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China Controls Hollywood?

"The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." Lenin (might be apocryphal)

Photo by Venti Views / Unsplash

I haven't finished the documentary yet, but I've watched enough to understand the paradoxical threat: China is using the free market to eliminate the free market.

Do American companies, including film studios, want access to the massive Chinese market? Then they need to do what the Chinese Communist Party says. Otherwise, the product loses a billion potential consumers, profits suffer, shareholders get mad, the stock's market cap falls, and studio heads get fired. Heck, even if an individual product runs afoul the CCP, an entire studio can get punished ("movies like Red Corner, Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet so angered the CCP that, for a time, it wouldn't allow other movies from the studios behind them into the Chinese market").

The effects trickle down. The actors do what they do best: they act like nothing is wrong. Screenwriters don't even bother drafting scripts criticizing China, much less the CCP. Technicians digitally change images that the CCP tells them to change . . . or that their American bosses tell them to change because they fear the irritating the Chinese censors.

And the overall gist of the documentary: Films mold American life. They mold American opinions. If those films relentlessly portray a worldview favored by the CCP, they relentlessly undermine the things that make America great and free.

This Newsweek article highlights that it's not just the film industry. The CCP is having a chilling effect on freedom (the market and speech) in other areas, like YouTube, which has de-monetized the documentary narrator's anti-CCP YouTube channel.

"There's a history: Whenever you say something critical of the CCP, things disappear from various platforms," Meier said.
YouTube confirmed it removed the channel from its Partner Program, meaning uploads are allowed but monetization is not, but declined to say why.

The Newsweek article says Hollywood is starting to push back against the CCP censors, sometimes successfully. But we all know what's happening: The CCP knows its clandestine censorship of the U.S. entertainment industry is over, so at this point, they must engage in negotiated censorship. But it's still censorship.

What can we do?

We need to ban the studios. Shut them down and tell them to move to China.

Does that violate freedom of expression?


But, as Justice Jackson observed in his Terminiello dissent, the Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact. We can't let Gnostics, whether Communist or Fascist or Islamic or other fundamentalists, use our freedoms to kill our freedoms.

The problem, of course, is that we'd need the Federal government to implement the ban, and it's only marginally less-Gnostic these days than the Marxists. I don't even trust the pending relatively "soft" (not the right word) TikTok measures.

So what do we do?

I'm afraid I don't have the answer, but I, taking Albert Jay Nock's recommendation, just worry about doing the right thing in my life. Goodness knows, it's hard just to do that, but I'll try. If I hear about CCP censorship or U.S. corporation's kowtowing to the CCP, I'll try not to spend my money with them. It's all any of us can do, I'm afraid.

New documentary criticizes Hollywood’s relationship with Communist China
A new documentary dubbed “Hollywood Takeover” is so sensitive that YouTube removed its trailer for two days.

China Controls English Universities?

The Chinese students policing Britain’s universities
think again

Re: Lenin's quote about capitalists selling Russia the rope to hang capitalism. Oxford Reference.