The Mainstream Media reaction to the recent “scandal” involving Chinese influence over the NBA proves that they are either maliciously trying to misinform the public or they are too ignorant to be allowed to touch a keyboard. This incident has caused a furor on the internet as people expect something as American as professional basketball, for some reason, to be patriotic. But, Chinese and foreign “influence” over policy and firings in the NBA and other industries is not due to some sort of conspiracy but instead is a natural result of the economic system in which we live.
The internet fury revolves around Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey’s now deleted tweet showing support for the Anti-Beijing Protestors in Hong Kong. Chinese media and its internet flipped out over this and the NBA bowed down to pressure giving an official apology to the Chinese and Mr. Morey was threatened with being fired from within the Rockets organization. Foreign Policy covering this story referred to the NBA as “China’s Willing Tool” which is a great click-drawing headline, but makes absolutely no sense factually speaking.
Because the ideological West vs. East battle in Hong Kong is very divisive, we should take a look at some other examples of how companies bend to public/foreign pressure and a great starting point would be Ikea. The famous Ikea catalogue (and the company’s advertising) is surprisingly different in different countries. Not from the perspective of items on offer but from the virtue signaling contained within it.
In Europe, Ikea considers homosexual male couples to be “family” using them in advertisements. In Russia however, any European gayness is completely deleted from the legendary catalogue. And, in Saudi Arabia women themselves as an entire gender are absent from their material. Ikea’s official excuse for this inconsistency is that one of their two guiding principles is “following the law”, which is a very polite cop out.
The truth is, that Ikea, like any large international corporation will bow to any political/ideological pressure in order to maintain profits. We should not forget that services are servile and they by their nature and are compelled to try to appease as many people as possible even if that means promoting homosexuality in one country and allowing its demonization in another. Profits must be maximized.
This is the motivation behind the NBA’s “cowardice”. Apparently the Chinese contribution to the NBA budget is massive at around $500 million per year, which means their voice is so loud, that by the laws of today’s economics, it must be heard and be appeased.
We can see this phenomenon of shifting morals to placate different markets in all sorts of international businesses. Ford is pushes an eco-friendly appearance across Europe, while trying to be F-150 patriotic “Amurikan” at home. Even Hulk Hogan can be seen cutting a promo for a wrestling event in Saudi Arabia over patriotic song lyrics about “fight(ing) for the rights of every man”. There is something darkly ironic and postmodern about this “Americanness” icon promoting the Saudis which is truly fascinating.
We live in a time of very Liberal economics. The West allowed itself to get rich off of massive international corporations, many of which are publicly traded (meaning there is no one face responsible for them) and people are surprised that after letting the cat out of the bag it seems to indiscriminately want to get as many mice as it can. Based on the system in which we live it would be insane to expect any international business to be truly patriotic, all economic forces push it towards a “whorish” attitude of trying to service as many consumers as possible. Economically we are international, borderless, profit driven and growth addicted, under these circumstances how can we expect businesses to push for our ideology of the month?
As the world changes and gets more Multipolar the amount of groups that need to be appeased will only continue to increase. The Chinese are a close second to the Global Hegemon and that is why the NBA, Hollywood, and even video games have been censored to appease them. The Chinese are too big to have their feelings ignored, but it could be very likely that Russians or some other civilization will pop up as #3, then #4 will appear` and so on.
If the predicted demographic collapse of Europe does happen then do not be surprised to see Coca-Cola pandering to the new Islamic majority against the evil pagan traditions of Christmas, just in the same way that they used the swastika on advertisements during Hitler’s reign. Coca-Cola does not have any values, it is a product that needs to be sold and will pander to whomever to get the job done. They do not believe in Fascism, Fundamentalist Islam or Western Style Democracy, they believe in doing what’s best for business and that is selling the most product by emotional manipulation of the consumers.
If you are angry about the NBA submitting to Chinese pressure then your anger should not be at the basketball organization but at the rules by which business is currently governed. If you want patriotic businesses then those businesses needs to be owned and run by a single responsible individual as well as be restricted by laws that make them beholden to one specific nation\culture or civilization.
If you want massive corporations to serve one master then they must be given no opportunity to serve a second, the NBA did nothing wrong.