Australia’s War on Freedom

There’s a war on freedom going on.

But it’s got nothing to do with religion.

That’s just a tactical diversion. An attempt to hide the real threat to your self-sovereignty.

We here at Money Morning have been watching this unfolding situation for a while.

And our sense of alarm has grown, especially over the last year.

You’re probably not hearing much about this anywhere else. Because the powers that be are sneaky.

A midnight bill here, an obscure political announcement there. Incremental shifts designed to hide the true scope of their intentions.

The banality of process and legislation can mask the most evil of outcomes.

This time though, they’ve gone too far…

US–China trade tensions have actually created some incredible opportunities for Aussie investors. Click here to discover three unique plays on the US–China trade war.

Get ready for big brother

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

This disconcerting opening line from George Orwell’s classic book 1984, sets the scene for what’s to come.

The jarring use of the number ‘thirteen’ and the odd plural version of the term ‘clocks’ are unsettling words to describe an unsettling world.

A dystopian vision of the future (it was written in 1949), where ‘Big Brother’ sees all and knows all.

You can sense the oppression throughout the book as our hero Winston Smith tries to rebel against the totalitarian world he finds himself in.

And the book has always sounded as a warning bell for freedom loving individuals ever since.

For most of my life, this was never really a concern.

It was the poor citizens of the USSR or in Eastern Bloc countries that I thought had most to fear.

But in China today, a ‘1984’ reality is closer than ever.

Thanks in large to the emerging world of big data.

This new world of AI, sensors, smartphones and wall-to-wall CCTV, is enabling governments to snoop on their citizens like never before.

To know everything about you, whether you’re guilty of anything or not.

The Chinese are even using this new technology to track its citizens and score them in what’s known as a ‘social credit score’.

According to WIRED magazine:

The Chinese government and state media say the project is designed to boost public confidence and fight problems like corruption and business fraud.

Western critics often see social credit instead as an intrusive surveillance apparatus for punishing dissidents and infringing on people’s privacy.

This is an Orwellian nightmare.

The social credit score even goes down to the minutiae of what grocery’s you buy!

Too much alcohol, for instance, will mark you down.

And a bad social credit score could have major ramifications on your future prospects, from where you can go to school, to what type of job you can get.

OK, but that’s ‘communist’ China you think, that couldn’t happen here.

Wrong!

Even here in Australia, the allure of using this new technology to intrude into people’s lives is proving hard for the ruling powers to resist.

Chipping away at your freedom

Over the past few years, your freedoms have already been gradually eroded.

Under the guise of the ‘war on terror’, the mostly Coalition government has carried out an ongoing attack on your basic right to privacy.

Police can access your smartphone, they can look through your internet history, they can monitor your communications.

And just before the election, the Australian government rushed through new laws that require tech companies in Australia to hand over user data, even if it means building a backdoor into their encryption tech.

Not only does this put your private data at risk — after all, bad actors have skilled hackers as much as law enforcement officials — it also makes Australia a pariah in terms of tech investing.

Atlassian billionaire tech success story Scott Farquharson warned:

The fact is that the jobs of the future — these high paying jobs, export dollars that we bring to Australia, largely in technology — are at risk because of the laws that have been passed.

That is something that should be heard all around Australia.

Is this the Australia we want for our future?

A totalitarian, tech backwater with an intrusive government watching over everything you do?

And if you think that’s bad enough, guess what?

Now they’re coming for your cash…

They want your cash…

It would appear the next incursion on your freedom is going to be on the right to spend your money, the way you want.

According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR):

The 2018 budget included plans for a ban on cash payments above the new $10,000 threshold, part of a move on the black economy designed to raise more than $5.3 billion.

Draft legislation released by the government this week proposes fines of $25,000 and jail sentences of up to two years for business owners taking large cash payments after the end of 2020.

As always, the usual excuses come up.

To drive out black market activity, to combat tax avoidance, to [insert any strawman argument here].

But when you look at the bigger picture, you see what this is really all about.

It’s just one more attempt to ensnare you into Big Brother’s web of control.

There are actually a few other things at play here, too. None of them good. An impending world of negative interest rates for one.

We’ll explain more on this as the week’s go on.

But our point today is this…

As investors and believers in new technology, we think the upside of technology could be fantastic for humanity.

The eradication of the worst diseases, the ability to harness and share data for good, and the construction of new ways for society to work together.

But we have to acknowledge the dark side, too.

And that’s why we’re talking to you about this today. Why we’ll keep talking to you about it.

We, you, us…everyone must remain vigilant and do what’s in their power to fight this.

As Benjamin Franklin said:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

One thing’s for sure.

In the end, we’ll get what we deserve…

Good investing,

Ryan Dinse,
Editor, Money Morning


Ryan Dinse is an Editor at Money Morning. He has worked in finance and investing for the past two decades as a financial planner, senior credit analyst, equity trader and fintech entrepreneur. With an academic background in economics, he believes that the key to making good investments is investing appropriately at each stage of the economic cycle. Different market conditions provide different opportunities. Ryan combines fundamental, technical and economic analysis with the goal of making sure you are in the right investments at the right time.  


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