How does freedom die? Not all at once, but bit-by-bit
The world is blindly walking into a state of tyranny...how does bitcoin play a role in liberation?
by Nik on 06 May 2022
If laws are like sausages, then freedoms are like salami: they get taken away slice by slice. And if governments can’t stop us noticing our loss of liberty, they try to convince us to welcome it and make us willing partners in our own subjugation.
Just look at how the slippery slope to authoritarianism is so often oiled with good intentions: saving the planet by imposing carbon taxes on airline tickets, staying at home to “stop the spread”, or restricting customers to two bottles of cooking oil because of the war in Ukraine.
The success of climate and covid-induced authoritarianism, where citizens battle to outdo each other on compliance (and publicly shame those who do not conform) has had an incredible emboldening effect upon the elites. Plans to implement 1984-style monitoring and control of citizens’ financial affairs are the inevitable next step.
And if that sounds like a conspiracy theory - well, that’s exactly what they want you to think. Governments’ actions (and public statements!) show this threat to be frighteningly real.
Mass formation, mass indoctrination
If you think the craven obedience with which we accepted lockdowns, mask mandates and swingeing green subsidies is a form of hypnosis, you’re not far wrong. It’s called mass formation psychosis: the exploitation of our psychological response to fear. We live in an age of anxiety, where worries about specific and natural concerns - recession, disease and war - are supplemented by free-floating anxieties that are much harder to pin down. These include sudden societal change, loss of agency, widening inequality - and a news media that seizes upon such factors to create a pervading sense of general dread.
Often, however, dire predictions turn out to be overstated if not completely untrue. Experts like Robert Malone, MD and Stanford’s John Ioannidis have pointed out that statistics around Covid dramatically overstated the dangerousness of the virus while giving undue credence to models later found to have been way off the mark. And not just inaccurate, but harmful. As Matthias Desmet, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Ghent University points out, the UN’s own figures suggest that the paralysis of international supply chains caused more deaths through hunger than from the virus itself.
Politicians are highly adept at harnessing anger, fear and resentment, and channelling it towards their own, often nefarious ends. By suggesting a cause for citizens’ anxieties, they can make the public accept absurdities - and acquiesce to atrocities.
Freedom is slavery
You’ll never see a political manifesto that promises to surveil, control and censor citizens’ financial transactions. Even the most out-of-touch politician recognises that such ideas are political polonium. Instead, you create a need - something that no decent person could gainsay - and then present the toxic policy as the solution.
As we’ve written about before, the goal of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is for governments to have an intimate, granular and real-time view of every citizen’s financial transactions, and use this to usher in a new era of micromanagement for every part of the economy.
As George Orwell predicted, this new slavery will be sold as freedom. So, plans to introduce CBDCs could be promoted as a necessary stepping stone to universal basic income (UBI). If you’re against CBDCs, then it follows you must be opposed to protecting your most financially disadvantaged fellow citizens. It’s a classic bait-and-switch, which has the added advantage of making people cheerleaders for the loss of their own liberty.
This is already happening across the globe, from the world’s most oppressive to its most “enlightened” regimes: from China’s social credit score system, to injection mandates for international travel, to Trudeau’s deeply illiberal financial censorship of the Trucker protestors. In each case, the overriding goal is control. And while the threat of state sanctions is a powerful motivator, so too is public opinion: people are more likely to acquiesce if they face social penalties for non-compliance, like ostracization by friends, family and co-workers.
To see how fast this can happen, look how Covid passports - until very recently viewed as an unwarranted, dystopian intrusion into people’s lives - have just become enacted in Sweden, where the new Covid passport will be connected to your digital ID.
Contempt for the citizen
Is this giving too much credence to the idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing state? Isn’t the most likely explanation - that governments are blindly blundering towards surveillance and control rather than setting out to steal our freedoms - also the most credible?
Not at all. A few months ago, we gave the example of Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank of International Settlements, saying that CBDCs give governments “absolute control” over people’s spending. Since then, we’ve seen yet more evidence of the elite’s contempt for their citizens. A few months ago, a freedom of information request by Dutch MPs and journalists obtained the invitation to attendees of the World Economic Forum. This explicitly called on members to use the pandemic to push forward plans for the “great reset of 2030 goals”:
“The discussions will focus on shaping policies for the post-Covid-19 era under the theme of the Great Reset,” it read. “[Y]our contribution to the work of the Great Reset will be especially critical [and] your participation will be crucial to shaping the future of the global financial system … The Forum will work with your staff to ensure your participation will become a major force in shaping the Great Reset.”
But what does this “great reset” look like for ordinary citizens? Bitcoin Reserve’s own Michael Roerade spelled it out in a tweet last year. If Covid-19 was the warm-up act, a compliance test to see what people would accept, then QR code-dependent “freedom” would be next, forcing everyone to use the government app. Connecting vaccine passports to citizens’ digital ID marks the end of Phase 1 of total control.
Having secured public acquiescence, the logical next step is programmable money in the form of CBDCs, which enable governments to monitor and control how much people spend, when, and with whom. It’s then a short hop to personal CO2 budgets and, ultimately, a full system of social credit scoring. Except, it will doubtlessly be called something far more cuddly - the “Personal Rewards Programme”, say - anything to disguise what it really entails: the complete surrender of your privacy and liberty to an all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful state.
No wonder the elites are praying fervently that bitcoin will fail: it’s the only way citizens can escape the creeping authoritarianism and surveillance that has become the hallmark of our once-liberal societies.
As Bismarck remarked, it’s best not to see laws or sausages being made. The global elites are certainly counting on people turning a blind eye…but the rise in citizens seizing financial freedom through bitcoin shows that at least some people are paying close attention to what’s being done in their name.