RSS Lifestyle – Living

The Gamification of Tyranny

22/09/2018

It looks like we’re headed for a brave new world where all citizens are rated on their loyalty to the state and are punished for wandering from its narrative.

Call it the gamification of repression.

In China, the supposedly communist state—in fact, it is an advanced form of crony capitalist authoritarianism that Marx would have disapproved—is busy setting up a rating system for all citizens. According to a paper written by an academic at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon, scores are based on professional conduct, corruption, type of products bought, peers’ own scores, and tax evasion.

The author left something out, however. This social credit system will also be used to marginalize and stigmatize those who criticize the state.

China’s nominally communist government says the system and its massive database will allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.

In addition to scrutinizing online activity and acting on tips by snitches, the system will tap into China’s sprawling network of surveillance cameras, said to number around 200 million across the country. Facial recognition will ID individuals and follow their every move in search of behavior worthy of a low score. Those gaining a high score will be allowed access to credit facilities, cheaper public transport, and even shorter wait times for hospital services. They will also be banned from travel and decent employment.

Although the system isn’t slated to be fully rolled out until 2020, pilot projects are already being used to ensnare enemies of the state. For instance, the journalist Liu Hu received a negative score and was blacklisted for criticizing China’s political corruption. He is under house arrest, his social media accounts were shut down, and he is unable to travel. This is reminiscent of travel restrictions placed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

If you think you’re free of this kind of tyranny because you live in America, think again.

Everybody knows the NSA and its contractors are collecting our most private and intimate information. Travel bans are enforced through no-fly lists and these are imposed on political activists as well as the innocent caught up in the surveillance system. You can lose your position at a university for thought considered unacceptable to a politically correct orthodoxy. The state intervenes when a business concern refuses to sell products to people the seller finds objectionable. In numerous ways, the state hinders, bans, and criminalizes behavior in parasitic fashion, the end result being overcrowded industrial prisons and a bounty in revenue generation through fines, assessments, penalties, and taxes.

Our social media accounts are scoured by the NSA, FBI, and the CIA for any sign of political misdeed. The state is able to monitor our behavior online in real-time. It has turned our cellphones into tracking devices. The tech giants often collaborate with the state and hand over our data without a constitutionally mandated search warrant. The data on our phones is surrendered at the border.

The latest signpost of ever encroaching corporatist-government fascism can be seen in the social media purge, which through evolution will ultimately remove all content from the internet deemed “extremist” by the state—and for the state that is everybody right or left who moves beyond permissible parameters set by the state.

Meanwhile, a huge internal security apparatus little different than what was used in the former Soviet Union is growing in size, arming itself to the teeth against the citizenry. It has deputized local law enforcement and showered it with all kinds of weapons, turning local police into armies controlled by the federal government.

Meanwhile, we are aghast at the behavior of China—or some of us are—and this is exploited to ramp up hostility toward China while buttressing Trump’s trade war. The ruling elite exploit the fear of China and Russia as part of an effort to check China’s move into a resource rich Africa and threaten Russia on its borders.

Most important is the project to derail China’s Belt and Road Initiative, aka the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road which poses a threat to neoliberal control of markets and the global economy. We are witnessing this being tested in the South China Sea and the China-Indochina Corridor as the US engages in provocative behavior against the Chinese navy.

Most believe we live in a democracy when in fact we live under a soft corporate-banker fascist police and surveillance state. I say “soft” because in the United States the government has mastered the art of control through media, not simply the corporate media, but also woven through the products of an entertainment industry that collaborates with the Pentagon and the CIA.

The state has done this for a very long time in America—from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to the FBI’s COINTELPRO and beyond. Technology has given the state the ability to covertly destroy its political enemies, whereas previously it took a lot of footwork.

Admittedly, this isn’t in-your-face like China’s social credit system, but the end result approaches what China is after—total control of the population and the removal of all serious political opponents challenging the state’s hegemonic rule.


Comments are closed.

 

www.diafthora.com,our site soon:to Fight against Corruption in Greece-E.U

Ever since antiquity, corruption has been one of the most widespread and insidious of social evils. When it involves public officials and elected representatives, it is inimical to the administration of public affairs. Since the end of the 19th century, it has also been seen as a major threat in the private sphere, undermining the trust and confidence which are necessary for the maintenance and development of sustainable economic and social relations. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of Euros are paid in bribes every year.

Pentagon’s ‘lost’ trillions went to people connected to US military-industrial complex

Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul has said that “the Pentagon’s lost trillions have nothing to do with defense, adding that the “money propping up the high lifestyles of those connected to the military-industrial complex.” Dr. Paul, a three-time American presidential candidate and the founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, made the remarks in an article published by his website on Monday. Deputy US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has recently acknowledged that the Pentagon has failed its first-ever comprehensive audit, saying, “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.” “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan claimed. The first-ever audit of the of the $2.7 trillion enterprise that is the Pentagon identified widespread problems in cybersecurity, but found little in the way of savings that could offset potential budget cuts next year, according to officials. Pentagon’s comptroller David Norquist, who has played a key role in the audit, said after the report release that although no glaring instances of fraud were detected in the US military establishment, its Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Special Operations and the Transportation Command all received failing grades.

“The Outlook For The Global Economy Has Deteriorated”: Oil, Copper And Lumber

Oil, copper and lumber are all telling us the exact same thing, and it isn’t good news for the global economy. When economic activity is booming, demand for commodities such as oil, copper and lumber goes up and that generally causes prices to rise. But when economic activity is slowing down, demand for such commodities falls and that generally causes prices to decline. In recent weeks, we have witnessed a decline in commodity prices unlike anything that we have witnessed in years, and many are concerned that this is a very clear indication that hard times are ahead for the global economy. Let’s talk about oil first. The price of oil peaked in early October, but since that time it has fallen more than 25 percent, and the IEA is warning of “relatively weak” demand out of Asia and Europe…

Amazon Rolling Out ‘Amazon Pay’ Digital Wallet In Physical Stores

As FAANG stocks lead the market lower during what has become a relentless Q4 selloff, Amazon is hoping to reassure anxious investors that the company's relentless expansion and revenue growth will continue. To wit, the company is taking another big step toward establishing itself as the American WeChat or Alipay as it seeks to become the dominant player in electronic consumer payments in the US and beyond. According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant is hoping to undercut Apple's Apple Pay by persuading more brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet. As it tries to build a foothold in payments outside of its Amazon Go stores, the company is reportedly focusing on building partnerships with restaurants and gas stations (businesses that have yet to be scalped by the Bezos revenue-absorption machine). To entice owners to give Amazon Pay a try, the company is dangling what appears to be a pretty enticing carrot: Amazon is promising to lower processing costs at a time when so-called "interchange" fees charged by Visa and MasterCard have been rising.

YouTube Lets California Fire Conspiracy Theories Run Wild

The Camp Fire in California has killed at least 79 people, left 699 people unaccounted for, and created more than a thousand migrants in Butte County, California. In these circumstances, reliable information can literally be a matter of life death. But on YouTube, conspiracy theories are thriving. Currently, when a user starts typing “California fire” into YouTube, the top autocomplete search suggestions are “conspiracy 2018,” “agenda 21,” and “laser beam,” all of which refer to conspiracy theories related to California’s wildfires. Similarly, typing in “California wildfire” leads YouTube to suggest “lasers,” “directed energy weapon,” and “dew,” which is an acronym for “directed energy weapon.” Simply typing “California fire” and searching it does return straightforward news coverage, which is an improvement over, say, the false flag and crisis actor conspiracies YouTube was surfacing about the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting earlier this year. Believers of this false California wildfire conspiracy theory think that the US government shoots directed energy weapons, or lasers, from a plane in order to to start fires at predetermined targets. The goal of this attack, which is not actually happening, is to support a bastardized interpretation of “Agenda 21,” a sustainable development plan developed by the United Nations in 1992. This conspiracy theory also gained a little bit of traction on Twitter. The conspiracy theorists use doctored or out-of-context images in order to falsely argue that directed energy weapons, or laser beams, caused the wildfires in California—not climate change. By incorrectly claiming that the houses were consciously struck, these theorists ignore ecological science which explains that the arrangement of homes and topography of the land