The repeated attempts by China to ban Google's search engine [see yesterday's Mashable article] seem to be a futile attempt, to use the old cliche, to put the genie back in the bottle.
The steps that China is making toward the modernization of its economy and its desire to be technological leader continue to create conditions allowing forms of entrepreneurship that would have been unthinkable just a couple of decades ago. The continued progress of Chinese society and the Chinese people, I believe, will require the same access to information and an understanding of online commerce that is critical in our own society. It seems as if the current Chinese government's attitude toward the control of information is almost archaic in the modern world, and doomed, ultimately, to failure as the entrepreneurial society continues to develop.
Unless a society is kept technologically primitive (as is the case in North Korea), it is virtually impossible to control information with the heavy-handed mindset that guided totalitarian regimes throughout most of the 20th century. While it's true that this same free access to information may also allow for the spread of extremist thought [see "YouTube Banned in Russia" at Mashable], the overall advantages, I think, will far outweigh what is sometimes referred to as "the price of living in a free society."