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  • Jonathan Emord

And Soon They Will Control Everything

Digital technology, from cryptocurrency to artificial intelligence, promises to transform every aspect of our lives. Will that transformation promote liberty or tyranny? Those who seek centralized government control, from President Biden to President Xi Jinping, intend to exploit digital technology to divest Americans of freedom in favor of government planning. The survival of individual liberty is very much at stake. Legal barriers against domestic and global governmental interference with the digital marketplace are urgently needed. Consistent with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the emerging digital marketplace must be free, private, and protected against government political influence and control. The bellwether of economic liberty, free enterprise, must reign in the digital world as it has in the analog world.

The Founding Fathers understood the Constitution’s very purpose to be protection of individual liberty whether in the realm of economics or politics (“That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men . . .” Declaration of Independence, para. 2). President Roosevelt’s First and Second New Deals reneged on that core constitutional purpose by ordering government to devour private ownership and control to serve political ends. The Supreme Court ultimately acquiesced in that assumption of government power beyond constitutional limits in a line of cases from Nebbia v. New York in 1934 to U.S. v. Carolene Products in 1938. The Court reduced defense of economic liberty to a mere rational basis review, inviting usurpation of private property rights by state and federal governments. From 1938 forward, economic liberty has had virtually no protection from government in direct opposition to the Framers’ intent. Since then, the government has only been required to show that it has some cogent rationale, some “rational basis” (that its means are rationally related to a legitimate government interest, real or imaginary) for its economic regulation to be upheld as constitutional, regardless of the extent to which its actions ravage private property. That fundamental departure from the Framers’ intent is now a major Achilles heel that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the international organizations the CCP influences, and the Biden administration are exploiting in their rush to achieve a global digital ID and a centralized digital banking currency.


On March 20, 2023, President Biden vetoed a bill that would have overturned a U.S. Department of Labor rule allowing private retirement fund investment managers to take into account Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors (such as a company’s carbon footprint, the racial or gender composition of its board of directors, or its commitment to the Administration’s climate change agenda) in making investment decisions. President Biden has issued several executive orders compelling federal departments and agencies to implement ESG agendas. Among those now implementing ESG are the Departments of Labor, Transportation, and Treasury (through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), the SEC, the EPA, and OSHA. Asset management firm BlackRock and numerous other leading domestically headquartered firms are presently implementing ESG over an estimated $8.4 trillion in assets.

The ESG concept grew out of musings by United Nations staffers, which then caught the attention of UN leadership, foremost among them Paul Clements-Hunt, the former head of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, who helped popularize the idea of redirecting private investment away from what would yield maximum profit (capitalism) to what was politically preferred by governments and governmental proxies (socialism). Deny access to capital for all but far left causes and, voila, capitalism gives way to socialism overnight.

The Biden administration is cooperating enthusiastically with international organizations that are under the heavy influence of Communist China in the effort to make digital IDs a global phenomenon by 2025 and to usurp private digital currencies with central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Through these means, it will be possible for governments and their proxy organizations to compel individuals to follow politically preferred directions (totalitarianism) depriving them of individual sovereignty and free choice in virtually every area of life, among them healthcare (requiring vaccination and dictating medical treatment options); lending and investment (mandating ESG scores); and purchasing decisions (denying purchase for those with certain ESG scores).

Xi Jinping ordered the CCP to take “an active part in leading the reform of the global governance system.” China has therefore insinuated itself into global governance of all leading international quasi-governmental organizations, like the UN, WHO, IMF, BIS, and the FATF, doing so through a combination of strategic investments in these entities and exercise of influence, first over key CCP-sympathetic proxies and now increasingly through direct involvement of Chinese nationals and CCP members. All treaty-based international organizations that wield power over member states are increasingly dominated by a Who’s Who of Chinese communists. As early as 2020, the writing was on the wall, with Kristine Lee of Politico reporting that Qu Dongyu, former Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture, had become the head of the UN Food and Agricultural Agency; Zhao Houlin of China’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications had become the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union; Liu Zhenmin, China’s former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, had become a leader in the U.N. Department of Economics and Social Affairs; and Chinese national Fang Liu had become a leader in the UN International Civil Aviation Organization. Lee summarized the impact of President Xi’s efforts: “Beijing has moved expeditiously to impose its illiberal values on international organizations. Through a combination of deft coalition-building, strategically timed financial contributions and narrative-shaping efforts, Beijing has made progress in transforming the U.N. into a platform for its foreign policy agenda . . .” And it is not only the UN but also virtually every treaty-based international organization.

With no effective counterpoise from the Biden administration and, to the contrary, with that administration’s various tacit or overt complicity, China’s quest to deprive citizens, including those of the United States, of individual liberty and sovereignty, proceeds apace through regulation of digitization (e.g., global digital IDs and central bank digital currencies). A “Brave New World,” to draw from Aldous Huxley, a world of tyranny, not of liberty, threatens those who yearn to be free.

Since the first decade of this century, the UN has been working feverishly on plans for international control over digital IDs and currencies as means to alter human behavior in favor of directions chosen by government and quasi-government actors (most notably the CCP). The UN is demanding that member states adopt digital IDs for all citizens by 2025. As a proxy for Communist China, the UN and other international bodies will be able to obliterate any reserve of privacy and free choice left for individuals in member states, like the United States, via national digital IDs. Digital IDs will include in one account information now kept separately, such as from driver’s licenses, medical records, and passports. Moreover, because Digital IDs will likely be required ubiquitously and, even if not ubiquitous, may be combined in digital profiles with information obtained from digital wallets regulated by Central Bank Digital Currencies that track every purchase, a person’s health, economic, and political profile will be instantly accessible by governments and enable state and government-coerced private action restrictive of individual liberty.

It is not difficult to perceive the consequences of the extreme government control enabled by digital IDs and CBDCs. Want to ride on public transit? No, your Digital ID does not record a COVID vaccine. Want a home equity or car loan? No, you lack a preferred ESG score. Want to attend a concert at a public venue? No, your CBDC information suggests you harbor a viewpoint deemed “offensive.”

To ensure protection for individual liberty and privacy against totalitarian government and China-influenced international organization control, the United States should withdraw from international organizations that pursue global governance in place of our constitutionally protected rights and sovereignty and prohibit use of government digital IDs and CBDCs domestically. Instead, the United States should protect the growth and development of private digital currencies and prohibit use of ESG scoring as a basis for any government action or regulated entity lending, sale, or purchasing decision.

This article was written on July 3, 2023, and published on Townhall.

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