France will soon be monitoring social media accounts to catch suspected tax evaders. The endeavor could label anyone as suspicious who so much as posts a “taxation is theft” meme or a poses with a nice car. The country’s budget minister, Gérald Darmanin, called the court-approved experiment ‘one more tool to fight fraud.’ Exemplified by this move toward dystopian financial surveillance is the economic elephant in the room: fiat monetary systems are not only broken, inefficient, and financially unsound, they’re also immoral.
Also Read: Crypto’s Counterpunch to U.S. Hegemony and Empire
No Means No, Except When It’s the State
Every ethical transaction between peaceful humans involves informed consent. From romance to retail, exchanges that are forcefully perpetrated on another individual without agreement are rightfully identified as violent. Should your local department store charge you for an item you don’t want, and then leverage violence to obtain that “fee,” they’d be shut down in a heartbeat. Should someone in relationship demand access to your body against your will, that relationship is clearly abusive and should be ended immediately.
Why then, when it comes to governments and money, is there a kind of shut off switch in people’s brains regarding morality? After all, when the government demands taxes to pay for a war or shoddy service one doesn’t even want, they do so with very real and credible threats of violence. Don’t wish to support a war killing innocent people? Too bad. Pay your taxes or end up in prison. Resist your kidnapping and end up dead. Local police department brutalizing people? Well, too bad. Support them or be extorted for said support. Wish to make a competing currency? Nope, try again. You need the permission of the rulers to do that.
When it comes to state money, commonly known as fiat currency, competition is not allowed. We must use fiat currencies non-consensually, or see our ability to survive and thrive in the world severely mitigated, or even cut off altogether. Crypto is much different. People may use various cryptos as they please, or not. Competition is allowed and even encouraged when it comes to these currencies, and there’s generally no caging, kidnapping or other violence threatened by developers. In this sense, bitcoin can be seen as a currency of consent, where the creepy, overbearing, violent monetary designs of the state are already outdated, inefficient, and most critically, immoral.