CHINA IS IN the grip of a new “cultural revolution”. This revolution differs from Mao Zedong’s calculated mobilisation of Red Guards against the hierarchy in two vitally important respects. It is welling up from below as a culture of outspokenness takes hold; and, although the spread of this revolution, in chat rooms, text messages, mass e-mails and as many as 13.3 million blogs, can be slowed by thousands of cyberplods sent in hot pursuit, it cannot be stopped. After months of smouldering arguments within the Communist Party about how best to handle it, the volcano of discord at the top has begun to erupt in full view. These arguments about how much freedom to allow ” or indeed, whether the floods opened by technology can be dammed ” go to the heart of the debate about China’s future direction. The leadership’s dilemma is acute, and harder and harder to hide.