– by Michael Snyder
Virtually everything that you do online and offline is being monitored, tracked, or recorded by someone. Could you imagine what life would be like if the government compiled all of that information into a giant database and used it to punish those who had engaged in politically-incorrect behaviour?
Globally, Internet censorship has escalated dramatically, but over in China specifically, the government is cracking down on a much wider array of online and offline activities. If you fail to make a credit card payment, get into an argument in public, or say the wrong thing on social media, you could suddenly find yourself restricted from conducting a whole host of normal economic activities.
Once discredited, everywhere restricted
China’s social credit system rates citizens based on their daily behaviour, and this could range from their bank credit to their social media activities. With a tagline of ‘once discredited, everywhere restricted’, it vows to punish ‘untrustworthy’ citizens in as many ways as possible. This system sounds like something right out of a George Orwell novel, and even entire businesses can be penalised. In fact, it is being reported that 3.59 million Chinese businesses were added to “the official creditworthiness blacklist” last year.
The following comes from the South China Morning Post:
“Over 3.59 million Chinese enterprises were added to the official creditworthiness blacklist last year, banning them from a series of activities, including bidding on projects, accessing security markets, taking part in land auctions, and issuing corporate bonds, according to the 2018 annual report released by the National Public Credit Information Centre.”
What is untrustworthy conduct?
On top of that, millions of ordinary Chinese citizens were restricted from flying and riding on trains last year for engaging in “untrustworthy conduct”. According to the report, the authorities collected over 14.21 million pieces of information on the “untrustworthy conduct” of individuals and businesses, including charges of swindling customers, failing to repay loans, illegal fund collection, false and misleading advertising, as well as uncivilised behaviour such as taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals.
“About 17.46 million ‘discredited’ people were restricted from buying plane tickets and 5.47 million were restricted from purchasing high-speed train tickets,” the report said. In other words, the Chinese government is banning enormous numbers of people from engaging in normal economic activities because they did something that the government does not like. This sounds eerily similar to the economic restrictions that the Bible says will be imposed someday upon those that refuse to participate in the coming beast system.
This is what Rev 13:16-18 says:
“He causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one may buy or sell, except he who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is a call for wisdom: Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast. It is the number of a man. His number is six hundred and sixty-six.”
System is growing in popularity
All over the world, governments are taking more control over the daily lives of their citizens, and most freedom-loving people are greatly alarmed by this growing trend. But many others are actually embracing the changes. In fact, Bloomberg is reporting that China’s new social credit system is becoming ‘quite popular’. “It’s chilling, dystopian – and likely to be quite popular. The Chinese have already embraced a whole range of private and government systems that gather, aggregate, and distribute records of digital and offline behaviour. Depicted outside of China as a creepy digital panopticon, this network of so-called social-credit systems is seen within China as a means to generate something the country sorely lacks: trust. For that, perpetual surveillance and the loss of privacy are a small price to pay.”
Of course any Chinese citizen that dares to criticise the new system could suddenly lose their travel privileges (or worse), and so there is certainly a very strong incentive to say ‘the right thing’ to western reporters.
As China’s system develops, it is inevitable that other nations will want to copy it. If you can get everyone in an entire country to fear that they are constantly being watched and that if they do ‘the wrong thing’ they will be quickly punished, then you suddenly have a very powerful behavioural tool that can radically transform a society. It would basically be a dream come true for control-freak politicians everywhere, and this kind of system would open the door for the worst kinds of tyranny. And someday we could even see such a system implemented globally.
Stand up and fight
Everybody wants an orderly society, but we should never sacrifice our basic liberties and freedoms in a desperate attempt to get more safety and security. This social credit system may be making Chinese citizens safer and more secure, but in the process their entire nation is being turned into a dystopian hell from which there will be no escape. And unless we stand up and fight against this trend, it is only a matter of time before we have such a system too. If George Orwell could see what we have become, he would be rolling over in his grave.
Article source: JOY! Magazine (June 2019)