Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Suddenly This Summer

Today's Paul Krugman offering resembles the sad, urgent scramble of a Galapagos Island sea turtle hatchling to the relative safety of the ocean as the waiting flock of circling, carnivorous blogs led by The Minute Man and KausFiles swoop down for an impromtu snack.

Mr. Krugman writes "I'm sure that lots of history is being falsified as you read this."

And he should know! In his ongoing war with the truth he has a lot in common with a functionary of Oceania, which in Orwell's classic 1984 was eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. At any moment, depending upon current alignments, all existing records in Oceania showed either that Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it had always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia.

Similarly, a substantial and growing portion of the New York Times letters-to-the-editor space is being occupied by missives pointing out serious factual errors in Mr. Krugman's columns, as described in today's KausFiles. This appears to be the newspaper's way of providing cover to Mr. Krugman, who otherwise would have an unvarnished obligation to confess error in his own space. Or perhaps Mr. Krugman's contract with the Times includes an easement over the letters-to-the-editor space for this purpose.

But an even more extensive ongoing comparison of the real world with the parallel universe about which Mr. Krugman writes can be found, thanks to More Than Zero, in the entertaining Krugman Truth Squad.

The cumulative effect of reading the Truth Squad exposés is remarkable, as Mr. Krugman's world gradually emerges from its own primordial mists as a kind of paranoid, dystopian version, not so much of the real world, as of some third place - Narnia, perhaps.


UPDATE: Hoystory has more. And more. And still more.

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