China is busy erecting what may become the most efficient and effective despotism in history, using modern technology as the means toward the end of imposing total obedience and conformity among the Chinese people.
Heretofore, the social-credit system has been a prime example of this approach, in which citizens may be punished with job loss or higher rent for engaging in activities the Chinse Communist Party deems unacceptable — such as going to church or conversing with a low-credit-scored neighbor.
Now, the government has created a new app with which people can report on each other’s “mistaken” opinions. From the Daily Mail story:
China has launched a new app that will allow citizens to report others who criticize the ruling Chinese Communist Party or question its account of history online.
Released by China’s cyber regulator, along with a similar hotline, the app aims to crack down on ‘historical nihilists’ ahead of the Party’s 100th anniversary in July, the regulator said in a statement on Friday.
An arm of Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said the app and hotline will allow and encourage netizens to report fellow internet users who spread ‘mistaken opinions’ online in order to create a ‘good public opinion atmosphere’…
‘Historical nihilism’ is a phrase used in China to describe public doubt and skepticism over the Chinese Communist Party’s description of past events.
As in, you can’t trust anyone anymore! As in, you had better think what we tell you to think! As in, you can express opinions that we tell you to express! As in, keep all of your skepticism or disagreements to yourselves — or else!
Of course, there is no danger that the U.S. government will engage in such high-tech despotism. But why do I get the queasy feeling that Silicon Valley and Social-Media Moguls are licking their lips in envy?