Just when you thought that modern-day Peeping Tom-ery couldn’t get any more voyeuristic, the unelected government of the former democracy known as Italy just proved otherwise.
“Italien: ab 2013 kein Bargeld über 50 Euro” ran the headline in Suedtirol News, announcing that from 2013, you will no longer be able to pay for anything over €50 without a debit or credit card. Want petrol? Sorry, card only. Getting a round of drinks in the middle of Rome? “No cardi, no Bacardi”. Just bought a family ticket to Florence’s Uffizi for you and your brood? Good job you didn’t get a Smart Meter at home – otherwise someone might not only know exactly where you are, but exactly where you aren’t, too.
And as with Italy leading the way with the implementation of 32 million HARD-WIRED Smart Meters (not wireless ones), there are other countries lining up to follow Italy’s lead into the “Digital Economy”. In the Nordics, Sweden recently introduced cash bans on public transport. In Britain, the BBC and at least two newspapers ran headlines in July claiming that “paying tradesmen in cash is immoral” and worthy not only of a place on the naughty step but of an accusation that, if you value anonymity and convenience, something must be wrong with you.
But this international movement to end transactional privacy isn’t just using new decrees to change your way of life. A quick look around provides ample evidence that some serious “cash” is being thrown into spinning sophist-style sales pitches to have you believe that a total and permanent loss of your anonymity is “cool” and “fun”. And whether you buy their rhetoric or not, we are marching towards a point where you won’t be able to spend so much as a penny without someone, somewhere, knowing about it.
And here’s an interesting thought from one of our supporters – in a cashless society, how likely do you think bank runs would be? To borrow from Bertrand Russell’s “The Impact of Science on Society”, about as likely as an organised insurrection by sheep against the practice of eating mutton…
Here are some of the current efforts to sell you total surveillance of your financial transactions.
Where we go from here is up to you…
The end of cash: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2103289,00.html
The international movement for the end of cash: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/04/13/f-vp-bambury-cash.html
Is this the end of money?: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/nov/29/is-this-end-of-money
Will Square’s Starbuck deal spark the end of cash http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2012/08/08/will-squares-starbucks-deal-spark-the-end-of-cash/
The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers–and the Coming Cashless Society: http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Money-Counterfeiters-Dreamers/dp/0306818833 (or give your local bookstore a try)