Google and China—Made for Each Other
Google co-founder Sergey Brin -- the tenth richest man in the world, with a Donald Trump-dwarfing net worth of 52.9 billion dollars -- was extremely depressed by the election of Mr. Trump, as seen in a video just surfaced by Breitbart. He compared the president's supporters to "fascists" and claimed they voted for him out of "boredom," of all things.
I'll come back to the emotional disconnect involved in that but let's fast forward to the last couple of weeks. Larry Page -- Brin's partner in otherworldly entrepreneurial success, making him even richer than Sergey -- refused to show up for a congressional hearing that principles of Facebook and Twitter did attend and answer questions. Meanwhile....
....word of Google’s plans to substantially expand its currently minimal role in the Chinese market—through the potential launch of a censored search engine code-named Dragonfly—has provoked such uproar. [bold mine]
The plans were revealed through documents leaked to the Intercept, which reported that prototypes and negotiations with the Chinese government were far along, laying the groundwork for the potential service to launch as soon as early 2019.
Bye-bye, "Don't be evil." Actually the company's controversial watchword (now Alphabet's) had already been expunged from its corporate code of conduct last May to be replaced by the more ambiguous "Do the right thing." Doing the right thing seems now to encompass playing ball with Chairman Xi -- China's "paramount leader" for life -- who recently has been following in Mao's footsteps by publishing his own version of the "Little Red Book."
China -- the furthest thing at this point from Marx's dreamed of "withering away of the state" -- is no longer really communist but something closer to corporate fascist, exploiting the market while using state control in the most ironclad crony capitalism, anti-democratic in every way imaginable. But, in the true communist tradition, they remain the global leaders in political prisoners.
In its attitude toward political dissent, the Chinese Communist Party has proven much harsher than the old Soviet regime of the Brezhnev era. Modern Chinese sentences are longer, the prospects for early release are far worse, and the Chinese authorities are generally unmoved by pleas for leniency from foreign diplomats
None of this seems to bother Google or Brin. But at least one Google research scientist has called basta to his company's nauseating hypocrisy:
Jack Poulson worked for Google’s research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company’s search systems.
In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices.
After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31.