China... Our neighbour wants to put a curious system in place by 2020 – one that will rate its citizens based on how they lead their lives.
Now, let’s get this clear – it’s okay to rate an Uber driver or customer based on his behaviour as a benchmark for future services. But when you get rated based on things like whether you spent time reading President Xi Jinping’s inspirational quotes is absurd, and of course, moral policing.
This is an example of a state trying to tell you this is good behaviour and this is not. So, a compliant citizen who adheres to the ever-changing social and moral codes of the authoritarian government will enjoy extensive social benefits, while any dissent or transgression of the state-sponsored moral system will attract a penalty and lower your score.
And this score is not just for the government’s reference, mind you. It will be open to see for any other citizen, and that includes businesses and corporate entities. That leaves any individual not wanting to conform to Chinese state morality, vulnerable to a social boycott. What if, say, stores don’t allow you in, or what if they charge you more for the same product or service?
But if you look at Chinese history, imposing homogeneity is a thing the rulers have always liked to do – it just makes ruling the state a hell of a lot easier, never mind the cost in individual freedom.
That’s a wrap for this episode. Catch you in the next one.
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