Friday, December 19, 2014
President Obama has portrayed a very 'measured' demeanour to a TV reporter today when asked about an American response to the hacking of Sony and the ongoing threats. He seemed relaxed. Does he know something? He almost 'ridiculed' Sony for their caving in to the supposed NK demands-----that the film in question never be released in any form. OK--what is so important about all this? One would hope that a backroom group of hackers, based in NK, who could cause so much damage and bring a huge corporation to its knees, could be neutralized in some way---that is short of some sort of 'military reaction. Should the film makers take a more 'responsible' approach to their 'art?'Should they self-censor? One does not have to look far to find many other examples of satirical films, depicting various 'leaders' in a less than positive light. Obviously the 'self absorbed, power hungry control-freak, who leads North Korea, had other ideas. He does not want his people to see the film--a film that portrays him way closer to the truth than he would wish known to his subjugated population. If Sony gives in completely, a precedent is being set; one that must not happen. Hell, before we know it, other leaders could take a leaf out of the 'Dear Leader's Book of Tricks.' Can't you just see our John Key passing legislation forbidding any untoward depictions of his leadership? Well no, I can't because we are already doing it, although at the last election, he did take exemption to a certain song that briefly appeared on social media, or was it done on his behalf? Back to the main event---Sony, North Korea and an America response. Obama is so calm that it leads one to think that 'moves' are already afoot in regard to a response. Maybe the USA is going to 'cyber bomb' the democratic republic with endless cartoons that cannot be turned off, sort of a modern day mass brain washing. Perhaps it will take the form of a 'special edition' of the Simpsons, with a particularly galling message to the people about their leader; perhaps one in which he is made to look 'silly.' Oops, that would not present a particularly difficult challenge! The mind boggles at the possibilities, when one considers the response that the USA could bring to bear, compared to the efforts of NK. It could well be the cause of the demise of the 'difficult leader.' The only fly in the ointment?---Why---China of course! They too could well be a victim in this new age 'cyberly-challenged' times. I bet the candles are burning in more than one capital city.
Without a doubt, more people in China now could be classed as 'middle-class,' with access to goods and services that most NZers take for granted. Famine is a thing of the past for the most part. Political choice and 'freedom are a very different issue though. I am sure that my Chinese 'friends' would say though that 'for most Chinese, public order' is a far more valued quality and that disorder is a 'scenario' that is far more scary than the right to publicly criticise the regime or the dominant Communist Party that controls most aspects of life in China. If one of course is a dissident and there are ever increasing numbers of such people, then my statement will be viewed as RUBBISH! Tell that to the 'artists, poets, authors and 'quasi-religious' groups who wish to express their viewpoints or simply 'exist.' There remains the question of the vast numbers or ordinary workers, who work long hours for relatively small amounts of money. It is the 'West' and the rest of the world that drives the demand for the results of these workers---cheap 'goods' that the world now heavily relies on. The very same workers are demanding better working conditions but they can only push so far in this 'controlled' economy. Many in the West are increasingly uncomfortable, if the reports of the long hours and heavy-handed manner in which these workers are treated are indeed correct! Forget about 'workers strikes' that actually succeed in bettering the conditions that no NZer would accept. (although there are those here who would disagree with me!) Human rights issues are something that the Chinese Government would happily sweep under the mat and if the reaction of a high Government member, interviewed on CNN, today is the norm, then it is obvious that moves to improve those issue is a distant goal. China faces a dilemma: does it continue to be the 'workhouse of the world,' producing a vast array of goods at competitive prices or does it gradually increase the wages and improve conditions for the workers, putting its dominant position at risk as other countries like India, Vietnam and Indonesia start to challenge China's dream run? China has come a long way since the 'revolution,' but it will find it ever harder to control the aspirations of its people, who like all people, have dreams of a better life. It is the manner in which such aspirations are delivered and the amount of control the State' has over those people that will remain China's long term challenge. www.authorneilcoleman.com