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  #51  
Old 10-08-2019, 03:06 PM
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Ugh, political correctness really?


Hamfisted introduction of "culture war" phasing aside, the authoritative totalitarian superpower that we call China happily bullies international political and corporate entities to further their own goals; they do much worse to their own citizens if they deem them large enough threats.

Its important to be reminded of the nature of the beast while we enjoy cheap consumer goods and silly propagandized big budgeted films that rival Hollywood.
  #52  
Old 10-08-2019, 03:25 PM
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On the one hand, I agree. On the other, it's a handwave...'The CCP is gonna do what authoritarian bully governments do.' is a complete cop out, and it's what I generally hear. The CCP gets a pass because, you know, authoritarian dictatorships are gonna do what they are gonna do, so let's attack the NBA for caving in! Let's leave aside that COUNTRIES are caving in as well to their pressure, and focus on the fact that the NBA didn't stand up to them as they should! Or Apple didn't. Or Google didn't.
I don't mean that to give them a pass. I mean: I don't know how to effectively do anything about the CCP. But I do know how to hold American institutions accountable (to some extent).

This feels a little bit like whatabout-ism. Like I can't legitimately criticize the NBA because I didn't criticize others. I'm not saying that the NBA alone deserves our scorn. All the institutions that fail to stand up to China deserve complaint, the NBA included.

To some extent, it's that the NBA's decision was so immediate and attention-grabbing. There's usually very little light shined on corporate deference to China. In this case it was blatant and obvious.

It is with some irony that I note that of all our political institutions that failed to stand up to China for decades, Trump (whom I loathe) is one of few politicians to push back. For, I think, mostly the wrong reasons, but there it is.
  #53  
Old 10-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
I don't mean that to give them a pass. I mean: I don't know how to effectively do anything about the CCP. But I do know how to hold American institutions accountable (to some extent).

This feels a little bit like whatabout-ism. Like I can't legitimately criticize the NBA because I didn't criticize others. I'm not saying that the NBA alone deserves our scorn. All the institutions that fail to stand up to China deserve complaint, the NBA included.

To some extent, it's that the NBA's decision was so immediate and attention-grabbing. There's usually very little light shined on corporate deference to China. In this case it was blatant and obvious.

It is with some irony that I note that of all our political institutions that failed to stand up to China for decades, Trump (whom I loathe) is one of few politicians to push back. For, I think, mostly the wrong reasons, but there it is.
You can criticize the NBA all you like. But, are you criticizing all of the countries that are doing similar things for similar reasons? What about the politicians who are doing similar things for similar reasons? I DO blame the NBA, and the others for what they do, but I realize that if a nation state is having trouble standing up to the CCP when they are bringing pressure to bear, how is a company going to be able to do it?

As a for instance, are you aware that just about every country has now backed off of support for Taiwan? 10 years ago, there were still a bunch of countries that acknowledged Taiwan as separate from China (i.e. not a break away Chinese province). Today, that has narrowed a lot, due completely to CCP pressure. The US is one of the few holdouts, and that's because our Taiwan policy has always been wonky (for our own reasons). Now, if countries can't just shrug off the CCPs forcing them to change their tune, why should or could the NBA?

The easy answer, and one I agree with, is they should tell the CCP to go fuck themselves and just take the hit on projected or even realized revenue. It's more important to have integrity than buckets of cash, especially in some cases when it's not even real cash but the possibility of cash in the form of new or expanding markets. But that's easy for me to say...I'm not the CEO or beholden to stakeholders or board members or whatever, so it's easy for me to tell them to take a flying fuck and to despise companies who sell out to the CCP. But then I look at the pressure that the CCP brings to bear on nation states, and it gives some perspective. It doesn't excuse companies who fold to the pressure...just puts it into a context to look at the bigger picture.
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Last edited by XT; 10-08-2019 at 03:34 PM.
  #54  
Old 10-08-2019, 04:37 PM
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There are US politicians on both sides who have caved into the CCP...and some that are, or seem to be at least partially in the CCP's pocket. And we are far from the worst affected. You don't hear a lot about it, but Australia and New Zealand have both come in for a lot of this...native politicians who seem to have a CCP oriented agenda.
China tries to straight up buy Australian politicians all the time - also they're in the best possible position to royally screw us since they buy three-quarters of our exports and are totally not above using this fact to put pressure on us any time they like. They're also keeping tabs on the large Chinese student contingent to keep them politically in line.

This all undoubtedly has an effect but it didn't stop the government locking out Huawei from the 5G network recently, so it's doing them less good than they'd like. And the fact that the cashed-up politician-buyers are largely coming from outside the country is at least concentrating people's minds on the fact that too much money in politics is a big problem and ought to have severe limits on it.

(The donation amounts in my first link are, by the way, pretty massive by Australian standards where huge donations are generally measured in the low hundreds of thousands)
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Last edited by Aspidistra; 10-08-2019 at 04:38 PM.
  #55  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:07 PM
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So I have a question for Dopers with longer memories or better history knowledge: Did the United States (or U.S. businesses, or schools) ever censor themselves in the past when speaking about any other autocratic foreign power? (such as the Reich in the 1930s-1940s or the Soviet Union during the Cold War?) Is it just because China has $$$ to offer and those didn't?
Here is an article about a book about Thomas Watson and IBM. Watson did a lot more than self-censorship. He sold stuff to the Germans that let them track Jews better.
I don't recall much selling to the Soviet Union. And plenty of nasty talk.
  #56  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:10 PM
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I feel like I've lost my mind here. The NBA most surely did not apologize. They put out a statement that basically said, "hey, some people were bothered by this, and that's unfortunate." As a part of the same statement, they reiterated that their corporate culture allows and encourages people to express their opinions, tacitly supporting Morey's right to say what he said. Adam Silver went ahead and doubled down on that support. Daryl Morey is still the GM of the Houston Rockets (in spite of deciding to put Russell Westbrook and James Harden in the same backcourt!).

I guess the NBA could have been more stridently supportive of Morey, but the way they're being characterized here and elsewhere on the Internet you'd think they issued some groveling statement of grief and remorse and then chopped Daryl Morey's head off at sunset.
From this article, it seems very clear that it was indeed an apology:

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/in-nba-...175446344.html


I'm now curious whether it's more in Beijing's interests to let this issue with the NBA die down, or stir it up even more.
  #57  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:20 AM
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You could say the same thing about Hollywood...if the Chinese get all butt hurt because of something in your movie, well, though shit...they can just steal it as they have been doing. The issue, of course, is money, but that's just the leverage tool that the CCP uses to keep companies and whole countries in line with their will.
Well films (and games) illustrate how this can be more pernicious than just this latest news story would imply.

Because with movies nowadays China doesn't need to say "This offends us".
Filmmakers just know that movies that offend china with political messages, or just things that they don't consider suitable (like featuring Tibetans or certain depictions of ghosts) won't get released there, which for many movies can mean halving their box office.

So they self-censor.

(Also they may throw in a token scene set in China with some Chinese person being brave that often bears no relationship to the rest of the film)

Last edited by Mijin; 10-09-2019 at 02:21 AM.
  #58  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:20 AM
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Two fans were ejected from an NBA game in Philadelphia for holding pro-Hong Kong signs.
  #59  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:24 AM
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Well films (and games) illustrate how this can be more pernicious than just this latest news story would imply.

Because with movies nowadays China doesn't need to say "This offends us".
Filmmakers just know that movies that offend china with political messages, or just things that they don't consider suitable (like featuring Tibetans or certain depictions of ghosts) won't get released there, which for many movies can mean halving their box office.

So they self-censor.

(Also they may throw in a token scene set in China with some Chinese person being brave that often bears no relationship to the rest of the film)
Absolutely they do. And you are totally right, it's VERY pernicious, and the news you hear doesn't really get into how serious this really is.

The token Chinese thing is fine, usually, but whole movie plots have been changed, sometimes by passing the script to the CCP or to one of the 'independent' movie distributors in China first so they can make changes that will, um, 'help' the move become one of the 21(IIRC) foreign movies officially allowed to be released in China (and therefore, actually get some box office money from, as opposed to the rest which are usually illegally sold and viewed).
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  #60  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:42 AM
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This is not an issue of pandering to the Chinese to sell them some stuff. This is about an GM voicing support for the people of Hong Kong who want freedom and the NBA not supporting him and kowtowing to China. This is not an attempt by China to simply limit free speech there, it's an attempt by them to limit free speech here, and the NBA stepped in it by not immediately supporting their GM and his right to free speech instead of apologizing to China. This is a matter of principle more important than the worship of money.
  #61  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:46 AM
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This is not an issue of pandering to the Chinese to sell them some stuff. This is about an GM voicing support for the people of Hong Kong who want freedom and the NBA not supporting him and kowtowing to China. This is not an attempt by China to simply limit free speech there, it's an attempt by them to limit free speech here, and the NBA stepped in it by not immediately supporting their GM and his right to free speech instead of apologizing to China. This is a matter of principle more important than the worship of money.
To the NBA, or the NFL or the NCAA, or ... you get the idea, there is no issue more important than money.


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  #62  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:20 AM
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So I have a question for Dopers with longer memories or better history knowledge: Did the United States (or U.S. businesses, or schools) ever censor themselves in the past when speaking about any other autocratic foreign power? (such as the Reich in the 1930s-1940s or the Soviet Union during the Cold War?) Is it just because China has $$$ to offer and those didn't?
Not during the Cold War, that's for sure. The Russians/Soviets were THE looming bad guys in nearly every action or spy movie out there. We had Presidents refer to the Soviet Union as "the Evil Empire". If anything, painting them as some combination of secretive, oppressive, paranoid, aggressive, and backward was encouraged.

Last edited by bump; 10-09-2019 at 10:21 AM.
  #63  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:42 AM
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This story was up on the AP this morning and I thought y'all might find relevant to the discussion: China criticizes Apple for app that tracks Hong Kong police.

In a nutshell, the app allows people to post things that are happening at a location which is then placed on a map of Hong Kong: police are gathering at this intersection; they've fired tear gas in this park; etc.

Beijing doesn't like this:
Quote:
HKmap.live, designed by an outside supplier and available on Apple Inc.’s online store, “facilitates illegal behavior,” People’s Daily said in a commentary.

“Is Apple guiding Hong Kong thugs?” the newspaper said.
They're laying it on heavy, albeit through third and fourth parties at the moment:
Quote:
Asked whether the Chinese government had asked Apple to remove HKmap.live from its online store, a foreign ministry spokesman said he had no information about that.

“What I can tell you is that these radical, violent crimes in Hong Kong have seriously challenged the legal system and social order in Hong Kong, threatened the safety of Hong Kong residents’ lives and property, and undermined the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” said the spokesman, Geng Shuang.

“Anyone who has a conscience and justice should resist and oppose instead of supporting and indulging those actions,” Geng said at a regular news briefing.
Quote:
“Apple jumped into this on its own and mixed together business with politics and commercial activity with illegal activities,” People’s Daily said.
Quote:
“This recklessness will cause much trouble for Apple,” People’s Daily said. “Apple needs to think deeply.”
I think people should get to work and make as many of these apps for as many different cities as possible as fast as possible.
  #64  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:58 AM
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This is so disheartening.
  #65  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:09 AM
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Clear illustration of how we can't count on businesses, capitalism, or profit motive to ensure the safety, stability, or security of our society.

And "political correctness" has nothing to do with it. Ultimately, the NBA (and Hollywood, and anyone else) is being paid to say or not say certain things. And those organizations have decided that it's in their own best financial interests to take the money.
  #66  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:00 PM
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All the institutions that fail to stand up to China deserve complaint, the NBA included.
Gotta love how the NBA went from abject kowtowing to just embarrassing obsequiousness.

''We of course support free speech, but gee he shouldna done that, there are consequences, tch-tch."*

*the gist of Adam Silver's followup statement.
  #67  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:41 PM
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But punching me in the face is inherently wrong, so I think the context is different. "Joe went to get a burger, offending PETA, which is regrettable" is more analogous. And in such a statement, validating PETA's hurt feelings is a rebuke to Joe.

But I agree that the word "apology" doesn't seem really apt in this situation. Someone has to have a slight amount of guts and pride to admit error. The NBA seems unburdened by such a modest amount of courage.
I definitely agree on sharpening the analogy that way. It's not a matter of how 'real' the apology is. I get storyteller0910's point that somebody who felt they deserved a real apology might well be dissatisfied with the NBA and related party statements*, but the point here is really whether the Houston GM did anything wrong at all, not a question of how the NBA dealt with something we all agree was wrong.

Stand with protesters against arguably the most murderous regime, by the numbers, in world history. Why is that to be 'regretted'? That's the key question to me, not whether private people in China view it as offensive (though many probably do), certainly not how the Communist Party views it.

Of course the much larger issue here is the tiny tip of the iceberg (actually much smaller than the proportion of an iceberg that sticks out of the water ) this comment by the Houston GM represents compared to all the statements about the Communist regime in China *not* made by various people and entities in the US out of concern for commercial interests, and just plain blind spot by many ordinary people who follow the lead of the media and entertainment world in what injustices they talk about and which ones they ignore.

*note Rockets star James Harden *did* apologize, Rockets owner more directly rebuked the GM than the NBA did in English, and the English translation of the NBA's Chinese language statement is more grovelling than the English version.

Last edited by Corry El; 10-09-2019 at 01:44 PM.
  #68  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:07 PM
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Steven A. Smith of ESPN is unsurprisingly coming down hard on China's side.
  #69  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:24 PM
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This isn't "political correctness." This is the worship of money above all else. The NBA should be ashamed of itself.
  #70  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:56 PM
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Thread here

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=883365
  #71  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:48 PM
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You can criticize the NBA all you like. But, are you criticizing all of the countries that are doing similar things for similar reasons? What about the politicians who are doing similar things for similar reasons?
To the extent that I am aware of them, yes.

Quote:
As a for instance, are you aware that just about every country has now backed off of support for Taiwan? 10 years ago, there were still a bunch of countries that acknowledged Taiwan as separate from China (i.e. not a break away Chinese province). Today, that has narrowed a lot, due completely to CCP pressure. The US is one of the few holdouts, and that's because our Taiwan policy has always been wonky (for our own reasons).
I am aware of that, although my impression was that our Taiwan policy has always been wonky for kinda the same reason everyone else is folding. In the early days, the CCP knew that they couldn't actually change our behavior, but made it a critical and non-negotiable part of doing business with them that we couldn't acknowledge the state of reality. Judging (likely correctly) that we'd be willing to give up on some language for economic reasons, and that in the long term, that would compromise Taiwan, as it'd be pretty hard for Taiwan to really fully rely on an ally that's not willing to even maintain that they really exist publicly.
  #72  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:41 PM
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Why do we give two fucks about whether Chinese television shows NBA? If they get their panties in a twist every time someone in the US says something they don't like, tough titties.
Just a side point, the people of China love basketball. It's huge, one of the biggest if not the biggest sport in that country. Europe and Latin America have soccer, the U.S. has tackle football, India has Cricket, and China has ping pong. What? Okay, I guess basketball is second to ping pong in China like baseball is second to football in the States. There's nothing more American than baseball, and there's nothing more Chinese than basketball. Don't think too hard about it or you might disagree with me.

What is the point I'm trying to make? Look at it from a utilitarian perspective. Broadcasting the NBA in China will make a lot of Chinese people happy. It also will make the NBA a lot of money, but eh, that probably has absolutely no bearing on the NBA's decision. Even if it did, the ends justify the means yeah? Okay, now how many people are unhappy because the NBA compromised what we consider to be core values? A couple thousand people, tops.

Now remember that all people are equal. Sure, China doesn't necessarily have the same definition of people or equal as we do, but if we're going to judge China's actions we might as well use our own definitions and morals. They sure don't use ours. Okay, so we've got two options:
  • Millions of happy Chinese people but a couple thousand unhappy American people
  • Millions of unhappy Chinese people but a couple thousand happy American people
Remember that all people are equal and making people happy is desirable to making people unhappy. Essentially we have a situation where you can have more happy people, or you can have more unhappy people. What do you choose? Moore happy people, duh!

Okay, now some people will say we would be letting China tell us what to do. That's bad, because even though we don't seem to care if Chinese people are guaranteed freedom from Chinese oppression, it's still important that American people are free from Chinese oppression. This contradicts the notion that all people are created equal, but we'll ignore that because the previous generalization might not apply to the people raising this argument.

The answer is that we aren't giving up any freedoms by acceding to China's demands. They can't make us do anything, we're coming to the conclusion that what the NBA did is perfectly moral. China doesn't have a gun to our head like it does to the Chinese citizens. We aren't being coerced to make this conclusion, we looked at the people involved and decided that the NBA made the right decision.

Now you might say, China might as well ask us to give them 30% of our income or they will shoot all of their people. The old slippery slope argument. Well it doesn't work.

Look at it this way. Money doesn't buy happiness, but poverty buys unhappiness. If you take 30% income from the American people and hand it over to China, you would be making the American people unhappy by plunging them into poverty. You don't actually have to go into poverty to become unhappy, almost any reduction of benefits that you come to rely on will do it. And what exactly are you getting in return? China isn't going to give that money to their people, we know that because China's all corrupt and stuff. So you have no benefit in return; it's a bad deal. Contrast with the NBA broadcasting in China, which has always been conditional on the Chinese government's consent.

Okay but let's look at the micro. Before I said money had nothing to do with the NBA decision. I was actually being sarcastic there, but now I'll explain myself. You see, the people who work at NBA get paid. And further, they get paid to make more money. One of the big ways the NBA makes money is by selling the license to broadcast the NBA games. So essentially, people get paid more when they sell more licenses to broadcast. Naturally it follows that if the NBA employees sell less licenses, they get paid less. And we've already gone over how being paid less makes people unhappy.

So on the micro level you have NBA executives deciding what's best for them and their families. I said before that all people are equal, but on the micro level, it's usually "family is more equal than non-family". There's nothing wrong with that, it's a good survival strategy at least. So you have the NBA executives thinking about things a little different. Let's look:
  • Millions of happy Chinese people and a happy family but a couple thousand unhappy American people
  • Millions of unhappy Chinese people but a couple thousand happy American people and an unhappy family
But, families above other people,
  • A happy family
  • An unhappy family
Actually it's a little more involved. You see, most business executives are men, and business executive men with families stereo-typically know that their wives and children will leave them if they get fired. Also, losing money for your company will get you fired. So for at least some of these people, the calculus is like this:
  • My family doesn't leave me
  • My family leaves me
And I think the answer is clear. Nevermind that a male executive with a family had a temporary lapse in moral judgement. The NBA was absolutely in the moral right to issue an apology.

~Max, attempting to be a satirist
  #73  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:05 PM
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...and failing
  #74  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:11 PM
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...and failing
It wasn't that bad. He just needs more practice.
  #75  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:46 PM
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This is very much indeed about political correctness. There are three topics that China generally works very hard to stifle any talk about - sometimes dubbed "The three T's - Tibet, Taiwan and Tienanmen." (Hong Kong is also now joining that list.) They are, generally, the most politically-incorrect topics that one could talk about within China. Now, it's not remarkable at all that the CCP would clamp down within its own borders, but when Western companies and governments and scholars bend over backwards to accommodate Beijing on this, that's caving in to China-PC.
Sheesh, this has nothing to do with political correctness. China is about the least politically correct country on earth.

It's plain and simple: China is asserting itself as a global power, and its leveraging its financial power to hit where it hurts.
  #76  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:19 PM
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A boycott movement by gamers against Activision/Blizzard is gaining steam. Lots of WoW, Overwatch, Hearthstone gamers quitting.
  #77  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:10 AM
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I'll second the quibble that this is "PC". Government censorship is entirely different than PC-ness.
Agreed, PC is a form of censorship that you may like. What people are doing WRT China is a form of censorship that you do not like.
  #78  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:13 AM
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Protesting a proposed speaker is not mob violence.
Agreed, they mostly just threaten violence to trigger a hecklers veto.
  #79  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:19 AM
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This is offtopic and a hijack of this thread. No more of this here.

[/moderating]
Oops, just saw this
  #80  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:20 AM
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This is sucking up to the boss. This is not offending somebody because you fear they will retaliate against you.
To some extent this is the same dynamic we see in academic PC culture and liberal orthodoxy.
  #81  
Old 10-10-2019, 07:06 AM
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Clear illustration of how we can't count on businesses, capitalism, or profit motive to ensure the safety, stability, or security of our society.

And "political correctness" has nothing to do with it. Ultimately, the NBA (and Hollywood, and anyone else) is being paid to say or not say certain things. And those organizations have decided that it's in their own best financial interests to take the money.
I heard a guy on the radio yesterday complaining that the big names in basketball were ignorant or silent on China's treatment of Muslims.

I said to myself, this is why we have a government. To understand what's going on in places like China, to rebuke them when necessary, to negotiate with them when necessary. To represent Americans in our relationship with China.

Instead, we expect twentysomething athletes, whose claim to fame is jumping up and down with a leather ball, to be the voice of reason regarding China's internal politics. Or, we expect the executives, who are tasked with managing someone else's business and money, to choose throwing some of that money away to make a political point.

Before we vilify the NBA over this, we should acknowledge that we all participate, rather deeply and willingly, in China's economy. We buy their products, we ship products to them, we happily engage in massive amounts of trade with them. However, we (unlike the NBA) get to benefit from this relationship anonymously, we have the freedom to criticize China and continue to benefit from this business relationship.

Those guys boycotting Blizzard, the fans with the pro HK signs, are they going to stop buying stuff made in China? Or, do they just want someone else to lose millions of dollars by fighting with the Chinese government?

I'll leave off with this, if you want the Chinese people to enjoy more freedom, the way to get there is to keep an open relationship with Western Culture. The more they benefit financially, the more they see our rights and freedoms, the more likely it becomes that they will demand those rights from their government. You will have to hold your nose from time to time, and fight from time to time, but closing them off does not advance the cause.
  #82  
Old 10-10-2019, 07:19 AM
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So I have a question for Dopers with longer memories or better history knowledge: Did the United States (or U.S. businesses, or schools) ever censor themselves in the past when speaking about any other autocratic foreign power? (such as the Reich in the 1930s-1940s or the Soviet Union during the Cold War?) Is it just because China has $$$ to offer and those didn't?
"Autocratic" is debatable but IIRC America is yet to condemn the Armenian genocide of a century ago for fear of upsetting Turkey. Obama promised he was going to but then spectacularly caved, and to the best of my recollection no one else has even bothered.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:36 AM
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To some extent this is the same dynamic we see in academic PC culture and liberal orthodoxy.
And Nazis. And people who sit on corporate boards. And the Republican politicians who fear Trump. And city council members who aren't the mayor. And workers who fear losing their jobs. Why, it's rampant!
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:54 AM
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To some extent this is the same dynamic we see in academic PC culture and liberal orthodoxy.
I'm going to regret this but... what in the name of fuck are you talking about, exactly ?
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:14 AM
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And Nazis. And people who sit on corporate boards. And the Republican politicians who fear Trump. And city council members who aren't the mayor. And workers who fear losing their jobs. Why, it's rampant!
I agree. Its basically bullying.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:19 AM
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I'm going to regret this but... what in the name of fuck are you talking about, exactly ?
Academics are supposed to be insulated from being punished for their ideas and views. That insulation has worn transparently thin lately.

We see fairly nasty attacks by the radical left directed at moderate liberals.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:21 AM
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And the OP succeeds in his mission
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:23 AM
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Max, is your post intended to be entirely humorous, or is there meant to be a grain of truth to it? Because if it's the latter I would like to take a bite...
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:36 AM
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Just a side point, the people of China love basketball. It's huge, one of the biggest if not the biggest sport in that country. Europe and Latin America have soccer, the U.S. has tackle football, India has Cricket, and China has ping pong. What? Okay, I guess basketball is second to ping pong in China like baseball is second to football in the States. There's nothing more American than baseball, and there's nothing more Chinese than basketball. Don't think too hard about it or you might disagree with me.
I think if the Chinese love basketball so much and are suddenly deprived of their NBA fix because of their attempt to stifle free speech in the US, maybe they'll be a little unhappy with their government. Maybe that will be first straw that eventually will break the camel's back and they'll revolt and overthrow their oppressors. I don't think we do the Chinese people any favors by restricting freedom here in order for them to watch basketball.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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Max, is your post intended to be entirely humorous, or is there meant to be a grain of truth to it? Because if it's the latter I would like to take a bite...
I don't believe what I wrote. There are more than a few fallacies to point out. If you want to do so, be my guest.

~Max
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:58 AM
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Max tries satire, II


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I think if the Chinese love basketball so much and are suddenly deprived of their NBA fix because of their attempt to stifle free speech in the US, maybe they'll be a little unhappy with their government. Maybe that will be first straw that eventually will break the camel's back and they'll revolt and overthrow their oppressors. I don't think we do the Chinese people any favors by restricting freedom here in order for them to watch basketball.
You've got it all backwards, BobLibDem. The Chinese people love their government, by definition almost. When Daryl Morey implied that Hong Kong protesters fight for freedom, that's the Chinese equivalent of Lionel Scaloni saying the Bundys fight for freedom. When the NBA commissioner then comes out and defends Morey, you have to realize that the NBA is practically spitting on the Chinese people. They hate him for it.

~Max, attempting to be a satirist
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:20 AM
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All right.

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What is the point I'm trying to make? Look at it from a utilitarian perspective. Broadcasting the NBA in China will make a lot of Chinese people happy. It also will make the NBA a lot of money, but eh, that probably has absolutely no bearing on the NBA's decision. Even if it did, the ends justify the means yeah? Okay, now how many people are unhappy because the NBA compromised what we consider to be core values? A couple thousand people, tops.
I don't think such a simple notion of utilitarianism would be very popular.

If it's just a numbers game like this then we could make a case for executing scapegoats, or legalizing child porn, say.

So usually, even people who base their morality entirely on utility, will argue it is about kinds of action that provide the greatest utility in the long run. So we just need to point out the ways that a world with freedom of speech would be better overall than one with a public that cannot enjoy free expression, is kept in the dark about numerous issues and/or fed false information on things like safety, health, corruption, conflict, injustice etc. And that is the justification for defending freedom of speech in principle.

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That's bad, because even though we don't seem to care if Chinese people are guaranteed freedom from Chinese oppression, it's still important that American people are free from Chinese oppression.
Plenty of people care about Chinese oppression. But China is a superpower and a permanent member of the UN security council. There is little that anyone can really do. There have been some actions though, e.g. recently the visa restrictions following China's actions in Xinjiang.

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The answer is that we aren't giving up any freedoms by acceding to China's demands.
A couple recently got thrown out of a basketball game, in the US, for holding up pro-Hong Kong democracy posters.
I'm not normally one for slippery slope arguments, but worldwide freedom of speech has often slid away. Next time it won't be China bullying the US, it will be some domestic reason that the wrong words need to be suppressed. It is important that we support the principle of freedom of speech (and note I am not saying there are not issues with FoS in US, let alone my native UK, already. Far from it. But we should not accept further backward steps).

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Money doesn't buy happiness, but poverty buys unhappiness.
I think this blanket statement is far too crude for me to accept it as a premise to then base an argument on. The rest of the argument is just using the utilitarian numbers principle that I covered in the start of this post.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:30 AM
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I think if the Chinese love basketball so much and are suddenly deprived of their NBA fix because of their attempt to stifle free speech in the US, maybe they'll be a little unhappy with their government. Maybe that will be first straw that eventually will break the camel's back and they'll revolt and overthrow their oppressors. I don't think we do the Chinese people any favors by restricting freedom here in order for them to watch basketball.
I doubt banning the NBA would get domestic unrest in China anywhere near the critical mass for something to actually happen, but I think you have a point that China arguably needs the NBA more than the NBA needs China. Without the NBA, 200-300 million Chinese fans would suddenly be deprived of watching their favorite sport/teams. Without China, the NBA would still plug on with plenty of revenue and TV viewership in America just like it had during all the decades before it expanded into a Chinese audience.

The NBA still remains highly popular with Japan, South Korea, and other nations, too, so it's not like they would be losing all their foreign revenue.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:50 AM
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Academics are supposed to be insulated from being punished for their ideas and views. That insulation has worn transparently thin lately.

We see fairly nasty attacks by the radical left directed at moderate liberals.
OK, I'll rephrase, and by rephrase I mean repeat exactly what I said but emphasize the salient bit you must have missed : what are you talking about, exactly ? What are those examples ?

Last edited by Kobal2; 10-10-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:02 AM
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Academics are supposed to be insulated from being punished for their ideas and views. That insulation has worn transparently thin lately.
Damuri Ajashi, I fully agree that many American university academics are being directly or indirectly stifled in their views these days, but this is a China-specific thread. We have already had, and have, other threads elsewhere about the lack of academic freedom in U.S. higher education.

Last edited by Velocity; 10-10-2019 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:40 AM
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I doubt banning the NBA would get domestic unrest in China anywhere near the critical mass for something to actually happen, but I think you have a point that China arguably needs the NBA more than the NBA needs China. Without the NBA, 200-300 million Chinese fans would suddenly be deprived of watching their favorite sport/teams. Without China, the NBA would still plug on with plenty of revenue and TV viewership in America just like it had during all the decades before it expanded into a Chinese audience.

The NBA still remains highly popular with Japan, South Korea, and other nations, too, so it's not like they would be losing all their foreign revenue.
There wont' be any unrest from it. The Chinese are great at shifting the blame onto evil foreign forces, so what you'll see is some unhappy folks and on their social media sites a lot of hate and discontent aimed at the NBA and America, as it's all our fault.

As for the last bit, what you don't seem to grasp is that to the NBA, just like to many other US and other non-Chinese companies, it's a huge new, mainly untapped market. The NBA was looking to do some serious expansion into China with the rise in popularity with the Chinese people for basketball. And that's in jeopardy, at least in the short term and maybe in the medium or even long term too. The thing is, you have to play ball with the CCP or basically just kiss that market goodbye. It's easy to SAY you will do that and let your principals guide you...hell, I DO say that all the time...but I'm not the one who is risking billions in future market value and lots of new fans who will watch games, maybe sponsor exhibition matches or whatever basketball teams and leagues do, and by merchandise and such. That's the barrel that the CCP has all these companies over...it's the mirage of that vast, untapped Chinese market that is the siren song to companies, and what's screwed so many of them trying to get into the China market, only to be screwed by their system which is designed to do that purposefully.

But, I again always circle back to the fact that it's not just greedy companies who get caught in the gears or have to walk softly. Nation states do too. And it's not just greedy CEO's and capitalists, it's western politicians who ALSO dance to the strings of the CCP.

It's kind of ironic, to me, that the one guy who I hate with the fires of 10,000 suns and who I personally think is a clueless idiot is also the guy who has, at least nominally, actually put the CCPs feet to the fire with this trade war of his. I think he's doing it for all the wrong reasons, and seriously doesn't know what he's doing...but he's actually managed to put them back on their heels a bit with this and stopped their head longed race to their goals. Once that guy is impeached, I HOPE that there is enough bipartisan support to continue to hammer the CCP and gain real concessions, but, like with the NBA, I also see caving in as the most likely course. Wonder if there will be a thread on that discussing how bad it is for greedy politicians and short sighted government to cave into Chinese pressure...
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  #97  
Old 10-10-2019, 11:50 AM
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This is so disheartening.
I don't have a problem with a "no political signs at our events" rule, as long as its applied evenly. I can see how adding political disputes to the myriad things fans already get pissed at each other over in the midst of sporting events might be a bad idea. I recall some MLS fans have been having a spat with the league over their desire to use antifa logos / themes in signs, and the league telling them they can't.

ETA: For that matter, when I'm trying to watch something, I don't want the guys in front of me waving signs in the air. I'd have no problem with a "no signs at all" rule in places like theaters, concert venues, sporting events, etc.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-10-2019 at 11:51 AM.
  #98  
Old 10-10-2019, 02:10 PM
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It does anger me that we kowtow to them though.

You and two other posters used the term "kowtow". I thought this was a racist derogatory term, and a Chinese-American friend agrees. Just a thought.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:15 PM
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You and two other posters used the term "kowtow". I thought this was a racist derogatory term, and a Chinese-American friend agrees. Just a thought.
Can you cite anyone else who thinks this? It's derived from Chinese. Why would this be racist? Nobody is saying the Chinese were kowtowing here.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:21 PM
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Can you cite anyone else who thinks this? It's derived from Chinese. Why would this be racist? Nobody is saying the Chinese were kowtowing here.
I think it has to do with the Chinese concept of the century of humiliation. The term is derived from a Chinese word, IIRC, which is part of their reverence or respect ceremony towards the emperor and/or the imperial family, but was picked up by westerners and often used in derogatory ways to say Chinese were, uniformly submissive or passive or whatever.

I don't think it's a racist term, but it does have some negative connotations, especially today and especially when used by westerners. My sons partner and his family are from China, and this is how they explain it to me anyway when it's come up.
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