The Therapy Sessions
Monday, June 13, 2005
Enough about China
China hasn't invented or discovered anything of significance in half a millennium, but the careless assumption that intellectual property is something to be stolen rather than protected shows why. If you're a resource-poor nation (as China is), long-term prosperity comes from liberating the creative energies of your people - and Beijing still has no interest in that.
If a blogger attempts to use the words 'freedom' or 'democracy' or 'Taiwan independence' on Microsoft's new Chinese internet portal, he gets the message: 'This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech.'
How pathetic is that?
Not just for the Microsoft-spined Corporation, which should be ashamed of itself, but for the Chinese government, which pretends to be a world power but is terrified of words.
Does 'Commie wimps' count as forbidden speech, too? And what is the likelihood of China advancing to a functioning modern stand-alone business culture if it's unable to discuss anything except within its feudal political straitjackets? Its speech code is a sign not of control but of weakness; its internet protective blocks are not the armour but the, er, chink.