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Modern bondage

In Australia, attempts have been under way for several years in various regions to pay out social assistance on debit cards. These are intended to control the behaviour of the owners. They cannot be used to pay for certain goods and services. The “compassionate-conservative” government now wants to extend the program to the whole country in the face of resistance.

The government website describes the program as follows:

The cashless debit card tests whether reducing the amount of cash available in a community can reduce the harm caused by charity-induced abuse of alcohol, gambling and drugs.

This is particularly the feeling of communities and communities of indigenous peoples who are heavily dependent on social assistance.

The money on the card cannot be spent on alcohol, games and certain gift vouchers. Online, you can only shop at government-approved retailers. You can’t withdraw cash with the card either.

So far, 80 percent of social assistance goes to the restricted cards, and 20 percent are transferred to a normal account. Under the proposed legislative reform, however, the government would have the option of raising the percentage to 100 percent.

As is so often the case in the global campaign against cash, the purpose is, at its core, easy to understand for many well-meaning people. Those affected, and especially their families, should be protected from wasting the scarce money due to alcohol or drug addiction or from mistreating family members in the rush.

However, a closer look reveals the totalitarian nature of the project. The aim is to deprive people of the freedom to do bad things by comprehensive control and manipulation of their actions. Freedom, however, is not divisible. When you no longer have the freedom to do bad things, you are no longer free.

In a free society, people can choose to do bad things. He must then live with the consequences. The Australian government can also sanction people who squander their family’s welfare or drown in other ways, by no longer entrusting them with the money and depriving them of custody. Because no one wants to starve, there is little to prevent people who are addicted to gambling and alcohol being shown to be on food cards and the like. Even people who want to have such a debit card in order to be able to defend themselves more easily against the temptation should be able to get it.

But what the Australian government wants to do in the future and is already doing in its initiating terms goes far beyond that. You only have to read the form that those who want to leave the cashless debit card program have to fill out. They must prove in a degrading way that they are upright citizens in a broad sense. It is not the government that needs to prove that they are a danger to themselves or to the people around them. They have to prove that they are not.

To do this, the government expressly takes the right to search the entire payment history with the debit card. The applicant should also prove, among other things, that he is committed to the community and that he is trying to find work. Once he has provided his evidence, he still has to conduct a telephone interview with someone from the office and pass it.

It does not take much imagination to imagine how such a programme, once it is introduced, can be expanded further and further. With almost every type of insurance, such as health, accident, motor vehicle and unemployment insurance, it can be argued that insured persons should be placed on the digital aisle in order to protect the insured community from negligent or willful to protect damage.

Apparently, there is no independent investigation into the effectiveness of the programme. In any case, according to newspaper reports, the opposition wants to see one carried out before agreeing to expansion and intensification. It also wants to see the programme restricted to voluntary participation.

If you were to think like, ‘Bad, but Australia is a long way off’, then you should be aware that many German banks are already charging a high extra fee for credit card payments that have something to do with gambling. This can be a small lottery ticket. Like the Australian government, banks use a code system that assigns a number to each product category. The possibilities for population control and management are enormous.

In a critical-parodistic promotional video for and against the program, the moderator asks:

Did your partner cut them off access to their money? Did he tell you it was only for your best, and that you owe it to your own behavior. If so, they may be in an abusive relationship. … Except, of course, we are the ones who do this to you, then you are in the cashless welfare card.

“We introduce: the Cashless Welfare Card, or as we like to call it: the Class Warfare Card. The class fight card, which will soon be issued nationwide, takes most of its money into quarantine so you can’t spend it on drugs, alcohol or games. You want to get social assistance, so we want you to feel like a piece of shit. Is it practical? Not a bit! Cash at the vending machine, 0 dollars.

Pocket money for the children? Misreporting. Shopping on the market? Don’t go. Buy used clothes and goods, not even. Losing their dignity and autonomy is priceless. Most of them will no longer be able to buy — they will use the class battle card for everything else! Is it effective? Not according to our own evaluation, which found little evidence that it reduces drug abuse or unemployment. In one attempt, it even caused an increase in crime.

Are we going to do it anyway? Of course. Because if we wanted to help people get back on their feet, we would listen to the advice of experts. They say the answer is to invest more in mental health services and good housing and rehabilitation. Instead, we follow the advice of this Mienen billionaire (Andrew Forrest), whose neoliberal thought furhas inspired the program. And so we pay a lot of your tax money to Indue, for every person who is put on the card.

Indue, the company whose former director happens to be the president of these (incomprehensible swear words) (The Nationals/National Party of Australia) who have pushed for the nationwide introduction of the card, which would bring Indue even more money. It’s all part of our plan to privatize your social security. So that money can still be made from the tears of the poor. All on one card: Class Battle Card! We portray welfare recipients as drug addicts so that you can blame them for their unemployment, rather than a system that does not produce enough jobs. The class struggle card! Authorized by the Ministry of Gradual Enforcement of the Cashless Society.”