Methods

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

David Graeber is an Intelligent human being – an activist – active in occupy wallstreet and so on.

His book – debt the first 5000 years – is a scientific very detailed 534 pages book – but what he misses – what is wrong with debt?

let me tell you what is wrong – with the interest on debt monetary system:

repaying debt is not so easy, not only because of the interest-on-interest effect but also – the money to pay the interest – IS NEVER CREATED in the first place – the game is rigged. (see another great book: Bernard Lietaer “rethinking money”)

Here comes the (simplified but still true) example:

imagine a world where there is only one bank and two shoe companies:

  • company A shoes
  • company B shoes

Bank X is given a loan from the central bank of $100.000 in cash (the central bank is the only bank allowed to issue cash).

The $100.000 Bank X keeps as reserves (10% in reality this would be only 1%).

This allows Bank X to lend out 100% of the $100.000 meaning $1.000.000 or one million in “book money” (money that only exists in the books or in computers).

So Bank X can gives company A and company B a loan of $450.000 to start their business and wants every year a modest rate of 3% interest.

The problem: the 3% interest ($13.500 in the first year) ARE NEVER GENERATED and thus one of the loans HAS to fail.

So after the first year – already $27.000 of interest would need to be paid to Bank X – but because this money was never created in the first place it can not be paid unless…

Company A needs to “extract” money/steal from company B in order to repay their debt or face bankruptcy.

Eventually one of the companies will have to close down – people lose their jobs – and the other company then has a monopoly on shoes – the prices for shoes skyrocket X-D

Because the interest-money is never created, it is not in the game, one of the competitors has to fail so the other competitor can repay the loan.

This is evil.

It is evil because sets people against each other in very very aggressive and evil way and calls it “normal”.

This will create a society of thieves and robbers and this is exactly what we have today.

did you know the “privatization” comes from the the latin word “privare” which literately means to steal? (deprive, rob)

The Goldman Sachs saying: “it is not enough that you win – others have to lose”

is not exactly correctly, more correct would be:

“in order to win – others will have to lose”

because those are the (current rules) of this catastrophic debt based game.

Here is another piece of wisdom: NEVER lend money to family or friends or you will lose both.

instead: if a friend or family member is in need ask them what they need and buy it for them. (help with material not with money directly)

or: give the money as a gift.

never the less Graeber keep up the good work.

Lietaer has unfortunately passed away.