Banks

1984 is (partly) already reality in “the west” with big companies like Google, Facebook (WhatsApp), Amazon (Alexa is basically the “BigSister” always listening, always watching) and Apple constantly collecting data users, shipping them overseas into datacenters (largely without consent) and then either re-selling the data or try to extract useful information “how to take over the world” (or at least some markets) with the help of more and more clever AIs.

European Police officers visiting  Johannesburg (Southafrica) praise the almost 100% CCTV surveillance coverage of the city and want to have such a cool tool at home.

Understandably, SouthAfrica is a dangerous place, but does USA/Europe need 1984?

The same goes for the Chinese capitalism + dictatorship combination that works so “well” (it all comes at a cost).

The economic “elite” in the west (those with massive work-less-incomes generated by possessions like real estate, companies, other privileges) and their pseudo-intelligent advisors fancy such systems of surveillance and oppression as well, of course (to stay rich and in power).

One thing is for sure, in the moment, that truth (and science is truth as well) is silenced, it is the beginning of the end (stagnation) of learning and development for mankind.

China’s Social credit system

“Imagine a world where everyone bins their trash, no one crosses a red light and everyone pays their taxes so that schools are always well funded.

This sounds like a nice utopia.

But add to this surveillance cameras, face recognition, and the requirement to always praise the government.

Now it sounds like an Orwellian nightmare come true: the Chinese Social Credit System.

In 2020, the Chinese Social Credit System, which has been under development and testing since 2009, is intended to standardize the assessment of citizens’ and businesses’ economic and social reputation, or ‘Social Credit’.

With this system, people and companies can be tracked and evaluated for their trustworthiness. The Chinese credit system is closely linked to China’s surveillance system with facial recognition, big data analysis, and AI.

The Social Credit System is marketed by the Communist Party of China to its people as a great improvement to society as a whole. The aim is that people and companies become more honest, to fight corruption, and to have a better functioning and a more stable society overall.

The idea behind this is understandable: As social networks decline and anonymity in cities rises, the social pressure to behave in an acceptable way declines as well. China now replaces this social pressure with the Social Credit System so that people even when living anonymously in any city behave in an acceptable way.

Power over people

China, however, is an autocratic country. Here the power does not lie with the people, but the government wants to have maximum power over the people. Opposing the Chinese Communist Party is not allowed. Activists and investigative journalists have a very difficult stand in Chinese society, and the Social Credit System will make this even worse.

The Social Credit System has a lot of potential to improve society on the surface while destroying people’s trust in the government and society as a whole underneath it. After all, the system undermines the rule of law.

People can get blacklisted easily, which has severe real-life consequences. Anyone being blacklisted, is put on such a list instantly. There is no trial at court. While people and companies can appeal against being blacklisted or against receiving bad credit, the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is reversed: You have to prove that you are innocent.

As the Social Credit System goes hand-in-hand with one of the worst surveillance apparatuses, it infringes legal rights such as the right to reputation, the right to privacy, and the right to free speech.

Millions of people blacklisted

Negative factors for credit ratings have been different in the past, depending on where you live, but are supposed to be streamlined across China in the future. Negative factors include:

  • dishonest and fraudulent financial behavior
  • playing loud music
  • violating traffic rules
  • making reservations at restaurants and not showing up
  • failing to correctly sort your waste
  • fraudulently using other people’s public transportation ID cards

Positive factors, on the other hand, include:

  • donating blood
  • donating to charity
  • volunteering to community services

According to Wikipedia, blacklisted people are already being banned from using public transport: For instance, 26.82 million air tickets as well as 5.96 million high-speed rail tickets had been denied to people who were deemed “untrustworthy (失信)”.

On top of that, some personal information of blacklisted people is deliberately made accessible to the society and is displayed online as well as at various public venues such as movie theaters and buses. Some cities have also banned children of “untrustworthy” residents from attending private schools and even universities.

A modern way of putting people in the pillory.

Who is being blacklisted?

Every citizen and every company in China now has to worry about being blacklisted by the Social Credit System. Since the rule of law does not apply to the system, people might even get blacklisted by accident. Then, it is their duty to prove their innocence – not the other way around. This can make life for lots of people very difficult.

For people being blacklisted, the consequences can be very similar as for people who are being innocently charged based on location tracking data, whih these two US examples show.

On top of that, China also uses the system to blacklist people opposing the government. According to The Globe and Mail one of the first persons being blacklisted was Liu Hu, a journalist in China, writing about censorship and government corruption.

Liu was listed on a List of Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement by the Supreme People’s Court as “not qualified” to buy a plane ticket, and banned from traveling some train lines, buying property, or taking out a loan.

“There was no file, no police warrant, no official advance notification. They just cut me off from the things I was once entitled to,” he told The Globe and Mail. “What’s really scary is there’s nothing you can do about it. You can report to no one. You are stuck in the middle of nowhere.”

Government’s use of Social Credit System

Another example of how the government uses the Social Credit System is threatening companies – even international ones – to act in-line with government’s requirements and expectations:

In April 2018, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent letters to international airlines demanding they show the map of China with the inclusion of Taiwan. The Chinese government threatened these international companies to “make a record of your company’s serious dishonesty and take disciplinary actions” should they not comply.

In the end, every company complied. The Social Credit System is used to pressure not only Chinese citizens and companies. It is meant to change the way we deal with and perceive the People’s Republic of China.

Social Credit System in the West

This shows the dramatic impact of the Chinese Social Credit System. While a system that infiltrates personal lives to such an extend does not exist in the West, there are similar tendencies: Companies such as online companies, marketers, insurance companies, financial institutions and so on like to know a lot about their clients. They compile so much data about you that they can establish their own credit system. We explain this further in the article on why a social credit system is so scary.

Nevertheless, the Chinese Social Credit System reaches entirely new levels: China is an authoritarian country, and the government – the Chinese Communist Party – uses the Social Credit System against its own citizens.

This must be the warning we take out of this: Once surveillance and social credit is there, it can be easily abused by the people – or companies – in power. While China is presenting the worst example of a Social Credit System, there are a lot of tendencies around that world that go into the same direction.

In the West, we still have a chance to stop the building of social credit systems. We have to stop feeding the data miners, the companies that use and abuse our data for their own profits and look out for privacy-friendly alternatives.

Let’s fight for our privacy rights now – while we still can.”

source: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/social-credit-system-china/

the rule over others, almost always went wrong

(wrong = egoism & (lobby-induced) corruption & mismanagement lead to hunger and uprisings)

so maybe its time for America to reinvent itself?

so maybe its time for everyone to rule themselves?

should not the state educate people how to survive, in balance with nature, by their own hands? (give em a piece of land and the equipment to survive there, there is enough land between the east and the west coast)

rule over others = slavery = exploitation is so damn devilish profitable

the biggest problem is:

  • the “pile of shit problems”, that were created over decades of erosion grew so big, it can not be ignored anymore (it’s like a ship who’s mast has a lot of cracks, but nobody bothers to build a new more sustainable ship)
  • “western” democracy in it’s current form has proven many times to be unable to solve problems in a competent way, so “the world” is in a state of turmoil, lack of orientation and uncertainty, because of a in-competent decision making process plus: the decision making process is so “abstract” that “the masses” lost track, who is actually to blame for what.
  • rule over others = slavery = exploitation is so damn devilish profitable, but the planet belongs to everyone
  • “western” democracy accepted itself as perfect,  did not actively (funding!) search for alternatives to itself (arrogance)
  • thus “western” democracy “forgot” to look for alternatives (can be other forms of democracy)
  • thus did not do any experiment with alternative forms of government
    • (except Chinese communism experimented very “successfully” (more money, more pollution plus all the negative side effects that a money-centric lifestyle brings about) with neoliberal capitalism)
  • “going back” to dictatorship/monarchy can hardly be considered a step forward

US-America needs to reinvent itself

I wish them a lot of success! 🙂

There are (still despite all the cuts to education budget) creative and clever people there!

i just hope there are enough innovative and clever people there that also have a moral compass and i wish them to succeed in their efforts

“As Walter Williams reminds us, capitalism is a wonderful system in part because people can only become rich by providing value to others.”

WRONG. But go on.

“That means investment, entrepreneurship, innovation, competition and other behaviors that make the rest of us better off—even if we never become millionaires ourselves.”

“Remember, the normal state of humanity is grinding poverty and material deprivation.”

(source: https://fee.org)

In theory – this is what capitalism SHOULD be – but is it?

To the naive believers maybe still.

But it is not.

Capitalism ought to guarantee  a vibrant creative economy with 100% employment aka “wealth for everybody” and creative long lasting sustainably produced products that get better by the day.

It does not.

It might be true for small and medium sized businesses (SMB) that have a very very hard time getting ANY loans from ANY bank are the most creative and actually create jobs.

But it’s not true for multinational companies.

“It’s only in the past few hundred years that many of us have escaped that fate—thanks to a system of free enterprise that channeled human greed in a productive direction.”

(source: https://fee.org)

Maybe it was the people who fought for basic human rights and good working conditions (against owners of the factories/the capitalists and their banks) that managed to make things better for the average working citizen?

Bismarck actually introduced a state health care system, not because he wanted to do good for society, but because he wanted to have fit and not sick soldiers.

This state health care system survived him, so basically he Bismarck did good to society “by accident”. (USA health care system is for the rich only and up to this date, US-citizens lack any proper health care system that actually works for them, because short sighted capitalists do not care about health, they cares about money as income and turnover, not health)

But is this really the way forward?

Hoping that capitalists will produce “by accident” positive outcomes for society?

This is just madness and right now it does not look like help won’t come by law any time soon?

Unless a massive crisis completely obliterates and destroys “the system” and people actively formulate how they want to live.

COVID19 could be that crisis.

Maybe in the 1960s it used to be that way, but nowadays is not only “my guts” but also statistics that shows the highest GDP IN THE WORLD OF LUXEMBOURG IS NOT DUE TO CREATING VALUE, THEY CREATE FINANCIAL CRIME BY HELPING FOREIGN COMPANIES AVOID TAXES (means: stealing from the rest of the world, the average citizens ought to pay 50% and more taxes on income, but not the Top100 companies, noooo that would be unfair?).

Most famously Apple pays $50 for every $1.000.000 (one million) in income, thanks to another tax haven, Ireland.

“The company was said to be paying tax in Ireland at a rate of under 1% for two decades – just 0.005% in one year.” (souce: TheGuardian)

Okay it is REALLY no wonder, that a court in Luxembourg ruled that way.

Luxembourg itself since decades is a tax avoiding crime scene.

Wonder if people still live in Luxembourg, or if it’s only fake companies and fake offices with 10000x post boxes and computers that manage the stealing of wealth.

An internet lock down would hurt Luxembourg way more than any trade embargo.

Walter E. Williams is either blind, stupid or ignorant (blind on purpose, because it pays well).

Maybe there was this “responsible to society” capitalist of the 60s that believes in democracy, the rule of law and actually cared about it’s employees and society (not so much about nature unless forced to by laws) – in which Americans still believe and still believe they (especially Trump) could turn back time to that “golden times” – when wages basically increased and the employee did not even have to beg for it.

And there is this radical exploitational and tax avoiding “whatever sells” (especially weapons and drugs) capitalism of the 2000s, that constantly

  • lowers wages
  • does not care about employees or creating jobs at all very much the contrast.
  • CEOs openly say, it is NOT their responsibility to create jobs, the state ought care about citizens, not private companies
  • also wages “cost money” so almost every company  avoid ’em like hell, constantly strive to either cut wages, destroy unions, make people work more for less
  • or: lay off as much people as possible, transfer production to automation or China and so on and so on.
  • The list of negative side-effects of this modern capitalism is ENDLESS.

It is also highly unsustainable and as COVID19 crisis shows, it is highly instable and thus can not deal with crisis – not even small crisis – AT ALL (folds like house of cards at slightest breeze).

It is like – making your life dependent on Windows 95.

If it crashes – your children will starve.

If that is okay with you – go about business as usual – if not – massively invest every Dollar every Euro every Yen in YOUR INDEPENDENCE from the monetary system – by creating your own fresh water (well) food (farming) and energy (solar and wind).

If a state does not support it’s citizens in this strive for independence – it is the right of the citizens to demand the state’s support – because the state acts against their interest.

Politicians are mere puppets to the super multinational conglomerates – so politicians – 90% of the time – unless pressured massively by the public on all channels – won’t act in the interest of citizens or sustainable survival of mankind and nature.

So capitalism is on the way to not only destroy itself – but all basis on which life can exist on this planet (Shell and others knew decades (in the 1980s, probably earlier) ago, by their own research, their business model was causing climate change (to the worse) not climate stability.

To be fair: there are probably two kinds of climate change (global warming and weather extremes known as climate change)

  • natural changes (the dust of the meteor that caused the ice age and made dinosaurs extinct has luckily settled)
  • mankind’s CO2 (heating, transportation) and methane (cows/meat)

everything lives of a balance – mankind needs to learn how to increase the stability of that balance – by everyday life – instead of adding to instability.

Maybe Mars is the only true hope for mankind.

But it is a major gamble – but Americans love gambling – so it completely fits their culture.

Bet the future of mankind on one card.

Very very risky and as said in the Shell produced video: “waiting for final proof” (that man made climate change is real) “would be irresponsible”

So would be ignorance of and gambling with the future of mankind.