Pragmatic Second Thoughts at Google

The International Herald Tribune has reported that Google has had second thoughts about their pragmatic self-censorship to placate the totalitarian government in China.Avid fans of this blog (you know who you are) know my feeling about Google’s kowtowing to censorship. I even wrote them an angry letter about it. Wouldn’t it be nice to thnk my letter made a difference? I know, though, that it did not.

Google’s potential change of mind, if it actually occurs, will still be based on a pragmatic philosophy. One of the company’s co-founders, Sergey Brin, was quoted as saying, “Perhaps now the principled approach makes more sense.” Translation: we only act on principle when it looks like it might work better than what we’re doing.

According to the Herald Tribune, “Brin also said Google was working to improve the censored search service before deciding whether to reverse course. If the company cannot strike a balance between an information service and accommodating the Chinese government’s demands, it would re-evalate, the company said.” Translation: let’s look for an acceptable compromise before we try a full-blown “principled approach.”

Ayn Rand was the major defender of businessmen. She said, “Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of lfe from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. …If and when they perish, civilization will perish.”

She also noted that, “As a group, businessmen have been withdrawing for decades from the ideological battlefield, disarmed by the deadly combination of altruism and Pragmatism.”

That was 35 years ago. The businessmen at Google remain disarmed by their rotten philosophy. Any government these men are involved with can manipulate them at it’s whim.


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