29 March, 2008

Tibet II

I would like to add a little to my previous blog about Tibet, if you don't mind.

There were some comments about the Olympics not being about politics. Well, I don't know about that. The Greeks who started that whole thing laid the foundations of our modern society in terms of democracy and freedom. The Ancient Olympics were as much about politics as today - maybe even more.

Another thing the comments were about is how I/the US/the rest of the world are spreading lies about whether Tibet is part of China or not. Well, I couldn't care less. I know it is rather etno-centric of me, but I don't care much about history. Sure, one can learn from it - but whether some area once belonged to some country or not - how does that matter? I believe people should judge and be judged based on NOW, not on what their forefathers did but on what they do and did in their own lives.

Finally, about news and dishonesty of media: I don't believe a government is qualified to dictate what people should know or not know, say or not say, think or not think. How could it? It's, just like everything else in the world, run by humans. Humans are not infallible, and neither is a government - or any other organization for that matter. Psychologists have discovered hundreds of common errors in the way people think and work together (just have a look at Groupthink). In the western society there is a healthy suspicion towards powerful organizations like large companies and governments - and for good reason. That's one true thing History taught us: such organizations inadvertently turn evil somehow. Bureaucracy, the way large organizations keep themselves together, does this by alienating people and by taking away their responsibility. It's hard if possible at all to prevent that from happening. And as far as personal power goes, who doesn't know how 'power corrupts'?

Just like free software leads to better software, freedom leads to a better government. Not perfect - but as there is no guarantee a single, relatively small group of people can always make the right decisions, freedom is your best bet. Despite all its shortcomings.

Besides, the fact the Chinese government, just like any dictatorship before and after it, tries to limit any independent reporter in their country and Tibet in particular imho shows they KNOW what they do is wrong. Or at least the realize people would oppose their actions - and if you are not confident in your own decisions, if you aren't even willing to defend them in the open - how can anyone trust you? Believe me, the American government isn't much better - they try to keep journalists away from what they do in other places in the world as well. I think it's a safe bet they have reasons for that which aren't entirely honest (or just plain evil). In that regard, the Chinese government isn't better or worse (though the scale might differ, and the US government is a lot more limited in what evil they can do thanks to the laws governing their country).

Anyway. Life sucks, that's for sure. At least for many in this world. I'd be the last to say what happens in Tibet is anything special - people are oppressed all over the world. And they have been - for ever. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't care, right?

So on this blog you can find a little script you can use to show your discontent with what the Chinese government is doing. As they took down Tibet.org, we can take down their site. Bad? Illegal? Probably. Not a solution? Sure. Luckily, YOU can exercise your 'evil, western etc' freedom to protest this, so just comment on my blog if you think this is wrong - and I and others will read it. And as most of us here are sensible people, if you make a compelling argument, we can decide NOT to use this script. After all, it's the choice of every individual reading this blog. As long as he/she lives in a free country, that is.

For those KDE-ers who think this topic doesn't belong here: you're right (maybe I should mention our new KDE 4 slogan 'Be Free'? Aaah well....). This will most likely be the last blog about this topic.