Hundreds of millions around the world deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ are to be robbed (are currently being robbed) of their livelihoods. Our every movement and purchase are to be monitored and our main dealings will be online.
The plan for individual citizens could reflect the strategy to be applied to nation states. For instance, World Bank Group President David Malpass has stated that poorer countries will be ‘helped’ to get back on their feet after the various lockdowns that have been implemented. This ‘help’ will be on condition that neoliberal reforms and the undermining of public services are implemented and become further embedded.
One of the ways that this can be accomplished is through a cashless society.
In a cashless world, where your money is entirely digital, you’re never more than a computer glitch or a power outage from going bankrupt. A hack away from identity theft. A forgotten pin from being locked out of your own money. A clerical error from the complete collapse of your finances.
That’s just minor accidents. There’s the more insidious side, of course, the side of the state and how the state can gain control of you assets and your mode of increase.
In a cashless world, no one has anything, except what the bank says they have. And banks can lie, or make mistakes, or cheat, or steal. It’s practically all they do.
In a cashless world, every single payment you make can be traced, reported to the tax office, used to surveil your behavior, pinpoint your location or even create what the Russians call “Kompromat”. Blackmail material, real or invented, it makes little difference these days.
Deeper than that, in a cashless world, where your money is entirely digital, the state can take your money via the bank without your permission or even knowledge. Claim “back taxes” or levy fines or punish you for whatever petty reason they can think of.
And that’s just what they take out, but what about what they put in?
In an entirely cashless world, where the digital bank balance is the only truth, the state could cooperate with big banks in digital entrapment, or full-on digital “framing”.
The Federal Reserve is actively working on a central bank digital currency and some prototypes are near completion. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) plan to unveil two prototypes of a digital dollar as early as July.