Unlimited Technological Progress – to What End?
However, as long as cash money exists, there remains a certain independence for people, because it is anonymous. In this regard, too, the apocalyptic scenario is ultra-modern, if not ‘science fiction’. Let us examine what it actually predicts.
Up to now, all consumer goods have become marked with a bar code, the standard version consisting of two times six numbers. At the same time, a global computer infrastructure (designated as www, ‘world-wide web’) is being installed, making cash money more and more outdated. Where is this technological progress heading towards?
The apocalyptic scenario says: At one point people will be able to buy and sell (and to earn money) only if they are ‘marked’ on their right hand or on their forehead. Only nowadays, with the technology seen at the beginning of the twenty-first century, do we have the required horizon to interpret what St John got to see in the first century: people being marked with a kind of (invisible) bar code on their body which is used to identify them and to register all their transactions in a central computer. Practically, this would mean that both the consumers and the consumer goods become bar-coded.
From a certain viewpoint such a system would have many advantages. There would no longer be illicit work or any chance of evading taxes. One would no longer have to fear burglars or pickpockets. One would not even have to fill out a tax declaration because the central computer would do it automatically and just deduce the calculated tax amount from one’s personal account. And it would be more difficult for terrorists to organize any attacks. This new world order promises ‘peace’ and ‘security’ – for all those who fall in line.
Regarding the computer identification of the world population there are already projected bar-code systems in the form of an invisible laser tattoo. One system involves personal ID bar codes consisting of 18 numbers: three times six numbers, or three groups of six numbers (again 6-6-6)! In other words, people would simply get an expanded UPC code – 12 digits for goods, 18 digits for people. (For the third group of 6 numbers, the mirrored version of set A, which is still in store unused, could be implemented.)
The trend heading towards the complete abolishment of cash money is obvious to see. With the increased use of computer money, ready cash becomes unwelcome and unpractical, even suspicious. In more and more countries people are becoming equipped with all kinds of plastic cards: ID cards, credit cards, cash cards, post-bank cards, driver’s license cards, insurance cards, railway cards, telephone cards, bus cards, customer cards, health insurance cards, etc. And in addition, people still have to carry paper money and coins with them.
Once, gold was replaced by paper money, and now the paper is being replaced by plastic cards and computer numbers. Will the flood of personal cards one day be replaced by a body-worn bar code? That is the question investigated in this chapter.
… continued in TranscEnding the Global Power Game, p. 250