By Robert Felner*
The Canadian government is now freezing the bank accounts and personal assets of those who made donations to support the Freedom Convoy, which is an organized political protest against vaccine mandates. The Deputy Prime Minister has announced that they will retain these so-called emergency powers permanently in the future and will also seek to implement additional measures to further restrict the ability of political protesters to raise funds or use the banking system.
This points to the need to eliminate state control over money, at least in societies that wish to remain free. As stated in a fascinating twitter thread, constitutional rights become meaningless if there is no practical way to exercise them. The rights to free speech and the right to assembly are of little use to those who do not have access to their money. Organizing a meeting requires being able to cover travel costs. Exercising free speech rights, at least if one wishes to do so effectively, requires at least some funding to ensure that the message reaches a wide audience.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau understands this fact, which is why his administration chose to freeze the bank accounts of those directly involved in the protest, as well as those who simply made a donation to help support the protest efforts. When an equally power-hungry tyrant seeks to do the same here in the United States, the Constitution will be utterly powerless to stop them. Good luck mounting an effective protest against an unjust and tyrannical government without access to money or the banking system.
It is therefore necessary that the Americans begin to take the necessary measures to ensure that such tyranny cannot come here. While the ultimate solution will require finding a path to free market money, the Canadian experience clearly shows that it is too risky to simply wait for that to happen.
In the meantime, more needs to be done to immediately end the government’s war on money. A future president and Congress can achieve this by demanding that the U.S. Treasury begin printing $500 and $1,000 bills immediately, to compensate for the loss in purchasing power that has occurred since the Treasury officially gave up. these higher denomination notes in 1969. There should also be a requirement that new, higher denomination notes be introduced when needed to offset the effects of inflation. In other words, when the cumulative effects of inflation inevitably produce another 50% decline in the value of US currency, the Treasury should also be required to automatically introduce a $2,000 bill into circulation, for example. This is necessary to ensure that the basic right of Americans to access cash is not eroded by the silent, but incredibly pernicious, effects of inflation. And while the practical value of this reform is admittedly modest, its main value lies in what it accomplishes in terms of reframing the debate about the nature of money and the state.
In other words, it is much easier for a government to implement the totalitarian measures currently on display in Canada when the population already concedes that the state has the right to monitor banking transactions and considers unmonitored transactions to be synonymous illicit activities. Merely protecting the right to access physical money is therefore an inherent rejection of this view and rather signals an acknowledgment that Americans have a right to money and banking services, especially forms of money difficult for the government to control. And successfully moving the Overton window in this way would greatly increase the likelihood of passing more substantial reforms, like repealing the Patriot Act and other bank oversight laws.
So while we await the widespread adoption of an alternative to government-controlled money, whether in crypto or elsewhere, those who believe in freedom should consider making the reintroduction of high-denomination notes a political priority. The level of oppression currently displayed in Canada clearly shows that we must do everything possible to prevent the same from coming here.
*About the author: Robert Fellner is Director of Transparency Research at the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute