The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPeter Lee Archive
Nick Kristof Irritates Me
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

In his recent column, Mr. Kristof engages in one of those hands-on pieces of vainglory that is the unique domain of the celebrity newspaper columnist.

He visits a Chinese chat room, types in a provocative statement about permitting multi-party elections, and dimples with pride as this piece of freedom-loving straight talk is deleted by the censor.

Then he tells us that broadband will be the death of the Communist regime.

Puhleeze!

The Internet has changed the way the world masturbates but, as a digital form of communication that relies on government infrastructure for transmission and can be filtered, monitored, and traced efficiently and on a massive scale with public security computing resources, it is not a perfect, irresistible force for righteous political subversion.

Political movements adopt and exploit the tools of the times: cell phones in the recent anti-Japanese demonstrations in China, big character posters during the Cultural Revolution, cassette tapes in 1970s Iran, chapattis in the Sepoy Rebellion, pamphlets in the American revolutionary war, pancakes at the fall of the Yuan dynasty…

More to the point, as conditions permit, every government works non-stop to accommodate, co-opt, or suppress the media and content that threaten its dominance of information management.

It’s a full-time job, pursued with implacable determination, unlimited resources, and resounding success.

In this connection, I might cite the case of a once-great newspaper whose correspondents and columnists still appear unable to acknowledge the fact that they served as befuddled if willing tools of a government campaign of deception that enabled an unprovoked and catastrophic war of aggression…

…even as thousand of Internet-linked keyboards clattered in furious and principled opposition around the world.

In America, the Internet now peddles so much illusion and confusion fostered by the government and its supporters that its potential as a unique and uniquely powerful political voice for the disenfranchised has been lost.

The Chinese Communists are already busy neutering the Internet, as this roundup from China Digital Times shows.

The threat to the regime will come from people, ideology, and beliefs, not a communications process.

Change in China will require political, moral, and human courage. It will require leadership. When it comes, it will exploit a hundred existing and new channels of communication to get its message out and rally and organize its supporters.

It doesn’t need the Internet.

And it probably doesn’t need Nick Kristof.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy 
Hide One CommentLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    The Internet has changed the way the world masturbates but, as a digital form of communication that relies on government infrastructure for transmission and can be filtered, monitored, and traced efficiently and on a massive scale with public security computing resources, it is not a perfect, irresistible force for righteous political subversion.

    What a mordant but true description, my friend. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, courtesy of Ms. Laurie Rozen. I look forward to your insights from the East in these perilous times for those of good will. In a world where Kristof and Friedman pass for sages, the wise man must keep from crying.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Peter Lee Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?