this is a recurring nightmare. tom frigging friedman is still insisting that you compare your toddler to finnish and chinese toddlers, as though that means anything. and now you can! in the technocratic dystopia manufactured by, say, al gore, or friedman, or arne duncan, children are the merest commodities, manufactured by and for global capitalism. the only question is: how can they - and here this means every single child anywhere in the world - be manufactured as uniform product, and rendered maximally profitable to people with economic and political power? i've certainly whined about this many times, but let me point out a couple of things: if you are a parent, and you think it's relevant to your relationship with your child, or relevant to your child's life, that her school compares poorly on standardized tests with some school in helsinki or sichuan, i think your child should be removed from your custody and given to a human parent. these ass-monkeys seem to be internationalists, but they are screeching economic nationalists: all that matters in the argument is the american economy in comparison with that of other nations, which we have to out-compete. and their vision of anyone's economy is a nightmare. they seriously, literally are intent on enslaving children to the vision of multi-national corporations and nation-states. the collision of extreme nationalism and internationalism is just one of many dimensions in which the position is riddled with demented contradictions. the bland reasonableness is a millimeter-thick surface over the real roiling evil. their vision of the world, and their vision of childhood, is a horror, and to some extent they have succeeded in implementing it. their envisioned totalitarian future of capitalist automatism is worse than no future at all, worse than species annihilation.