Roger L. Simon

What to do about the new Axis of Evil?

I’m talking about Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, of course, those three Internet mega-corporations who are actively cooperating with totalitarianism in China.

Google is the latest to prostrate itself before the new emperors. Timesonline sums it up:

Google today caved in to pressure from the Chinese Government by launching a localised version of its website that self-censors information deemed “subversive” by the Communist authorities.

The company, whose motto is “Don’t be evil”, has engineered its search facilities to restrict Chinese people from searching for information such as Tibetan independence or the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

“In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on Google.cn, in response to local law, regulation or policy,” the internet company said in a statement issued yesterday.

Okay, instead of boring everyone discussing the corporation’s probable rationale … we’re working from within their system, etc., etc., as if they were an automobile or ball-bearing firm and not a media company involved with the dissemination (or in this case non-dissemination) of information and ideas … I will cut to the proverbial chase. Since this is obviously a manifestation of corporate greed at its most unbridled, not to say cynically exploitive of (even, in a way, racist towards) the people of the most populace country on Earth, it’s time to deal with Google in a manner that could actually affect the retrograde policy of the company. In other word, it’s time for…

… a Google stock divestment campaign.

Everyone who cares about the free-flow of information, about democracy in China, in fact about democracy anywhere, should start selling their Google stock. This should begin most especially with those vast university endowments because academic institutions, of all places, should be most concerned with the censorship of ideas and information. Union pension plans as well should seek to divest as their members should be particularly appalled by the company’s restrictive behavior. I could go on, but you certainly get the point. I welcome suggestions for how to mount this campaign in the comments below.

(Full disclosure: I do not own any Google stock, but would, I’m assuming, have the courage of my convictions, if I did.)