Thursday, February 16, 2006

Freedom when it suits us.

Google's motto is "don't be evil," and yet they are collaborating with the Chinese government in their censorship of Google China. Google claims their reason for the collaboration is "some information is better than none." Is that true? Isn't a half truth probably more dangerous than nothing at all? And isn't it a weak government that needs to censor in such a heavy handed manner, as China does? Isn't the marketplace of ideas a signature of a strong government? In an ideal world, multinationals would marry social values with profits, critics say, not trip over each other to enter China on Beijing's terms."I have to tell you, when it comes to American Chamber of Commerce companies in China, human rights is simply not an issue," said the China head of one U.S. company, requesting anonymity. " … It's mostly about stock prices and profits. It's rather depressing." Some Representatives are looking to put restrictions on the ability for American companies to do business in China, which is currently a "Most Favored Nation" for trading purposes. However, until the Abramoff-riddled culture of extreme lobbyist contributions is curbed, it is unclear how easy it will be to pass such a bill. It seems the American motto is "{quasi} Freedom at home, and freedom abroad when it suits us." This motto is showcased when we look at the new Abu Ghraib photos that were recently uncensored, detaintees who are stuck in Guantanamo, Cindy Sheehan's arrest for wearing a shirt, amongst other events. How free are we when American companies and the government are willing participants in taking away freedom abroad? Does this impact on our freedoms are home? It sure seems that when the power players are so willing to sacrifice their values for the almighty dollar, including power players who pledge "not to be evil," then there is much to fear at home.

1 comment:

qrswave said...

Speech is not free.

And when in Rome, do as the Romans.

When it comes to multinational corporations, I care more about their rabid exploitation of human capital and natural resources in cohoots with foreign governments.