Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Another thought experiment
I love “what if” questions. It's part of being prepared. What if the power grid goes down? What if there's a major earthquake? What if the just-in-time food system fails? After a what if question is asked, it's just a matter of connecting the dots to see what might happen. Then appropriate preparations can be taken. Mostly it comes down to being at least somewhat self reliant. That gets people through most problems.
Speculative thinking becomes a habit -one that can take a man down the rabbit hole. I asked myself: what if something like Bit Coin was everything it was hyped to be? It doesn't have to be Bit Coin itself, but something like it: an electronic currency totally beyond the control of governments and central banks.
Bit Coins aren't quite money. Very few places actually accept them as currency, so they aren't -yet. Let's say they became readily accepted by vendors and could easily be exchanged for local currencies. All a person had to do to transfer wealth from one country to another would be to memorize a digital code. With that code electronic “money” is readily accessed.
Let's say it was more valuable than gold. After all, smuggling gold across borders can be a royal pain. It's too easy to slip up and make a border guard rich. Assume some sort of electronic currency becomes recognized as the most stable and useful money in the world. What would the Powers that Be do?
There's only thing they could do. As soon as the threat of government and corporate independent money becomes real, they'd have to crash and shut down the Internet. No Internet = no way to move electronic money.
Sound too radical? It isn't. Look what the European Monetary Union is doing to protect its Euro. They are sacrificing sovereign governments of independent states to preserve it. Greece would be better off with it's own currency that could be inflated against the Euro. Instead of that logical course, the EU is doing all kinds of financial juggling to keep the Euro supreme. That's how important currency control is to the European Powers that Be.
In the United States, money and monetary policy is considered too important for mere government to run. Instead, the private business known as the Federal (not really Federal) Reserve is in charge. Those who control the money control the world.
Destroying the Internet would be hugely costly to governments and business. Almost everything in modern life has some connection to it. Why would they cause so much destruction to their own? Call it triage. They'd be a lot smaller. The world would be a whole lot poorer, but those in power might still be able to call the shots. Lose the control of money and eventually control of the people follows. A truly independent electronic currency would allow people to people transactions without business or government involvement. Forget about collecting taxes from those transactions. Think of all the big banks that would die if usury went away? (hint ALL the banks)
Why is the Internet still up and running? Perhaps the Powers that Be are still waiting a bit more before pulling the plug. Most likely these electronic currencies are not quite ready for prime time. This is a thought experiment, after all.
Of course, you could help expand your local barter and gift economy. Even with the Internet down, that economic model still works -and it's still independent too.