Google: A Moral Company

Econophile's picture

From The Daily Capitalist

Google Inc. appears increasingly likely to shutter its Chinese-language search engine, a step that would remove one of the last major foreign players from the world's most populous and fastest-growing Internet market.

It is rare that a major corporation subordinates its short-term interests for a moral principle. Google will apparently walk away from a 36% share of  China's internet search/advertising market because it will not bow to censorship.

This event underscores the true nature of China's ruling Communist Party of China. It is a repressive, oppressive, suppressive and violent organization that is not unlike any mafia.

The fact that Google will not kowtow to Bejing and walk away from the market of greatest potential is to me a commendable act.

China may have liberalized its economy but the Communist Party of China through the People's Republic of China still rules with a tight oppressive fist. Young Chinese netizens may have access to some information available on the World Wide Web, but China's rulers do all they can to prevent them from having access to information that is not controlled by the Party.

One must ask about the moral foundations of such a political system. Why would a relatively small group wish to oppress the masses? I am not so cynical to believe that no party members believe they are doing the right thing to help the people. After all the 75 million or so Party members leave room for a wide swath of personalities. But most members are there for one reason: to gain an advantage over their fellow non-member citizens and benefit from the Party's largess.

China is controlled by a relatively small group of people; about 200 members of the Central Committee hold real power. Of course the Red Army is represented in the Central Committee. These people are China's royalty and enjoy privileges that come with power. They (i) don't wish to relinquish power because they like it, (ii) they probably can't make it on their own absent the Party, and (iii) if they loosen their grip the worker heroes of the People's Republic of China may just want to kill them.

While its apologists can point to the fact that things in China, economically and politically, are better than before, they miss the point that the ruling class is corrupt, parasitic, and useless. As an example, I urge you to visit the Communist Party of China's web site to get a flavor of how superfluous they are.  At the end of this article you will see an excerpt from President Hu Jintao's "Theory of Profound Changes" as a good example of how dynamic their intellectual discourse is.

So, in walks Google and takes on its competitor, Baidu who basically ripped off their business model, and takes over 36% of the market. When they balk at the government's censorship over their search results, they have the courage to say no. And leave.

Some folks don't think they should do that:

John Palfrey, a professor at Harvard Law School who studies the Internet, says Google's China situation has broader relevance for how other technology companies manage their overseas operations. "Because [the Chinese market] is the largest Internet market in the world, it is impossible for a large technology company to ignore," Mr. Palfrey says. "The outcome of this dispute is going to be enormously important for information technology companies elsewhere in the world operating in China."

Perhaps if Professor Palfrey had Google co-founder Sergey Brin's perspective as a former Soviet citizen whose family fled Soviet oppression and racism, he may have felt differently. This isn't like Coca-Cola leaving an apartheid South Africa, as worthy as that was. China represents a huge market for Google and the loss of this business will hurt its bottom line and future revenues.

Google did the right thing. I will be a loyal fan and supporter of Google.

* * * * *


The Communist Party still takes "socialism" seriously and carefully parses its language to match what it decides to do. To admit that socialism or marxism was and is a huge failure would undermine the "legitimacy" of an illegitimate regime. So they come up with reams of useless ideas and commentary that everyone but the Central Committee must take seriously. It reminds me of deconstructionist gobbledygook that is meaningless and that no one can understand anyway.

President Hu has developed the Theory of Profound Changes. If someone can explain to me that this jargon has any profound meaning I would appreciate it. I think I am actually a pretty good student of Chinese history, art, and politics, so I am not unaware of the oracular vagueness of Party-speak. This introduction from the People's Daily is pretty typical of this genre. Remember, I didn't write this:

It is the Communist Party of China's important experience drawn from 60 years' administration to make both domestic and foreign policies in line with the development trend of human civilization, the progress of the times and the fundamental interests of Chinese people and people of the world. To achieve this, it is essential that all the policies are made based on a deep understanding of the world and an accurate grasp of the times.


The current CPC Central Committee led by Hu Jintao has inherited and developed the Party's basic strategy thinking on the times, scientifically judged the changes of conditions, and brought about basic points on the subject. These basic points hold that we should conform to the historical trend, respond to the contemporary problems and take the lead in our times.


Hu’s five theories on the times demonstrate the theoretical innovation of the CPC on this subject in the new period. The five theories are the theory of profound changes, the theory of a harmonious world, the theory of common development, the theory of joint responsibility and the theory of active participation.


The theory of profound changes

"The world is undergoing unprecedented historical changes." The time we are in is "full of opportunities and challenges".


It is the primary point of Hu's theory of times that we should have a deep understanding of the current conditions, accurately master the development trend and make an overall judgment and scientific conclusion of the characteristics of the times. Hu said, "The world is undergoing unprecedented historical changes" and "the time we are in is full of opportunities and challenges."


"The world is in a period of tremendous changes, fast development and big adjustments."

Currently, the international relations, the international pattern and the international order are in a new round of adjustments and changes. The international situation continues to change in a profound and complex manner. A series of significant events have brought "extremely profound and complex evolution of the world political and economic pattern" and the prospect of multi-polarity is getting clearer.


On one hand, big developing countries including China and India are rising, which has become a prominent trend in the world. On the other hand, developed countries' lead in comprehensive national strength and core competencies is not changed. They are trying their best to maintain and expand the old international political and economic order which is favorable for them, and looking for bigger political and economic interests by every possible means. In a word, they still enjoy an important position in international affairs.


Science and technology become the determining factor in promoting the progress of the times.


Modern science and technology with information science and life science as the hallmark are making astounding advances. They have not only enhanced the world productivity dramatically, but also produced extensive impacts in the fields of politics, economy, culture, military affairs and the society and changed the mode of production and life of human beings.


The future significant innovations caused by the development of science and technology will set off a new round of profound changes in productivity, mode of production and people's lifestyle all over the world. And they will definitely produce great impacts on the development of the world economy, science and technology, and influence the international competition in overall national strength. Under the new conditions of the time, strategic high tech is increasingly becoming the determining factor in the economic and social development, and the focus of the competition in overall national strength.


The time we are in is "full of opportunities and challenges."

Politically, the multi-polarity is irreversible and democracy in international relations is promoting. Hegemony and power politics see new developments and new ways. And as for the international balance of power, a basic pattern featuring a strong north and weak south, strong west and weak east is presented.


In terms of economy, thank to the developments of science and technology, newly-emerging industries and knowledge economy are to be unfolding. The world productivity has been greatly enhanced. However, on the other hand, the current development of globalization aggravates the imbalance of the global economy. Developing countries are in an unfavorable position in the severe international economic, scientific and technological competitions. They are under huge pressure faced with the developed countries' big advantage.


As for culture, respect for different civilizations is strengthened. International cultural cooperation is extending day by day. Nevertheless, cultural confrontations are still complex in the world. Western countries are intensifying export of ideology, social system and development model, and instigating all kinds of "color revolutions".

In terms of security, although peace and development are taking the lead and international security cooperation is increasingly strengthened, local conflicts and wars never stop. Traditional and non-traditional threats to security are interlaced. Certain hot issues can not get resolved for a long time.


Hu emphasized, new challenges and new threats are increasing. We should seriously think about how to solve the series of problems the human society is facing in a better way, and think about its development direction.


The theory of profound changes feels the pulse of the historical changes in the current world and scientifically judges the characteristics and development trend of the times. It brings forward the practical topic that we should correctly grasp the direction of human development in a time full of opportunities and challenges.

By People's Daily Online

If you want more, here is the intellectual contribution of Jiang Zemin's "Three Represents," from 2002. This had the intelligentsia buzzing for years.

Reviewing the course of struggle and the basic experience over the past 80 years and looking ahead to the arduous tasks and bright future in the new century, our Party should continue to stand in the forefront of the times and lead the people in marching toward victory. In a word, the Party must always represent the requirements of the development of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of the development of China's advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China.

Here is some Party commentary on the "Three Represents":

The "three represents" important thought is the fundamental guideline for the whole Party and the people of the whole country to carry forward the cause pioneered by our predecessors and forge ahead into the future, keep pace with the times and realize the magnificent goal of building a well-off society in an all-round way in the new era and at the new stage. This important thesis put forward by Comrade Hu Jintao in his "July 1" important speech thoroughly reveals the importance of upholding the "three represents" important thought in achieving the majestic goal of building a well-off society in an all-round manner, the fundamental aim of studying and implementing this important thought is to spur the whole Party to more successfully lead the masses of the people to push forward the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.


Taking a firm hold of this century's first 20-year period of significant strategic opportunity to concentrate our efforts on building a well-off society in an all-round way is the development objective and magnificent blueprint of the whole Party and people of the entire country in the new era and at the new stage. This objective is inspiring and very arduous, and this blueprint is grand and majestic and is faced with challenge. In this historical process, we will face "three major issues" for a long period of time to come. Whether or not these three issues can always be properly resolved bears on the future and destiny of our Party and State and on the success or failure of the construction of a well-off society in an all-round way. The new epoch calls for a new theory which, in turn, gives guidance to new practice. The "three represents" important thought provides a scientific theory and scientific method for us to correctly understand and handle these major issues and clearly shows us the orientation for advance.


The "three represents" important thought systematically summarizes the achievements gained by our Party in exploring the law of socialist construction, scientifically predicts the development trend of the modernization drive and plans the magnificent blueprint and a whole set of strategies for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Based on the new practice of reform, opening up and the modernization drive, the "three represents" important thought tightly grasps the profound changes of China's social life and social structure, and makes a scientific judgment on the forces to be relied upon in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The "three represents" important thought comprehensively examines the change in the pattern of today's world, accurately sizes up the development trend of the international situation, penetratingly analyzes the interacting movement of the various forces and contradictions of the international community and puts forward strategic and tactical principles for China's diplomatic work. The "three represents" important thought closely links up the new, great project of Party building with the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, imbues the Party's nature, purpose, guiding ideology and tasks with rich content of the times and decides on the overall planning for Party building.


Upholding the "three represents" important thought as the fundamental guideline enables us to scientifically judge and comprehensively grasp the development and change of the international situation, to scientifically judge and comprehensively grasp the basic national condition featuring the fact that China will long remain in the primary stage of socialism, to scientifically judge and comprehensively grasp the historical position our Party is in and the historical mission it is shouldering, to take a firm hold of initiative in accelerating China's development in the increasingly fierce competition for overall national strength, to boost the coordinate development of material civilization, political civilization and spiritual civilization in the course of correctly handling the relations between reform, development and stability and constantly raise the level of the Party's leadership and administration and enhance its abilities to repel the corrupting influence and prevent degeneration and resist risks in the course of reform, opening up and developing a socialist market economy.

Comprehensively implementing the "three represents" important thought enables us to correctly forecast the development trend of the modernization drive, to scientifically plan a magnificent blueprint and development strategy for building a well-off society in an all-round manner; to most fully and extensively mobilize all positive factors and gather up powerful strength for boosting the development of the great cause; to penetratingly analyze the interacting movement of various forces and contradiction of the international community and create a peaceful international environment and a good surrounding environment for China's modernization dive; and enables our Party to always march at the van of the times and to always become the core of staunch leadership in the historical process of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.


Keeping pace with the times in our Party's guiding ideology is born in the practical process of the development of the cause of our Party and people and it serves the practical need of the development of the cause of our Party and people. The "three represents" important thought is Chinese-styled Marxism oriented toward the 21st century and is the fundamental guideline directing the whole Party and the people of the entire country to strive for the development goal and magnificent blueprint in the new era and at the new stage. We must keep our thinking and action in line with the spirit of Comrade Hu Jintao's "July 1" important speech, firmly establish the guidance position of the "three represents" important thought in all fields of work of the Party, consciously use this important thought to guide our own thinking and action and continue to create new glory in this great, unprecedented practice of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
By People's Daily Online

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Econophile's picture

If leaving China was NOT a moral act, then what was it?

i.knoknot's picture

i would expect any funds google loses from china are easily made up in their 'special contracts' department.

of course, my making such a comment on a public blog must certainly raise flags at that department...

so be it.

i have little trust in any large concentration of power (information=power), given the humans that run it are ... well, human.

Captain Willard's picture

Google is far from perfect, but by the low standards of today's business community, you have to give them props for leaving China. Maybe the kids in China will start wondering more about what their government is hiding from them.

sgt_doom's picture

Being a certified sane person (DOD Human Reliability Program-certified), I find I am frequently baffled by Econophile's  posts.

China is a totalitarian capitalist system, or did it take you awhile to figure that out?

America is a corporate fascist state, which is why the state and local governments, as well as all those corporate entities, have no problem with offshoring all those former American jobs to that totalitarian capitalist country.

Next you'll have an ephiphany that this "healthcare reform" legislation really isn't a government takeover of healthcare, but an extension of the privatization of American healthcare.

(Pssstttt....!!!  The rest of us already know this!)

chinaguy's picture

But most (Party) members are there for one reason: to gain an advantage over their fellow non-member citizens and benefit from the Party's largess.

Yup, pretty much


JuicedGamma's picture

You gotta be kidding, google is big brother in drag, just have a look sometime at their database they're collecting on you (if you have a gmail account click on web history).

DaveyJones's picture

I have a little brother in drag, but he hasn't flown to China.

Google is also making huge exclusive digitizing deals with lots of "public" librarires and databases. The guy from Internet Archive made some noise about that about a year ago, but it stayed under the radar.

JR's picture

These are very dark hours for Jefferson’s vision of a personal freedom and individual access to enterprise, property and a people’s government protection.  On the streets of Washington this weekend, and in the graying pages of the mass media, the assault on freedom by the masses of misinformed Americans and potential Americans is at the most dangerous level ever reached.  Never before have the lies and the corruption and erosion of rights been so severe.

At the center of this, as Jefferson foresaw in his letter to Philip Mazzei, 1796, are “the holders in the banks and public funds, a contrivance invented for the purposes of corruption.”   He was speaking about the Federalists’ tilt to the British government model.

“It would give you a fever,” wrote Jefferson, “were I to name to you the apostates who have gone over to these heresies, men who were Samsons in the field and Solomons in the counsil, but who have had their heads shorn by the harlot England.”

These, now, are the members of the United States House of Representatives, choosing to be shorn this weekend.

As the banker-controlled Obama courts socialism, as the Red Chinese pretend to court capitalism all the while building socialism with Chinese characteristics, the international bankers court the goal of Bretton Woods: World Socialism.

Socialism levels and flattens all promise and progress back into the mud again.  Do not be fooled by the Deng Xiaopings, Mao’s successor who held that China’s salvation lay in copying the secrets of Western science and opening China to foreign trade. As noted above, it was to implement the goals of the “Three Represents.”

Deng’s epochal trip to the United States in 1979, after Carter normalized relations with China in December of ’ ’78,  was designed to underscore the correctness of his plan, but it also helped stimulate an insatiable appetite for the bounties of capitalism, as Chinese television beamed back pictures of American suburban living.

When young Chinese began calling for freedom of speech, a backlash set in, and Deng muttered about “bourgeois liberation,” and the People’s Daily began to counteract the glamour of the West that Americans may eat meat and draw high salaries but “the United States is beset by inflation, crime, unemployment, racial conflict, and a collapsing family system.”

That “inflation, crime, unemployment, racial conflict, and a collapsing family system” in the U.S. can be directly attributable to the monetary control of America by the international bankers, i.e., the Fed. And to those voices we continually hear who have attached the word “capitalism” to the results of the criminal conspiracies of these oligarchs, we need to say stop, you are supporting the world’s march to a communism of the masses controlled by the oligarchs. 

And it is always wise to remember: The Chinese Communists are very patient.

downrodeo's picture

It seems as though people the world over are starting to realize that the powers that be (the ruling elite/our political masters) generally do a very poor job of ruling us. We are constantly being lied to, cheated, and undermined in our struggle to make ends meet. There isn't an ounce of labor-sweat that they wouldn't try to tax. There is left not one avenue of creative expression that they would leave unregulated. Perhaps, sometime soon, we can reckognize that we would probably be better off governing ourselves on a smaller scale, at a more local level. That is what I am hoping for anyhow. Google is with me too (lmao)!

Stranger's picture

If Google allows itself to be bullied by China, then every third-rate little banana republic will want to boss them around.

It's just plain business.

BlackBeard's picture

Animal farm in Chinese LOL

williambanzai7's picture

I just did a Baidu search of "zero hedge". Here are the results:

Not baidu as they say.

I then did a search for the famous Tianamin tank man. Here is the result:

Pretty baidu?

Then I did a tank man search on Google China:

Stil pretty baidu.

Here is what comes up under a USA Google search:

Based on these findings, I believe SEC examiners should not use baidu when surfing for online porn.




viahj's picture

It is rare that a major corporation subordinates its short-term interests for a moral principle. Google will apparently walk away from a 36% share of  China's internet search/advertising market because it will not bow to censorship.

And what exactly was "moral" about Google and Yahoo agreeing to censorship in the first place in order to gain access to China's market?

Whats that smell's picture

For a company to advertize it is "moral" is like a hospital advertizing it is good....If it was really good it wouldn't have to advertize.

Cow's picture

"Why would a relatively small group (communist/socialists) wish to oppress the masses?"

That's a trick question, right?

Alexandra Hamilton's picture

That's the great myth they want you to believe, that they are actually communist (they are not even Marxist). They are not, they are corporatist. In fact, your words might just as well describe the United States of America.

Thorny Xi's picture

Describing Google or any other soul-less corporation as "moral" is childish at best.

Cookie's picture

In view of the rule of the banksters I would struggle to describe the USA as 'liberal' these days.

nhsadika's picture
When they have control over information/people, private property, individual govts, and the finances of those govts...  what are you so proud of?  Don't look at a housing boom and cheap goods at Walmart and say "oh we are so free here!"    The facts below are undeniable and I challenge anyone to suggest they do not have powerful levers of control on us as there are in China.   Information control

Project Echelon - launched by NSA after WWII  Anglo American project to intercept every message transmitted by any means.   US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.  Israel particpates Unit 8200 - UK covers middle east, UK Eastern Europe and Russia, NZ covers Pacific.     Use embassies for the purpose of echelon. NSA spies would setup radio and microwave dishes on roofs of embassy disguised as AC and heating pipes.
The member nations cooperate in such a way that none of them is spying on the communciations of citizens from its own nation.  By monitoring the private communications of other nations, they avoid legal prohibitions against a democratic govt's spying on its own citizens. Covers virtually every telephone call, fax, email message.   ...analyzed by NSA supercomputers at Fort Meade, Maryland.   NSA intercepts are processed using voice recognition and translation from 70 languages, and OCR.   At Menwith Hill site in Britain, a voice recognition program called Voicecast can identify and target and voice pattern among 6 billion humans through the globe.   
Justification is western society must be protected against the so called Four Horsemen of Infocalypse; terrorists, drug dealers, sexual predators, and organized crime.

I am quite sure Google knows about nefarious activities spying in the US and has deep links into the wormhole.  Google's CEO disgusts me when he says "if there is something you don't want them to know maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.. "  (ie don't expect privacy).    Then he says, we are all subject to the Patriot act and it is possible that that information will be made available to the authorities."    Google is deep-linked, the decision to leave China is a tell-tale sign of where our relations with China are headed.


Suspension of Constitution and Full State Control  FEMA was created in 1979 through executive order 12148 issued by Carter.   The president has the power to suspend the Constitution in a national crisis and turn over the reigns of govt to FEMA.  The president then can appoint military commanders to control all state and local govts.   A seperate executive order no 12656 declared that National Security Council would be the principal body directing national emergency powers.  FEMAs enormous powers can be trigggered by the president during any perceived domestic or foreign crisis.   Executive orders e.g 10990 govt can seize all modes of transport   no 10995 govt can seize all communications media  no 10997 seize all fuels and resources no matter who owns them 11921 control over energy sources, wages, credit and flow of money in US financial institutions in national emergency.  This order provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the president, Congress cannot review the action for 6 months Corporate Power and Control of Finance  The UN, WTO, WB/IMF are among the major instituions that promote a system favorable to one world govt. Key element is long range strategy to centralize control of international finance.  If a country turns to the iMF and World Bank for assistance they will be required to essentially abandon their national sovereignty. The truth is that the WTO bureacracy would have significant power to pressure nations to change their domestic lasws.  WTO was designed to eliminate a nation's option to ignore GATT dispute panel rulings. The WTO is designed to function as the global trade pillar of a triumvirate that will plan and control the world's economy.  The world Bank and the IMF got off the ground rapidly but the global trad arm was blocked by US senators who concluded it would diminish US sovereignty.   Price to join -accept global free market economy  - pay off all international bank debts as demanded by IMF and World Bank  -privatize all nationalized industries  -remove all barriers to Western investment and trade. Who is pushing for this...huge financial and multinational corporations and the politicians they financially support, pushing us closer to the NWO.  If you want to know more about the financial control mechanisms in play, lookup "Confessions of an Economic Hitman on Youtube.
JR's picture

Thanks for all of this material.  I know that it was time consuming and difficult to locate all of it –particularly on Project Echelon--and pull it together.  Much of it I have been familiar with, but I very much appreciate the total package that you have outlined and the documentation that you have provided.   It is a valuable reference piece.

nhsadika's picture

Thanks.   I was blow away by the Echelon stuff.

It is only fair that I acknolwedge one source especially, this book 

Shadow Government: How the Secret Global Elite Is Using Surveillance Against You (Paperback)

Grant R. Jeffrey

Keyser Soze's picture

Lucas - dude, at least you're allowed to write that without being chucked into jail. I'm not sure you're really aware of the day-to-day differences between your 'big brother' and China's.

lucasjackson's picture

Don't get too excited praising Google for it's fine and upstanding moral character.  These guys sell US citizens up the river with warrantless gathering of intel against private citizens in direct violation of the 4th amendment.  If they had the nuts to tell DHS et al to pound sand, then I would contemplate getting a GOOG tattoo on my great marked ass.

msorense's picture

Right on.  Also - my company sells mechanical hardware and we were considered by Google for a big server project.  In all my years in business I have never been treated so badly.  Their purchasing manager asked

"Why are your products made in America?  Why not in Mexico or China?"

Even though we offered them a 50% cost savings, it was still not cheap enough.  

Bob's picture

Exactly.  What a bunch of bullshit. 

Dark Helmet's picture

When the NSA comes to your company and says they want access to your data to monitor U.S. citizens (or for any other reason) in the name of "national security," this is not a request.

Do you really think they have a choice?

Flyingtrader's picture

Yes, they do...

No one said moral choices were easy ones.  The public's opinion about both Google and privacy in general might take a different tone if Google were to PUBLICALLY an LOUDLY reject DHS requests.  If the scope and nature of these requests were known, it might galvanize public opinion against such practices.

Dark Helmet's picture

It would probably galvanize public opinion against Google, since half the public still thinks bin Laden is hiding under their bed. Family security matters?!?!? Won't somebody please think of the children!??!!?!?

DaveyJones's picture

when the prior guard made the same request to QWEST and the head cheese said take a hike, he magically ended up in jail. (but that doesn't make Google moral, we all have to stand up to make this work) 

Cow's picture

True.  Any company whose motto is "Don't be evil"....well they're evil.  Sorta like Obama and Pelosi saying they're transparent.