Nearly 60 years ago, then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan delivered a line that animates and inspires patriotic Americans to this day: “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Throughout history, intrepid individuals have pushed back against the excesses of government, putting self aside in sacrifice for the posterity of what we all-too-often take for granted today—freedom. The freedom to choose, self-determine, and orient ourselves toward that which is right and just. And while it yet survives, the agency of Americans is under siege, with our ability to exercise our rights being curtailed daily. And that threat is perhaps no more salient than with our wallets.
You likely recall the “Freedom Convoy” story that gripped the world in January of 2022. Canadian truckers stood in solidarity in opposition to draconian social restrictions and vaccine mandates ostensibly instituted to stop the spread of COVID-19. This peaceful expression set off the class of Canadian elites, who determined they would pay by financially crippling both the protestors and any individual who donated money to the Freedom Convoy. Their bank accounts were frozen, leaving many unable to purchase necessities like groceries and medication, or provide care for their children. The message was clear: stand in opposition to the government, and we will rob you of all agency.
While that message was intended for the freedom-loving Canadian protestors, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell heard, too, and his ears perked up.
In a report published the same month that Canada’s Finance Department shuttered private citizens’ bank accounts, the Federal Reserve stated it is “considering how a CBDC might fit into the U.S. money and payments landscape.” In the words of the Federal Reserve, a CBDC, or Central Bank Digital Currency, is “a digital form of central bank money that is widely available to the general public.…[It] refers to money that is a liability of the central bank.” Meaning, you would bank with the federal government rather than private banks, and they would be able to track your purchasing patterns and financial activity with a degree of precision never before possible. If Reagan were alive to comment on it, he might say it is a tool that would render freedom-loving Americans expressing their constitutional rights an endangered species.
To the Fed and World Economic Forum elites who know better than the rest of us, this is the perfect tool for them to exact control and produce a more deferential society. We would be wholly reliant on the government in order to undertake the basic functions of life. If the term “social credit system” comes to mind, you would be right.
Of note, in the aforementioned report, the Fed’s adjective of choice to laud the exploration of a CBDC is “convenience.” And this brings up an important philosophical point worth addressing. Every time we are presented with a new tool that will make our lives more convenient—self-driving cars, social media, and smart phones, for examples—there are considerable tradeoffs that we often don’t think about—relinquishing the autonomy to drive where we want, spending hours mindlessly scrolling through our feeds, and diminishing face-to-face interactions and human connection, respectively. So, when the Fed leads with “enhanced consumer convenience” and lists consumer privacy as an afterthought for a CBDC, our antennas should go up.
State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione and state Sen. Tan Parker, both of Texas, saw right through this, and introduced companion resolutions While these bills did not pass this session, there has been continued pressure and momentum for Texas to step up on this important issue.
The importance of states like Texas making their voices heard on this issue cannot be overstated. In the same report from the Federal Reserve, it makes clear that “the Federal Reserve would only pursue a CBDC in the context of broad public and cross-governmental support.”
Reagan concludes his quote stating: “[Freedom] is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
For if we take our guard down and allow the appeal of convenience to trump that of liberty, the damage to our way of life would be irreparable.