China has blocked millions of “discredited” travellers from buying plane or train tickets as part of the country’s controversial “social credit” system aimed at improving the behaviour of citizens. …
Social credit offences range from not paying individual taxes or fines to spreading false information and taking drugs. More minor violations include using expired tickets, smoking on a train or not walking a dog on a leash.
Local governments and agencies have been piloting aspects of the system, which will eventually give every Chinese citizen a personalised score. Critics said authorities in China were using technology and big data to create an Orwellian state of mass surveillance and control.
China has periodically run out of food — after all, there has to be some limit on the population . (China is hardly alone in this. All of the world was up against the Malthusian limit until a couple of centuries ago, when technology from Europe and especially Britain changed the world.) Next time that happens, the social credit system will determine who lives and who dies.
What China trials and perfects, a leftist or otherwise authoritarian regime might bring introduce in the West. We already use the tax system to “nudge” people into various behaviors.