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August 30, 2006



Should we now expect iPod prices to gradually increase or no more free ipod programs for filling out surveys?


"...for me, this whole affair was not really about FoxConn or the two First Financial Daily reporters. The most important outcome is that the Chinese media workers learned how they can band together and create an unstoppable tide of public opinion. And what new causes will come to their attention tomorrow? "

Tomorrow, they will use the media and band together to get rid of that foreigner who blogged about his sexual exploits in Shanghai.

(I know - pro Nazi supporters are dreaming that the Chinese will use this episode and learn that the reporters and public opinion can band together to bring down the Communist government but that won't happen anytime soon until they drive the Nazis out of their country)

Rebecca MacKinnon

mahatir_fan, would you clarify exactly who you are referring to when you talk about "pro Nazi supporters"?

Tom - Daai Tou Laam

So are you all suggesting that muckrakers should never be held responsible for majorly botching a story? How much is the iPod manufacturing contract worth to FoxConn?

Furthermore I never heard any serious discussion about the legal rationales behind the freezing of assets in civil suits.

The only thing this situation has proved is that if you are a journalist you have a get out of jail free card for publishing demonstrably false information as long as you play the PR card of David versus Goliath with a pinch or two of "possible damage to press freedom" as opposed to muckraking aginst the government, which will land you in jail for at least 3 to 5 years with a noticeable lack of comment and condemnation from bloggers.

Rebecca MacKinnon

Tom, no that's not what is being suggested. The issue here is that they froze the assets of the reporters before the court even made a verdict about whether the reporters were guilty - turning it into a "guilty until proven innocent" kind of situation. Also, they went after the reporters as individuals rather than their news organization - which ought to be ultimately responsible for what gets published. Third, they went after the easy targets in China rather than suing the British newspaper which had done the original story. All of these factors made the Foxconn action vicious and predatory.


By pro Nazi, I am refering to those people who subscribe to Hitler's teachings. They don't usually show themselves, but their actions manifest them as people who are racist in nature. These are the ones who supported the Tiananmen students in 89 not so much because China needed reforms, but because it was a chance to disintegrate China and overthrow the Communist government.

Overall, I see the FoxConn episode as a success in Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and that Communism is still alive in China. A true Communist nation must have as its backbone democracy. All learnt men know this. From Hitler who said in Mein Kampf:"The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the MASS OF NUMBERS and their dead weight." to Dr. Einstein who himself is affiliated with several socialist organizations who said in his article Why socialism "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy....A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?"

Both men, Hitler and Einstein knew Communism must be democratic to be successful. Many communist nations failed in the past 50 years precisely because they were not democratic.

The reporters in this case had used democracy to fight back against the bullying techniques of the capitalist class.

Rebecca MacKinnon

MF, to make sweeping accusations about people who supported the 1989 demonstrators being followers of Hitler is bizarre in the extreme, and makes it impossible to take anything else you say remotely seriously.

It is true that there are people in the West and elsewhere who support regime change in China who do not necessarily have the Chinese people's best interest at heart. I try to stay away from such people. There are a number of them in Washington I'm afraid, and perhaps they are racist, but that's very different from being a Nazi. Hitler supported the active and systematic extermination of whole peoples.

It is true, though, that such people have helped to discredit any non-Chinese who are sincerely concerned that their Chinese friends deserve to have their rights as human beings respected and protected to a much greater degree than is currently the case. Those who really do care about the Chinese people's interests understand that improvements can't be imposed from the outside. But at the same time, when the Chinese government - or other people in China who hold power - do nasty and unjust things to people (like kill demonstrators, or abuse workers, or have somebody locked up because they wrote something critical online), and when it is dangerous for people inside China to speak out about these things, those of us who are in a position to speak about the truth without being physically or economically punished have an obligation to do so.

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