The land of socialism with Chinese characteristics is one of the most surveilled and controlled societies on the planet. Before the outbreak of Chi-Com Virus pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party was quite proud of its surveillance state and social credit score. As reported in the Captive Nations Update 2018 from the Victims Of Communism Memorial Foundation.
“The People’s Republic of China has unfortunately made great strides over the last 12 months in rolling out its techno-totalitarian social credit system. Originally proposed in 2014, and intended to cover all 1.4 billion Chinese citizens by the year 2020, the system has dystopian potential: people with low “social credit” ratings may be barred from traveling on planes and trains and their children may be denied access to public schools. Given the trajectory of “securitization” under president-for-life Xi Jinping, it is safe to assume that low “credit scores” might soon be cause for incarceration as well.”
Facial recognition and other types of surveillance systems keep a tight watch on everyone. Their movements were carefully tracked and their contacts noted and logged as part of their score. Last December a New York Times article entitled: A Surveillance Net Blankets China’s Cities, Giving Police Vast Powers reported that:
“In Wuhan, police said in a procurement document that they wanted systems that could “comprehensively collect the identity of all internet users in public spaces, their internet behavior, their location, their movement, and identifying information about their phones.”
Reports had it that ‘jaywalking’ or smoking in unauthorized areas was enough to impact that score. Having the wrong friends or talking about politically incorrect ideas was enough to stop someone from being able to travel or obtain housing.
Why didn’t this stop the Chi-Com Virus from spreading?
On the surface, the Chinese surveillance state seemed to be tailor-made to stop any kind of outbreak. They already had a system of contact tracing in place. With everyone under constant surveillance, the authorities should have known the movements of the first patients wherever they went in the country.
It should have been a simple matter of combining the data of those first few patients with the social credit score system to keep them from moving around. Even if they did travel, the Chinese surveillance state should have been able to track where they went. It would have been a simple matter of finding them and placing them in quarantine. They could have warned other nations of those who had been infected. In short, they could easily have contained the outbreak.
But the Chi-Com Virus wasn’t stopped by an authoritarian regime
While we know that didn’t take place, we don’t know exactly why the system failed. Maybe the CCP was so busy covering their collective behinds that they didn’t have time to stop the spread. Maybe social credit wasn’t as ‘efficient’ as advertised.
What we do know is that the system existed and that it is far more invasive when it comes to individual liberty than anywhere else. As well as the fact that it was an epic failure in stopping the pandemic.
So why are some trying to do the same in the states?
One of our favorite quotes comes from engineer and author Robert A. Heinlein:
“Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Robert A. Heinlein
This frames the discussion perfectly in that we’re seeing many who are falling all over themselves imposing all manner of draconian measures. There are others such as President Trump, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R), Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) are restraining themselves in controlling others.
Perhaps the former have “good intentions”, but as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so eloquently stated it:
“To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
We need to stop providing a free pass to anyone—especially those on the nation’s socialist left—who plays the good intentions game. Consider that most of these moves have a direct impact on those of the pro-liberty right, the side of the political spectrum that works to conserve liberty.
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This began with actions against the essential human right of self-defense. It has morphed into an attack on religion and other areas deemed to be of the right. Is it supposedly just a coincidence that the folks who revel in controlling others just happen to be using these tyrannical moves to impact their political enemies?
Even if we give the control obsessed leftists the benefit of the doubt, these actions won’t work
Even allowing for the best of intentions by the authoritarian leftists, the fact that even more draconian measures failed to work in China should give everyone pause. The benefits fail to outweigh the detriment to liberty.
The statistics show that many took these actions on a voluntary basis, before being ordered to do so by the authorities. Thus, there was little objection to the official edicts.
Some of the actions have helped in this situation, but going overboard could have several bad side effects down the road. Freedoms given up are not easily returned; those obsessed with control will want to falsely prolong the crisis to keep their new-found power.
Even worse, there is the distinct possibility that the next time around, the people will quickly chafe at the left’s new authoritarian bent. This could make another pandemic even worse because of the ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect as well as the absurd control edicts being presently implemented.
Wielding power just for the sake of wielding power is the mark of a would be tyrant, especially if it doesn’t do any good. But it at least should be an object lesson to vote those people out of office and carefully guard against those of a similar mindset in the future.
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