Feeling agitated or adventurous? Enter Tornado Country to witness the fury of Spin Doctor as he analyses the ins and outs of the modern world, tears down old preconceptions, and glimpses into history with an eye on the future.

Going Cashless: A Leap Too Far

[Cont’d from Part 2] … On being in control of one’s own assets:

When you stock food at home to have and use at will for whatever reason — a hurricane, an earthquake, an energy crisis, or just a stupid craving, or maybe just because you want to stay in for a month and detox from the world at large — do you stock up on real food in the pantry? Or do you stock up on credit with the store?

If you want to have fresh water always handy, do you stock up on extra bottles of water, or do you kick back and relax in the comfort that when you need water in a time of need or crisis, it will be magically delivered to you by those from whom you’ve bought it in advance, and in whose safekeeping you’ve entrusted it?

Reserves cannot be entrusted to third parties, fiduciaries, middlemen, handlers, or faraway and hard-to-access agencies.

The fact is, there’s delivery, and there’s reserves. One complements the other, each with its own purpose. Delivery makes things practical, reserves make things safe. You can’t relinquish control of your assets, not all of them, not totally. The point of having options is to have options — to have resources available as and when necessary; to be liquid and versatile; to have something to fall back on should the delivery systems or the infrastructure at large falter, seize up, or otherwise malfunction. To be in charge of your alternatives and courses of action.

The point, in other words, is control — control of one’s choices; of one’s resources and assets. An individual needs unimpeded access to an important part of his or her tool collection (note: money is the magical tool that buys other tools) to ensure the smooth operation of one’s life.

Outsourcing this tool of tools — money — to others, asking third parties to keep it for you, is tricky enough. Banks have been doing this for centuries, but banks have gone bankrupt before, prior to or following bank runs. Yes, the system has undergone numerous mutations to ensure that such collapses are kept to a minimum. A level of trust is inherent in an economy, and we’ve come a long way since the inception of our first economies.

But making cash obsolete, transmuting it to figures on a screen, digital pings, is a leap too far. Misguided and ominous. This is not ditching the plow for the machine and the robot. This is taking one’s options and handing them over to an infrastructure that controls not just the flow of all currency, but also the world’s record keeping, our information exchange, our entire reality. Efficient as this sounds, it’s as communist, sovietized and totalitarian as it gets.

I’m not sure if the economists and other specialists don’t get it, or if they’re playing the fools.

Part 4 to follow