will receive medical care, what we eat, what we say, whether or not we are free to travel, how we can use the land that we supposedly own, the kinds of fuels we use to power our vehicles and heat our homes, and how we will be educated.
True, the Progressivists have no plans on taking part in what is to be imposed upon everyone else. Rule of law is good for Russia, but it certainly did not need to apply to Durham, North Carolina, when the NYT's favorite prosecutor, Michael Nifong, was lying in an attempt to railroad some lacrosse players at Duke University for bogus rape charges.
One is tempted to tell these Progressivists to solve their own problems and to live under the same rules they want to have imposed on everyone else. However, we need to remember that just as human beings are Beyond Freedom and Dignity (a Progressivist classic), Those Who Would Rule Us Or Influence Those Who Would Rule Us should not be hindered by mere rules, as they are beyond those mundane things.
Some of us might have the temerity to tell the Physicians to Heal Themselves first, but that is short-sighted on our part. No, we must bow to the Great Wisdom of Collins and company as they lead us to that Great World Beyond Midtown Manhattan. (But forget about the snow being removed from your roads. Greatness requires some sacrifice, you know.)
December 30, 2010