After 77 years of relative security, the Western world has taken on a harsh reality. What held the world in relative peace for those 77 years has now turned against us. It is enough for one primitive barbarian in possession of an atomic briefcase to not allow people to think, live and act freely even at the cost of the atomic apocalypse, and everything we have built during our lives can be destroyed with the push of a button.
We have found ourselves in a completely different paradigm of the time. Our social establishment calls for fundamental reforms that will effectively prevent such situations. Things like nuclear weapons should not exist in society at all. Even in the case of the mother of all democracies – we have seen very well the gimmicks one goof (Donald Trump) can do in the most developed democracy in the world – this time on the opposite side of the spectrum of stupidity. But with an equally large ego.
However, even if we were very lucky and Russia were dePutinized and disarmed from nuclear weapons on the next day, there are no obstacles in place in today’s social system that would prevent a demilitarized state from developing the atomic threat after a certain period of time, albeit in secret.
We need to rethink the social system we live in and reinvent it – safer, more robust, preventing current failures, fairer and more cost-effective.
At the end of the 1990s, I read Conversations with God 2, a book by American writer Neal Donald Walsch. The author deals with this topic in one section. He says that in a highly developed society, people work in a way that makes money fully transparent and visible. In our efforts for a better social model, it probably doesn’t matter whether the author obtained such information from some external sources, or whether he simply arrived at such facts by understanding how society works.
I’ve been personally taken by the idea and its consequences ever since, and after twenty years of thinking, I’ve decided to take a positive risk and claim that this concept is actually true. As a computer scientist, I started to develop a banking information system with such a need for transparency encoded at its core.
But to return to the topic of the article, I’ll devote the following passages to how visible money can effectively defend the world from nuclear or other threats that the current social system does not control at all – on the contrary, capitalism fosters technological progress as much as possible and without any checks and balances. For example, in the case of biotechnologies or technologies leading to artificial intelligence, capitalism explicitly creates conditions that beg for some ugly and dangerous incidents with impacts similar to the use of nuclear weapons.
So what does it actually mean that money is transparent and visible?
There should be an information system – something like Facebook – at the core of the modern social infrastructure where everyone would have their assets and finances registered under their own account. Cash would gradually cease to exist. Every economic transaction could only take place inside such a system. And data from it would be relatively freely available, so virtually any member of society who meets the conditions would have the right to make queries into the data. And as soon as someone made a query, the relevant information about the query would also be recorded in the system, and it would be traceable by the account holder. It wouldn’t be technically possible to make a query in the system without a record thereof. Not even when ordered by the courts or police.
Interpersonal relationships exposed through finances and property would have a huge cathartic effect. Just imagine how much dirt and energy would humanity save itself from if only we knew who actually produces the most value for society, and conversely, who circumvents the rules and profits from the misfortunes of others by devising various schemes. If transparency were really taken as the phenomenon on which society is built, it would kickstart the economy because suddenly the weak points of value creation would be easily identifiable. Such a transparency-driven economy might be several tens of percent more efficient than an economy where money is invisible.
But how would this contribute to the defense against nuclear weapons? The states themselves would be subject to full transparency. With a banking system at the core of society where virtually every economic transaction is recorded and people have access to, it would be virtually impossible to buy uranium without causing a stir. Same with the equipment for a biological laboratory. All it would take is an acquaintance of yours who knows that you are involved in top biological research, but currently you are in a relationship crisis with your partner and you have made a few unfortunate comments about how good it would be to end everything for good. By combining this information with information from the visible money system, the acquaintance would very quickly realize that you are about to do something very stupid, and point it out.
However, the introduction of such a central clearing system would be a very dangerous matter from another point of view. If, for example, the government of a state had control over the system, threats such as “those who took part in the demonstration are going to lose their last paycheck” would become entirely possible. The key point in thinking about how to implement something like this is to find the mechanisms that would potentially hinder such scenarios. First and foremost, it goes without saying that no state government should have control over the system – rather, a newly formed organization, such as the United Nations. However, the fight against this type of abuse would not have to be in vain at all – we could also see the transactions of the organization that exercises the supervision. And not only us. Each person would potentially become a controller with the potential to publicize everything right away.
I am fully aware of how exotic my ideas may sound to a person who grew up in a system where money is surrounded by secrets. However, we need to understand that there is probably no other alternative to the peaceful and safe coexistence of people. Therefore, I challenge you to reconsider what money is, what role it has, and what mode of operation should be used with it. I invite you to a world where people, if necessary, can look into each other’s affairs deeper than what’s possible today. By doing so, the global society will become much more friendly and, above all, safe.