3 Reasons Behind Accelerated Erosion of a Sense of Community and Weaken Moral Bearings in China

Online moral judging in the  post-truth era in China is becoming more prevalent with the social media explosive growth where truth were measured by popularity instead of the conventional judicial system where facts are examined and argued to certain extent. Once again reconfirming overall trends reflecting the cannibalizing of traditional regulated media by its online cousins and this had indeed accelerated erosion of a sense of state and community and weaken moral bearings in China as the social media had intentionally and rather successfully manipulated human psychology purely for commercial gains taking advantage of human primitive weakness, echo chambers online inevitably amplify the negative impacts of false narratives, misinformation, disinformation propaganda and satire in an unprecedented manners

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [Matthew 7:1-2]” 

In addition, it’s not uncommon to have massive number of Chinese virtual keyboard warriors not unlike huge school of fishes swim in shoals for safety, birds flock in shape-shifting pattern together to deter predators for safety in number where Army of net-citizens leveraging in diffusion of responsibility, similar to the unpredictable rally movements often resulted in unplanned course of directions including rioting, destroying public property or even horrendous stampede often led to unintended injuries or even death among the participants when effective crowd control measures fail to materialize.

Everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you have made in the past. —Charles McCabe,

Likewise, the ever dominating online community had facilitated this phenomena in an escalating level sparking heated debates and fear stoking, starling, horrifying and sensational stories generated often negative comments blending in facts, opinions and often malicious ill intent and stories sometimes gained immortal life of its own in the virtual world  creating distrust and paranoid especially in China where traditional medias are losing the authoritarian credibility they once dominated and this this has spawned destabilizing forces within the State and community where majority Chinese now only pledge true royalty within the families going all out exclusively only for each other’s to the extent of accomplice from time to time.  On the other hand, some even take matters into their own hands with premeditated cyber harassment and persecution of any alleged individuals caught with irresponsible statements, behaviors or claims aggressively without given the benefits of doubts causing real life consequences as facts seldom stand in the way of a catchy and emotional headlines

I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.— \Steve Maraboli

There are probably couple of reasons unique to Chinese behind the degrading sense of community and lowering of the moral bearings predominately in the virtual space and increasingly spill over to the social fabric in real life causing real harms.

Deeply Ingrained nature of presumed guilty:  With hundreds of millions rural Chinese flocking to the mega Cities seeking opportunities and resulted in widening income gap between the local residents and newcomers where latter were not adequately covered by provincial welfare due to the restriction of the decades long system of resident registration where jobs, medical, housing and schooling resources were being deprived of in the hosting places of residence.  Many of the domestic migrant workers were in-equally treated and many were struggling and few resorted to extreme measures of scamming taking advantage of the generosity and sympathy of others and  when earning capacity rather than traits like kindness and fairness is being strive after, Chinese had been conditioned to be defensive and protective for self-preservation avoiding being victimized in the community. Isolated social incidents often being blown out of proportion thanks to social media channels, everyone who needs helps were regarded as of ill intentions and presumed guilty of wanting to take advantages of each other despite the facts of its scarcity, on the contrary, huge majority of Chinese are of kind and helpful nature behind their seeming aloof expressions in public as part of the protective mechanism.

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. –Saint Basil

Lacking of overall framework of  liability: Enviable social graciousness of extending a much needed helping hand in an accident, being considerate, honest and fair to each other needs generation of good values based upbringing and overall framework of sensible liability in placed. Like Good Samaritan law extending limited liability for anyone who responds to a critical situations or comprehensive insurances coverage in fire, personal and automobile accidents of which individuals have avenue to seek redress are some of the state wide schemes to minimize conflict and confrontation on personal levels. One good example is the proliferation of platform of Airbnb and Uber like which had inspired shared economies in China cities where bicycles, umbrella and rides were shared among strangers facilitated by a robust framework of credibility screening, genuine peers reviews and limited liability coverage. Surveys consistently show that one would bring up their best in conducts (less than 1% abuse reported in bike sharing platform) if online social profile and actual identity is linked and being held accountable responsibly.

Accountability breeds response-ability. Stephen Covey

Raising level of general dissatisfaction:  China had been unyieldingly sought to move up on the economic hierarchy and upgrade itself and had done a remarkable job in improving the living standards of hundreds of millions of Chinese in the past few decades, however with raising unemployment among young people and escalating and runaway properties prices in Cities due to the nature of transformation of economic structure where adjustment and expectation management fails to take place, many had experiencing increasing level of general dissatisfaction conveniently dismissing the facts that lives had indeed improved (income had been doubling every 10 years), abundant of educational resources were allocated(record high percentage of population had university education; 7 million graduate in 2017), strong supply of better jobs and benefits for workers and plenty of business opportunities for startup and entrepreneurs and overall increase of household incomes never imagined possible before. To a greater extent, the swelling level of  false sense of widespread discontentment and frustration were as a result of the  nature of social media where weakness of Chinese or in general mankind was facilitated and amplified; emotional pride, greed, lust, envy and so on.  Online moderation similar to  physical crowd control not only by state but by the majority good nature online community maybe one of the option going forward (like wikipedia and so on)

If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. –Steve Weinberg,

In summary.  Against this simmering social cauldron, a overall overhaul of online accountability should be considered safeguarding ourselves from our own weakness. Addressing underlying problems are to accept the fundamental true nature of mankind, one should avoid putting human nature to trial and temptation as most will certainly fall; amid raising anxiety over escalating cost of living and shrinking perceived level of satisfactory social justice. In fact, there is no place where China modernization since 70s has had a greater impact than in respectable Chinese general well-being and Chinese prosperity and at the core of the debate lies the towering principle of social engineering, the linchpin of personal aspiration of higher calling and meaningful lifestyle and contentment with “the China’s unique blend of planed economics, authoritarian politics, and social engineering”  One ought be be proud of being a Chinese moving into the right direction in the modern era, with strong and capable government, admirable disposable income, longer lifespan and better quality of lifestyle, a decent place to raise respectable children with individual and family inspiration being fulfilled.

“Be patient and understanding. Life is too short to be vengeful or malicious.”— Phillips Brooks



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