Sunday, 24 March 2013
Currency and the cosmos
Money is much in the news this week: the European Union's plot to steal between 10% and 20% of the savings from the people of Cyprus, which we all know about - and a lesser-reported story from Russia.
The Russian state is putting on trial a dead man (you really couldn't make this up, could you? It's like a black Ealing comedy) for tax evasion. He didn't evade any tax, of course. His crime was not turning a blind eye as key people, high up in the Russian state and government, cut themselves in - as individuals and groups - for a slice of the nation's wealth.
The tax police, who patrol with machine guns, take whatever they can get from anyone making money and split their gains between themselves and their superiors. This all started to unravel when officials in the Russian government stole - actually stole - ownership of a multi-million pound British company. The man sent to investigate was thrown in prison then killed before the case could come to trial. They are now mounting a trial of his ghost to frighten off others.
The people think that could not happen here. The truth is, it is happening - though in a typically British subtle, smoke-and-mirrors fashion. The leader of the UK Independence Party this week challenged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to promise that he would not launch a raid on the citizens' savings as the EU have done in Cyprus. Luckily we are not part of the Euro currency so at least that stops the European pan government from taking it directly. They will need a stooge.
It has come to something when the leader of a respected UK political party feels justified in asking for an assurance that the current government will not steal the people's money (no more than they regularly do, anyway).
I have mentioned before, and it is a subject I am covering in my next book, that our government seeks to create the impression that anyone in possession of cash is a crook. The government hates cash because it gives people power and freedom. When all transactions are carried out electronically, the meaning - and value - of money is debased. And, of course, the government then controls everyone's wealth at the touch of a button; accounts can be frozen, money can be seized and diverted at source.
As the governments of what were once the western democracies dig themselves deeper into insolvency by seeking to spend all our money they will struggle to maintain a money-based "economy". When governments have fully trashed the concept of money they will find an excuse to do away with it altogether.
Just like in the old communist Soviet Union, our leaders will live lives of luxury funded outside the normal monetary system (which will no-longer exist) while the rest of us exist on what scraps the global political elite throw at us.
You think it is far-fetched simply because it hasn't happened yet - like a meteor striking the planet. Scientists now calculate that there is a 30% chance of a catastrophic impact from space anytime soon. They say "within the next 100 years" but, statistics being what they are, it could just as easily be next month. And even if it is not for another 70 years, it will still kill your grandchildren.
It hasn't happened to you yet, but it remains a fact that it will.