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The World is Flat, or Is It? – unsettling effects of censorship

Did the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing give them a huge stake in the success of globalization?

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Friedman is an international bestselling book that analyzed 10 global factors of globalization and its effect of giving individuals an equal opportunity hence leveling the playing field around the world. It is a required read for most MBA students. During my International Entrepreneurship class I too hopefully gazed into a potential future of “one world, one dream”. I too had hoped that globalization will not only give developing countries more material wealth but a substantial amount of education wealth as well.

The 2008 Beijing olympics spirit of “one world, one dream” sounded delightful at the time yet now it is nothing but a dream I had woken up from since my return from visiting China. I was disappointed how such a culturally rich country is not keeping pace with the global growth in consciousness of other societies. Most of the population in China have limited understandings of what goes on in other parts of the world, they live in an island amongst themselves. The problem is not of the people but of the government – and its suppression over the freedom of speech.

One of the most inconsistent behaviors of China’s political policies is calling for growth within China while actively suppressing its potential. Yes, China has opened its door to foreign investors where retails markets are indeed selling high-end US, European products. China has also paid high prices to invite top scholars to return and teach, attracted worldwide venture capitalists to feed into its scientific and manufacturing growth, and it has also toughened patent policies for better invention protection. However China’s censorship on major global websites and social networks obstructs the country’s true view of the world. Its censorship systems are implemented by branches of state-owned ISPs, companies, and other organizations. There doesn’t appear to be much logical structure to the censorship. A simple restaurant website published and hosted in the US can not be viewed in China. Friends overseas cannot connect with love ones in China through Facebook and QQ instant chat seems to be limited and monitored. International accounts such as Paypal payments were not able to be processed. Critical comments appearing on internet forums, major portals are unusually mysteriously deleted within minutes. Let’s take YouTube for example. It is a great source of knowledge from all walks of life. It can be used to gain nearly effortless knowledge without having to pay for a university education. Its up-to-date news information also makes anyone who has access stay informed. China’s censorship to YouTube left many top scholars unable to keep up with foreign discoveries and left its citizens with no access to foreign sources of new stories. China behaves as a picky child who chooses certain nutrients while tossing away foreign tastes, in the end results in a malnutritioned teenager.

Cause – Strict Political Censorship

Effects – 1. Inaccurate Information – pure mayonnaise is called salad dressing in China and no other forms of salad dressing can be found in store shelves (funny yet sad); 2. Corrupted Data – selective news reports resulting in an appearance of only good things happen in China and bad things happen elsewhere in the world; 3. Falling Behind – limited scientific, philosophic and psychological findings as well as repressing societal spiritual sharing stagnates the educational development of China and hinders the overall human consciousness evaluation.

Fixes – 1. Removing all censorship and allow an organic development to take place; 2. allow unrestricted international exchange of various forms; 3. no restriction in individual spiritual development.

In my heart I love China, its people, its culture. I would like to see China keeping pace with the rest of the world. Wouldn’t you?

October 22, 2011 Posted by | Inner Growth, World Transformation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment