There are moves afoot right now to take money, as the recognised form of exchange, out of the economy, out of general use altogether.
How would this be possible, and why would it be done?
There are several different elements and angles to this; let’s take a look:
Technology allows us to buy and sell without money:
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) microchips, almost as small as a grain of rice, can be implanted into human wrists, similarly to how we can microchip our pets to identify them if they’re lost or stolen.
These chips in the human wrist can enable people to pay for their purchases at the checkout, simply by waving their wrist in front of a receiving device.
The chip could also store a huge amount of information about the person wearing it, such as their name and address, health records and other personal details.
On the face of it, such a chip could be a great tool, and a convenience for paying for things.
Conspiracy theorists might feel, and many do, that the chip is also a perfect device for the Government to control people in various ways. There are also concerns about the effect of the radio frequency on the human nervous system.
At this present time, it’s looking as though this RFID chip will be enforced upon us in the near future, ostensibly to overcome the security weaknesses of plastic cards, and with cash no longer being printed and removed from the system as it’s spent.
Perhaps, though, we might all be given a budget, an amount regularly credited to everyone’s bank account, to spend on certain specified things, e.g. “buy locally grown food” using the RFID chip.
The Universal Wage, or benefit
The idea of a universal (for everyone) wage has been floating around for many years, and today it is being considered by politicians, at least here in Britain, as a way to reduce the cost of the welfare system.
It works by the Government paying everyone a regular amount of money to cover the basic costs of living. This would mean that everyone would enjoy the same security against unemployment, and would also be able to choose to be unemployed, or would have the basic security to support their efforts to learn new skills, be a student at college, start their own business, etc.
There’s a lot to be said for this system for enhancing people’s basic security, incentivising their efforts to grow their own business through its difficult early years, and also for reducing the very high costs of government welfare systems.
United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
This agenda, which I described in the previous writing, is said, behind the scenes, to aim to take money out of the system altogether, whereby people would be given their basic living in the form of a free house and furniture, etc., free food, free transport, free healthcare, everything needed for a reasonable quality of life.
People will be rigorously controlled to ensure that there’s no waste, no needless pollution, no greenhouse gasses, and equally no inequality, no freedom to choose one’s employment beyond what one is capable of providing to the state, in order words it’ll be Communism for the 21st Century. It will satisfy all the agencies working to reduce climate change, and it will be seen to be a utopian society.
This is one of the reasons why I see the UN 2030 Agenda as a Trojan Horse.
However, perhaps I’m being unjust. As an avid Star Trek fan, I have to admit that the basic idea could be a good one; repeat: “could” be a good one.
Star Trek economy
We’ve never seen money, in its usual form, being used in the Star Trek episodes.
Certainly, there’s a lot of trading between planets going on – that’s how the USS Enterprise gets its dilithium crystals, which cannot be replicated, and which are needed for the ship’s warp drive, making the search for them on other planets a recurring plot element – so there are exchange systems which mostly look like barter of some sort, or some unknown form of money which is acceptable wherever they go – which seems unlikely.
But there’s one particular episode in which Jean Luc Picard, captain of the Star Ship Enterprise, explains that money is no longer used on Earth at that time.
To quote from a Wikipedia page headed “Post Scarcity Economy”, which is an interesting read:
“The 24th century human society of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has been labeled a post-scarcity society due to the ability of the fictional “replicator” technology to synthesize a wide variety of goods nearly instantaneously, along with dialogue such as Captain Picard’s statement that “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.”
I don’t think many Star Trek fans would say that Star Trek reeks of Communism. The nearest “ism” I can think of is Communitarianism, which has a much more benign feel to it, and where the community owns and operates the economy. And whether this would imply some control by the community over members of the community, would depend on how much responsibility the members of the community would take for the community, as well as for themselves and their family, or group.
So whether we will live in a new Golden Age or continue in this present, unsustainable way, would be not so much a matter of what kind of economy, monetary system and technology, we have, but what kind of attitude we have towards our use of resources, and our place in the community, nation and world and perhaps, in time, “out there”.
And also, how much control over ourselves we give to others.