Communism and Computer Ethics

History of Communism

Communism in China


Freedom of Speech

Intellectual Property

Work Ethic


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Communism in China


Little Red BookThe Communist Party of China was formed in 1921. It was under Mao Zedong's control in 1927. Eventually, Mao led a revolution, and the communist party obtained control in 1947. They followed the example of the soviet model of development through heavy industry with surpluses extracted from peasants. Consumer goods were left to secondary importance. In the sino-soviet split of the 1950's, Mao split from traditional Marxism-Leninism and developed Maoism, the Chinese interpretation of communism. Mao was upset with the Soviet leader Khrushchev's position of peacefulcoexistence between the communists and capitalists. The Maoists started a strong communist tradition, instituting the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Great Leap Forward was instituted to help transform China into a heavy industrialized society. However, this was largely considered to be a failure and many Chinese starved to death. In the cultural revolution, Mao overthrew his enemies and millions of people were killed or persecuted.

New Ideas

After Mao's death, the ideals of China shifted under Deng Xiaoping to a form of "market socialism." He instituted changes in the economic system where they developed what he considered to be socialism with Chinese characteristics. He decided to use policies that had been shown to be effective and followed less the ideologies of the earlier leaders. He instituted the "Four Modernizations", describing agriculture, industry, science and technology, and the military. Deng is commonly credited as the person who turned China into the economic world power that he is today. He opened up China to the outside world and industrialized successfully. Mao

In 1989 the death of reformer Hu Yaobang led to student protests for individual freedoms. This led to the Tienanmen Square massacre, where military force was used against civilians. The PRC government was internationally condemned, and Deng officially resigned in 1989. He made a tour of China to keep emphasis on his policies and inspire the entrepreneurship that exists in China today.

Modern Communism in China

The current constitution was created in 1982 and been continually revised since. The constitution includes many civil rights: free speech, press, worship, the right to trial, and the right to own private property. However, in practice this constitution has widely not been followed. There has been very little done to ensure that new laws instituted follow the constitution. The judicial system does not provide any particular method for review of new laws.

Computer usage in China has exploded. Currently, there are over 210 million internet users and over 400 million mobile phone users. There is a huge increase of the computer users in China, and ethics of technology has become increasingly prominent over the years. In particular, privacy, censorship, public ownership, and work ethic have become series ethical issues.