The terrifying African "truth-bean".
Sometime in the year 1652, the first purveyor of a never-before-seen exotic product set up shop in London.
Within the confines of an unassuming alley, the providore Pasqua Rosee began slinging mugs of hot, muddy, stimulating water, made with the grounds of a newly-imported bean from the African land of Abyssinia.
Throughout the Arab world, the bean was called qahveh. In London, they called it coffee. And it caused a shift in English society unlike almost any other product before it, or since.
Within a year of its arrival, coffee had cemented its place as England’s most crucial societal emulsifier.
Coffeehouses became places where men of any status could mingle and freely share ideas. For the price of a single cup, people were able to enter a realm where everyone from lofty barons, to humble chimneysweeps, could sit together and discuss the most pressing matters of the day, and engage in the fervent debate of ideas.
But one resident of London wasn’t as excited about coffee’s newfound impact on society. That resident was the reigning king of England, Charles II.
Charles believed coffeehouses were nests of sedition, where the seeds of treachery could sprout, and sent his spies to investigate them. Word returned to the king of men openly mocking him in conversation, and criticising his rule, seemingly being spurred on by cups of bitter black liquid.
For Charles, this new African bean was a menace. And he was determined to stop the free exchange of information being stoked by coffee’s invigorating effects on the minds of his people.
So, in December of 1675, Charles issued A Proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee Houses. In the order, it accused coffee houses of being places where misinformation festered, stating they promoted the spread of “false, malicious, and scandalous reports”, that disturbed the peace of the realm.
Unfortunately for the king, the citizenry had been hooked deeply by caffeine’s allure.
The uproar within society was immediate and severe. So severe that Charles was forced to withdraw his proclamation after only eleven days, proving that even a king couldn’t halt the rousing effect the coffee bean had brought to his people.
Coffee had won the war for free thought.
Almost 350 years later, there’s a new war for truth taking place. And this time, it’s not limited to what’s being said within the confines of a café’s walls.
In a truly Orwellian move, the United States has recently created an organisation designed to tell its citizens what is true, and what isn’t.
Called the Disinformation Governance Board—or as some critics are calling it, the “Ministry Of Truth”—it has been set up to stop the flow of misinformation. And the board’s newly-installed czar goes by the name of Nina Jankowicz.
In a real-life “hey there, fellow kids!” moment, Jankowicz has started creating jaunty songs on TikTok, where she sings about how much she dislikes misinformation. She also states that although she is personally verified on Twitter, many shouldn’t be. Because as she describes it, they are “untrustworthy” and not “legit”.
Jankowicz also believes that verified Twitter users should be able to edit or add context to other people’s tweets if they feel someone is saying something inaccurate. In other words, advocating for certain people to be given the power to quite literally edit the free speech of someone they don’t agree with.
Is it a coincidence that these conversations are taking place very shortly after Elon Musk—on paper the richest man on the planet—has made moves to purchase Twitter and take it private? I highly doubt it.
Outside of the USA, many other nations are taking similar steps against basic freedoms of speech.
In my birth nation of Australia for example, the very conservative government has gone so far as to write laws that have enabled them to order police raids on the homes of journalists who publicly dare to question the administration's actions.
Not to mention this is the same government that states on their website they’re for protecting free speech, while also allowing Julian Assange—one of its own citizens—to languish in a British prison for speaking out against power.
In short, while our governments say they believe in free thought, speech, and expression, their actions suggest otherwise.
I’m sure I don’t have to suggest this to anyone reading this post, but in a free society, no single organisation or government should have the power to edit the words of another, or to be the arbiter of what is or isn’t truth, or misinformation.
But this begs the question: how soon until the misinformation police and fact-checkers start coming for your finances?
Well, unfortunately for us, this is already happening.
Bitcoin is already banned in multiple countries around the world, generally because of the narrative that it helps criminals conduct nefarious business. But if we’re restricting or banning crypto because of crime, we should ban cash as well—as it’s estimated cash is used in global crime somewhere at a volume between 160 and 400 times higher than cryptocurrencies are.
In the United States, the government’s Consumer Price Index currently lists a figure of 8.3%, which is the worst inflation has been in more than forty years. However, despite how serious this number already is, it doesn’t include real-world figures for items like gasoline and housing; if it did, the official inflation number would be more than double what is being reported, as these two essential survival items have gone up by as much as 50% each since 2020.
And there’s also the case of one “fact-checking” news website that stated the UK will never end the use of cash, and that paper currency would forever live side-by-side with an impending Central Bank Digital Currency. Considering nobody can see into the future, it makes this fact check impossible to be stated as a fact; in reality, it’s nothing more than a propagandist prediction designed to sway the opinion of the public.
The above three examples are verifiable pieces of financial misinformation, that can easily be categorised as misleading, or completely false. Yet it appears as if this kind of mistruth is allowed to exist, likely under the proviso that it benefits those who are currently in power.
In short, misinformation is only misinformation when they say it is.
Social credit scores, central bank digital currencies, digital ID systems, and possibly even a crackdown on private ownership of property, are all likely coming to the west very, very soon; in fact, some of the first signs of these systems are already here. When implemented, these will seriously hamper your ability to control your financial destiny, while placing infinitely more power into the hands of your government.
We’re told these new systems will help us create a more “safe” and “secure” society. Which funnily enough, are the same words Sheev Palpatine spoke to the senate in Star Wars: Episode III as he consolidated power, before eventually becoming the tyrannical emperor of the entire galaxy.
Have doubts about any of this upcoming consolidation of digital financial power? Well, you could be just spreading misinformation.
It’s my personal belief that any person or organisation that claims to be the holder of all truth should at the very least be scrutinised, if not ridiculed. Especially when their “truth” could result in the possible removal of many of your basic freedoms.
Instead, I’ve learned to fall in love with “I don’t know.” Because in my experience, those three little words have opened me up to more opportunity and growth than any others.
But your government doesn’t like “I don’t know”. Instead, they prefer “we know.” And such immutable confidence usually goes hand-in-hand with “obey”.
With that in mind, I’d like to end with a quote that’s commonly attributed to being the words of French author André Gide, but sometimes also of Czech statesman Václav Havel:
“Seek the company of those who search for truth; run from those who say they have found it.”
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