In the great 2006 Martin Scorsese flick The Departed, undercover cop supervisor Martin Sheen says to undercover cop Leonardo diCaprio:
“Microprocessors. We’ll probably be at war with the Chinese in twenty-odd years – Costello is selling them military technology. Microprocessors, chips, computer parts – anybody says anything about anything like that…you let us know.”
“Costello” is Frank Costello, the Boston Irish mob boss – played by Jack Nicholson. DiCaprio is undercover in Costello’s crew.
The fictional cops are aware of the Real World glaringly obvious – we aren’t very far away from open war with the Communist Chinese.
The cops have intel that Costello is about to sell Intellectual Property (IP) to the Communist Chinese.
Only Costello ends up selling the Communist Chinese fakes:
“Oh yeah. You arrested some Chinese government guys at the border carrying some light sockets or something.”
The audience is left to guess why.
I’d like to think it’s because even though Costello is a murderous, felonious thug – he ain’t going to sell out his country.
Which would make a fictional murderous, felonious thug – orders-of-magnitude better than very many of our Big Tech companies.
One order of magnitude: Big Tech companies have sold Communist China tens of trillions of dollars worth of our IP.
Two orders of magnitude: That’s when Big Tech companies aren’t outright giving Communist China IP tens of trillions of dollars of our IP.
Three orders of magnitude: Big Tech companies act at Communist China’s behest to alter the IP – so as to make it easier for Communist China to abuse its victims…I mean citizens. Big Tech companies do this…all the time.
Four orders of magnitude: Big Tech companies do all this for Communist China – despite the fact that Communist China has been stealing tens of trillions of additional dollars worth of additional IP.
Why is Big Tech so very awful with regard to Communist China? Because money, of course.
When we in the 1970s very stupidly started trading with Communist China – they looked very much like Communist Russia. They were both destitute…hell holes. Because that’s what Communism creates – destitute hell holes.
But while we were embargoing Communist Russia – we were beginning to hand Communist China what would become tens of trillions of dollars of our dollars – and tens of trillions of dollars of our IP.
Shocker: Communist Russia – collapsed in a heap. Communist China – has now grown into our far-and-away Number One geopolitical enemy.
Because we have been very stupidly feeding the hand – that now is preparing to bite us.
Communist China has nigh entirely been built into a global monster not by anything they did – but by what we’ve done for them.
If a war in fact does come to pass, this may very well be the first in world history – where one side has paid for both sides of it.
Because we have been the Greatest Fools of All Time.
The tens of trillions of dollars in cash we’ve handed them in exchange for their putting their slaves to work making us stuff – is awful.
The tens of trillions of dollars in IP we’ve handed them – is orders-of-magnitude worse.
Because making them smarter – is orders-of-magnitude worse than making them richer.
Handing them fully-formed IP – is an orders-of-magnitude greater gift.
Because creating IP – is an exorbitantly expensive ordeal. That produces many, MANY misses – for each hit.
For every one idea that actually works, tens-if-not-hundreds of ideas receive the huge time, money and attention required – to find out the ideas don’t work.
Our decades-long idiotic Communist China IP policy – has allowed them to entirely bypass the inconceivably time-consuming and expensive IP creation process.
And simply take the ball we’ve handed them – and hit the ground running.
To make another sports analogy – a track and field example.
Behold – the IP relay run.
The US has been the first runner. We start from scratch on IP – the runner being down in the starter’s blocks.
We have to start from zero – and exert a ton of energy to get out of the blocks…and then push and push to get up to running speed. That is – when we’re not stumbling our of the blocks or false starting.
When we finally get fully up to speed on an IP product – after all the time, money and energy spent to get it there, while failing on many, many other attempts – we reach the shores of Communist China.
Communist China has been the second relay runner. Who gets to get a running start – hitting full stride even before we hand them the IP baton. So that when we do hand them the IP baton – they are already flying down the track.
Lather, rinse, repeat for half a century – and Communist China has gone from a hell hole – to having caught us. And they are about to pass us.
Because we have been the Greatest Fools of All Time.
Thankfully, the Donald Trump Administration is trying to do something about this idiocy.
Trump Orders Probe of China’s Intellectual Property Practices
If ever there was an inevitable outcome and a foregone conclusion – that probe had them.
Trump Administration Considers Blacklisting Chinese Companies That Repeatedly Steal U.S. Intellectual Property
Trump Considers Big ‘Fine’ Over China Intellectual Property Theft
Trump’s Actions Send a Clear Message: China’s Era of Intellectual Property Theft Is Over
Here’s hoping that is true. And then some.
We Shouldn’t Be Doing Business with Communist China
Even fictional, murderous, felonious thug Frank Costello knows it.
This first appeared in Red State.