China has decided to cover up all the brand names of non sponsors with bits of tape
This part is truly surreal. Sponsors get protection from competitors from the state, just like the Communist party does. In effect large foreign corporations have essentially paid to become part of the state, at least for the duration of the olympics.
[quote]Naturally, curious minds tend to wonder what’s under the tape. A few investigative journalists, bristling at all this control, have even removed pieces of tape.
Soon after a piece of tape is removed, however, a new one quickly appears – thanks to Chinese workers charged with tape replacement. “We assign workers in [the Main Press Center] to check and replace tape that has been peeled off to make sure the tape still works every day,” says a Chinese official in charge of that work at the MPC. The official, who would give only his surname, Yang, wouldn’t say how many people are involved in that work.[/quote]
In many ways it reminds me of Mussolini’s somewhat vague concept of a Corporate State.
What’s odd is that the Russian state seems to have a fuzzy boundary with large Russian corporations too. It’s almost like there’s a new competitor to the ‘Western Model’ on the block.
Western countries are of course not immune to this sort of thing - I read a story about a school in the US having a sponsored Coke day. Kids being kids, one of them turned up in a Pepsi shirt and was asked to remove it.
In fact Adam Smith warned about it -
The difference is that in a freeish society people will obviously object and that limits the scope of it. Obviously in China, everyone knows that objecting to anything the state does, even bits of tape, will bring ruthless force down on you so the process has no natural limits.