Sleepwalking in a Chinese Social Credit System

As the world focuses on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a huge threat is brewing right here at home.

As Canada has demonstrated, Western governments and tech companies are mobilizing to cut ordinary citizens off from public life and restrict their privacy. Actions such as protesting against government excesses, expressing “anti-authority” ideologies or even sharing “misinformation” on social media can now qualify as terrorism.

All of this is typical of totalitarian regimes, which aim to place “every aspect of society under the control of an ideology”. As author Rod Dreher notes, “a totalitarian state… aspires to nothing less than to define and control reality.”

Sound familiar?

>>> It’s time to win the big tech war

We must immediately stop this drive towards a social credit system of our own. Otherwise, we risk mirroring China, where the integration of public and private spheres has created the most effective technological totalitarianism known to man, all aimed at social control.

In the United States, the increasingly oppressive collaboration between public and private entities is not applied to the barrel of a gun. It stems from an ideological symbiosis between technology holders and government officials. This has allowed governments to successfully encourage tech companies to help control the speech of ordinary Americans.

For example, White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted in July that the White House was working with Facebook to monitor and control speech and then insisted that other private platforms should “do more ” in the same way.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said his organization is working with tech companies to bolster “legitimate use” of private platforms. Twitter reportedly referred to the office of the California Secretary of State to report and review issues surrounding the 2020 election and criticism of President Biden.

These tech companies, which control the communications channels that many Americans (and billions around the world) rely on, monitor views to see if they align with leftist politicians’ version of reality. If this is a ruling class narrative, tech companies are defending it. If he deviates from the “approved” line – for example, by suggesting the possibility of a coronavirus lab leak, repeating the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop or dismissing the existence of biological differences between men and women – it is deleted.

Ideological collaboration goes far beyond social media censorship.

China’s blacklisting system ultimately limits career advancement, real estate purchases, travel, the ability to get a loan and more. In the West, censorship measures have extended to online banking, web hosting and email delivery services.

GoFundMe, bowing to pressure from the Canadian government and Ottawa police, froze millions of dollars intended for the Canadian Freedom Convoy. Other companies, like Airbnb, PayPal, Stripe, MailChimp and GoDaddy, continue to purge accounts right of center from top to bottom of the digital stack.

Such expansive vulnerability breeds self-censorship. Americans are learning the hard way that they are risking their ability to support charities, rent homes, raise funds online, bank and even earn a living if they oppose the dominant leftist orthodoxy imposed by government and private corporations working hand in hand.

>>> Big Tech promotes a big lie

And we are in uncharted territory when a dominant company in the market (or several companies within a specific market) decides that it is better to follow the preferences of the government than to side with the citizens. This leaves these people with nowhere to go.

What happens afterwards? We are on the slippery slope of social credit rating, where “wrong thoughts” lead to undesirable consequences.

Will your individual climate compliance score be satisfactory? Suppose you use too much heat this winter. Sorry, can’t get a bank loan to buy this new house. Pumping too much gas for your family’s road trip? Apologies, no plane tickets for you next summer.

Americans need to recognize what is happening and fight it more effectively. If we do not take strong measures to respond to this new and singular problem, which is as much a political, cultural and moral issue as it is an economic one, we lose our ability to govern ourselves.

About Dora Kohler

Check Also

Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 (AS6704T) Short Review

When we reviewed Asustor’s two-bay Lockerstor 2 Gen 2 AS6702T earlier this year, we gave …