I am saddened and dismayed to see anti-capitalist and anti-corporate rhetoric, especially from right-of-center blogs. Making a mistake is one thing; maybe Google did. But assuming the cause must be the profit motive is anti-capitalist. There are many ways to make a mistake that are not about greed.
I have not seen, in a single post, any actual evidence that Google is doing this out of greed. No arguments explaining why the profit motive causes mistakes. No quotes from Google executives advocating greed. No calculations about how much money Google will make by this decision, and whether that is enough to cause corruption. No discussion of whether this is profitable at all (generating negative publicity is bad for business). No explanations of why people with good ideals would turn to evil beyond assertions that money is a force for evil. The big fuss is, I have to say, nothing but unreflective calumny that one would normally expect only from very silly lefties.
I don't know if Google's cooperation is a mistake or not. I (and other bloggers) do not have the necessary inside information to accurately judge just what options Google had and exactly why it chose this. Guessing that Google is a sinful capitalist company may be fun, but it doesn't tell us why this happened or whether it was the right decision.
There are dual sins at work here. First we have the debate tactic of saying the people we disagree with have immoral motives (while failing to acknowledge their actual position). Second, we have the profit motive as the evil motive of choice.
Here is an example of an unfair headline:
Don't Be Evil - Unless It's ProfitableThe right wing anti-capitalist pieces don't seriously argue their position. What could they say? That US corporations are greedy and corrupt and if only we weren't capitalist we could live in freedom, with no censorship?
The Conservative Voice
This piece calls Google evil, and suggests that caring about business may entice Google more deeply into evil. It suggests Google plans to notify users when search results are blocked, but it asserts that is only worth brownie points and makes Google a little less evil. It goes on to say:
They say that they will have a link somewhere on the Google.cn page enabling users to access the U.S.-hosted version at: http://www.google.com/ig?hl=zh-CN. So that Chinese users who prefer can opt for the pre-Google.cn experience.but doesn't believe this to absolve Google of evil because it might not be displayed prominently enough. Evil is the premise, not the conclusion.
Here is Google's explanation of its decision.
Edit: "Very silly lefties" links to the Democratic Underground. If you don't believe in conspiracy theories, that doesn't apply to you.