Thursday, July 05, 2007

Masculinity, Conservatism, and China

I've seen two cases on the 'net where a conservative was upset with liberals who pointed the finger at companies doing business in China, even those companies who were complicit with the arrest of dissidents. Why is that?

Richard Riehl for example writes in Google Blogger Issues Apology:
Google had better make up its mind as to whether it is a business enterprise, or the model for a nanny state. Between this and the whole China mess, for which they already apologized, they are beginning to look more and more like a political football being kicked hither and yon by the Left, as opposed to a serious business enterprise.

What I'm getting at is this. Consider these two possible ways of kowtowing:
  • A Google executive "kowtows" to China in setting up a censored version of the search engine;
  • A Google executive kowtows to western liberals in apologizing for having done such an awful thing.

Which is more bothersome? That liberal activists can tell a business not to do something that is allowed by law but offends their value system? Or that a business be told how to act by a state in a way that limits free expression or speech? Does one hate libs more than commies? Which is the "conservative" position?

I would say that good ol' conservatism, Eisenhower conservatism, actual conservatism is to be found in opposition those who aid communism. The contemporary philosophy that runs around with the name of conservatism however is more about objection to folks telling you what to do-- the myth of the noble savage. It reduces to anti-paternalism, even against paternalism in the public square which doesn't have a thing to do with regulation, even if the message of the paternalists is simply, "Hey, don't aid communists in the rounding up of dissidents."

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