OK, everyone knows: Google is selling out.
China is big, China is profitable, China wants control over communication and transmission of ideas. Google is big. Google is profitable. Google, whose original purpose was to enable easy access to all the world’s information, is helping China censor communication and transmission of ideas.
Just in case Brin and Page don’t get it, China’s government is evil. Here’s just 13 reasons why:
1) China’s government kills people that it disagrees with.
2) China’s government jails, tortures, and murders people, particularly Christians, who have religious beliefs that conflict with China’s government’s priorities.
3) China’s government jails, tortures, and murders people who don’t agree with its policies, or who want to reform the government, or – heaven forbid – change the government.
4) China’s government has created a judicial system that often does not even pretend to protect the Chinese people’s rights, instead preferring to lick the hand that feeds it.
5) China’s government has endorsed and executed a strategy of territorial expansion and racial resettlement in Tibet.
6) China’s government has, in the name of good old-fashioned capitalist profit, allowed China’s environment to deteriorate in uncounted regions to poisonous, life-threatening levels.
7) China’s government executes more criminals (often for relatively minor crimes) than the rest of the world put together.
8) China’s government continually rattles sabers and flies warplanes and steams warships and fires rockets past a separate, sovereign, and democratic country (Taiwan, which the rest of the world is too cowardly to recognize as a country).
9) China’s government has the largest military on the planet, and spends billions and billions more than than it admits on weapons programs.
10) China’s government is not accountable to China’s people, and not democratically elected from China’s people.
11) China’s government survives by a continued reliance on armed force and lies, both directed against the Chinese people.
12) China’s government has killed millions upon millions of its own people in the 50 or so years of existence in its current incarnation, particularly in the first few years of Mao and the “cultural revolution.”
13) China’s government is engaged in large scale industrial, military, and political espionage against Western nations.
I could probably go on for a while. All of the above are just statements, but you can google or wikipedia them yourself and determine if you do or do not believe them. I’m fairly certain that all of them are reasonably non-controversial, accepted facts – at least in places where people are free to examine facts and data, and make their own conclusions. If someone credibly informs me otherwise, I’ll change them.
But the point is:
1) China’s government is evil. It was created by force, is maintained by force, and by force it seeks to grow.
2) Enabling that government to keep its population ignorant, and therefore subservient, and therefore enabling that government to maintain its position, is also evil.
3) Those who too often engage in evil, become evil. Which makes Google, if not evil, at least on the path to becoming evil.
Which also brings me to my point: am I participating in that evil? Am I metaphorically shaking hands with the devil?
I have signed up for Google’s AdWords campaign. You’ll see those ads in the right sidebar of this page, and right underneath this article. Perhaps, however, you should not. Perhaps I should cancel my AdWords account. Perhaps I should take those AdWords off this site.
And perhaps all of us in the blogging community should do the same … until Google stops censoring.
There is no question in my mind that we could do this. Google is a one-trick pony. Google is an advertising company, pure and simple.
Cut off the advertising, you cut off the revenue. Cut off the revenue, you starve the beast. Starve the beast, you’ll get some action.
So what do you say: should we do this?
I’ll decide for myself in a week’s time. And I’ll take into account others’ views. Please let me know what you think.
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I should add the following:
Hopefully it is fairly obvious, but I have absolutely nothing against the Chinese people in general or specific. Quite the opposite.
I have hardly failed to be impressed when I have met Chinese people at university and in work (and by Chinese I don’t mean ethnic Chinese but national Chinese). I’ve been taught by grad students who are getting their degrees in Canada but will be returning to China when finished. And I’ve worked with Chinese business people as I’ve source products or services.
But the government of China is a separate thing altogether. And quite possibly the Chinese people’s worst enemy.
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[ update, January 28 ]
Google has posted a response to all the negative comment around its move into China. It’s not compelling; it simply restates their position in more detail.
The thing that’s most disappointing to me is that they chose a lawyer to deliver it. This, frankly, is just B.S. Where’s Sergey? Where’s Larry? Google is a technology company, and one of the founders, who so proudly and self-righteously set “do no evil” as the corporate motto, should at least try to sell their point of view.