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Chinese Social Credit System: a Dream for Those Seeking Health Dictatorship

Dictadura sanitaria, El American

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Not only politicians but also citizens obsessed with blaming COVID for almost all the misfortunes occurring in the world are raising their voices to call for increasingly Draconian measures against those who are not vaccinated and to establish a kind of health dictatorship. It is as if suddenly, the Chinese social credit system, so feared and criticized by the West, now seems to become the dream of many.

China has been developing a social credit system for years. The Chinese regime, based on a digital model of control and scoring — which classifies and evaluates individuals and companies — punishes what it considers “bad behavior” while rewarding those who act in an “ideal” way.

Although they have not yet managed to apply this system on a regular basis throughout the country, it is already being used in some regions — some are more advanced than others — and there are already places in China where, for example, for a worker to be promoted, the system is reviewed and the applicant’s “credits” are evaluated. So, people who have dared, to speak ill of the regime, have no chance of being promoted, no matter how good they are at their job.

Credits are added or subtracted taking into account criminal records, credit history, and also personal issues as social media activity, online shopping, whether the person speaks out against the government, eating habits, and the “evaluation” of their superiors at work or tenants influence the score.

Anyone with a bad score can be punished, for example, with slow internet speeds, restricted access to restaurants, a ban to travel abroad or be fired from work. The Chinese regime says this system, which is obviously deeply invasive, is desirable because it molds individuals’ behavior into good citizens by correcting at early stage conducts that the state deems negative.

In New York State it is already the case that those who have not been vaccinated cannot enter restaurants, and the Government has just announced that all federal employees will be required to be vaccinated and companies with more than 100 employees will be expected to require their staff to be either vaccinated or tested weekly. In addition, the government is likely to move forward with increasingly extreme measures to get, for example, schools and airlines to require vaccination of their customers.

Is it right for a government to allow or prevent people from working, studying, or traveling depending on whether or not they have been vaccinated? The answer from all of us who defend freedom must be a resounding “no.”

And let’s not misunderstand the issue, being in favor of vaccination and believing in science is not the same as advocating for a totalitarian world almost copied from what happens in places like China, where people lose their jobs or are relegated for not injecting something into their bodies.

It is clear that there are many people who are scared, that many are tired of the restrictions imposed by governments, but to establish a system in which the social and working life of those who decide not to be vaccinated is annihilated is not only a madness typical of totalitarian regimes, but it is also opening the door to social control and to a data system in which intimate aspects of people — as in this case a medical decision — can be registered and followed up in order to punish them if they do not behave in the way some politicians consider “adequate.”

Is it right for a government to allow or prevent people from working, studying, or traveling depending on whether or not they have been vaccinated? The answer to all those who are afraid of the unvaccinated, the vaccine is there and it is effective, it is precisely to protect you from death, not from contagion because the vaccine does not completely prevent you from infecting yourself or others but from death. So, get vaccinated, and stay calm.

To those who are tired of closures and restrictions, the solution is not to ask for worse restrictions and punishments for those who are not vaccinated but to ask politicians to stop their Draconian measures.

Let’s not turn the West into a place where, like China, the state prevents individuals from working, studying, traveling or going to a restaurant if they don’t do what politicians think is right. Let us not turn the West into a pre-totalitarian society where the state tracks our behavior even in the most private aspects.

Let fear and weariness not make us yearn for a totalitarian regime.

Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editor-in-chief of El American. Economist. Podcaster. Political and economic analysis of America. Colombian exile in the United States // Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editora en jefe de El American. Economista. Podcaster. Análisis político y económico de América. Colombiana exiliada en EE. UU.

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