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Ear to the Ground

Beijing 2008: Are You Ready for McCommunism?

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Posted on Aug 7, 2008
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Wiki Commons/Andy Miah

Naomi Klein points out that while repression in China is nothing new, Police State 2.0 has nothing to do with Communist ideological purity and everything to do with creating “the ultimate consumer cocoon for Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cell phones, McDonald’s happy meals, Tsingtao beer, and UPS delivery—to name just a few of the official Olympic sponsors. But the hottest new market of all is the surveillance itself ... an entirely for-profit affair that is the latest frontier for the global Disaster Capitalism Complex.”


Huffington Post:

The Beijing Olympics are themselves the perfect expression of this hybrid system. Through extraordinary feats of authoritarian governing, the Chinese state has built stunning new stadiums, highways and railways—all in record time. It has razed whole neighborhoods, lined the streets with trees and flowers and, thanks to an “anti-spitting” campaign, cleaned the sidewalks of saliva. The Communist Party of China even tried to turn the muddy skies blue by ordering heavy industry to cease production for a month—a sort of government-mandated general strike.

As for those Chinese citizens who might go off-message during the games—Tibetan activists, human right campaigners, malcontent bloggers—hundreds have been thrown in jail in recent months. Anyone still harboring protest plans will no doubt be caught on one of Beijing’s 300,000 surveillance cameras and promptly nabbed by a security officer; there are reportedly 100,000 of them on Olympics duty.

The goal of all this central planning and spying is not to celebrate the glories of Communism, regardless of what China’s governing party calls itself. It is to create the ultimate consumer cocoon for Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cell phones, McDonald’s happy meals, Tsingtao beer, and UPS delivery—to name just a few of the official Olympic sponsors. But the hottest new market of all is the surveillance itself. Unlike the police states of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, China has built a Police State 2.0, an entirely for-profit affair that is the latest frontier for the global Disaster Capitalism Complex.

Chinese corporations financed by U.S. hedge funds, as well as some of American’s most powerful corporations—Cisco, General Electric, Honeywell, Google—have been working hand in glove with the Chinese government to make this moment possible: networking the closed circuit cameras that peer from every other lamp pole, building the “Great Firewall” that allows for remote internet monitoring, and designing those self-censoring search engines.


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By KDelphi, August 8, 2008 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

The only (? Not sure about that, really)diff between China and the US is that, every 4 yrs. (or 6 for Congress ro whatever) the American people have a CHANCE to change things—-the fact that they really dont is the tragedy. I believe we also have a more open (yet, just as stupid) press…a govt like ours is only as f**ked up as the US citizens allow it to be.

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By PatrickHenry, August 8, 2008 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

For centuries, Chinese have been tranquil and relitively peaceful compared to the 400 years of American history.

They beat up on their people just like our government does us.

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By KDelphi, August 8, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Just because “the US is bad alot of the time too” does not mean China should be constantly rewarded for treating their people like shit. It is not NOW “not Communist”—it never was. But it IS worse. The US needs to change, also…but US citizens still cant come off of the “the world is watiing for us to lead” crap—maybe they’re NOT! Havent we “ruled the world in a crappy way” long enough?? Ther only thing worse, would be China in the same position, with 6x as many people—I trhink it may already be. The EU has a more dectn human rights record—I wish thy’d sto[p fighting and lead for awhile. or,better yet-NOBODY lead! How about no borders atl all—now THAT would be worth celebrating!!

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By ender, August 8, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Excellent post reason.  The same greed has allowed GE, IBM and TRW to create these survellance systems may have convinced them to give China the same supercomputers used by NSA to monitor American internet usage.  Those systems will soon be able to reocgnize facial patterns and instantly id banking and credit transactions to locate a person anywhere in the nation almost instantly.

Those same computers are the technology the Chinese lacked to be able to develope nuclear targeting and defense systems equal to ours, and was prohibited technology eight years ago.

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By reason, August 8, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Chinas government is not and has not been communist for a long time, it is simply an opportunistic regime dedicated to maintaining its power over the population. It goals are more than compatible with the festering multinational corporate greed. The seeds of slavery and repression have found fertile ground in China and extreme capitalism is more than willing to provide the fertilizer. The so-called “Global economy” is little more than Multinational Corporation’s tacit support of the denigration of human rights.
If this scenario is allowed to play it’s self out to its logical conclusion, 99% of the people of the world (not just China) will be of even less value than they are now. The only value human beings will possess will be as sacrifices to the corporate alter.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, August 8, 2008 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

The Chinese are not stupid.  I bet they learn from other erstwhile economic powers, like the US, and don’t repeat mistakes in their quest to amass obscene wealth into the hands of the few.

But, they’ll ultimately be done in or do themselves in because it can’t work, not in the long run.

If our gubmint had done a more effective job in its role as Big Brother, we’d be in better shape. 

The Chinese set the stage when they told Shrub to mind his own business and that was enough for them to gain my respect, no matter how much they grind their have-nots into the ground.  In this world, you have the grinders and the grindees.  That won’t change, no matter how much we bitch about it and tsk-tsk-look-at-those-bad-Chinese.  America brims over with grindees. 

Go, China.  You’ve been grinding for several thousand years.  Here’s to the next several millennia, which I have little doubt, you’ll see.

One more thing, maybe someday the US will learn to bridle its arrogance and self-rightousness, especially when it looks so bad to the rest of the world.

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By Varun Gupta, August 7, 2008 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have also made a post of related to your topic plz check it out… Olympic 2008
Can i use your image at my blog?

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