I read the article attached to my last post. I read it and about the author. I constantly read articles in the western press that speak to the horrors of the authoritarian state. I do not like authoritarian governance. I hate governance by the greedy and by the ignorant. I do appreciate those who are authoritative in the sense that they are knowledgable and thoughtful enough to be able to get good things done because they know how to do things well and intelligently. I read the article and have a suspicion that the author may learn to the pro-capitalist, our system is the best and only acceptable and no other system can bring about good besides ours and if it could I would never admit it because I have a vested interest in it. He worked for the very fair and balanced Wall Street Journal. He worked for a magazine whose name suggests affinity for the market economy.
But he does point to what is most likely an aspect of reality in China. The government collects data and it can do so without interference–except, of course, for, if it cares to hear it, the disdain of the people–; there are probably now at all the kind of laws protecting privacy that exist in western democratic countries. There are, though, I know, several nations that are friends of the western capitalist countries that are known to be rather authoritarian themselves. They may not be as advanced as China in their surveillance technology, but I have heard that they do spy on their people and for reasons other than catching jaywalkers and drug smugglers.
Again, I am caught up in thoughts about freedom and governance. Really, I would like all child predators, molesters, rapists, heroin pushers, murders, and the like off the streets as quickly and efficiently as possible. It would allow me to live at a substantially higher quality of life than I do now in the USA. Do I think it alright for jaywalkers to be shunned? I never felt badly about reporting drunk drivers, litterers, and the like and really wanted somewhere to report to some effect people spitting tobacco juice on the sidewalks, smoking in non-smoking areas, making noise in a theater when I am watching a movie. I did want to shame them and sometimes have by making their behavior and my being bothered public knowledge.
I want my kid to be able to walk the streets of towns and cities and being able to be safe doing so. That avails her and me many very important degrees of freedom. I ride trains in China and there is no graffiti. The children do not have to see the word “fuck” on public walls everywhere and I do not have to suffer the ugliness or hostility of spray paint applied to every surface by someone who does not give a shit about the effect he or she is having on other people’s lives. I would like to be able to ride my bike without having to carry ten pounds of hardened chain with me.
I would like to leave my house without having to give serious worry to whether or not door is double bolted or whether the security system I bought after hearing it advertised on TV and radio over and over again in order to feel secure is indeed working. Let me check my phone again to see if it is doing all the vendor–always concerned about my personal welfare, of course–said it would! I can be my own spy!