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In an open society, the only solution to protecting oneself against mass surveillance is to permit anyone who has been surveilled by the system to enter the system, on demand, and ask when , why, for how long, and for reasons one has been surveilled. The Key problem yet tobe solved (it may be unsolvable) is how to limit access to the open system by those persons who are truly a danger to society.
Mass surveillance WILL become universal, because just a few people can cause havoc -especially as those persons become more able to access deadly weapons of mass destruction. If we don't solve this problem, mass surveillance WILL be abused and used as a means of control, rather than a means of protection.
Yes, from THEIR perspective, Chinese factory workers may feel as if they are improving their lot. Does that mean that those Chinese workers are not getting the shaft, even though people who are (or could) do their job in other countries would get paid a lot more? Lets face it, labor is tied to local conditions - are we to say"it's OK for a Chinese factory worker" to work in what we could consider to be inhumane conditions for a pittance (compared to what we would make) just because they feel "good" about it?
What "good" does it do ANYONE to work 14-16 hour days, 7 days per week, whilst leaving one's family behind for the better part of a working year? It really rankles when people start justifying what the wealthy and connected classes in ANY culture can do to justify paying the labor quotient in their businesses as little as possible. It's still, basically "screw the worker; I will get as much out of them as I can, for as little as possible". Instead of justifying this, call it what it is - exploitation of those with less relative power.
Incidentally, why should the yuan be considered less valuable than a dollar? I understand the supply and demand variables of foreign exchange, but isn't it convenient to have a monetary system that - based on currency values - makes one hour's work in one country only worth a fraction of that same hour's work in another country. How very convenient for developed nations,
Incidentally, I'm a tried-and-true capitalist. It's possible to treat workers fairly and make a profit. I see less and less of that these days - all around the world.
National borders have become more irrelevant as material distribution, finance, education, supply chains, etc. go " on the wire. That said, human beings evolved from small, tribal communities. Our human heritage has left us, for at least the time being - far beyond the near-long-term - with an embedded presence for tribal affiliation. National borders may dissolve, but other "borders" will take their place. "Difference" is a primary defining factor in identity. National identities are learned, yes - but they are learned because we have a proclivity for closely identifying with like -minded, like-language, and look-alike physical similarities. Even if the latter disappear, we will invent new realms of "difference" that will lead to conflict and negotiation. This is a part of the human dilemma: how to deal with and co-exist with "difference".
Until we evolve - assuming we are able - beyond beings who define ourselves via tribal likenesses, we will not be able to do away with the problems (and some rewards) of identifying with those who seem "like" we do. New categories will appear; some will be stronger in some ways; smarter in some ways, etc.