Chinese Nobel Prize-Winner Says We Need Censorship Like We Need Airport Security

from the super-silly-or-super-subtle? dept

This year’s winner of the Nobel prize in literature, the Chinese writer Mo Yan, was a controversial choice. Some saw him as too close to the Chinese establishment, and thus insufficiently heroic — unlike the previous Chinese Nobel prize-winner, the imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo.

While Mo was in Stockholm to pick up his prize, he gave a press conference where, inevitably, he was asked about this:

In addressing the sensitive issue of censorship in China, Mo likened it to the thorough security procedures he was subjected to as he traveled to Stockholm.

“When I was taking my flight, going through the customs … they also wanted to check me even taking off my belt and shoes,” he said. “But I think these checks are necessary.”

Some will see this as confirming his supine attitude to state censorship. But maybe it’s just an extremely subtle attack on airport security…

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Comments on “Chinese Nobel Prize-Winner Says We Need Censorship Like We Need Airport Security”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No, I think he meant it. Talk to almost any Chinese living there for most of his life, and he will probably tell you the same thing. These are people who all their life have been told that things such are censorship are a “good” thing to “protect” the “unity of the society” and against all sorts of “bad stuff”.

This is what’s so sad about states that censor or do mass surveillance on their people. After about 2 decades or so of doing it, the new generations are born with it, and the whole society will start believing that they are good things, and never were bad things.

And this is the danger that is running in US right now, too. A whole generation growing with things like TSA, Patriot Act, and warrantless spying, and thinking those things have always existed and it’s a necessary thing that the government needs to do to keep them safe.

Quinn Wilde (user link) says:

The important part is clear

Whether he believes that these things are necessary or not is in some ways less important than the equivalence he has, rightly, drawn.

After all, few of us are extremists. Most of us believe that some security is necessary at the expense of some convenience, for example. It is scalar, even if the spectrum on techdirt is likely to be at the more liberal side.

However, almost all of us put less emphasis on the undesireable elements of own culture than we put on the undesirable elements of other cultures.

vastrightwing (profile) says:

I agree

I agree with the statement. My argument is we don’t need airport security because it’s too expensive and the benefit is not worth the price. Censorship is also unnecessary.
Yes, I’d love to go back in time to the 70s when you could walk up to the gate, buy a ticket and hop on the plane minutes before departure time. I argue that we’re no safer today than we were then.

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