"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
People talk a lot about how we're sliding into an authoritarian government. We should be so lucky. What we're really sliding into is totalitarianism.
In George Orwell's disturbingly prophetic 1984, Winston's torturer O'Brien gives him a little history lesson:
The command of the old despotisms was ‘Thou shalt not’. The command of the totalitarians was ‘Thou shalt’. Our command is ‘Thou art’.
Totalitarians don’t just want to prohibit things they don’t like. They want to control every little aspect of your life. And they're building systems to make their dreams come to life. Technologically powered dreams that could never have been realized until now.
We have early warning signs across the West. Covid passports, lockdowns, mandatory vaccines, constant blaring propaganda, centralized IDs and social media censorship. But these things are just for practice. The most serious assault, the One Ring of totalitarian policies is the Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC.
Central bank digital currencies will be created in many countries, and the President has said the American CBDC is a priority. You'll get a single bank account with the Federal reserve or some Fed proxy. That's the only place it will be possible to have your money since there will be no cash.
Government will know exactly how much money you have and what you spend it on. They will be able to block expenditures on things they dislike or make them more expensive or less expensive on a whim. They will be able to program money to expire or impose negative interest rates. Best of all, they'll be able to freeze your money, fine you, or take all your money any time they want at the press of a button.
Say the wrong thing on Twitter or irritate some government commissar and you'll be eating dog food under a bridge in two weeks flat. And you know what? Nobody will even be able to help you out and toss you a dime because you won’t be able to receive it. There will be no cash.
Take a minute and imagine a world without cash. Kids will have trouble participating in economic life because they may not have an account or a device with which to spend their money. You won’t be able to just hand money to the old guy on the corner. You won’t be able to buy something anonymously or make a simple private deal without paying a tax and getting the transaction recorded.
The "benefits" include instant and unavoidable taxation, social engineering through financial nudging, and the suppression of money laundering and the black market.
If all that sounds great to you, then you are a totalitarian. It's OK--some people are just like that. You might as well just get in front of the term and own it.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
― Samuel Adams
But if you still have fire in your spirit, if these things fill your heart with dread, then you should do everything in your power to fight these policies, even if they come from "your side" of the political divide. Our country was founded on freedom and resistance to tyranny. Remember who you are!
Because there really are only two sides. Us--the peasantry, and Them--your totalitarian overlords, their servants and their enforcers. When you see some politician supporting these kinds of policies then they either haven't thought it through or they are totalitarians themselves and they're in on the game. If they win, if Sauron finishes the ring, then it's over. We'll never get out from under their rule again.
It will be just like what Orwell said:
"A boot stamping on a human face--forever."