When the two “World Trade Center"towers collapsed in New York on September 11, 2001-caused by whatever and whoever – the media around the world reported: after 9/11, the world is no longer the same. In a sense, this has also proved to be true: since then, the US believes that it is entitled not only to play the world policeman, but also the executor of death sentences handed down on its own: wherever on this globe, it allows itself to kill any in its eyes unwelcome people – now mostly with remote – controlled drones.
Even now it is time again. Even after the corona pandemic, the world will no longer be the same. Especially the Monitoring of humans with digital technology will increase massively. You already gain experience with the monitoring of “Social Distancing”.
And another danger looms: the abolition of cash. In the fight against infection with the Corona Virus, payment with a Debit or credit card is recommended everywhere. To make them more popular, German banks, for example, have announced that they will allow payments of up to 50 euros without entering a PIN. And more and more people may think: why not always pay with the card, we actually do not need the cash anymore. By the way, in my experience these are people who around Snowden said “I have nothing to hide”.
Those who pay with a Debit or credit card leave a very personal trail. You can check at any time what you have bought and paid where and when. The fact that a man could already be convicted of murdering his wife because he had bought a hatchet the day before, which was then used for the murder and turned his thesis of an unexpected and particularly emotional marital conflict situation into a Farce, is no reason to hand over the profile of our own shopping behavior to the large store chains and the advertising companies specialized in personalized advertising, so to speak, on the silver plate.
In Denmark, smaller stores have been allowed to refuse to accept cash since 2015. This forces people to have a bank account and a debit card. But what about the rioters, the poor and the homeless, the new and still unemployed immigrants? What about the street musicians and the beggars, who like to put a franc or a Euro in their hat?
But the real danger is this: the “up there”, the banks, the international financial institutions, whoever is at the right levers, they can turn off the functioning of a Debit or credit card with a single push of a button. The US then no longer needs drones to kill a single Qasem Soleimani, it can simply turn off entire groups and organizations from payment transactions. And how do these people get their daily bread, their millet or their rice?
International payments: facilitates
Transferring money to another country has actually become much easier with digital technology. With the help of Western Union, for example, you can transfer small and medium-sized amounts to another country within less than an hour. There, the transferred amount can be collected at a Western Union counter in the form of cash. Western Union has more than 500,000 such switches worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of workers from poor countries, so-called migrant workers, do this regularly: they send home part of their salary earned by working in another, richer country. In several countries, for example the Philippines or in Europe the Ukraine, these remittances of their compatriots from abroad account for 20 and more percent of the national income to the Western Union with increased fees.
International payments: blocked
But what is just as real on the other side of this fantastic money transfer machine is that when the United States imposes economic sanctions on a country, Western Union also dances to Washington’s fiddle and refuses the transfers. The author of these lines has just experienced it again: he wanted to send a little support to friends in the Crimea on Christmas and also now on Easter. Western Union did not work.
In Crimea, Western credit cards do not work, nor credit cards from oh so “neutral” Switzerland. Even the ATMs, which exist in Simferopol, Yalta or Sevastopol, do not give out money. If you want to travel to Crimea, you have to take cash with you, if you want to transfer money to Crimea, and even if it is only 100 or 200 francs as a gift, you have to bring it in cash yourself.
Covid-19-crisis back or forth
Even though the banks and the major financial institutions are now benefiting from a change in consumer payment behaviour in the shops in Switzerland and some other countries due to the fear of Corona contagion and have seen an increased acceptance of card-based payment, it must not be the case that everything is being switched to digital technology. Last but not least, the United States is always ready to use new technologies to achieve its economic and power goals: they were the first to use the atomic bomb, they were the first to use their GPS System and the drones based on it to kill people they dislike in other countries, and they are the first to abuse digital payment for their power games.
Even in the world after the Covid-19 crisis, which will probably be different in many areas, cash is still needed. The total monitoring and control by a great power must be prevented by us, who are already too closely monitored.