Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are the shiny new, cool high-tech thing that everyone in the crypto world is so excited about because it’s new and cool and high-tech, and it can help fight corruption or something. Forgive me, but that’s the impression I get from all the people so enthusiastic about them. Well, I’m not enthusiastic about them, and if people would stop acting like CBDCs were the latest ICO or iPhone, they’d be less enthusiastic about them too.
The People’s Republic of China, Communist China, has a surveillance apparatus that makes the antagonists in George Orwell’s 1984 look like the blokes at the American Civil Liberties Union. They have over 50 million CCTV cameras monitoring people 24 hours a day along with facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence for predicting human behavior. However, the cherry on the sundae is their social credit system, where if you have a low enough score, you can’t get credit, go on holiday, or do any of the things people with high social credit scores can do.
China’s next logical step in expanding its surveillance state is to start issuing the digital renminbi (RMB), which utilizes blockchain technology and will give the state the ability to control its citizens even further. If tied in with their social credit system, the state could prevent people with a low social credit score from buying everything but the bare essentials, if it even lets them buy those things.
How Social Control Through the RMB Will Work
Let’s put a human face on the RMB as a Chi-Com tool for controlling its citizens. Let’s say you’re one of the niang pao or “girly men” that the Communist Party has taken a dislike to. You decide to go to the Gucci store to buy a Gucci handbag or whatever it is Chinese girly men buy, and you find that the transaction is blocked, and you can only spend your money at clothing stores that sell Wrangler jeans and plaid flannel shirts. By the end of the day, you look more like a masculine he-man Canadian lumberjack than a girly man. And you can be sure that your transactions at the vegan health food store will be blocked and that you’ll only be allowed to buy beefsteak for the next three months.
But even better is that the RMBs the Chinese have been issuing have an expiration date to “encourage” citizens to use them early. I guarantee you that those expiry dates are not temporary. Let’s say you’re one of the Chinese wearing Wranglers and plaid that Chairman Xi loves so much, and you’ve managed to save $30,000 in RMB. You plan on using that money as a down payment for a flat. Well, if the Politburo decides it needs you to stimulate the economy, and they put a one-week expiry date on your RMB, you can kiss that flat goodbye. Under this system, the state could force you to spend your money however and whenever it suits them, which means your money isn’t yours anymore – it’s the state’s.
A World That Will Increasingly Look Like Red China
In China, the RMB will usher in a relationship between the state and the people in which the state can dictate what and when a person can buy. However, abroad, the RMB will usher in a rival financial system to that of the dollar.
The key thing to remember in all this is that the Chinese are zeroing in on the dollar as part of an effort to destroy its status as a reserve currency, and the RMB is one of the economic weapons by which the Chinese will achieve that objective. China is the number one trading partner for dozens of countries, and if any of them want to continue doing business with the Chinese, they’ll have to dump their dollars in favor of the RMB and its blockchain in order to usher in the day America is cut off at the knees economically.
The Americans are starting to catch on to what China is up to, which is why Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has been running on about the necessity of a digital dollar. However, as the United States starts to look more like China, with Big Tech censors like Facebook enforcing state dogma and banks and payment processors booting dissidents, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the United States will use its CBDC to exert greater control over its own citizens.
If you think that’s me going Dale Gribble on you, consider that during the Cold War the United States began to take on aspects of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had the KGB and GRU for domestic and foreign surveillance, and the US created the DIA, CIA, and NSA, and enlarged the FBI to counter Soviet intrigues within and outside the United States. Now, the United States uses the NSA to spy on its citizens and the FBI to harass them, just as the Soviet Union used the KGB to harass and spy on its citizens.
Eventually, just as America’s police and intelligence agencies are being used to harass and control American citizens, the digital dollar will also be wielded in the same fashion as the RMB for whatever arbitrary reasons our so-called betters can come up with. At the rate we’re going, we’ll be just like the Chinese in a century if we don’t manage to blow ourselves up first.
Reject Tyranny in All Forms
These digital fiat currencies are nothing to be excited about because they are a new tool that governments will use to exert more incredible amounts of control over people than they can now. People need to stand up together and loudly reject CBDCs, and tell their governments to find a way to counter Red China that doesn’t involve turning their countries into digital dystopias.