News The Great Firewall of China

http://www.slate.com/id/2122270/

The end of June marked the deadline for independent Chinese bloggers to register with the government. That requirement is another sign, along with Microsoft's recent admission that its Chinese blog site would block titles like "freedom" and "democracy," of the country's efforts to control the Internet. In the United States, the mainstream assumption is that such controls are easily evaded and will do little to slow China's inexorable march to democracy. The country's leaders are "digging the Communist Party's grave, by giving the Chinese people broadband," writes New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof. "There just aren't enough police to control the Internet."

[snip]

Techno-optimists like Kristof nonetheless take it as an article of faith that all of China's controls are destined to fail. They echo the hacker's creed—if a system can be beaten it will, so control of information is impossible. They point out that when chat rooms are closely monitored, people start talking about "cabbages" when they mean "democracy." As one blogger wrote recently, "No democratic movement in the history of mankind has ever stalled just because the word 'democracy' could not be uttered."
So what does the future hold for a country of > 1 billion people who are not allowed to express their views? This so-called "Great Firewall of China" is well-known for filtering out subversive www sites from the entire country, as well as tracking dissent.

It has often been said that free markets demand freedom, and freedom demands free markets - the idea being that democracy and capitalism are both sides of the same coin. As China moves closer to a market-based economy, will democratic reforms progress? And if so, will this historically fragmented country remain held together under one roof?

In an age where the tendency is for everyone to become more interconnected (whether it be the internet or the international community), how can a nation progress while censoring internet discussion?
 

Mercator

We're still here. Must agree though, only because we're smart. Smart enough to F*** echelon.
 
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Well, we have to recognise that this firewall is creating an enviroment where hackers flourish. The reason why chinese hackers are so common these days is at least partly because if you want to do anything you have to get past a government system to do it first.
 
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Anyway what do the typical chinese citizens feel about this. Most chinese nationals that i have met are quite happy with their government. I would like to know if this sentiment is typical.
 
i would be shocked if you were to hear dissent on the internet from within china, the reason being the subject of this thread.

Most chinese nationals that i have met are quite happy with their government.
Most Germans were also quite happy with Hitler. National culture has it's own personality - some things that are valued to one person may not be valued to another. It is my understanding that individuality and self-expression are not traits that are valued in chinese culture - and yet self-expression is becoming popular as their own economy becomes more tightly integrated with the western-dominated global economy.

Here is what I am asking:

1) China is firmly on a path toward global capitalism.
2) Capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. Unless the government goes to extreme measures, one necessarily leads to the other.

BUT how can democracy be possible if the people are unable to openly criticize their government? China is fearful of doing so because they have relied upon totalitarian measures to keep their country together - to become an open society is to invite ruin, in their leaders eyes. Is this actually the case?

Can they actually, in the long run, have their cake and eat it too (that is, enjoy the fruits of a capital system in full swing without experiencing the dissent and disintegration of china)?
 
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Godwin's law. Quetz loses.
 
quetzalcoatl9 said:
i would be shocked if you were to hear dissent on the internet from within china, the reason being the subject of this thread.



Most Germans were also quite happy with Hitler. National culture has it's own personality - some things that are valued to one person may not be valued to another. It is my understanding that individuality and self-expression are not traits that are valued in chinese culture - and yet self-expression is becoming popular as their own economy becomes more tightly integrated with the western-dominated global economy.

Here is what I am asking:

1) China is firmly on a path toward global capitalism.
2) Capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. Unless the government goes to extreme measures, one necessarily leads to the other.

BUT how can democracy be possible if the people are unable to openly criticize their government? China is fearful of doing so because they have relied upon totalitarian measures to keep their country together - to become an open society is to invite ruin, in their leaders eyes. Is this actually the case?

Can they actually, in the long run, have their cake and eat it too (that is, enjoy the fruits of a capital system in full swing without experiencing the dissent and disintegration of china)?
I can't help but point out a few things that seem to fly in the face of what you presume to be true.

All the countries of the world are embracing China as a point of manufacturing operations, not because it is democratic but because it is basically fascist and denies people most of the rights you prize.

Capitalism and manufacturing do not flourish in a democracy but within a fascist mold.

As far as Germany was concerned, why was it that this relatively small bankrupt country from the middle of Europe was able to threaten the security of the rest of Europe, North Africa and the USSR? Look at the products they used and developed! The tanks, the planes, the rockets etc.

Anybody taking a REALLY close look at Japan and the 'ecconomic miracle' will be hard pressed to recognize 'democracy' in the way of doing business and their treatment of employees is far more 'stringent' than the socialist style of management enforced by the government of America. They did, in fact, augment much of their management style from Bushido which finds its roots in Confucianism... the way of Chinese 'civil service'.

No, I am afraid that if you look at the world's gratest democracies, you will find them without exception pathetic in their record of manufacturing and business ... even agriculture. (Cheese mountains and the french burning sheep in the streets)

The USA gains it's power and success not from a 'new improved ideology' but from an accident of geography. Were it not for the fact that America has always had the world's biggest moat, the Atlantic and the Pacific, America would have been placed in a position of the rest of the world having to rebuild after two world wars as well.

As it was, the world ... all except for America which was untouched and the world looked to America to supply them with the necessities until the systems were back on-line in the rest of the world.

Look at the UK. When it gave up its ownership rights in the rest of the world and embraced democratic 'labour' after the war ... it didn't so much spiral as plummet.

Also remember that the country that the USA seeks to protect, Taiwan, was run by the Fascist KMT until 1996 thus achieving their economic miracle and now that they are democratic, their manufacturing base is now China.

Would a Chinese say anything against the Chinese government?

Not for the reasons you think.

Many have looked at what they had 30 short years ago and what they have now and have come to a different conclusion.

They have also had time to digest the results of Tiananmen and the fall of the Wall which both happened in 1989 and have seen who fared better in the long run.

Capitalism does not follow democracy. No company runs with a democratic leadership and the socialist external influences serve to make them uncompetetive.
 
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I disagree with both of you... But the chappelle show is on so I'll be back in half an hour to respond.
 
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Meh, I find I don't really ahve a lot to say.
quetzalcoatl9 said:
i would be shocked if you were to hear dissent on the internet from within china, the reason being the subject of this thread.
You need to stop treating China like some bloodthirsty, unstoppable megalomania with a liscence to kill. I hear dissent from them all the time, hell have you even BEEN to a political forum?
Most Germans were also quite happy with Hitler.
1. Godwin's Law. Point. Game. Match. Loser!
2. This proves nothing. Hitler is not Jintao, China is not Germany. The Internet didn't exist back in the days of Hitler. Come up with a better analogy than that.
National culture has it's own personality - some things that are valued to one person may not be valued to another. It is my understanding that individuality and self-expression are not traits that are valued in chinese culture - and yet self-expression is becoming popular as their own economy becomes more tightly integrated with the western-dominated global economy.
..WHAT? Market Economy = self-expression and individuality?
Care to explain the connection? I, personally, don't see one.

Here is what I am asking:

1) China is firmly on a path toward global capitalism.
2) Capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. Unless the government goes to extreme measures, one necessarily leads to the other.
I agree with The Smoking Man
BUT how can democracy be possible if the people are unable to openly criticize their government? China is fearful of doing so because they have relied upon totalitarian measures to keep their country together - to become an open society is to invite ruin, in their leaders eyes. Is this actually the case?
I agree with The Smoking Man, you need to show evidence for your assumptions.
 

vanesch

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Science Advisor
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The Smoking Man said:
No, I am afraid that if you look at the world's gratest democracies, you will find them without exception pathetic in their record of manufacturing and business ... even agriculture. (Cheese mountains and the french burning sheep in the streets)
That's why it is extremely important to establish democracies everywhere: it will finally lead to mediocre economic growth everywhere, so that we can finally talk about something else :biggrin:
After all, you can only be poor in comparison with someone who is rich.
 
vanesch said:
That's why it is extremely important to establish democracies everywhere: it will finally lead to mediocre economic growth everywhere, so that we can finally talk about something else :biggrin:
And we'll all have enough cheese.
 

loseyourname

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The Smoking Man said:
The USA gains it's power and success not from a 'new improved ideology' but from an accident of geography. Were it not for the fact that America has always had the world's biggest moat, the Atlantic and the Pacific, America would have been placed in a position of the rest of the world having to rebuild after two world wars as well.
At least with regards to agricultural dominance, there is another important factor. Consider Switzerland: it is nearly impossible for an army to cross the Alps to invade them, yet the Swiss have never dominated any world market. The other important factor in the US is the huge amount of temperate prairies and valleys that make for great farmland.

Capitalism does not follow democracy. No company runs with a democratic leadership and the socialist external influences serve to make them uncompetetive.
Although the buck generally stops with the CEO, for any publicly held company, the board of directors, representing the stockholders, has a great deal of power, including the power to hire and fire the CEO. They're more democratic than you'd think. The difference is that, unlike in political democracies, every "voter" (stockholder) has the same interest: maximizing profit.
 
loseyourname said:
At least with regards to agricultural dominance, there is another important factor. Consider Switzerland: it is nearly impossible for an army to cross the Alps to invade them, yet the Swiss have never dominated any world market. The other important factor in the US is the huge amount of temperate prairies and valleys that make for great farmland.
Kind of makes it a great place to keep yer money doncha think? :wink:

loseyourname said:
Although the buck generally stops with the CEO, for any publicly held company, the board of directors, representing the stockholders, has a great deal of power, including the power to hire and fire the CEO. They're more democratic than you'd think. The difference is that, unlike in political democracies, every "voter" (stockholder) has the same interest: maximizing profit.
:rofl: And in China, the party votes within itself.
 

loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
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The Smoking Man said:
Kind of makes it a great place to keep yer money doncha think? :wink:
Indeed. I suppose they have achieved world dominance in banking for criminals (although certain Caribbean islands are not far behind), not to mention the manufacture of fine chocolate and watches. They have those nifty little pocket-knives, too. Great place, that Switzerland.

:rofl: And in China, the party votes within itself.
Well hey, that's one step in the right direction.
 

vanesch

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loseyourname said:
Great place, that Switzerland.
A friend of mine who worked there called it the "only totalitarian democracy in the world" :tongue:
 
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BUT how can democracy be possible if the people are unable to openly criticize their government? China is fearful of doing so because they have relied upon totalitarian measures to keep their country together - to become an open society is to invite ruin, in their leaders eyes. Is this actually the case?
Didn't Russia's economy collapse when they decided to become more democratic and capitalistic too quickly? If China doesn't go slowly, they might crumple.
 
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Smasherman said:
Didn't Russia's economy collapse when they decided to become more democratic and capitalistic too quickly?
Was Russia's economy particulary strong at any point?
 
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quetzalcoatl9 said:
i would be shocked if you were to hear dissent on the internet from within china, the reason being the subject of this thread.



Most Germans were also quite happy with Hitler. National culture has it's own personality - some things that are valued to one person may not be valued to another. It is my understanding that individuality and self-expression are not traits that are valued in chinese culture - and yet self-expression is becoming popular as their own economy becomes more tightly integrated with the western-dominated global economy.

Here is what I am asking:

1) China is firmly on a path toward global capitalism.
2) Capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. Unless the government goes to extreme measures, one necessarily leads to the other.

BUT how can democracy be possible if the people are unable to openly criticize their government? China is fearful of doing so because they have relied upon totalitarian measures to keep their country together - to become an open society is to invite ruin, in their leaders eyes. Is this actually the case?

Can they actually, in the long run, have their cake and eat it too (that is, enjoy the fruits of a capital system in full swing without experiencing the dissent and disintegration of china)?

Look im asking Chinese citizens what they think not implying that they are happy.And besides , capitalism isn't the same as democracy.
Any chinese citizens care to respond??( im ethnically chinese Malaysian citizen btw)
 

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