Maybe China isn’t so oppressive and anti-capitalism after all?

In the USA, any little form of censorship we have seems to be considered oppression by those who are over zealous about the freedoms we have.

News puts on a story about parents getting angry about a teacher pushing their political or religious agenda?  Oppression, let the teacher say whatever he wants they say.  Person getting arrested for creating a rally disrupting business, families, and potentially stirring violence?  Oppression, it’s our right to protest they say.  Government sometimes harasses potential terrorists to protect the greater good; whom they have collected significant evidence to prove them guilty?  Oppression, they aren’t guilty until they’ve committed the act, they say.

This isnt oppression in my opinion when I think about what other countries face.  Back to the topic title, I used to think China prevents freedom by blocking websites like Facebook, and Google.  I know one major issue is they are limiting information.  Purposefully suppressing what the general population can learn.  I used to think that was the only thing, but then I thought, what if its not all about that?

What if China is just trying to protect its’ own economic interests for their greater good?  Lets say China had allowed Google, Facebook, Yahoo, SoundCloud, Twitter, and the others all these years.  They wouldnt have all of their social media platforms like WeChat, or QQ.  No Baidu, and no Youku.  Maybe Alibaba wouldnt have formed.  Ok maybe they would still have them but I think a huge amount of the users would have switched to American social networks and search engines.  This would greatly impact their domestic and national production (just a guess here).

So maybe China isn’t just an oppressive country after all; looking to keep its citizens from educating themselves.  Maybe they just need to do it to maintain economic strength in the face of powerful western influence. Maybe they are capitalist themselves without even realizing it. I mean, don’t American corporations and businesses also limit their employees internet access? I know there’s a major difference between a business organization of a few thousand employees, and an ancient, evolving civilization, but from an economic perspective, their goals can be linked.

After all, studies have shown that their students are pretty “book smart,” maintaining great test scores. I dont think you should take my word on that by the way, I think you should go Bing it.

5 thoughts on “Maybe China isn’t so oppressive and anti-capitalism after all?

  1. Communism in the West and in China basically was a model of State-run economy, and the State(The Government) owned all enterprises and all industry. So nowadays, jumping ahead from 20th-century Communism to recent times, the idea is that it is capitalism, called State capitalism because the government runs everything. I can’t say how the Chinese film industry worked from the 60s onward (The famous Shaw Brothers Studio onward).

    Just like art existed in Soviet Union but with censorship, and literature had to OK’ed before being published. (Or it wasn’t published at all, and was published outside of Russia or decades after it was originally written). The Chinese army owns companies and such, and makes good money. Obvisously for regular guys there is business ownership as well(I think). Anthony Bourdain’s CNN food/travel show Parts Unknown has an episode in Shanghai that is well worth watching. (Basically you can get rich just like anywhere else. Not everybody is rich, but the idea is it’s a big city with opportunity like any other metropolis.)

    But I wonder about the Hong Kong Film Industry and it’s history. The Shaw Brothers alone were the guys in the 60s and 70s. The 80s had Directors like Tsui Hark and John Woo, with all the actors featured in their movies. Tsui Hark is still making movies, the man is beyond legendary for the films he’s made. Then the 90s into today.

    To the above point, China isn’t fully democratic yet. But life has gone on and will continue to do so. For the book smarts, yeah, China has not produced the best minds in learning, but their literature has inspired a lot of popular culture today. Chinese literature is a treasure onto itself. Epic novels, poetry, etc. etc.

    On the reverse, I could say “it’s not oppression until it happens to you.” Censorship, or the lack of free and fair elections. Even in America, it makes money to run for office, and there’s only two parties. And they are bought and influenced by corporations. So it can be argued both ways.

    I personally think it’s great China has it’s own internet companies. I remember seeing a news story on Alibaba and how it began and became what it is today.

    To your point, money in politics or a “liberal” Hollywood or even just the Hollywood studios doesn’t stop anyone from making their own films and making it in life. There’s always television, and most actors work in both TV and film at some points in their careers. So substitute “oppression” for limitations and you see there are limitations on some things everywhere, and yet society and people do relatively OK regardless. (Not to say the limitations don’t have effects, such as the lack of diversity on TV and in films). But if your goal is to have money, a wife and kids, happiness, a good life, it’s all possible.

    The funny or ironic thing is that most Americans probably don’t google the word “democracy.” I don’t even know if it’s allowed. Maybe it’s like 1984, and people don’t even think to be free and don’t know that we can’t Google the word “democracy”, that’s how much we’ve been conditioned. But seriously, elections and people’s opinions of them are another matter.

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    1. To add to the above point: Chinese movies are the best in the world. Comedies, Action movies, Historical Dramas, Martial Arts Epics. There’s no mention of what is censored, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the movies. Of course there are then not movies about politicians like there are in say India or in the West. But there is still a thriving film industry. Music industry. Art community.

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  2. People – even leaders – are more the same than they are different, especially relating to their personal power and in what they want to do.
    A leader in a position of authority usually wants to stay there (or advance). In China, where there only is a single party visible to the public (behind the scenes there can be several factions) has the opportunity to censor or do other things which might appear outrageous to people in the west. Here in the US, we also control the media for general circulation, but not movie content or the internet.
    A leader may want to do good things for the people -or just for himself – and that’s the same East or West. His agenda may be bad for his country (Mr. Obama) or he may be clueless (Mr. Bonner) or he may want good things and really know what that is but is outnumbered by the other two.
    There are demonstrations both in China and in the US, but for most people, if things are getting better – or at least not getting worse – we’ll just worry about our own personal lives, and leave the leaders to their own devices.

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