Amazon bans a book critical of PM Justin Trudeau’s China ties

T. Belman. In 1973, his father, PM Pierre Trudeau, made an historic visit to China, the year after Pres Nixon did.  But Pierre was first to open up diplomatic relationships. Pierre had a fascination with communism and was best buds with  Castro.

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Monopolies aren’t bad just because they seal a market from competition, driving prices up and quality down. In an internet era, tech monopolies are truly malevolent because they foreclose the marketplace of ideas. Amazon just provided more proof of this fact by banning both paper and e-book sales of Ezra Levan’s China Virus. Teddy Roosevelt would have known what to do. It’s questionable whether anyone in today’s Washington has TR’s principles or courage.

Ezra Levant, a Canadian conservative, has spent years battling the censors in Canada, a country that lacks a First Amendment. His speech can be inflammatory but, before Friday, he was able to say freely in America what Canadian laws repeatedly tried to censor. Amazon changed that.

Amazon is bookselling in America. As of a year ago, before the lockdown put Amazon’s online purchases into hyperdrive, Amazon controlled 42% of paper book sales in America and a staggering 88.9% of e-books. Those numbers may well have increased in recent months. In other words, especially when it comes to the increasingly popular e-book marketplace, Amazon is the gatekeeper of what people can and cannot read.

What people can read at Amazon includes Hitler’s Mein Kampf; Marx’s Das KapitalLenin’s writingsMao Tse-Tung’s writingsFidel Castro’s autobiography; and a wide variety of other books written by or paying homage to some of the worst actors and thinkers in world history.

What people cannot read at Amazon is Ezra Levant’s China Virus. Despite the title, the book is not about the Wuhan Virus. Instead, Levant examines how Justin Trudeau’s pro-China policies are damaging Canada. In fact, for anyone paying attention, the subtitle spells it out explicitly: “How Justin Trudeau’s pro-Communist Ideology is Putting Canadians in Danger.”

Nevertheless, Amazon sent Levant an email (incongruously signed “Best regards”) informing him that his book was being pulled because it provided potential misinformation about the Wuhan Virus:

We’re contacting you regarding the following book(s):

China Virus: How Justin Trudeau’s pro-Communist Ideology is Putting Canadians in Danger

Due to the rapidly changing nature of information around the COVID-19 virus, we are referring customers to official sources for health information about the virus. As a result we are not offering your book for sale.

Amazon reserves the right to determine what content we offer according to our content guidelines.

The letter as written is so lacking in human feeling and logic that it appears as if a computer algorithm took over. However, Levant believes that this was a deliberate decision on Amazon’s part: According to his China Virus website,

Amazon originally refused to upload the book, fighting with us for two months. But then they relented. And the book became an instant bestseller, reaching no. 1 on Kindle in Canada and no. 2 as a paperback. It was a huge bestseller.

And now it’s been deleted. It’s China-style censorship.

Levant has a few theories about why Amazon shut his book down:

Who did this?

  • Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s owner, who would do anything to ingratiate himself with China, to get access to their huge market?
  • Justin Trudeau, whose connections to Communist China I expose in this book?
  • The United Nations and the World Health Organization, whose corruption I expose?

Or maybe all of them?

Fortunately, because Levant has connections, he was able to find a publisher who will soon print up a hard copy for those who don’t like e-readers. Meanwhile, those who are comfortable with digital books can download a copy from Levant’s website by paying any amount they wish (with Levant suggesting at minimum $7.50, the Amazon price).

Ultimately, whether the Amazon letter reflects a computer algorithm gone mad or a deliberate attempt to shut down Levant’s criticisms about Trudeau’s policies doesn’t matter. What matters is that a monopolist is calling the shots about what most Americans – no, most people in the English-speaking world – can and cannot see. Amazon decides what’s “official” and “acceptable” — and what is not.

Teddy Roosevelt, a man of tremendous moral courage, is still remembered today for attacking monopolies that restrained trade. He would have known instantly what to do with tech tyrants such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. “Teddy Roosevelt, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.”

Fortunately, competition is on the way with Walmart planning to go head-to-head with Amazon Prime. Walmart’s unfortunately more woke than most shoppers realize, but (a) it’s better than Amazon and (b) any meaningful competition is better than no competition at all.

July 12, 2020 | Comments » | 445 views

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