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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SOFT EXTORTION

“You have to realize the government is controlling everything: the script, distribution, the licenses, production and the partnerships.”

For a century, communists tried to coerce and control by force; power coming from the barrel of a gun as Mao put it. That didn't work so great in some places, such as the United States, who had more guns and more power. What they didn't realize is the reason the Bible says this:

"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil"
-1 Timothy 6:10

See, the problem isn't with money, its with what money represents. The best way to understand this is to think about the misquote "money is the root of all evil." Its the love of money, not money its self that is the root of all kinds of evil, because money is power given form. Money represents earthly might. The more of it you have, the more powerful you are, because it allows you to do and control things you had no ability to without it.

For an example of how this works, consider the state of California. Although crumbling due to decades of idiotic policy and leftist schemes, this state is still a massive, powerful economy. Its still the largest gross domestic product in the US ( $1.2 trillion) just edging out Texas in 2010.

So when California talks, the economy listens. And that means if California passes a law which, for example, requires all soup to have 30% less salt, then that impacts the entire US market. Because not selling in California means you miss out on that huge, lucrative market. So soup manufacturers will tend to not create a special "california" line, which is expensive, but just change all their soups to have less salt. Big states like Texas and New York can have a similar effect.

For a business, its just cheaper to make your entire line conform with the one big market's demands and that means everyone else, everywhere, is forced to go along with that one state. So California can make your soup in Iowa have less salt, just by passing a law only for their one state.

And China seems to have figured this out.

Although China doesn't have the biggest economy on the planet, they have a very large one, and since the US relies so heavily on China for cheap junk, they have some leverage, particularly against the US. And they're flexing their muscles a lot recently in the economic realm. Google for example is coming up with special ways to censor and limit information just for China. And Hollywood wants to follow suit. Cain Nunns writes at The Diplomat:
But for some industry insiders, the trio personify a growing partnership between Beijing’s aspirations to export what it calls “soft power” – a sugarcoated version of China and its myriad social problems – to the West and Hollywood producers, who are bending over backwards to get a piece of the world’s fastest growing film market.

“It’s obvious why media is controlled in Communist societies. But what makes China unique is that for the first time, it has the money and market to shift control of media for a local audience to control of external representations of the country,” says Liu Lee-shin, a China film expert at Taipei’s National Taiwan University of Arts.

“Chinese-Hollywood co-productions are vehicles for Beijing to dictate the China narrative outside its borders.”

Liu says that Beijing has made no secret of its eagerness to build that narrative through movies, and points to a recent plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party endorsing guidelines to boost what it calls “cultural security,” by “propelling Chinese culture overseas.”
Basically, China wants to control the narrative its people receive, and Hollywood wants to make money. To tap into the billion-plus viewer market of china, Hollywood is willing to work with China to make movies that please the communist dictators.

And that means they're willing to change content, avoid some stories, not portray certain events, and avoid topics that the Chinese government finds displeasing - not just in Chinese/Hollywood co productions, but in US releases too, because those can be sold in China as well.

Its sort of like how World of Warcraft keeps putting out special China-only promotional items like in-game pets and events so that the Chinese subscribers are pleased. Early in the game, Blizzard edited out all bones and skeletons from the game entirely for Chinese players because the Chinese Government demanded it.

They make up a very large portion of the game's customers, and Blizzard Entertainment wants to keep them happy, even at the expense of their other customers.

The love of money is the root of all kinds of activity, period and evil happens to be one of them. But if you're powerful and rich enough - often the same thing in this world - you can make people march to your beat.

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