Progressive Governance Needs a Social Credit State
Critics of the Chinese Communist regime often point toward the government’s social credit system, in which the government traces individuals’ electronic paths, from their comments on social media to items they purchase, and issues rewards and punishments based on the information collected. For example, a Chinese citizen who receives a “bad” social credit score might not be permitted to ride one of the famous high-speed trains, being relegated to the slower trains for travel, and might be denied air travel.
Not surprisingly, people in the West have denounced the system as being heavy-handed, including CBS News, hardly a voice of antiprogressivism:
The fear is that the government will use the social credit scoring system to punish people who are not sufficiently loyal to the communist party, and trying to clear your name or fight your score is nearly impossible since there is no real due process.
Human Rights Watch, hardly a right-wing entity, is even more scathing in its criticism of China’s system:
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks forward to a “common future in cyberspace” with China, he told the Chinese government’s World Internet Conference earlier this month. This was an embarrassing gesture toward a state that aggressively censors the internet and envisions a dystopian future online.
Other progressive entities, including the New York Times, also have been critical of China’s social credit system but apparently have no problem with the establishment of a similar de facto
system here. The Washington Post went even further, openly taking part in a social credit scheme by publicly identifying people who recently contributed to the Canadian truck protesters and demanding to know why they gave money.
Understand that the Washington Post accessed an illegally hacked document and then used it as a weapon against people who dared contribute to something with which the newspaper’s staff disagreed, and the purpose was not to be informative but rather to endanger contributors and make them vulnerable to job loss, public shaming, and other kinds of attacks. This is not a rendition of “Democracy Dies in Darkness” but rather an attempt to impose a greater darkness on all of us.
Not that long ago, political liberals universally would have agreed that using massive electronic surveillance to monitor speech and political contributions was unthinkable. Today, not one mainstream journalistic entity has raised a question about the actions taken by Canada’s government against dissenters or even questioned the Post’s doxing of those contributors. One surmises that the editors of the Post agree with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, since many protesters do not share the political views of the Post’s staff.
The Washington Post is hardly the only entity that has taken the view that supporting the truckers is tantamount to supporting the Nazi Party. The New York Times has denounced the truckers as violent terrorists, in contrast to the demonstrators in 2020 that “peacefully” destroyed huge portions of American cities, killing and looting as they went. Writes Paul Krugman:
[T]his isn’t a grass-roots trucker uprising. It’s more like a slow-motion Jan. 6, a disruption caused by a relatively small number of activists, many of them right-wing extremists. At their peak, the demonstrations in Ottawa reportedly involved only around 8,000 people, while numbers at other locations have been much smaller.
Despite their lack of numbers, however, the protesters have been inflicting a remarkable amount of economic damage. The U.S. and Canadian economies are very closely integrated. In particular, North American manufacturing, especially but not only in the auto industry, relies on a constant flow of parts between factories on both sides of the border. As a result, the dis
Article from Mises Wire