This guest story was provided by Savannah Allen. WM editorial team is not responsible fot the author’s position and any statements.

The EU has past the period during which it was only the result of its member-nations’ wish to work together: it is now an entity of its own, a super-state. It is now in the process of increasing its power, but finds on its way nations which are reluctant to let go of theirs. The EU is therefore trying a new strategy: establishing its influence on European citizens by cutting a tacit deal with member-nations to kill cash.

The Americans, unlike Europeans, don’t simply position themselves politically from the left to the right.  They have a second axis, between libertarian (those who wish for the government to intervene less, no matter which way) and interventionist (who wish for more state intervention, one way or the other). The reason for this is the country’s youth, and its chronological proximity with its founders who kept in mind a very clear idea of what can happen when states become too big. In Europe, our states are big. And the European Union, as a super-state aims at being bigger still. How will it do it? Probably the same way states always do it: by claiming to intervene for the good of the people. No tyranny in history has ever announced it power-greedy intentions, as the devil never shows its face. A protective and highly communicative stance has far better chances of working.

Last year the EU announced its intention (1)  “to explore the need for appropriate restrictions on cash payments exceeding certain thresholds. In particular, the Proposal for an amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive2 (COM (2016) 450), which introduced stricter transparency rules and other measures targeted specifically at terrorism financing. Furthermore, the initiative should be seen in conjunction with the ECB’s decision of 4 May (20163) to discontinue the production of the EUR 500 banknote and stop the issuance of this denomination by around 2018 to address concerns that these notes could be used in financing illicit activities.”.  In other words, to slowly reduce and then completely kill off cash in our societies in order to fight crime and terrorism, which are ingenuously considered as exclusive cash-users. The 500-euro-banknote has already been discontinued. Global Research adds (2) “Unbelievably, the EU Commission is using the logic of banning cash by stating there “remains the lack of readily available and solid evidence on legitimate vs illegitimate cash transactions.” They maintain that “It is difficult to quantify the legitimate or illegitimate use of cash””, which is clearly shown to be untrue.

Can terrorism really be fought financially? Yes, to some extent. Terrorism investigators have always used what is known as the “paper trail” (3) to track down terrorist cells. Bank transfers, checks, electronic payments all help map out organizations, including terrorist ones. Knowing this, terrorists use cash for their financial transactions. But no, killing cash will not defeat – or even weaken – terrorism, because terrorists have half a dozen alternative options ready at hand. They will just alternate currencies, such as cryptocurrencies, which governments have a hard time tracking down. The odds are that the complete destruction of cash would slash right through civil liberties and not be even a speed-bump on terrorists’ road. Zero Hedge explains (4): Who is so naive to think that a ban on cash will stop terrorism? What they have missed is that criminal and terrorist leanings facilitate such activities, they will always find some form of means of exchange to facilitate it. Sovereign Man explains that criminals and terrorists can, miraculously, use means other than physical cash in order to facilitate illegal activities.

How does the deal work between member-nations and the European Union? Power is not always a zero-sum game. Indeed, when the EU has wished in the past to build its power at the expense of its members, it often met too much resistance to take it away. The European army failed, as did the European diplomatic corps. But this new attempt is a double-pronged approach. The cash-ban will be applicable to all EU citizens. National governments will not oppose it because it will hugely increase their power: power to tax, power to investigate, power to monitor all their citizens. Once money enters the computerized banking world, it can easily be accessed by state services and talk. Our transactions give valuable information about where we are, whom we know and what we have planned. Scott Shay, chairman of Signature Bank, despite having favorable stakes (all banks are in favor of less cash) in a cashless society, says (5) “ The invisible hand optimizes our total production, and, by and large, fosters our freedom. A “visible hand” monitoring every single transaction we make could be one of the greatest — and least expected — threats to freedom we have ever encountered in human history. This is the threat of econgularity.”

It is unfortunate that, because the subject is somewhat technical, citizens of the EU see the matter as too stratospheric to address it. They, of all people, should feel concerned, because they are the very point of the reform. The EU move is not about terrorism, unless the European bureaucrats serving it are very naive people, which they are not. Killing cash will be completely ineffective in addressing terrorism. It will, however, be very effective in giving States and, in time the European Union, unlimited surveillance powers.



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