I was just in Beijing and Shanghai for a few weeks and almost everyone I talked to in private admitted that they expect an economic crash in the near future. So this survey is essentially useless for countries where privacy on the internet is not expected and dissent is punished.
That is currently the same in every country I talked to citizens. Not a very good way of measuring.
Your observations about China might very well be correct, but this is not an interesting point imho. When I speak to my friends in China they worry about the economy but they do actually believe their country is going in the right direction generally. Ofcourse my sample of the populous is limited: I speak to tech people only, but they do not care about the things you or I think they care or should care about. They are content with the way it is going.
The anecdote was just an observation and as such should of course be taken with some skepticism.
I'd actually argue that just claiming Chinese people are brainwashed would be a better explanation, but as has been said in other comments here, I think it's mostly that they have very different priorities in life. For example, privacy traditionally never has been as an important issue even before the internet and everything, so things like that social credit system just don't appear as crazy to them as to us.
Just because someone doesn't particularly care about censorship and surveillance doesn't mean they don't adjust their behavior accordingly though. If you read the PDF China ranked highly on precisely the questions which are officially approved government positions, such as the need for greener tech and better environmental management.
So you're trying to invalidate the argument by saying it's mentioned to often? I don't think this is how this works.
> Just because someone doesn't particularly care about censorship and surveillance doesn't mean they don't adjust their behavior accordingly though.
Of course they do, and if you knew Chinese culture you'd clearly see that. The average person trying to make a living might not, but it's the same in the west. Who even cared about the snowden revelations? Certainly not your bus driver. When bringing up the argument how companies like Facebook and google know more about you than your best friend, and government access is just one court order away, how many people counter you with "well I got nothing to hide"? I'd go as far as saying I can at least give the Chinese gvt the props for being upfront about their censorship and surveillance. Before snowden, if you claimed the NSA would be running a huge surveillance program tapping into the country's and world's largest internet exchanges, you got a confused look or were told to put your tinfoil hat back on.
Bottom line is, people in China genuinely think their country is heading in the right direction and the vast majority doesn't care about censorship and surveillance, anyone who's been to China for more than just a couple weeks quick travelling and didn't just spend time with other expats would quickly have learned that. Whether they truly understand the implications of this is an entirely different matter and not even part of the survey. But then again most westerners also don't, they just happen to live in a very free environment and don't realize what they got themselves there, or just don't care (Facebook point from above, voter turnouts).
People in cults also say they’re doing fine...
Yep, and people in religions say they're doing fine. Some of them probably are doing fine.
I admit that this survey could be biased because of people being afraid of their answers being monitored, and also that people in a country like China are probably somewhat brainwashed by the censorship in the media.
But you have to keep your mind open to the possibility that a human might balance all things in mind and with a calm disinterested choice decide that it's worth giving up privacy and freedom for a more peaceful, orderly, and efficient society. I know those aren't the values of many Americans, but Americans sometimes seem strangely unable to imagine that any human being could possibly have different values to theirs.
As a counterpoint, the US polls the lowest concern in the world for poverty and inequality. Yet there's no way in my mind you can look at inequality in the states and say "yeah, that's fine", but over 4 in 5 Americans polled said exactly that.
I am not saying that, people who are born and raised and live there say so (the small sample I speak to a lot). I find it hard to judge as an outsider although it definitely does not look ok.
Social credit is more than just a tool for oppression. (There's also more than one possible implementation currently in trial, but that applies to all of them.) Because the vast majority of Chinese citizens are not anti-government activists, any such survey will be dominated by those who can finally get a line of credit for their small business. Even a million Uyghurs in internment camps don't make a dent when you're just looking at average satisfaction.
I threw an interesting personal anecdote in there as an example but at no time did I make an authority claim. So I don't know what your point is.
Anyone who's been to China knows that the average person in China doesn't particularly care about privacy, we're not arguing that here. What I'm saying is that regardless of whether someone cars about it, it does affect their behavior.
I would be careful about generalizing from anecdata. Unless the people you talk to come from every strata in society and your sample is representative, your conclusion may be prone to sample bias.
Alternatively there might be somewhere in the fine print how Chinese participants were invited/selected - it wouldn't be the first such data where PRC manages to manipulate the sampled group to get a positive result (see eg PISA).
Why not? We don't know the baseline behavior and expectations of the respondents.
I think we differ on where our subjective Bayesian priors are situated.
I'm more at the 50/50 mark in that I think the results could be biased but at the same time, there's no necessity that they must be. Whereas most people on this thread automatically assume a priori that the survey results surely are biased, because China.
You're giving them too much credit. Unless this was explicitly mentioned in the methodology (there's a methodology section at the end, and it's not there), I'm going to assume that the questions were directly asked.
How would the Chinese government determine what citizens vote on in anonymous internet polls? Supposedly, Ipsos Online Panel uses https connections and encrypts them using tls. More importantly, does Chinese citizens believe what they vote on in anonymous surveys affects their credit scores?
Also the majority of Chinese people do think China is on the right path, especially after seeing what's happening now in the US and Europe.
An average Chinese person doesn't think about current oppressive scheme as "bad", because we've had worse no more than 2 generations ago. They may even think an authoritative regime is better than your democracy. Normally they don't feel oppressed in their daily life.
The well educated, and those who have the privilege, opportunity, and capability to talk to a foreigner like you, have different opinions of course.
You can look at other sources, like the "Global Livability Index"  - it's voted on by the residents of each city, and does a great job of ranking what it's actually like to live in various countries and cities.
> The remaining 11 countries surveyed: Brazil, Chile, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey have lower levels of internet penetration and so these samples should instead be considered to represent a more affluent, connected population
I would extend that consideration to most of the countries shown in the results.
without actual details on its methodology, a study doesn‘t find anything.
- how are the surveyed chosen?
- how do you make sure they are from the country they claim
- what possible answers can they chose from
The survey is conducted monthly in 28 countries around the
world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries
included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada,
Chile, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India,
Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia,
Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,
Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.
An international sample of 20,787 adults aged 18-64 in
Canada, Israel and the US, and aged 16-64 in all other
countries, were interviewed between August 24th 2018 and
September 7th 2018.
Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by
country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of
Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, India, Israel, Mexico, Peru,
Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea,
Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample of
You might have seem poverty abroad but there are plenty of countries on this list that worry more (like Germany) which much better working conditions for the vast majority of people with little income.
Open up any book from 100 years ago on household maintenance, written usually for upper and upper middle class women. There you will learn that the laundry in the apartment building is an incredible luxury, as is the store down the street, and the fact that you can buy a loaf of bread there for about $1.50.
- Healthcare (41%). This is up from May (36%).
- Crime & Violence (31%). This is down slightly from May (33%).
- Immigration Control (28%). This is up from May (24%).
- Moral Decline (24%). This is up slightly from May (22%).
From the same source(2018 Dec Version): https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/what-worries-the-worl...
Things are as gloomy as a Bergman-movie in Sweden. Sort of.
China... You have got to wonder is it that the past was so bad? That people aren't aware of how bad problems of eg corruption are? Or are they too scared to say their true opinion ..?
I imagine it's more about the citizens feeling like the government and its leaders have a strong vision and mission for the future of china.
I think the same thing can be seen with the M.A.G.A. movement. Lots of people are ignoring problems they face on a daily basis and vote against their interests because they'd rather believe in an ideal that is bigger than themselves (even if that ideal is a farce).
I have considerable experience talking to people from one of the top places mentioned and the freedom to answer a survey is far from guaranteed.
To give you an idea of the scale of this (these are real, actual and exact numbers):
In that country (which I'll name as Northern East Soumania, a small autonomous island belonging to an African republic, or a similar African country) the President recently put in a bid to be able to stay President for life. This required constitutional changes, which were passed by the annual sitting of parliament.
The vote on this bid was 2,859 votes supporting lifting the term limit, 2 votes against lifting the term limit and 4 abstaining.
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine an American president at the end of their second term wanting to lift the term limit congressionally and out of 535 members of congress (435 in the house of representatives and 100 in the senate) 530 voting to remove the term limits, 2 voting against and 4 abstaining? (Actually since the basis is
535 instead of 2,859, I should divide the against and abstaining voted by 5.5)
I would personally not be surprised if the 2 "against" votes had serious consequences for their personal life, I mean things like not being able to travel and so forth. (Despite being members of parliament in that country.)
If I were a member of that country, I probably wouldn't feel free to say in a survey that the country was not headed in the right direction.
Is it representative in some way?
> Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
No, just the opposite.
My glib comment was about the fact that before weighing, I could have at least attempted to imagine who would typically respond to such an online-survey. It's a biased sample. But it's a sample. I could say: Well at least this many people out of the whole population answered this or that way. Once weighing mixes things up I don't even know how people responded anymore.
We could come up with a long list of other things that also weren't claimed and rebut those as well but I don't really see how it helps advance the discussion.