by Jeff J. Brown for The Saker blog crosslinked with:
Pictured above: the panopticon Illinois State Prison, in Joliet. For every Westerner out there, just look out your window. It’s even worse. Your every move, every communication and transaction, monetary and otherwise, is being tracked, recorded and stored by a faceless, multilayered, fascist corporate-government octopus. One-hundred-eighty degrees to the east in China, it’s all posted on the internet, TV and print media, for every citizen to follow and comment on, upon which Baba Beijing will respond in kind. Now, that’s what I call real, participatory democracy.
Western propaganda brilliantly and ceaselessly employs what is known as psychological reflection. This is a mental health term meaning that if you are guilty of being a pedophile or tax cheat, for example, you get on your soapbox about the evils of child molestation or fiscal crooks, respectively, while doing exactly that. Another great example is homophobia. Many homophobes, especially the most violent ones are repressed, closeted gays and lesbians, who internally loathe themselves.
Be it war, invasions, occupation, genocide, massacres, exterminations (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/03/17/wilfred-burchett-explains-why-like-all-good-fascists-every-day-is-my-lai-for-americans-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180319/), the use of chemical and biological weapons (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/03/12/noose-of-truth-is-tightening-around-milton-leitenberg-co-s-collective-neck-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180310/), institutionalized corruption, election fraud, pollution, CIA drug cartels, CIA organized crime (https://ganxy.com/i/113798/), ad nauseam, the West aggressively attacks all its enemies for being guilty of these and the rest of the world’s criminality, when in fact Eurangloland is the most brazen and bald faced Global Enemy #1 in every one of these categories, with the rest of humanity being its long-suffering victims.
Sadly, the West’s psychological reflection works so well that its endless tsunami of shameless lies and propaganda continues to win over the long term. Just look at how Eurangloland has completely perverted the opinions of the vast majority of the world’s people, at least those who do not live in communist-socialist countries, when it comes to Russia, the Russian people and its president, Vladimir Putin. Ditto Iran, Venezuela, North Korea (DPRK), Cuba, the Philippines and any other country (or its leader) that does allow itself to be a craven whore for capitalist empire.
The effectiveness of western psychological reflection in the mainstream media is so thorough, that people I know who should see through this withering fog of propaganda are completely brainwashed. I call it being behind the Great Western Firewall. Yet, most Westerners I know who live overseas are just as clueless, due to their innate sense of racial superiority (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/10/all-the-chinese-people-want-is-respect-aretha-franklin-diplomacy-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171110/) and their unwillingness to look beyond CIA-MI6 CNN, New York Times, BBC, the Economist and all the other rubber stamp ventriloquist dummies that shill for their deep state masters. It is a demoralizing fact of life, something I passionately wrote about in Book #2 of The China Trilogy (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/19/the-china-trilogy/), China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (https://ganxy.com/i/113798/).
Eurangloland’s owners are throwing everything they have trying to destroy Russia, Iran, Venezuela and DPRK (let’s call them the Fearless Four) and too many others to name. You may notice that three of these four countries are some of the biggest hydrocarbon producers in the solar system, and that’s what the West’s elites really want to do, is bring down their respective governments and install puppet Boris Yeltsin’s, to commence with the rape of their citizens and plunder of their natural resources. It’s called capitalism, if you haven’t already figured it out or have yet to reluctantly accept the truth.
After 500 years of global tyranny and dictatorship, cracks in Western empire’s game plan are starting to show. The Fearless Four keep exposing Westerners for the racist buffoons and ideological zealots that they are. Almost nothing is working as planned near home base Europe (Russia and Iran) and America (Venezuela) Even North Korea’s very astute Kim Jong-Un is besting the West on the diplomatic front (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/08/28/why-dprk-will-n-e-v-e-r-stop-its-nuclear-arms-program-china-rising-radio-sinoland-170828/), having gotten Trump to agree to a joint summit (https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/trump-kim-jong-un/555323/).
How much worse can it get for Western empire? It must be time to bomb another country into the Middle Ages, or invade a small, helpless, poorly defended country full of dark skinned people. Like Iraq, how about Grenada II? That’ll keep the beer and popcorn flowing in front of Westerners’ 25%-interest-installment-plan-purchased widescreen TVs, for a week of Hunger Games bread and circuses.
Way out east, OMG, along comes Baba Beijing (China’s leadership) to really make a mess for Eurangloland (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/23/china-tech-is-unstoppable-from-noodle-shops-to-outer-space-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171123/). It too continues to run circles around racist, greedy and let’s face it, incredibly hubristic Westerners, at least the deep state and its stooges who occupy positions of power in its “democratically elected” puppet governments (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/10/25/how-can-western-capitalism-beat-this-thats-the-rub-it-cant-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171022/
Thus, the mainstream media Wehrmacht undoubtedly has on the boards to try to bring down Baba Beijing, but it is being held up. Why? Three’s company and the Fearless Four are already a crowd. You can only spread your resources of destruction and chaos so far. As any good fascist will tell you, the Big Lie means staying laser focused and relentlessly on-message. Given with how it’s currently playing out and knowing the ultimate goal is taking control of these Others’ human and natural resources, the propaganda tsunami against the Fearless Four is already reaching the point of diminishing marginal returns. Adding a fifth behemoth target like China (which is just as savvy and patient as the Fearless Four) has probably been deemed too much by the West’s owners.
Therefore, Baba Beijing has gotten off pretty lightly up to now, compared to the fascist Big Lie against the Fearless Four. But in the interim, that still doesn’t mean China gets off Scot-free. The CIA-MI6 mainstream media juggernaut sees a chink in China’s armor (sorry, I couldn’t resist the awful, off-color pun), with its rapidly developing (Chinese) Social Credit System (CSCS – http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/01/11/chinas-public-social-credit-system-versus-the-wests-secret-panopticon-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180111/).
Patrice Greanville, Editor-in-Chief of The Greanville Post (http://www.greanvillepost.com/) sent to Godfree Roberts and me a hatchet piece about CSCS (https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/china-banning-people-from-transit-for-bad-social-credit-scores/). It originally came from Reuters, a CIA-MI6 chop shop from way back (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-credit/china-to-bar-people-with-bad-social-credit-from-planes-trains-idUSKCN1GS10S). James Corbett has a rabid, irrational fear of all things China-socialism-communism, so he piled on (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Buhli5MYk). Then Forbidden Knowledge ran with Corbett’s propaganda video, adding insult to injury.
Corbett is so cartoonishly bad about this subject, I even commented on it in China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (https://ganxy.com/i/113798/). It’s too bad, because otherwise he does some really good journalism. But then again, “liberal”, “progressive”, “alternative” journalists who have epileptic seizures at the mere whiff of China, socialism, communism or false flags (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/06/a-us-government-lie-exposed-the-1995-oklahoma-city-bombing-china-rising-radio-sinoland-170505/) are a renminbi a thousand. It takes courage and conviction to look outside your own bigoted, ideological blinders to admit that there are different points of view and squirm-in-your-seats, smoking gun evidence.
I sometimes wonder if journos like this get PayPal hongbao (red envelopes full of money given during Chinese New Year) from Langley and Vauxhall Cross, to post anti-Chinese propaganda. Or, maybe they are just your plain vanilla, subconscious racists (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/01/06/slavs-and-the-yellow-peril-are-niggers-brutes-and-beasts-in-the-eyes-of-western-empire-china-rising-radio-sinoland/). Forbidden Knowledge possibly didn’t notice it, but they allowed Godfree’s thoughtful and reasoned riposte to be published below their piece. If they nuke it, I have posted it below, safe for posterity.
In closing, here is a prime example of the difference between the West’s real life, fascist panopticon versus China’s open, honest and forthright Social Credit System. This month, China Central Television (CCTV) cooperated with Tencent Research (of Wechat fame) to do a national survey, talking to 8,000 citizens. The results were broadcast on CCTV, picked up by all the print and social media and it was the topic-of-the-country for a few days. Why? Because 76.3% of the respondents think that some kinds of artificial intelligence (AI) are a threat to their privacy (https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2018/03/06/the-increasing-use-of-artificial-intelligence-is-stoking-privacy-concerns-in-china/). As the world’s largest user of surveys and polls (I wrote a whole chapter on this in China Rising and here is an article that touches on it: http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/05/22/china-has-the-worlds-most-popular-government-for-a-reason-china-rising-radio-sinoland-160522/), I can guarantee you that the results of this poll and many others like it were/are put on President Xi Jinping’s desk, as well as in the hands of thousands of other decision makers in China’s government. Unlike the West, Baba Beijing and Chinese democracy are proactively responsive to the citizens’ concerns, hopes and aspirations (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/30/do-you-see-what-i-see-depends-on-where-you-look-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171130/). Thousands of poll results are synthesized, analyzed and end up in laws passed and policies changed. China’s is real people’s participatory democracy, not the elitist, Potemkin Western version (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/12/27/china-has-democracy-and-the-west-has-dictatorship-171227/).
Herewith is Godfree Robert’s comment about the Reuters/Corbett Report/Forbidden Knowledge fearmongering yarn about China’s SCS. It is a great combo with my aforementioned article on the same subject (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/01/11/chinas-public-social-credit-system-versus-the-wests-secret-panopticon-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180111/).
I would like to preface Godfree by saying that in the CSCS, if you have substantial back taxes, delinquent loans, unpaid financial court settlements and the like, you can be banned from flying, or taking costlier highspeed trains here. They may even take your passport. The logic being, if you can afford to buzz all over the place, then why can’t you pay your debts? These are usually well-heeled citizens who have the assets to live the high life. They can always drive their (chauffeured) cars on China’s 131,000km of motorways, more than any other country in the world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_road_network_size and http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/08/26/china-is-the-most-plugged-in-big-economy-in-the-world-china-rising-radio-sinoland-170824/). I have never heard of not being able to take the metro or standard trains, unless you are out of prison and on parole.
These kinds of restrictions and much more onerous ones are put upon citizens in the West. The United States is now routinely imprisoning poor people who owe money, East St. Louis being just one of many examples (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/02/debtors-prison/462378/). That’s just the tip of the American iceberg for loss of freedoms and due process. The Oklahoma Department of Education (ODE) refuses to give me my updated teacher’s certificate, because I have sent in my tax returns to the IRS three times, and due to its incompetence, my returns have never been official registered in its database. Last summer, I even went to the Oklahoma Tax Commission and hand delivered my returns to them, but that’s not good enough. The feds say no go, so I’m out $50 at ODE for nothing but frustration and insults.
These kinds of governmental limits on freedom and due process are legendary in the West (I lived and worked in France for five years), often preying on the powerless, voiceless and dark skinned members of society. As Godfree explains below, the Chinese are getting legal recourse for the CSCS. I know experientially that they already have it in local courts for small claim redresses, because I threatened to sue my landlord in Beijing and he backed down, a true life story I detailed in China Is Communist Dammit – Dawn of the Red Dynasty (https://www.amazon.com/China-Communist-Dammit-Dawn-Dynasty/dp/6027354380/).
Erm, no. China’s very public Social Credit program is not America’s very secret No Fly List. Not even close.
Our media are interpreting yet another Chinese policy, Social Credit, in Western terms but China does things differently and, usually, better.
First, Social Credit is a popular initiative: the Chinese are the most trusting society on earth yet don’t have credit ratings so they’re tired of being scammed online for billions each year.
First [II], they trust the government–not private credit agencies like Equifax–to run projects that impact everyone because they trust their government far more than we trust ours: 86% of them say it works for everybody and not just for a fortunate few.
Second, Social Credit doesn’t just rate citizens. It rates everyone from government departments and individual officials to cops, corporations, Supreme Court justices, Congresspeople–absolutely everyone and every enterprise gets a social credit rating that arises naturally from their interactions with others.
Third, doesn’t this sound better than being secretly rated by private corporations who sell your information to other private corporations and secretly share it with government agencies–without your permission? And charge us for access to our own information? And offer no reciprocity? Ask TRW for a vendor’s credit history and current rating and what it costs you.
Fourth, Social Credit is 90% carrot and 10% stick: the higher your score the easier your life becomes. Japan and the Netherlands already offer expedited visa processing for tourists with scores above 750 and landlords and car rentals waive deposits if you’re over 800. It’s intended to be a magic carpet for those who play straight with everyone they encounter.
Fifth, all the rules are public and anyone can play and all changes to your SC rating are transparent to you, in real time. For free.
Sixth, China already has a prototype running, an online Social Credit Arbitration Court where, for a few dollars, you can have your case heard and receive a binding verdict that corrects mistakes. Millions of people use it and are refining it. It will go national in 2020.
Seventh, There’s an idealistic element: it’s part of China’s 2,000-year-old plan to create a ‘datong’ society in which (to be brief) everybody is taken care of and nobody needs to lock their doors at night: a goal every Chinese supports and which the government hopes to deliver by 2120. Imagine the effects of 100 years of Social Credit on the entire culture…
Customers applying for visas for developed countries, like Luxembourg or Japan, with scores above 750 need not submit bank records and enjoy perks like expedited airport security checks: a consumers’ magic carpet that reduces transaction fees and credit losses and builds consumer confidence. By 2018, more than 1,100 government officials had been blacklisted.
More carrot than stick, corporations with strong social credit can expect government contracts and low-interest loans and raises small corporations’ credit if they observe consumer and product safety regulations, while debiting them for unreliability, dishonesty, excess emissions and even poor worker safety. Regulators say that, when the system becomes integrated it will generate corporate scorecards directly from sensor data, CCTV cameras, government and court records and consumer reviews.
The program comes with a sting in its tail, as Oxford University’s Rogier Creemers says, “When rules are broken and not rectified in time you are entered in a list of ‘people subject to enforcement for trust breaking’ and denied access to things. Rules broken by corporations can lead to them being unable to issue corporate bonds and individuals being unable to become company directors. Trust-breakers can face penalties on subsidies, career progression, asset ownership and the ability to receive honorary titles from the Chinese government. Those who fail to repay debts are punished by travel restrictions”.
A typical travel restriction made the news in 2017 when a real estate developer attempted to book a first class ticket to London and found that the system would only issue him a tourist seat. When he investigated he found that his restriction stemmed from several court judgements whose penalties he had not paid. By 2018, the People’s Court had banned six million defaulters from traveling by air and was working with government departments to ensure that they would be ‘limited on multiple levels’. A local court got creative: when someone calls a delinquent debtor in Dengfeng, Henan Province, instead of a ringtone they hear, “The person you are calling is listed as dishonest by the Dengfeng People’s Court. Please urge them to fulfill their obligations”.
Social Credit gives consumers the same access to corporate and government ratings as corporations and governments have to consumers and make a highly trusting society transparent. Since it will be operational by 2020 and will doubtless arouse Western fears of Orwellian control, here is the official summary of the State Council’s Basic Plan for Establishing and Improving Systems of Joint Incentives for Trustworthiness [I posted the link to the whole document in my related article]:
Praise creditworthiness, discipline untrustworthiness. Fully utilize credit incentives and constraints, increasing the extent of incentives for trustworthy entities and of disciplinary actions for seriously untrustworthy entities, letting the trustworthy receive benefits and the untrustworthy be subject to restrictions, forming systemic mechanisms for praising honesty and disciplining untrustworthiness.
Coordinate departmental and social action. By disclosing and sharing credit information, establish cross-region, interdepartmental, and cross-sector mechanisms for joint incentives and joint disciplinary action, forming a common governance structure in which government departments coordinate their concerted action, industry organizes self-discipline and management, credit service organizations actively participate–all broadly supervised by public opinion.
Protect rights and interests in accordance with laws and regulations. Strictly follow laws, regulations and policies to scientifically delineate trustworthy and untrustworthy conduct, develop joint incentives for trustworthiness and joint disciplinary action for untrustworthiness.
Establish complete mechanisms for credit restoration, objections, appeals and so forth to protect all participants’ lawful rights and interests [the Social Credit Arbitration Court].
Focus on key points, coordinate advancement. Persist in being problem-oriented, striving to resolve credit issues in key industries that are currently harmful to the public interest and public safety, on which many people have given strong feedback [recall all the polls and surveys discussed above], or which have caused serious negative impacts on economic and social development.
Encourage and support innovations and demonstrations by local people’s governments and relevant departments and gradually expand mechanisms for jointly incentivizing trustworthiness and jointly discipline untrustworthiness to every area of the economy and society.
This is another Big Chinese Experiment, a revolutionary way for people and institutions to relate to one another so let’s give it a chance. Who knows? We might learn something.