Villains always reveal their evil plans right before activating their doomsday devices. Today, the villains are central bankers, the evil plan is to surveil and control, and the doomsday device is CBDCs: central bank digital currencies.
CBDCs are a type of government-run cryptocurrency that let the government monitor and control every single transaction you make, no matter how small. That means every single cent can be tracked, traced, taxed, and stopped or even forced without your consent.
Whether it’s paying a babysitter, borrowing a few dollars for lunch from a friend, tipping a caddy on the golf course, or subscribing to a conservative blog, Uncle Sam will know.
This goes way beyond Big Brother: Since all transactions must be cleared through the government agency running the CBDC, they can veto any transaction or even force transactions without your authorization.
It’s a level of governmental control George Orwell could never imagine.
At a recent World Economic Forum event, economist Eswar Prasad bragged about how CBDCs could be used to limit your purchases of whatever things bureaucrats happen not to like. Imagine your purchase of a gun or ammunition gets declined because a government apparatchik doesn’t care for the Second Amendment.
Or picture yourself at a gas station with plenty of money in your bank account, but you can’t fill up your tank because you’ve spent too much on fossil fuels this week. But feel free to spend as much as you want to recharge the electric vehicle you don’t have.
The government already influences people’s purchases and behavior through the tax code and regulation—social engineering by artificially making things more or less expensive. But CBDCs would make this sort of social control direct.
CBDCs aren’t just about limiting your spending options; they can limit your savings, too. Some economists are salivating at the prospect of the government being able to force people to spend their money by putting an expiration date on it, perhaps to stimulate the economy in time for the next election, perhaps casting savers or investors as anti-social “hoarders.”
Imagine trying to save and seeing your money electronically transferred to the government as punishment. Aside from the obvious infringement on our liberty, this is economically disastrous: Savings are what finance capital investment, which is the cause of economic growth, higher wages, a better standard of living, and wider prosperity.
Limiting savings is limiting economic progress, while people without personal savings must rely more on the government, increasing dependency and the welfare state when times get tough. Which may well be the point.
Instead, the threat of deleting digital dollars at a certain date will encourage people to spend that money frivolously since it will soon be worthless anyway. It reduces—or eliminates entirely—the incentive to build for your future, let alone for your descendants. Intergenerational savings would plummet, and the United States would regress toward a Third World economy.
Most ominously, a CBDC makes it easy for the government to punish dissidents, as seen in China’s social credit system or Canada’s suppression of peaceful truckers, which the U.S. is fast approaching. Over the last three years in the U.S., people have been punished for spreading “misinformation,” including people being deplatformed or even fired for questioning the efficacy and safety of experimental mRNA injections.
CBDCs allow bureaucrats to quickly punish you for spreading wrongthink and “misinformation.” You can be fined, or your bank account can be frozen. You need not be arrested to be severely punished in this utopia, and the mere threat would chill speech to silence.
The advocates of CBDCs—including members of the World Economic Forum, Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Chinese Communist Party leadership—have become so bold that they’re saying the quiet part out loud.
These villains admit that they want control and that a CBDC would give them all the power they need. They will try to convince people to give up their freedoms and usher in the brave new world—after all, it’s for the people’s own good.
Like all totalitarians, CBDC pushers are the most terrifying of villains: The enslavement they seek to inflict upon the world is approved by their own consciences.
This piece originally appeared in The Washington Times