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  1. #1

    China shows the future of totalitarianism

    https://newrepublic.com/article/1481...billion-people

    Fascinating. Hope Pedro sees this as well as our other members more knowledgeable in Asian culture.

    A world where you don't get in line so you can't buy a house or get a car loan. Now that's how you get people in line. A merger of totalitarian politics and economic incentives.

    And that's what scares me about the PC culture, and things like the manipulation of the political message through Facebook, Youtube and Google. That merging of control where the elites keep us all in line without ever having to actually show up with jack booted thugs and guns.
    Saigon. .... I'm still only in Saigon

  2. #2

    Re: China shows the future of totalitarianism

    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenBBN View Post
    https://newrepublic.com/article/1481...billion-people

    Fascinating. Hope Pedro sees this as well as our other members more knowledgeable in Asian culture.

    A world where you don't get in line so you can't buy a house or get a car loan. Now that's how you get people in line. A merger of totalitarian politics and economic incentives.

    And that's what scares me about the PC culture, and things like the manipulation of the political message through Facebook, Youtube and Google. That merging of control where the elites keep us all in line without ever having to actually show up with jack booted thugs and guns.
    This has been brewing for about two years, when it was first approved. Ostensibly, this social credit score is a corporate score not much different than a FICO score, in that it is run by an "independent" private company; just unlike FICO it is allowed to include social aspects to the score. In reality, there is often very little separation from upper-level corporate and governmental circles. I predict it will very much have the chilling effect that you indicate.

    Additionally, Xi has been making a number of political moves which are very curious, this one falls in line with those. Not because it is a power grab, but because of the type of power it grabs. Almost all are actions you do if you are planning for massive country wide scale revolts. Now Xi has shown himself to be one of the best political minds of the modern era, his ability at excelling at Machiavellian-style politics is par excellence and certainly could be a sign of his ability to think ahead. That being said, it could also be him preparing for a bubble collapse and knowing that this eventuality WILL come true in time. In support of this view, is the fact that much of China's growth is actually a result of increases in state-run construction and building. It can be viewed as artificially propping up an economy to encourage support. On the other hand, from a macro-economic perspective, China has a cash glut problem. Basically, most countries that become industrial powerhouses (aka net exporter) have a big problem with too much cash and not enough people wanting it. This often results in high levels of inflation resulting in the labor becoming too expensive to maintain the advantages held previously. One of the best ways to take care of this issue is to "burn" the cash on infrastructure improvements, addressing social issues, and diplomacy; much as the USA did in the 1940-60's and China is showing signs of doing now. The kinds of things which more than pay for themselves long-term but are difficult, if not impossible, to push through due to a prevalence of short-term thinking. At this point, the opacity of the Chinese government is hindering determining which of these directions is accurate as both are logical in the hybrid fascist-totalitarian system present in China.

  3. #3

    Re: China shows the future of totalitarianism

    Thanks for posting Pedro, was keen to get your take on this development.

    It has this wonderful (read frightening) Orwellian direction to the whole thing, but with a level of social control through technology that Orwell couldn't have completely conceived. It has the key element of people reporting on each other, but in this reality you don't need all the cameras and such b/c it's all recorded through our digital footprint, from internet surfing to GPS on our phones.

    Where Orwell's world was focused on keeping the middle class in line, this can keep everyone short of the most remote farmers and villagers in line, reaching far deeper down in the economic spectrum.

    And it does it in such a subtle way,with so little overhead once the system is in place. It should even come complete with the inherent distopian corruption and black market of Brazil.

    I keep wondering if I'm missing something, but this sure seems to be the inevitable direction given that the government is already totalitarian. IMO it's maybe the direction for all our nations.

    I do see this as very closely paralleling what we are seeing with US social media giants, but without the clear intent. Want to be able to monetize your youtube or facebook channel? Better not be conservative.

    Google knows everywhere I go, and for how long. They know everything I'm interested in, and they have the power to control what is discussed in the new virtual town halls and water coolers of our lives. It's already the technical foundations of the Chinese system without the direct government input, but that to me is still really dangerous to have the apparatus being built, even if not being done for the purpose of control YET.
    Saigon. .... I'm still only in Saigon

  4. #4

    Re: China shows the future of totalitarianism

    I like Sweet and Sour Chicken.

    “Before I leave I’d like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations,
    “I would like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different. We are citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it.”
    -Patriot and Senator. John McCain

  5. #5

    Re: China shows the future of totalitarianism

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcat View Post
    I like Sweet and Sour Chicken.
    The sugar is bad for you. Now you can't get that car lease.
    Saigon. .... I'm still only in Saigon

  6. #6
    Rupp's Runt
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    Re: China shows the future of totalitarianism

    Totalitarian regimes whether they embrace some forms of capitalism or not is still a dictatorship.

    Our republic from both extremes of the liberal and conservative spectrum.

    I can see liberals doing this with social issues (like banning supersized sodas) and I can see conservatives deregulating things so that th middle class is destroyed and we have lords and serfs.

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