Thursday, June 02, 2005

Why I Don't Read David Brooks Anymore

I've long since lost respect for Mr. Brooks, but occassionaly take a deep breath--not throat--and try to stomach a doosy by Brooks. For instance, his latest claim that the French "no" vote is due to a rejection of American Liberalism:
This is the chief problem with the welfare state, which has nothing to do with the success or efficiency of any individual program. The liberal project of the postwar era has bred a stultifying conservatism, a fear of dynamic flexibility, a greater concern for guarding what exists than for creating what doesn't.
It's not really worth mentioning the fact that European liberalism is much different than American "liberalism" these days.

What's more worthy of criticism is that people are saying the rejection was based on a rejection of economic neo-liberalism (i.e. less regulated capitalism) and right-wing bigotry:
French opposition came from both the left and right, often on areas that have nothing to do with the constitution. The right rode a wave of opposition to the prospect of Turkey joining the EU. The left used anger about a commission proposal to allow the service industry to operate more freely in the single market to argue the constitution represents the triumph of Anglo-Saxon economic liberalism over a French-inspired "social Europe". There is a case that new voting procedures would make it harder for a country such as France to block reforms to the common agricultural policy and the EU economy, but the constitution does not in itself introduce reforms. (My emphasis)
You can find the sameelsewhere:
It was an economic rejection, because the French electorate by ten points said no to this constitution because it was perceived as creating a Europe that would be a playground for the multinational corporations.
Far from a rejection of social programs, or as Brooks calls it, "the welfare state". American Liberals are weary of Multinational corporations, which is what a large part of the "no" campaign in France was. But don't take my word for it--I'm not even European. It's better to listen to actual Europeans instead of American blowhards--such as myself--who are clueless or are trying to propogate their political agenda.

Incidentally, since the Times is going to start charging for access to Op-Eds, this will be the last time I link to one.

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