Survival of the Popular: The Dangers of Social Credit

Opinion

China has been pushing for years to re-gear their commerce structure based on social acceptability. Social Credit, as it is commonly termed, is the concept of placing buying power at the mercy of one’s social interaction, or popularity.  Although not as cut-and-dry as it sounds, for some Social Credit is actually an Orwellian attempt to limit supplies for individuals whom are not deemed as socially-compliant as others.

Of course, the key component in all this is the Deep State question: Who determines ‘socially-compliant’? Take the battle currently running amok with Facebook and other social media sites limiting, or shadowbanning, conservative accounts. For larger accounts, such banning is affecting their revenue stream. Now move this analogy into “real world” and imagine one’s bank account balance being directly influenced by one’s daily ‘Likes’, ‘Follows’ or ‘Views’.  Throw in some 1984, and its easy to envision a trip to the market being limited by one’s ‘social account balance’.

Enter Social Credit. One’s score wavers based on one’s compliance with government-sanctioned policies. The more one fits into the governing creed, the more wealthy that individual becomes. And social poverty becomes literal poverty.

This is neither a new concept nor an unexplored entertainment premise. Novel and film plots have revolved around previously outrageous depictions of futuristic commerce. From Douglas Adams’ novel Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy ridiculous (albeit funny) use of prehistoric man adopting the leaf as legal tender (then burning down the forests in order to curtail their instant and vast wealth) to Andrew Niccol’s film In Time in which time itself becomes the currency exchange.

China’s new ‘social credit system’ is a dystopian nightmare