This is a propaganda film that might have been made at the behest of the Chinese Government on account of the glowing portrait it paints of the mega-city Shenzhen. Having said that, most of this propaganda is justified. Since the death of Mao in 1988, successive Chinese administrations have lifted literally hundreds of millions of their people out of poverty. The most visible proof of this for Westerners, especially those who live in London, Paris, New York…is the large numbers of Chinese tourists who are now flocking to our great cities – coronoavirus lockdown excepted – and embracing Western culture. So why shouldn’t we embrace theirs?
As one contributor to this film says, the Chinese are now communists in name only. While that is undoubtedly true, China is also an authoritarian state. Impressive though Shenzhen’s staffless shops and electric buses may be, there is a downside, not specifically to Shenzhen or China, but to the new technology they are far ahead of us in embracing. Such an embrace can become a death grip. While pickpockets may be going out of business because nobody carries cash anymore, what do you do if you lose your mobile phone? What if your account is hacked and all your assets are stolen, facial recognition technology or no? And what about that facial recognition technology, do you really want Big Brother looking over your shoulder every second of the day? As David Icke – who is both a certifiable lunatic and the greatest prophet of the Twentieth Century – wrote in 1995:
“Today if you go into a shop to buy food and your credit card is refused by the computer, you can pay with cash. What happens when there is no cash? You are at the mercy of the computer. If it refuses your card or microchip, you have no means to purchase anything.”
Clearly this is not a Chinese problem, so while we should indeed embrace the modern China, we must do so with big caveats.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.