Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Commies scared of bloggers: No, there's not a revolt at The Huffington Post. I'm talking about admitted Communists, China in particular.
The Chinese government has announced plans to police web forums, chat rooms and blogs alongside other websites.

Websites in China have long been required to be officially registered.

The authorities are now determined that blogs should also be brought under state control.

Press advocacy group Reporters without Borders said the initiative would "enable those in power to control online news and information much more effectively".

I can't fathom how China is allowed to get away with crap like this. What to do? I don't know. It's not worth a shooting war and "free exchange of ideas, goods, and services" doesn't seem to be prodding China to adopt principles more in line with Western-style Democracy. People wearing T-shirts with pictures of Che Guevera like to ask why we continue to enforce a 40 + year old embargo against Cuba, but we have no problem trading with China to get access to billions of consumers. The stock answer has been, I gather, take a look at China 100 years ago. Take a look at China now. They've come a long way, and they seem to undertand that they'll have to release their Vader like mind control over their people. Economic liberalization will lead to social liberation, blah blah blah.

But if this is an indication of the progress China is making towards civil reform, man have we been duped of what. We can't embargo them Cuba style, of course, without doing horrible damage to the world economy, our own in particular. It would put a dent in Wal-Mart's bottom line the size of Michael Moore, not to mention put out of business many of the US companies that sell to them.

I'm no protectionist when it comes to trade, in fact I don't really care whether we trade with ne'er do wells and villians around the world. But it may be time to stop pretending that free trade alone is going to cause the social revolution we've been hoping for. Has it ever before? Certainly creeping Westernization helped play a big part in the break up of the Soviet Union (Jordache Jeans and Sony Walkmen feeding the desire of average Russkis to improve their standard of living), but so did an arms race that was as much about bankrupting Moscow as it was about missile defense and ICBM's.

Hmmm, glad I'm not Secratary of State. And, so is everybody else in the world.

Via MarketingVox.

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