The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Yahoo and Freedom: The China Conundrum

Knowing my interest in liberty and communism, and the discussions here on the blog about China's schizophrenia when it comes to individual rights, a reader of the Liberty Blog e-mailed me about a project she's involved in: (

A long time ago, I engaged in a lengthy chat on Usenet regarding the precarious nature of totalitarian regimes, and how no matter how financially prosperous a system might seem (ie, systems that appear to be free-market in nature, but engage in massive control over individual rights), a government that negates individual rights on a fundamental level cannot endure.

The ChiComs recognize this, but seem incapable of reconciling their desire for continued economic growth with the harsh reality that with it comes the demise of Maoism (and thank goodness for that).

So, in order to prolong it, they frustrate the liberalization by placing tremendous conditions on those who choose to do business there. And one would hope that those whose business is in no small measure based on the principles of freedom and equality (like those in the internet business) would resist those conditions, perhaps even considering not doing business there.

And this is the crux of the debate over businesses like Yahoo and Google, who are agreeing to censor their services as a price of doing business in China. According to, Yahoo is the worst, ranking them the most strict, or "worst censor in China".

Anyhow, you ought to check it out.

- Andrew Langer


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