The gigantic company Google is standing up, so far, to Chinese censorship. In statements released to the public, the company is essentially telling the Chinese government, “Stop the hacking into private email, stop the censorship — or we’re leaving China.”
In such an unprincipled era, it’s remarkable to hear these words uttered by a major American company against the repressive policies of a fierce government. China is particularly troubling. China could be America’s future, after all. China is a fascist dictatorship operating under the old name of “Communist.” America is moving towards Chinese economic policy, a literally fascist regime whereby the government has the final say in all things economic while allowing the existence of “private” companies in name only. Look at government-run Chrysler or government-run AIG, government-run health insurance — that’s China, and that’s where America is heading with breathtaking speed.
The crucial difference between China and America is that China allows no free speech, no political rights and no free expression, while America largely still does. China considers the Internet government property and censors whatever it pleases. (This very column would be against the law in China). But governments who already have ownership of your wallet eventually will want control of your voice and your mind; it’s not a question of if but when, unless the economic policies are reversed and principled freedom is restored.
I don’t know if Google means what it’s saying, and I don’t know if it will remain as principled tomorrow, or the next day, as it was yesterday. I can’t imagine that the current American administration will support Google in such an anti-government stance. For now, we’ll take it as a rare breath of fresh air. Enjoy the moment while it lasts.