We’ve written and said a fair bit about the way the Covid crisis has been manipulated and leveraged to accelerate the agenda of implementing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). This was our most recent post on the issue: Some thoughts on resisting the Fourth Industrial Revolution 11.5.22. One of the many aspects of the 4IR that we’ve been doing our level best to draw people’s attention to was the elimination of physical cash from the economy. With Covid and the fears of contagion, there was a massive switch to paying by card and/or phone. Now Covid has gone, there has been a little bit of a move back to paying by cash but overall, the Overton Window has shifted towards a greater use of non cash methods and…it ain’t shifting back!
We’ve heard of a few developments that go beyond paying by card or phone and thought, yes that could happen but it may be a while yet before they’re widely discussed. WRONG! It looks like the trajectory towards the dystopian future we and a fair few others have been warning people about has massively accelerated and here we are: Aldi, ASDA, Tesco, Lidl, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s could soon urge you NOT to use cash or card to pay – Rachel Pugh | Manchester Evening News | 18 May 2022. Yes you read that right, even paying by phone will be passé – the future is paying by your fingerprint/face! Needless to say your fingerprint and/or face will have been scanned and uploaded to the relevant databases.
Okay, this is only a trial but it’s a clear indication of the direction the bastards want to push us in. It’s being sold as something that will make your shopping experience more ‘convenient’. Judging by the press article linked to above, it looks as though there will be plenty of hacks out there willing to parrot the line that it’s ‘convenient’. Any journalist worth their salt would have taken a pause and asked a few pointed questions about that this means for personal privacy. You don’t need us to tell you that asking difficult questions and modern mainstream journalism are two mutually exclusive concepts these days.
We’d like to think there’s going to be a massive kick back against this. In fact, we’re fervently hoping and praying there will be. However, the experience of the last two years and the way seemingly too many people unquestioningly complied with every restriction while vilifying those of us who were asking the difficult questions doesn’t exactly fill us with confidence. When you combine that with the way a fair few people allow themselves to be seduced by the latest technology without taking a few steps back to question where it’s taking us, it’s clear we’ve got a battle on our hands.
Going off at a bit of a tangent, it’s the big supermarkets who are trialling this. Obviously there are some areas where there are few or no independent food retailers and it’s the big supermarkets who dominate. Should this move to paying by fingerprint or face recognition gain traction in the next few years, a lot of people are going to find life difficult if they don’t want to go along with it. However, what happens in those urban areas with a fair number of independent international shops will be interesting. Our guess is that they will make a point of continuing to offer people the means to pay by cash, thereby offering competition, and an alternative to the supermarkets.
Over the last couple of years, a number of people, including now former comrades, have told us we’re conspiracy theorists. That takes in the points we were making about the acceleration of the push towards a cashless society. Conspiracy theorists? Really? Accurate forecasters would be more like it! Having said this, trust us when we say that regarding being proved right about the developments pushing us further into the 4IR, we take no enjoyment from being proved right. That’s because we’re heading ever closer to a dehumanising, dystopian future which we have no desire to live in:(