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Market discipline is for other people

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August 7, 2002

Capitalism, torchbearer of liberty Yahoo has signed the Chinese government’s “Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the China Internet Industry,” and as a result the Chinese-language version of Yahoo will no longer contain information that might “jeopardize state security and disrupt social stability, contravene laws and regulations and spread superstition and obscenity.”

Note that Yahoo is a U.S.-based company, and that tens of millions of Chinese-speaking people live outside mainland China. Tough noogies for them; if they want their Yahoo in Chinese, a Beijing-censored version will be all that’s available.

Right-leaning blogger John Weidner thinks a boycott of Yahoo is in order. Left-leaning blogger Jeff Cooper is inclined to agree. Good for both of them. The dirty business of Western corporations helping to enforce censorship and tyranny—often avidly competing for the contracts to do so—is a subject on which “right-wing” and “left-wing” people ought to be able to make a lot of common cause.

Of course, thinking along these lines, one is inescapably reminded of the endless ritual invocations of freedom and democracy from the chatterboxes of Fox News, a company run by a wizened gargoyle whose willingness to accommodate Beijing’s every desire approaches levels normally seen only among professional submissives. But remember, it’s liberals who are the enemies of freedom. Of course. [02:30 PM]

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Comments on Capitalism, torchbearer of liberty:

James ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 02:44 PM:

It is my understanding that Brazilian ( and possibly Argentinean) cattle are grazed on former rainforest land. This land is supposed to be notorious for erosion and only usable for a 3-5 year period of time. I doubt this cost is factored into the price of the beef.

Vicki Rosenzweig ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 07:36 PM:

Some Brazilian cattle are grazed on former rainforest land. Argentinian cattle are grazed on the Pampas, which appears to be Spanish for "prairies".

American beef prices don't include the damage done to public lands either.

Now, what this has to do with yahoo I don't know; I'll leave it to Patrick to move both of these remarks up one item.