Wednesday, September 07, 2005

When Love of Money Strikes

I wonder what to make of the apparent fact that the United States, the world's unquestioned power, is open and susceptible to every kind of criticism from without and within, is the subject of almost regular international and domestic finger-wagging and defiance, and the fact that the US holds such power is hardly cause for concern. Critics are free to criticize. This is how it should be.

And then there's China. When it comes to the billion-man market, countries and companies apparently will bend over backwards to accomodate them out of fear and greed. Oppression, militarism, slave labor, intimidation, all this and more is tolerated by those who have the power to influence and choose not to for their own self-interests.

Take, for just one example, Yahoo! this week. The internet company, desperate to get a foothold in the vast Chinese market, apparently cooperated with Chinese authorities in tracking down a journalist who had posted information on the internet detailing Chinese restrictions on the press. As detailed by the French press watchdog association Reporters Sans Frontiers, Chinese journalist Shi Tao was tracked down by thought police after Yahoo! provided an IP address that linked Tao to the posting of the text of an email from Chinese authorities warning journalists about "the dangers of social destabilisation and risks resulting from the return of certain dissidents on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre". This information was treated as a state secret. In other words, what the communist government did at Tiananmen Square should not be written about, even 15 years after the fact.

This is evidence enough that the supposed irresistable winds of freedom that would blow away the edifices of state control as the Chinese people become more wealthy and economically free are more like a limp breeze. Companies are proving Lenin's old maxim that they would compete to sell the communists the rope that they would hang the capitalists with, and governments are following right along. And so a corrupt elite rules unquestioningly over the repressed masses.

Thanks, Yahoo!, for helping to make it happen.


At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yahoo blamed
A French media watchdog said Tuesday that information provided by Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc.
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