By Harold Rook
You know what? I’m going to do something edgy today! But what edgy thing can I do that I haven’t done before? Hmm, I already spent the past week making jokes about the Democrat presidential debates (like watching ten old grandparents nudging each other with canes over a bowl of spilled oatmeal) and Antifa (the literal embodiment of ironic Blackshirts). No, I need something new, something that truly deserves the public scrutiny, something that should be considered a laughingstock. Wait a minute, I know something recently that should be ridiculed, China! Huh? That’s strange, for a second it looked like I was censored for mentioning China, although what I’m really referring to is the Chinese Communist Party. Wait, there it is again! What’s going on here? Unless…this article is haunted! I’ve only heard rumors about it, but the stories about this ghost are terrifying! Appearing behind the unsuspecting before suddenly censoring any form of criticism about China! No one is safe, not even celebrities and corporations. And now, it’s here for me! What can I do?! It’s the Ghost of Chinese Censorship! If it can bring entire corporations to their knees, what chance do I have? Unless…I can find a way around it! If I can explain what The Ghost of Chinese Censorship is, I may be able to evade censorship! Welp, get ready China, because we are going to discuss something that is not about it!
Where to begin? Our story starts in China, I mean…the Safe Space. Anyway, the Safe Space was a country that had struggled for hundreds of years, between Western powers that sought influence over the state to rivaling neighbors that would commit atrocity after atrocity. After World War II, the Safe Space had two main factions, a nationalist party and the Soviet-backed Chinese Communist Party, or the Cool Party for Cats, which we can call the CPC. The CPC, led by homicidal madman Mao Zedong, I mean, the wonderful support kitten Meow the Zebra Cat (hey, this is a safe space, we need support animals!), established a state that was under the people’s democratic dictatorship. Sounds lovely, right? You could say that one of his programs, The Great Leap Forward, or The Really Large Step Straight, didn’t murder 45 million people! Over his rein, Meow would “reeducate” those that simply couldn’t understand why the CPC was always right, either through giving those dumb intellectual critics the taste of life in the countryside, or by gathering the people together to fight against the bourgeois that were hiding within Safe Space culture (guess you can call it a Cultural Revolution). Needless to say, the result of Meow’s control over the Safe Space was starvation, economic turmoil, radicalization of the youth, and mass genocide, turning the country into a totalitarian communist hellhole, or, in other words, a completely free and wonderful place to live. Some people, who are obvious liars paid off by greedy capitalist nations, would say that the result was a death toll in the hundreds of millions, but those people are straight up wrong! Nothing bad ever happens within the Safe Space!
After all this, Meow would eventually pass away (he is now pouncing around in heaven with the other Zebra Cats), leaving the CPC to wonder how to handle the wonderful situation that he left. Gradually, many leaders within the CPC would transform the Safe Space from a closed off, contained area to a place open to the rest of the world. This meant that they had to employ several economic reforms, which served to make the Safe Space more of a “free” market, but with heavy CPC involvement. This may sound great, but don’t be fooled: The Safe Space was, and still is, heavily regulated, with the government not tolerating any form of dissent because they all came from evil counterrevolutionaries! This brings us to today: The Safe Space is ruled by the golden, honey-loving bear himself, Winne the Pooh! Wait, seriously? I can’t say Winnie the Pooh? Okay, then it is now ruled by the thick skinned, completely democratic leader, The Golden Build-a-Bear! Under his leadership, the country has become more centralized under a single leadership, with himself at its center, to the point where the country’s constitution was updated to include him by name. Now, this all sounds extreme, but don’t worry, this would have no negative complications! It’s not like major corporations within the United States, motivated by an irrational greed, not free-market capitalism where individual rights are protected, would simply waltz into the Safe Space and turn the other way when it tramples over the freedom and democracy! That would be ludicrous right? Why would the Safe Space, under its incredibly fair leader, do such a thing?
Americans are waking up to the fact that not only companies but even celebrities appear to be in the pocket of China. Yet it’s not like this is news; the Safe Space is an untapped market, with one of the largest populations of consumers. In virtually any other case, where a laissez-faire capitalist government becomes open to the free market, independent international and domestic businesses are capable of producing cheaper goods that ultimately raise the standard of living, while the government, for its part, serves to protect the individual and property rights of its citizens. Yet, the Safe Space and its relationship with American companies do not fit this characterization, in two respects. First, while it has certainly opened itself to the world, the Safe Space heavily monitors foreign companies, typically by having representatives of the CPC placed within them. Here, CPC representatives make sure that the company can also serve the state’s interest, in what can best be described as “state capitalism”. So, while certainly producing goods that raise the standard of living, the Safe Space doesn’t allow individual companies to function independently. Second, the CPC’s strong emphasis on state leadership results in the alienation of individual rights. This ultimately means that any form of dissent against the CPC results in some of the worst human rights abuses, with the government showing no consideration for personal freedoms. These two facts place corporations in an unusual position; they can either reject the abuse of the Safe Space, serving their own rational self-interest in the process, or they can look the other way, turning their backs on the free market in place of irrational greed. Needless to say, when these American companies see blood on the state’s hands, they whistle and walk the other way.
We are all aware of what the recent debacle with the Houston Rockets, where general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of certain protests within the Safe Space’s influence. Almost instantly, the NBA apologized, with Daryl Morey immediately deleting the tweet and stating how he didn’t mean to offend anyone from the Safe Space. This, of course, had Rockets games pulled from the Safe Space, causing serious financial damage. Consequently, the NBA and its players have gone through great strides to distance themselves from the incident, because they are obviously not political at any point and just love the leaders of the Safe Space. Even the King himself, the one and only LeBron James, capitulated to his overlords, stating that in a country with free speech, this political statement was “uninformed.” Yet, the attempts to distance and censor Morey has ultimately brought this story into the limelight. Another incident with Safe Space entanglement occurred when, during a gaming competition, a prominent Hearthstone player shouted “Liberate Hong Kong!”. Almost immediately, the company with huge stakes in the Safe Space banned the player and took away his prize money, citing his speech as “offensive.” The fact that the CPC is capable of censoring Americans should be highly concerning, considering the rights we have as citizens. An authoritarian regime can insert itself within private companies to censor not just people within their country but force the host company to act on its behalf internationally. This is evident with many corporations’ blatant attempts of acting as a censor board for China, violating the right to expression of the very consumers these companies depend on.
Wait a second, I think it’s gone! I was finally able to say China. So, is the Ghost of Chinese Censorship gone? I would argue no, this is a problem that runs far deeper, something that is much greater than this. Though the incidents in which China has attempted to censor the Hong Kong protests and any form of criticism against its authoritarian Winnie the Pooh-esque leader, this is nothing new. China has constantly attempted to downplay their human rights violations, from Uyghurs being thrown into detention centers to propping up the Kim Regime in North Korea to now the more recent attempts to extradite criminals from Hong Kong in the mainland. Authoritarian regimes like China rely on censorship to avoid challenges to its authority. Democracy, by contrast, necessitates criticism. What many people don’t understand is that criticism IS democracy. So, whether foreign governments acting through private businesses or those crying that speech is hateful, any threat of censorship ultimately places the integrity of a democracy at risk. This has not stopped within the United States from begging for censorship against speech they disagree with. To those that stand by this, I have this to say: what censorship ultimately becomes is a monster which will destroy the basic freedoms we cherish.