Over the past week, we’ve witnessed two iconic American brands, the NBA and Blizzard Entertainment, grovel to communist China, betraying American values in the process. I propose a new phrase for this sort of behavior: “corporate communism.”
Not only did the NBA force the general manager of the Houston Rockets to delete a tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, but they also made him apologize to the communist regime.
Blizzard, creators of World of Warcraft, banned one of its top players from a Hearthstone video game tournament for a year, and withdrew a prize of $10,000 that he had recently won. The player, Ng Wai Chung, lists Hong Kong as his hometown, and had broadcast a message of support for the protesters during an online stream.
Remember American ideals like democracy, freedom of speech, the right to assembly, self-determination? It appears that some of America’s largest companies have forgotten. They appear more loyal to China and its billions of consumers, not American values.
“Corporate communism” is an apt term, describing both communist China’s attempt to blend Marxist government with market economics, and western corporations’ willingness to march to their tune.
It doesn’t have a penalty yet, but it should. Companies are caving in because they’re scared of sacrificing huge profits in Chinese markets by falling foul of the country’s communist censors.
There’s only one way to stop this behavior — impose financial penalties on any American company that kowtows to Beijing. And the penalties have to be heavyhanded enough to matter — we’ve seen how tech giants, for example, respond to fines from regulators: frequently, the obscenely wealthy companies simply consider them a minor cost of doing business.
Globalist free marketeers will of course be very upset at the prospect of such “big government” interference. But the present crisis of American values in American corporations is a result of their ideology. By insisting on a hands-off approach to America’s corporate sector, they have paved the way for a country that doesn’t take a hands-off approach to get its way. It’s a tug-of-war game, but only one side is playing.
America’s values — freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, decentralized government, the second amendment — were created to maximize individual liberty and independence from the state. The fact that so much of American life revolves around the private sector and not the state is the product of that limited-government approach.
But what happens when the private sector, decides, on its own, to do the bidding of a tyrannical regime? Suddenly, Americans will find themselves governed, through the private sector, by China. Much like their speech is governed, through the tech companies, by far-left activists who have nothing but contempt for the first amendment. The free marketers might believe the argument that their globalist policies export America’s freedom and culture to Beijing and the rest of the world, but in reality, the west is clearly importing the culture of oppressive communist regimes to our shores.
Those who hope that some kind of “invisible hand” will force America’s companies to one day do the right thing haven’t paid attention to the recent corporate-led assaults on free speech, democracy, and the second amendment. The sad fact is that very few American brands have the courage of South Park.
Speaking of South Park, if America imposes penalties on corporate communism, it should probably also hand out awards for corporate patriotism. Do Matt Stone and Trey Parker have Medals of Freedom yet?
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.