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China Is Building A “Social Credit” System. So Is The United States.
In the U.S., there is no law against denying the holocaust or hurling racial epithets. What we lack in legal redress, however, we are quickly and successfully suppressing via business, media, and academia. These institutions increasingly find themselves overrun by “internet mobs,” those vicious and fickle masses of self-styled online vigilantes who comb the internet for transgressions by public figures. The pattern is predictable: targets are identified based on their statements or positions, their offenses are amplified on social media, and then a litmus test is presented.
Companies overwhelmingly respond by capitulating. Universities respond by de-platforming speakers, or students drown them out with protest. Though universities have historically been the bastions of rigorous intellectual debate, they are also, like businesses, adapting to their new boundaries. Media entities, especially mainstream ones, more often than not succumb to calls for eliminating perspectives that fall afoul of the approved discourse.
In Stalinist Russia, citizens were encouraged to report their neighbors for “counter-revolutionary” thought or behavior. Mere accusations were often enough to ensure the banishment of the state’s “enemies” to gulags to die of torture, starvation, and disease.

The United States is not Soviet Russia or Maoist China. Neither is modern-day China. Nevertheless, both share outcasting as a potent social and economic weapon. The ruling class in Russia and China was of course the government. In the U.S., where the government is regularly refreshed, our ruling class is comprised of those who define our accepted modes of discourse through the institutions—many of them non-governmental—that they control. While no one serious has suggested the transgressors of today be sentenced to hard labor in a gulag (though certainly some non-serious individuals have), it is alarming how accepting many have become to inflicting on these transgressors a direct hit to their careers as just punishment for their wrongthink. Today’s mob scans and censors the citizenry like past regimes have, except businesses and academia are the enforcement mechanism.
politics  socialmedia  policing 
28 days ago by ayjay
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