When the CCP institutes its dystopian social control programs, there is much less pretense of respect for “human rights” or other such nonsense that Western leaders pretend to care about.
European and American technocrats call their projects “smart cities”; their Chinese counterparts call it “Skynet” — as in the fictional technotronic control grid in the Terminator film franchise.
Projects like the Golden Shield Project, Safe Cities, SkyNet, Smart Cities, and now Sharp Eyes mean that there are more than 200 million public and private security cameras installed across China… SkyNet data is used at building complexes that use facial recognition to open security gates. The photos from those security gates are then shared with local police to build a database of the local population. Chinese state-run media has claimed Skynet can scan the entire Chinese population in one second with 99.8 percent accuracy.
Just like in the context of the U.S. War on Terror, the initial justification for the program was fighting “terrorism” — in the Chinese, case, the “terrorists” being not the sociopathic technocrats in government but rather the rebellious ethnic minority groups in the western region of the country.
And, just like the American government’s current “war on domestic terror,” the surveillance apparatus was inevitably turned onto the domestic population at large.
Aside from facilitating unwarranted government intrusion in people’s personal lives (which there is no prohibition against in China but which the American Constitution’s Fourth Amendment bars), Skynet also enables the enforcement of the draconian Chinese social credit score system:
The Chinese Communist Party has been constructing a moral ranking system for years that will monitor the behavior of its enormous population – and rank them all based on their ‘social credit’… Like private credit scores, a person’s social score can move up and down depending on their behavior… The punishments can come in a few forms, like travel bans, slow internet, and being banned from higher education.China has already started punishing people by restricting their travel, including banning them from flights.
The intended ultimate outcome is total social control. Everything the Chinese serf on the communist plantation does is monitored and judged. Compliance is rewarded with greater prestige and access to resources; dissidence is punished with poverty and social ostracization.
Nothing is too trivial to reap the punishment of the state — not even jaywalking.
Neoliberal technocrats in the West look toward China for inspiration. The only real impediment to achieving CCP-level social control is the Bill of Rights — admittedly in tatters, but still nominally in effect (for now).
Unfortunately, both major political parties are guilty of perpetuating the surveillance state under the guise of “national security,” although in recent years the right has become more skeptical of it as the government targets “domestic extremists” (i.e., anyone who doesn’t want to trans the children into oblivion).