Imminent visitors to England could, for health reasons, be forgiven for postponing their trip for a few weeks. True, there are no current epidemics involving viruses, locusts or rabid dogs. The country is relatively safe in that respect. However, there are hoards of another diabolical species presently rampaging the length and breadth of the land, eyes wide and indiscriminately spewing filth from dawn till dusk. It is, of course, the professional politician, infecting the unwary with lies and propaganda in preparation for the forthcoming general election.
On Thursday, 7th May, the British electorate will have its say for the first time since I began writing these posts, this one being the 82nd. Most of what I have heard through the media lately consists of cheap, negative campaigning, often debated with the intellectual aplomb of petulant schoolchildren. The best advice is: don’t listen to what they say; watch what they do and remember what they have done. Another worthwhile tip is to consider what they do not mention. Note the silence on certain issues, for these are often most fundamental to human liberty.
One such subject has drawn no explicit views from any of the political parties. I refer to the plan for the abolition of cash. Over the past decade or two, debit cards have accounted for an increasing proportion of personal financial transactions. Purchasing almost anything, almost anywhere, has become more convenient with a piece of plastic and a chip-and-pin device than a wallet full of banknotes. A cashless society would now appear to be just around the corner – a smooth, natural transition for the good of the paying public. Politicians and bankers are strongly in favour of it.
Perhaps I ought to reiterate that last sentence: politicians and bankers are keen to establish a cashless society. Cui bono? Is it for the public’s benefit, we are entitled to wonder, or for their own? Precisely: the alarm bells should be deafening us all.
If cash becomes obsolete (Figure 82.1), as has almost become the case in Sweden, what are the most significant consequences? I can think of two, and neither is anything less than terrifying. First, the individual’s bank would have complete authority over all funds held therein. In other words, a mere flick of a remote switch would be enough to cut off access; and the reason might be malicious, unlawful, accidental or simply arbitrary. The banks would be as omnipotent as parents in charge of their offspring’s pocket money – but without benevolence, compassion or leniency.
Figure 82.1: The evolution of a cashless world
Copyright © 2014 CNN
An even more daunting prospect is that every transaction between any two parties, however trivial, would be registered and thus potentially subject to scrutiny. Moreover, given that the British government has recently proposed legislation permitting State access to individual bank accounts, we can hazard a decent guess as to where such information would end up.
So there we have it: the crux of the issue is social control. Ever more power would be transferred from the populace to the politicians and their puppeteers in the big banks, and it is clear that both are more than happy for their ‘subjects’ to sleepwalk into the trap.
What, then, might be the antidote? What could be used confidently as a medium of exchange between parties, with no need for third party approval? What would hold its value owing to its finite supply? What could not be printed out of thin air at the whim of bankers or politicians? If the public can find palatable answers to these questions, then their freedom from financial fascism would be assured. If they cannot, the politicians will laugh – all the way to the banks.
Copyright © 2015 Paul Spradbery