Social Credit Scores are Dangerous to Liberty. Totalitarian governments such as China exercise total control over their populations. A social credit score determines which people are obeying the regime without question and which people must be punished for “thought crimes” or nonconforming behavior. There are dangerous people in the USA who are salivating at the idea of implementing a CCP-style social credit score here. Corporate America is already implementing this in the form of ESG scores (environment, social, governance.) Let us offer the case against such a scheme.
Any social credit system is a dire threat to individual liberty. Our nation was founded by people who believed in certain rights individuals had because they were human—rights not given by government and therefore not the government’s to take away. While the companies currently using ESG are not the government, they are regulated by government and incentivized by government. These companies also buy government influence. Thus they perform in some ways as an arm of the government. If large companies or entire industries decide to reward one political view or demonize a particular faith group or other demographic, they do so as pseudo-government entities. If the government cannot infringe certain rights, it also cannot incentivize others to do the dirty work.
Even if a social credit system were somehow moral and legal, the system would only be as moral as those deciding which behaviors were positive and which were negative. Anyone who has studied history (ancient, modern, European, Asian, African—doesn’t matter) would realize how such a system could be corrupted and twisted into a fascist nightmare. George Orwell (and more recently, Edward Snowden) warned about the surveillance state. Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex. (Today we could add the medical-pharmaceutical to that warning.) Biological and computer sciences are at a point where almost total control is looking like a possibility. Free people must not be complacent about freedom in a time when the state is eager to lock down people and force compliance with everything from light bulbs to experimental drugs.
Lovers of liberty must speak out against companies and governments who seek to label people and work behavior modification through politically motivated social credit scores. If this fight is lost, there will be no way left to fight.