Oh, how predictive was Orwell!

Payment Card and Prophecy by George Orwell
The payment card will make payments easier, it is more convenient than cash but has drawbacks too

by Gorica Gligorijevic

Cash or payment card? About this topic, most of us have been speculating on this very issue, but until now mainly from a philosophical point of view.

The current world seems to many like a dystopia. It’s a tale of the darkest times. Whose dystopia? Which writer best envisioned this time of confusion and dysfunction? Two classics from the 20th century. Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s  “1984”.

“A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories,” starts “Brave New World”. 

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,”  “1984” opens.

What horrible openings! Scary! 

Both writers wrote about how future governments will operate with a lot of energy spent in seeking to encourage economic consumption.

What we have today?

We, together, protect and transmit our secret lives through surveys and social media.

We are sharing our personal data on which we all commonly depend. And we are doing that so easily.

Do you feel the importance of this change in our own lives?

It will be more clear when explained on the example of credit cards or loans.

Payment Card – The customer is always right

For example, loan review. 

From this review, the police, and not just the police, can see: do you drink Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola, what kind of bread are you eating, what beer you drink, what brand and what size of shoes you wear, what size underwear you are buying, where you were five months ago when you have paid a hotel for the other two people and who they are.

Scary enough? Who was right? Oh, how predictive was Orwell!

In some countries, cash payments are canceled, only payment cards are used. That’s the reality. We can go a step further. The government, for “justified reasons”, declares the Regulation: for certain cardholders, daily payment from a card is limited to $500. The other group of owners has a limit of $2,000 daily, while the third group has unlimited card payments. Everything is a nice and computer programmed, based on the personal data of the cardholder and done by the push of a button.

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Cards and chips

According to the banks’ published data, in the last year, 2018, they have reported record revenues. Of course, by having no limits on making trades with our money.

It is already known that some of the largest companies are implanting chips in their workers. They put the chip into a part of the body and thus, instead of the cards, they control the arrival (check-in) and departure (check-out). And when you reach your retirement they activate your check-out. 

Or, for example, Sweden. They have a state program to put chips into citizens. One chip for everything. To take your money on the ATM, to unlock your home, to pay in the store, to make an appointment with the doctor. Even more, with that one chip, you can start your car, use public transportation, make payments in restaurants, buy medications. What a wonderful world!


You are happy! When it will be possible for the whole world?

Bad experiences with payment card

Recently, I visited Holland. For a personal reason, I carried the cash. Actually, my payment card was stolen and I had to take this trip before solving the problem with it. Holland is an extraordinary country and I like to travel there. People are relaxed, easy-going and natural (maybe sometimes too natural), everything is full of brightly colored flowers, the buildings are brightly painted too. Public transportation is one of the best in the World, the food is really good especially cheeses, meat has a special taste as much as vegetables. In one word, wonderful! But…

The first problem arose at the airport. When I tried to find a taxi with a driver who will take the cash. No luck. When I tried to purchase a ticket for the public transportation, the problem was the same. My cash was useless. I had to call my friend to come and pay for everything I needed. Well, I was never so close to anyone like my friend those 10 or 12 days, how long I was in Holland. He would pay with his credit card, and I had to reimburse him with my cash to cover my purchases.

Payment card yes but cash rules

It was accidentally that several days after my visit to Holland I was watching some movie, a contemporary one. No one would understand, even me, why I was so happy when I saw in one scene, that in the front of some store was written: Cash only!

What I want to say, in some countries the law limits how much money you may have in cash. It announces a total cancellation of cash payments.

And if the rule is to make payments only through credit cards, it is obvious that someone wants to control you. 

Do we have the liberty to choose the way we want to make payments? 

Yes, it is more comfortable to have one or a few payment cards in the pocket. But, how to say, no one asked us would we like more than one card, one chip or hands full of cash. And credit cards are not always the best solutions, nor are the chips.

For example, you have money in the bank and a payment card in your pocket or the chip under your thumb’s skin. And for some reason such as natural disasters, riots, power failure, or simply by someone’s order, or even by mistake, by pushing the button in the bank you cannot pay for anything. And you are out of your home and your environment, who will pay your food and water, who will and how accept your card?

It’s complete and total control and slavery of a human. Orwell’s “1984” is a fairytale of this.

Do you have similar experiences? It would be nice to share with others.

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