Have you checked your social credit score recently? You might want to. Mine seems to have nosedived this month. You might want to see how yours is doing.
Everyone knows what a credit score is. But social credit scores are new. This is the latest corporate import from Communist China, where the government and big business are monitoring the opinions and social statements of every citizen.
And it’s the latest form of cancellation culture in this country, as corporate monopolies and the left team up to shut down rhetoric they don’t like and impose their political agenda on America. For those who still believe in free speech and the First Amendment, now is the time to take a stand.
Like the old-fashioned type of credit score, your social credit requires a lot of maintenance. You will need to get good grades in school and avoid problems with the law. But that’s just the start – you have to earn your right to live in a polite society these days. So if you want to find a good job, stay in hotels, and be served in restaurants, there are a few other things that you will need to do. You will need to express the right opinions. You will have to approve the good ideas. You will have to comply. That’s what business leaders tell us, anyway.
They tried to reprimand me this month because I didn’t. On behalf of the voters of my state, I challenged the presidential voters of Pennsylvania after that state conducted the election in violation of the state constitution. Maybe you agree with me. Maybe not. But whatever your opinion, the rush of American companies to cancel the ones they don’t like should bother you.
In my case, it started with left-wing politicians demanding that I step down from office for representing the views of my constituents and leading a democratic debate on the Senate floor.
Taking that cue, a corporate publishing house then canceled a book she had asked me to write. Ironically, the book deals with political censorship by America’s most powerful corporations. (And will be published by an independent publishing house.) Now the American company is canceling my political events, because two parties are apparently one too many for their liking.
It will get worse. The tech titans have already kicked out dozens of conservatives from social media, and if they are successful, half of the Republican House conference will be kicked out of Congress. The corporate titans seem to believe that the only way to make democracy work for them is to remove all threats to the Democratic Party’s unified control of government.
The Alliance of Leftists and Awakened Capitalists hope to regulate the innermost thoughts of every American, from school age to retirement. And they’ve trained awakened orthodoxy performers to watch for dissent or bad behavior. A ‘Karen’ who cuts the wrong person off in traffic is followed home on a livestream and ashamed to cry for mercy as her license plate is broadcast to an online horde eager to kick her out of a job .
Everyone knows this can happen to them, so everyone stops. The circle of trust is shrinking. Conversations – too easily recorded – switch to encrypted messaging apps. For the moment. Until these are also banned for interfering in efficient social credit markets.
For a while, the Conservatives, recognizing that we are now the counterculture, indulged in the illusion that we could walk away from all of this. We would send our kids to schools that didn’t teach all the awakened things. We would make friends at church, not at work, and take comfort in the fact that trust and openness was still possible in common purpose communities. We would vote our conscience, because the ballot box was something that no election could take away from us.
And if ever our political organization was hampered by censorship – say, by the big tech giants – we could create our own platforms.
But the left and business are contesting all of this now. Your “conservative” social platform isn’t worth much when Amazon can shut it down. Your vote may still be yours, but if your party is denied the means to organize itself effectively by corporate monopolies, it will not win. Your church, why, you can still attend now, but go to the wrong church and you might not have a job in a few years.
Here is the good news. The culture cancellation program will only be successful if we let it happen. We only need to live in fear if we choose not to say anything. In this period of testing, the Conservatives must not back down. We must stand up for the right of every American to be heard.
We must defend the basic principles that unite all Americans together – the right to speak freely, to debate openly, and to deal with our differences graciously without fear of being silenced or punished for dissenting opinions.
For my part, I will not back down. My book will be published and I will continue to represent the people of my state without fear or favor, no matter what the left or the business say.
The powerful see the present moment as an opportunity to consolidate their control over society and stifle dissent. This means that those who believe in the First Amendment and the fundamentals of American freedom must now take a stand, while we still can.
Senator Josh Hawley is a Republican representing Missouri.