Chinese brutality is immutable
Last year I posted on this exact moral issue:
The destructiveness of an act of vice is never isolated. A moral transgression drags down everyone and everything it touches, in many different ways -- and it is especially corrosive to those who do not or cannot consciously reject and repudiate it.
It is the Age of Skepticism which makes the failure to morally judge possible on such a grand scale. The daily toleration for millions of acts of vice across the planet would not be possible without the worm of nihilism at the heart of modern culture.
The proper response to dishonesty is always to identify it, fully and honestly. The proper course of action is then contextual -- from a raised eyebrow, to a full public denunciation. There are too many factors to name here. But the principle stays the same in all cases, because the root fact is always this: an act of vice is destructive, so to "go along" with one is to go along with an act of destruction.
Let's make this very clear: the rule and law of the PRC is man-made and deadly, i.e., it can and should be repudiated and thrown out today. The only individuals who have a "right" to observe the rule of murderers for one more day are those who live under it, those who would risk imprisonment or worse were they to stand up to the oppression -- not individuals nor corporations nor governments in other countries.
A "we don't really like doing this" statement, such as on Google's blog, does not negate the moral sanction of existentially collaborating in a dictatorship's programme of oppression. Such a rationalization makes the situation worse, actually, because it confuses the issue.
Today I am wondering if the U.S. government should block U.S. corporations from contributing to the mechanisms of political oppression anywhere in the world. I'm too ignorant of the philosophy of law to convince myself of this, but it seems like it might be right.