The article I found was posted by the National Public Radio, titled “China’s Brave New World. ” The article is actually a podcast from a series NPR hosts called The Indicator from Planet Money, but the full transcript can be found by clicking the link here.
The Chinese Communist Party has intentions of creating a point system for all of its 1. 4+ billion citizens by 2020. This was created with intentions of not only regulating people financially (similar to the US credit system model), but primarily to regulate the overall actions and behaviors of citizens as whole. That means making sure they take out their garbage, or paying their bills on time, or even that their car is parked in a designated area. Everything will be monitored down the very things they purchase every day and where they go/how long they spend at a place. As of now, it isn’t quite clear if this going to be a unified system utilized between both the government and businesses, but it is known that there will be a singular score both for individuals and businesses.
The system has already been implemented in about five cities and works on a grading system like an academic course, according to NPR; “from 960 to 1, 000-plus points is an A. Eight hundred and fifty to 959 points is a B. Eight forty-nine to 600 is a C. And this is considered a warning level. Below that, you are a D. You’re labeled an untrustworthy citizen. And life gets really hard. You can gain or lose points for all kinds of reasons. Get a DUI – that is an automatic downgrade to a B. ” For people who adhere to the rules, benefits will be applied like discounts on their utility bills, scholarships, or higher speed rates and access to the internet. Those who don’t adhere, of course, face the consequences –– including travel bans, land distribution, investment opportunities being limited, and even cutoffs on professional career opportunities. Although this is an awful occurrence, it’s not very shocking at all under the current President’s reign. As discussed in class, he is seen to be China’s most influential and powerful leader since Mao Zedong, the original founder of the Chinese Communist Party. His policies and ideologies seem to have intentions of pushing out any type of corruption, continuing and intensifying reforms, but most importantly strengthening party growth.
In spite of the initiatives of Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, be that they’re constitutional or unconstitutional depending on who you ask, China is putting their bearuacratic authoritarian ideals to work by attempting to have total control and authority over citizens to force their loyalty to the state face the consequences otherwise. Personally, this reminds me in a way of a Netflix show called Black Mirror more specifically the premiere episode of their third season titled “Nosedive. ” In short, the premise of this episode is a standard office worker named Lacie who comes from a lower point score circle of people and wants to boost her rating so she can engulf in the finer amenities a high pointed society has to offer. Her action affect the cars she can drive, whether or not she can fly, and even her real estate market. The main difference between the episode and what’s actually going on, though, is that the point system is a social construct that is regulated and analyzed by peers and businesses instead of the government. So, if someone didn’t like her, they had the option to rate her poorly on the five-star scale.
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