China Today, The Rest of Us Tomorrow

I offer a brief, simple glimpse into your future, our future, the advanced world’s future — the near future.

The Chinese president of Interpol — yes, the president of the famed international police agency is a member of the Chinese Communist Party — has officially “resigned, with immediate effect,” weeks after sending his wife an image of a knife on an Interpol phone, and then disappearing. 

“With immediate effect” is Interpol’s quaint euphemism for “The Chinese Communist Party has arrested him, accusing him of unspecified offenses against their newly-tightened moral purity laws — according to which moral purity means perfect allegiance to Xi Jinping’s permanent communist regime — and if he is ever seen again, it will only be because the episode has gotten enough attention to become an international embarrassment to China’s despots.”

The problem, of course, is that the bolder and more brazen the Chinese Communist Party becomes, the more impervious they will be to “international embarrassment.”

Here, from Fox News, is the nub of a story so cryptic and movie-like that most people will dismiss it, although in fact we ought all to be focused like a laser on every detail — at least if we are interested on seeing how life is going to look for all of us a few years down our own collective progressive road:

Grace Meng told reporters that she had not heard from her husband, Meng Hongwei, since Sept. 25. That day, he sent her the knife image from an Interpol phone four minutes after sending an initial message saying, “Wait for my call.” She said the call never came and she does not know what happened to him, adding that her husband was in China when he sent the message.

The Interpol statement did not say exactly why Meng resigned. However, a watchdog for China’s ruling Communist Party said in a brief statement on its website that Meng was “suspected of violating the law and is currently under the monitoring and investigation” of China’s new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Commission.

Hiding her face from reporters to protect her and her children’s identity, Mrs. Meng explained:

“From now on, I have gone from sorrow and fear to the pursuit of truth, justice and responsibility toward history,” she said. “For the husband whom I deeply love, for my young children, for the people of my motherland, for all the wives and children’s husbands and fathers to no longer disappear.”

Ho hum. Just another one of those complicated problems “they” have “over there.” Who knows what’s really going on? And after all, it doesn’t really have anything to do with us.

Right. China’s population is now approximately 1.4 billion. That accounts for a large plurality of the developed world’s people. The Communist Party owns land and business operations throughout the world. They have developed internet algorithms to monitor every Chinese citizen’s online behavior and speech — sort of like the algorithms used by Google (a private company, but one increasingly interwoven with government through both ideological alliance and regulation) — and are actively using this technology to enforce Maoist policies that used to require so much unreliable neighborhood spying.

Now, rather than waiting for the village apparatchik to report to headquarters, everyone in China is basically reporting on himself every day, merely by trying to do his normal banking, shopping, news reading, and personal correspondence. And if the authorities don’t like the trends they are seeing in your internet usage or economic activity (if you are judged “politically incorrect,” to use our fashionable lingo), your money can disappear, you can have a black mark next to your name in applying for government services, you can be publicly shamed or imprisoned — or, if you run far enough afoul of the powers that be, you may just disappear.

It can’t happen “here”? You just keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

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