The Chinese Communist Party is trying it. Religion is their test case:
The U.S. Department of State’s just-released 2020 Annual Report on the state of religious freedom around the world devotes 136 pages to China. That’s because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses an extensive network of surveillance cameras coupled with facial recognition software — as well as cell phone tracking, internet and message monitoring, and biometric profiling — to persecute adherents of non-state-sanctioned organizations. Advances in collecting and storage of massive amounts of data to be sifted by algorithms have made this possible…
Westerners find it difficult to understand the persecution of groups like the Falun Gong, the Church of Almighty God, and others that offer no apparent political threat. But the persecution of “heterodox groups” does not turn on their aims or beliefs so much as the number of their members and whether those members could organize. Ultimately, the CCP wants everyone to adhere to its ideology, so violent actions are more about quelling potential resistance than about regulating beliefs. …
China scholars note that the CCP is very interested in studying how other authoritarian governments were toppled. The CCP, and Xi Jinping in particular, are obsessed with the fall of the Soviet Union. They don’t see the collapse as due to inherent weakness but rather due to tolerance of dissent. To them, it shows the importance of weeding out dissent and corruption as well as controlling the military from the top down. The military and other government elites must not have split loyalties, even religious loyalties. Thus they must be avowedly atheist and study Xi Jinping Thought. Even retired CCP officials and veterans are prohibited from practicing any religion.Heather Zeiger, “Why the Chinese Communist party feels it must destroy religion” at Mind Matters News
– Persecution of religious groups is not based on what they actually teach but on whether their separate existence could pose a threat to the Communist Party
– Obsessed with the fall of the Soviet Union, Party leaders are determined to use new laws and technologies to render religious influence impossible.
Let’s see what happens in China. This could be an important test of human exceptionalism.