China Hoping That A Little Marxist Propaganda Will Clean Up The Internet

from the oh-really? dept

At some point, you have to just think that Chinese officials will say anything about the Internet and it need not be based in any sort of reality. Earlier this week, of course, China was blaming the Internet for youth violence, making the very weak case that since many kids caught doing crimes used the Internet, obviously it was at fault. However, President Hu Jintao is kicking things up a notch. Earlier this year, he suggested that the Internet needed to be purified, and now he's provided some details. Apparently the way to purify the Internet is to make sure that there are plenty of Marxist and socialist ideas online which will somehow entice people away from the decadent aspects of the Internet. He even admits that its propaganda he's talking about. Perhaps it's just a cultural thing, but it seems like you should be able to support your position with facts rather than admitting it's propaganda.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:11am

    Why would you think that?

    Perhaps it's just a cultural thing, but if it seems like you should be able to support your position with facts rather than admitting it's propaganda.

    Societies have been successfully managed by thinly veiled lies for a very long time (See: Religion). All you have to do is brainwash the masses into believing in it, and they will not only conform, but they will also self-regulate confromance.

    Why would you want to do anything else? Sounds a whole lot harder to manage to me.

     

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  2.  
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    Ajax 4Hire, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:16am

    Good facts vs. Real facts...

    I am a Real fact sort of person.

     

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  3.  
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    Casper, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:18am

    Propoganda vs Facts

    The difference between propaganda and facts in the political arena is almost nonexistent. Anyone can claim to have facts if they were stated by someone else first. Examples would be the debates over global warming. If you sit down and analyze the arguments, both sides are using "facts" that are actually hypothesis generated to suite their goals. It's amazing how you can get the results you want from an experiment when you design the experiment to yield said results. Same this applies to statistics, I can make an outline for collecting statistics that will say anything I want them to say.

    The Chinese statement that the internet is the cause for teen violence is no different then the claims made every day in the United States that video games are the source of school shootings. It's what happens when you start with a political goal for a research project; you end with data supporting your cause, even if it's incorrect.

    Rather then pointing out that the reasoning behind the declared actions of the Chinese government, maybe people should ask themselves why they might be doing this instead. Filling the internet with propaganda and justifying the limitation of access to information, what possible motives could they have, other then protecting their citizens?

    Remember, politicians are working in reverse of ordinary people. They actually shit out their mouths.

     

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  4.  
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    Man of God, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:18am

    Re: Why would you think that?

    Perhaps you believed a lie?

    Possible??

     

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  5.  
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    Pace, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:35am

    Or Perhaps You are Just Ignorant...

    The idea of propaganda does not carry the same stigma that it does in the West. In the West, people are bombarded with propaganda all the time. CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS. These are just propaganda agencies. The difference is Westerners think propaganda is bad and so will not admit that their society is completely corrupted by it.

    Do you think the War in Iraq could have gone off if the Bush regime did not have control over those agencies?

    Chinese on the other hand acknowledge propaganda as a mechanism for effecting collective action. Collective thinking is the reason China will ultimately crush the West in terms of economic efficiency. It does not carry a negative stigma and therefore the President of Zhong Guo does not bat an eye in calling for more propaganda.

     

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  6.  
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    Republican Gun, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:37am

    I pledge allegiance..

    ..to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

    Propaganda is everywhere!

     

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  7.  
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    sam, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 12:01pm

    yo mike!!

    i would think that the idea of socialism would appeal to the guys who want to copy/listen to music for free. these are the guys who have no problem copying music that someone has created, and listening to it, allowing others to copy it...

    so what's the beef!

    i would imagine that if you really son't have an issue with copying/ripping off music that someone creates, then you shouldn't really have a fundemental issue with socialism where there is no one who's above the group...

    ie, what's yours is mine...

    peace

     

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  8.  
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    Casper, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Re: by sam

    Are you a little slow Sam? When I say slow, I actually mean stupid.

    What about a falsely inflated product has anything to do with socialism? When discussing an inability to charge an inflated rate for a product and failing attempts to artificially increase rarity in economics, I fail to see where you can draw a tie to Socialism. More over, when did everyone being of an equal status in the theory of socialism equate to a "whats yours is mine" concept? Just because everyone would theoretically exist within the same socioeconomic position does not mean that they would not have private possessions, but rather that no one would have any more then anyone else.

    Socialism, Communism, and Pacifism are all concepts that are very ideological, but ultimately impossible and impractical... much like the current business model for music, so I guess there might be a connection there.

     

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  9.  
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    Matt Bennett, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 12:32pm

    Well, something can be factual and still be propaganda. It doesn't have to be a lie to be propaganda.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 12:41pm

    Re: ding Ding DING

    Well, something can be factual and still be propaganda. It doesn't have to be a lie to be propaganda.

    We have a winner.

    Matter of fact, I'll take that one further and point out the fact that nearly all established definitions of propaganda require the information being spread to be FACTUAL information. Just one-sided and the spreading of the information is to fulfill an agenda.

    Almost every culture defines false propaganda as DECEITFUL LIES.

     

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  11.  
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    Casper, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: ding Ding DING

    "Matter of fact, I'll take that one further and point out the fact that nearly all established definitions of propaganda require the information being spread to be FACTUAL information. Just one-sided and the spreading of the information is to fulfill an agenda."

    Just remember that propaganda does not have to be facts. Propaganda can also be opinions and beliefs. All it really has to be in one sided information, just just fact based information.

    Your statement was to the same point, I think, just a little odd structure to the paragraph.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Or Perhaps You are Just Ignorant...

    "Do you think the War in Iraq could have gone off if the Bush regime did not have control over those agencies?"

    So, the new media have joined the vast right wing conspiracy! What's next, the space aliens?!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Or Perhaps You are Just Ignorant...

    Can you honestly claim that Fox news is Not biased and one-sided?
    That's pretty much all the claim was; that these agencies spread false/suggestive information.
    You can see that every single night.

    Why is that such a streach then that you would suggest it's as unlikely as space aliens?

     

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  14.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 24th, 2007 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    i would think that the idea of socialism would appeal to the guys who want to copy/listen to music for free. these are the guys who have no problem copying music that someone has created, and listening to it, allowing others to copy it..

    Huh? How can you say that a government backed monopoly (i.e., intellectual property laws) are more capitalistic than removing regulation and letting the free market decide?

    i would imagine that if you really son't have an issue with copying/ripping off music that someone creates, then you shouldn't really have a fundemental issue with socialism where there is no one who's above the group...

    Sam, I think you are very confused about what we're talking about here. We believe very much in property rights -- but recognize where the business trends are going and recognize the difference between scarce and non-scarce resources.

     

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  15.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Apr 24th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

    3 X Re: Or Perhaps You are Just Ignorant...

    Can you honestly claim that any news source is not biased and one sided? If Bush controls the media outlets then why are they out to make him look like he's killing all those soldiers by keeping them deployed. Guess he wants everyone to think that about him? No, but the liberals sure do.

     

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  16.  
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    sam, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 2:14pm

    mike...

    regarding the scarce/non-scarce goods theory, and it's application to socialism.. a little sarcasm.

    however, in all seriousness. i don't think there can ever be any agreement between where you are, and were i am ,if we can't agree that you copying the music that i might make/produce, and you giving it to 50,000 of your closest friends is essentially theft. or at the very least, a violation of the licensing agreement that you agree to if you buy the music.

    and rather than address this fundemental issue, you;d rather i make music, and then give it away for free, and attempt to generate revs from another source..

    -peace

     

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  17.  
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    Overcast, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 2:47pm

    Anyone seen my little red book?

    As proven in history - Marxism, Socialism, and Communism have solved MANY of the world's problems...

    *attempts to contain the laughter*

     

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  18.  
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    dorpus, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 2:56pm

    Corrupting Influences

    Should 5-year-olds be inspired by internet influences like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g21YRoDv4Y

    Or should they perform wholesome traditional dances, like spinning on their knees?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCSsap5_luw

     

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  19.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Corrupting Influences

    What exactly was "corrupting" there?

    Both of those performances are inspiring.

     

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  20.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 4:19pm

    What is "Propaganda"

    When people hear the word "propaganda", many of them immediately think of some kind of blaring, insistent proclamations about the superiority of one side or the inferiority of another. But that typically is not effective propaganda. Intsead, the best propaganda is subtle, even enjoyable, even while it is sneakily putting across a message that the audience might not be consciously aware of.

    For example, advertising is propaganda.

    For another example, Goebbels was a great admirer of Hollywood as one of the most effective propaganda machines in the world. What was the message that Hollywood was putting out? That the USA is the greatest and most wonderful country in the world.

    For instance, consider the movies "Saving Private Ryan" and "U-571". Stirring tales of heroism and derring-do in the conditions of World War II. Except that both these movies seem to suggest that it was the US, and the US alone, that fought and won the war. In the case of U-571, it wasn't even US Navy personnel who were the heroes of the real-life case: it was the British Navy.

    "Sure, but such distortions of the truth are excusable if they produce such an outstanding, riveting story?" you may say. And that,in a nutshell, is the definition of effective propaganda...

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 5:18pm

    Re:

    You really are dumb.

     

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  22.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 6:20pm

    Re: What is "Propaganda"

    By the way, while I was previewing my posting, I found your website kept losing the quoted word "Propaganda" from my subject line. I've noticed bugs in your subject-line handling before--you might want to look at it.

     

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  23.  
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    rEdEyEz, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:34pm

    Propaganda isn't so hard to swallow..

    ...when subtly reinforced with a little persuasive coercion.

    Pistol-whipping, waterboarding, beatings, deprivation, and other miscellaneous tortures - all tried & true hallmarks of a burgeoning socialist/fascist regime.

    The "facts" are what we tell you they are, my friend.

     

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  24.  
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    a_reader, Apr 25th, 2007 @ 5:43pm

    what's the point of this article?

    What's the point of this article anyways? Just so you can take a swipe at the president of a country with 1.3 billion citizens? To get your readers wound up on both sides of the aisle so you can sell more ads? I guess you've succeeded, Mike!

    I sincerely hope you didn't take Hu's speech out of context.

    Media in general which promotes hate and misunderstanding between peoples are criminals in my opinion.

     

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