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.

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Addendum

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