By PATRICK HENNINGSEN
Among the long list of items bundled by consensus reality merchants under the banner of ‘conspiracy theory’, is a world without cash – where technocrats rule over the populace, and everything and anything is exchanged via plastic and RFID chips.
In this sterile and controlled Orwellian hi-tech society, the idea of cash being passed from hand to hand would be as archaic as the thought of carrying around a rucksack of tally sticks today.
Still, despite the incredible penetration of credit and debit card transactions into economic aggregate, and the boom in internet shopping, few will comfortably admit that a cashless society is nearly upon us. In part, it’s a natural denial by many fuelled by the idea our society is indeed on a collision course with the sort of dystopic impersonal future like that depicted in the 1970s sci-fi film classic, Logan’s Run. Cashless money is here, and growing rapidly.
Over the years, futurists and commentators alike seemed to agree that a cashless society will be a slow creep, and would automatically phase itself in simply by virtue of the sheer volume of electronic transactions that gradually make cash less available and more costly to redeem, or exchange. This is still true for the most part. What few counted on, however, was how the final push would take place, and why. Some will be surprised by these new emerging mechanisms, and the political and sinister implications they ultimately lead to.
Introduction of Parallel Currencies
There has been a lot made about the ‘cashless society’ in media, but this cannot fully happen until there is a cashless currency.
Every revolution needs a good crisis in order to germinate its seed. The cashless revolution is no different. It should be abundantly clear by now that the global financial meltdown has been engineered at every juncture of its unfolding by the very private central banks who expand and contract the money supply. A Dollar or Euro collapse will trigger a global economic crisis, which is a prime opportunity to introduce the next phase.
In the summer of 2012, at the height of the European Central Bank (ECB) ritualistic raping of the Greek economy, financial expert Max Keiser, alongside Mexican billionaire Hugo Salinas Price, travelled to Athens to promote the idea of a silver Drachma as a parallel currency to the ever-failing Euro. In theory and in practice, this parallel currency was ‘sound money’ for individual Greeks and would allow them to retain some say in their financial destiny, and also allow them to accumulate real wealth. It should have caught on. But this great idea did not go down well with media moguls and technocratic elites loyal to their overlords in the ECB, Wall Street and the City of London. Still, too many people remain unaware of how money is created, enters into circulation, and how their private central banks control inflation, and Greece is no different.
The US Dollar is pure fiat [fiat money is money that derives its value from government regulation or law], but it does have a theoretical backer. It is an oil-backed currency – and for better or for worse, is on its way to losing its long-lived status as the world’s reserve currency. China is moving towards a gold-backed currency and has already agreed to buy the majority of its oil supply from Russia off of the US Dollar peg. This could mean two things: the US could be forced to fight a war to maintain Dollar supremacy, or the Dollar will begin to drop as the top dog. This shift will open up a window of opportunity for money masters to insert not only a brand new global currency, but also its universal cashless attributes as well.
Common sense and free market wisdom would expect to see a sound money option replace the current fiat disaster, but as we saw in Greece, a great solution was not taken up and straddled with the dysfunctional Euro, and that society will continue to pay the cost of that reality.
The Euro crisis was a great opportunity to throw out the Euro in favour of something that could create wealth, rather than debt. As the fiat currencies continue to slide downhill, globalists are preparing their solution behind closed doors.
Enter the Cashless Currency…
Right now we are now on the cusp of that US Dollar collapse, and perhaps a Euro implosion on the back end of it. Risks of hyper inflation are very real here, but if you control the money supply and have a ready-made solution waiting in the wings, you will not be worried about the rift, only wait for the chaos to ensue so as to maximise your own booty from the crisis.
Many believed that the global currency would be the SDR unit, aka Special Drawing Rights, implemented in 2001 as a supplementary foreign exchange reserve asset maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). SDRs were not considered a full-fledged currency, but rather a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged for Dollars, Euros, Yen or other central bankers’ fiat notes.
With the SDR confined to the upper tier of the international money launderette, a new product is still needed to dovetail with designs of a global cashless society. Two new parallel currencies are currently being used exclusively within the electronic, or cashless domain – Bitcoin and Ven. Among the many worries US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke listed was the emergence of Bitcoin. But don’t believe for a second these digital parallel currencies are not being watched over and even steered by the money masters. Couple this latest trend with done deals by most of the world’s largest mobile networks to allow people to pay via a mobile ‘wallet’, and you now have the initial enabler for a new global electronic currency.
These new parallel cashless currencies could very quickly end up in pole position for supremacy when the old fiat notes fade away as a result of the next planned economic Dollar and Euro crisis.
Both Bitcoin and Ven appear on their surface to be independent parallel digital money systems, but the reality is much different. In April 2011, Ven announced the first commodity trade priced in Ven for gold production between Europe and South America. Both of these so-called ‘digital alternatives’ are being backed and promoted through some of the world’s biggest and most long-standing corporate dynasties, including Rothschild owned Reuters as an example, which should be of interest to any activist who believes that a digitally controlled global currency is a dangerous road.
The Electronic Deutsche Mark
Much is made of Germany’s prominent financial position within the EU, with a popular talking point being that, “Germany is carrying the majority of the load in ‘bailing out’ countries such as Greece in the south.” If the Euro is ‘heading south’ as many a financial commentator are claiming, then how would a country like Germany – or even the Federal Reserve for that matter – hedge their bets with an impending currency collapse looming just over the horizon?
Economics professor Miles Kimball from the University of Michigan thinks he knows the answer:
In short, for a smooth transition, a reintroduced mark needs to be an electronic mark. I recently made the case for the electronic dollar in a previous Quartz column, “E-Money: How paper currency is holding the US recovery back.” The trouble with paper money is that the rate of interest people earn on holding paper money puts a floor on the interest rate they are willing to accept in doing any other lending. For the US, I proposed making the electronic dollar the “unit of account” or economic yardstick for prices and other economic values, and having the Federal Reserve control the exchange rate between electronic dollars and paper dollars to make paper dollars gradually fall in value relative to electronic dollars during periods of time when the Fed wants room to make the interest rate negative.
In the case of Germany, there would be no need to reintroduce a paper mark along with the electronic mark, since the euro itself could continue in its current role as a “medium of exchange” for making purchases in Germany, alongside the electronic mark. A “crawling peg” exchange rate could be used to let the electronic mark gradually go up in value relative to the euro, without causing a huge rush into the mark, since with no paper mark other than the euro itself, interest rates in Germany could be close to zero when measured in euros, which would make them strongly negative in terms of marks.
A Dollar or Euro crash could be the perfect storm for the introduction of major global digital currencies, and this will do nothing but fast-track our entry into the new cashless society.
This past year’s London Olympics was a beta testing exercise for a number of new programs. We witnessed troops deployed en mass for the first time to marshal the international sporting event and new facial recognition technology tested to monitor its attendees. One of the chief sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics was VISA, which used the event as a springboard to launch its new ‘contactless payment’ technology, acclimatising the international public to making routine payments via smartphones. VISA now predicts that this new method will carry 50 per cent of its transaction volume by the year 2020.
Mastercard has also rolled out its own version called Paypass, and Barclaycard has already implemented its own mobile phone payment chip in 2011. It’s conceivable here that a bank like Barclays could one day takeover a major mobile service provider in order to streamline the endless profits it could accrue from monopolising cashless payment facilities for its customers. A recent edition of Marketing Week further explains how this program is being rolled out:
Barclays launched Pingit this year, a mobile payment service that allows customers to send and receive money with a mobile phone number, which has sparked The Payments Council to work on a similar project. And the three leading mobile operators in the UK – EE, Vodafone and O2 – are working on a joint project under the name Weve, one of the aims of which is to develop standardised technology for ‘digital wallets’ on mobile.
These industry innovations reflect the changing attitude and behaviour by consumers to cashless payments. Barry Clark, account director at Future Foundation, which identified the trend towards a cashless society in its recent report into the changing face of payments, explains that this move towards digital is a “banking nirvana” for brands, since replacing cash with electronic payments takes high costs out of the system.
These mobile enablers will effectively cover the small services and contractor’s market for the cashless society. In addition, digital payment terminals like iZettle and Square (created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey), have brought in most small traders, including taxi drivers, plumbers etc, and street side retailers – meaning that the barrier for entry into the new cashless society has been effectively dissolved.
The Socialist Oyster
The darker aspect of a cashless society is one which few are debating or discussing, but is actually the most pivotal in terms of social engineering and transforming communities and societies. In London, the electronic touch payment Oyster Card was introduced in 2003, initially for public transport, and since that time the card has been co-opted to be used for other functions, as the UK beta tests the idea of an all-in-one cashless lifestyle solution.
Ironically, it’s the United States, supposedly the birthplace of modern capitalism, which is beta testing its own socialist technocracy. As the ranks of the poor and unemployed grow and inflation rises in America, more and more people are dependent on traditional ‘Food Stamp’ entitlements in order to feed their families. The US has now introduced its own socialist ‘Oyster’ to replace the old Food Stamp program. It’s called the ‘EBT’, which stands for “Electronic Benefit Transfer,” as a means of transferring money from the central government to people living below the poverty line. Advocate Mike Adams for Natural News describes it another way:
EBT benefits have more than doubled during the Obama administration’s last four years, creating tens of millions of new dependents who now vote based almost entirely on who gives them the most handouts. The purchase of vitamins is specifically prohibited by the EBT program. This is done as a way to keep EBT recipients sick and diseased while suffering from nutritional deficiencies, which is precisely what the federal government wants.
EBT cards create high-profit handouts to corporations, too: Pharmaceutical companies and the sick-care industry; Big Government which gets re-elected based on entitlement handouts; global banks which earn a percentage off every swipe; and even the processed junk food industry which preys upon nutritional ignorance of the poor.
In fact, for every dollar’s worth of food handed out to EBT recipients under the program, at least 50 cents is driven right into the profit coffers of wealthy corporations.
Adams points out the endgame here. Where collectivist technocrats are concerned, a global digital currency is not only a means for a centrally controlled economy, but also a centrally controlled society. And as Adams also pointed out, they can even control what you eat.
Bottom line: the State can, and will cut-off your electronic financial lifeline should you fall foul of the system. No negotiations, no gray areas – and definitely no place for a free individual in this type of globalist system.
Social Networks Could Supplant Nations
In 2011 Facebook launched its own virtual currency, which was taken up immediately by the games developer industry. Facebook created its own internal digital market overnight. If customers didn’t like it, they had two choices – jump ship, or stay in the biggest market place. That’s a lot of power to wield, and you can wield it if you have the big numbers.
A severe lack of choice in the world of online communities has unwittingly (or not) positioned Facebook to play the roles of not only data collector, but also as banker, retailer, archivist and governor.
Many people have certainly become, in one way or another, sans border citizens of the ‘Facebook Nation’. In the future, one corporation or cartel’s success in capturing a near global monopoly of membership to a particular online platform might give it the ability to dictate a digital economic mandate to both producers and consumer.
The digital data industry now claims in a recent study by fast.MAP that consumer confidence in sharing personal information has risen. But the reality is that most people do not know which data is being used and to who it is being shared or sold to. Most users are unknowingly trading “access” to networks, as well convenient speed of registration – for data privacy. We do this on a daily basis now.
It’s a question of speculation at this point how deeply the new digital currencies will be integrated into social networking giants like Facebook, or Second Life – where users are already buying virtual property with virtual currency, but few can deny that the potential for consolidation in the early 21st century is already there.
History Will Repeat Itself
Whenever the status quo is seen as a failure, the architects of society will rarely allow the whole show to come to a grinding halt, for fear that new and non-centrally controlled organic systems of organisation will emerge. The ruling establishment will spare no opportunity to tell society this, over and over, making people truly believe that it is in their best interest to adopt whatever alternative is handed down to them. This is why, when faced with a crisis, society will almost always seek to implement a parallel alternative, rather than rethink the whole system.
In 2008, the public had an opportunity to collapse the predatory banking system that has been trading insolvent and gambling on thin air. But the very same ruling establishment who engineered the crisis to begin with, masterfully presented their own solution as the remedy by establishing the precedent of the State bailing out any gambling losses incurred by the banking community.
In the end society relented, and with the help of pro-banking political leadership on both sides of the Atlantic, they adopted the pre-packaged belief that a cluster of bloated and corrupt financial institutions were simply too big to fail. Aside from being a massive redistribution of wealth upwards into the hands of the speculative elite classes, this was merely a test by the establishment to see how far they could go in robbing the public, pushing up inflation, hoovering up real assets, robbing pension funds and enslaving taxpayers to generations of debt the bankers created – all in one swoop.
It has long been the dream of collectivists and technocratic elites to eliminate the semi-unregulated cash economy and black markets in order to maximise taxation and to fully control markets. If the cashless society is ushered in, they will have near complete control over the lives of individual people.
The financial collapse which began in 2007-2008 was merely the opening gambit of the elite criminal class, a mere warm-up for things to come. With the next collapse we may see a centrally controlled global digital currency gaining its final foothold. The cashless society is already here. The question now is how far will society allow it to penetrate and completely control each and every aspect of their day to day lives.
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PATRICK HENNINGSEN is an independent investigative reporter, editor, and journalist. A native of Omaha, Nebraska and a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California, he is currently based in London, England and is the managing editor of 21st Century Wire – News for the Waking Generation (http://www.21stCenturyWire.com) which covers exposés on intelligence, geopolitics, foreign policy, the war on terror, technology and Wall Street. Patrick is a regular commentator on Russia Today.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 137 (March-April 2013)
© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.
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