Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Some socialism is more acceptable than others

May 1st was International Workers Day. Do NOT discuss in China.

China’s version of Google marks Worker’s Day by banning discussion on Marx, ‘labor,’ ‘strikes’
Baidu HQ
It’s one of the great ironies of present-day China that the world’s largest and arguably most successful socialist state, a “people’s republic” ruled by a supremely powerful Communist Party, can at times be quite hostile to socialism and communism…

[May first] is International Worker’s Day, marked around the world every year by labor and socialist movements. That should ostensibly be a cause of tremendous celebration in officially communist China. But not on China’s most popular Web site, Baidu…

According to Fei Chang Dao, a blog that monitors free speech issues in China, Baidu users are blocked from entering or starting chat threads tied to… “proletariat,” “workers” and even “socialism.” Yes, in the world’s largest communist state, socialism is too hot to discuss.

Despite the seeming contradiction here, this is actually quite consistent with Chinese Web censorship practices. Anything that might inspire public gatherings or be used to encourage them is a top target for Web censorship in China. Since the 1989 student protests that culminated with a military massacre of civilians near Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the Chinese government has shown extreme caution edging into paranoia about any politically tinged public gatherings…

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