The Limits of Freedom
Date: Monday, February 20 2006
Topic: Eye on Uncle Sam
"When we go to hang the last Aristocrat it will be the capitalist who sells us the rope." V.I. Lenin
"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." A. J. Liebling.
"Your abhorrent activities in China are a disgrace. I simply do not understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night," Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on a House International Relations subcommittee on human rights. Lantos' California district includes Silicon Valley.U.S. Congress Grills Internet Execs On China Policies
The computer search engine corporations are under attack for wanting to do business with China. Wal-Mart isn't of course, nor is Pepsi. Nor is Nike or Adidas put under scrutiny for the forced labour used to make their products in China or Vietnam. And China is now a member of the WTO, what's with that?
It appears that America expects to have corporations function by two different sets of rules when it comes to China and other state capitalist regimes in the region such as Vietnam. Human Rights when its convenient for some and not others. Its downright Orwellian.Big corporations making $32 billion a year from sweatshops
The Internet coporations are held to a different level of morality as businesses, because the Internet is seen as the ultimate function of the American First Amendment. It is the new press, the new means of communications, the new media. So to rephrase A.J.Liebling, the Freedom of the Internet belongs to those who own it.
And it is the U.S. and it's corporations over all that own it, despite efforts this past year to internationalize that ownership. And it is U.S. corporations that are trying to expand their ownership into countries like China that have sovereign Internets. Just as they have they have their own TV stations, Media and newspapers.
But the U.S. Congress is all upset that Google,Yahoo, Cisco Systems and Microsoft are censoring internet access at the demand of the Chinese state. Yet these American High Tech businesses give the same excuses as given by the Bush Administration and by the big corporations for doing business with China,they all see China as a huge consumer market; "by being there and doing business we will bring freedom."
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