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Could Facebook’s Libra Cartel Become the New Monsanto?

Dubbed “The World’s Most Evil Company” by farmers, foodies and activists, Monsanto has a long history of exploiting the very people who use their products. Their genetically modified seeds require farmers to buy new seeds every year or pay a licensing fee on seeds used year after year.

Positioned first as a superior food through science, Monsanto quickly became a world leader by creating a totalitarian dependence on their products. But little is talked about the other 4 groups in the seed cartel – Syngenta, Bayer, Dow, and Dupont. Together these five have bought up more than 200 other companies that manufacture seeds and they dominate the production of most of the food we all eat. However, most of us just don’t even think about it.

Creating dependencies is a suffocating marketing strategy. Forcing consumers into one choice, and then exploiting that centralized control is flat-out tyranny. It’s not a new strategy. Tobacco has created dependency, actually, addiction with the additives they put in cigarettes. The original Coca Cola contained addictive cocaine. Rockefeller created market domination by price fixing and colluding with the railroads to build a monopoly. Creating and maintaining a market by forcing servitude to the company is just plain evil.

So what is Facebook up to? We know we can’t trust them with our privacy. And now they’re asking us to trust them with our money? They already claim nearly 20% of the digital advertising space. And now they are going to create a cryptocurrency backed by fiat currency and push it out through their 2.5 billion users in a play to not only to disrupt the global economy, but to hoard fiat and pay out interest to a select few billionaires. Actually 100 of them hidden behind company names such as Visa or Mastercard.

That puts an unprecedented amount of control in a minuscule percentage of the global population. There is no outside governance, no oversight committee made up of world leaders, no elected officials; just a coalition of financial institutions whose sole motive is to make money. 

How can that possibly be good for the common man, let alone the one-third of the world’s population who are unbanked and have noaccess to this new form of currency?

For those of us middle-classers, we become even more of a commodity. Facebook already knows more about us than the CIA. Now they’ll have our banking info and spending habits. What will that do to loan approvals, lending practices, even career moves? Even worse, what if a user violates Facebooks terms of service and they delete the account akin to the fate of certain unnamed in the alt-right community.

Monsanto created a Roundup product that kills all seeds and plant life except Monsanto seeds. Will Libra be designed to kill all other cryptocurrencies and forms of payment?

It is a time to be cynical about the Libra promises of convenience, lower fees, more stable economies. It’s time to ask questions, especially of ourselves. Do we want to be the passive contributors to a centralized financial body that has no concern for our privacy, no motivation to serve anyone but themselves, and a track record of lying and exploiting people like cheap resources?

The House Financial Services Committee has already called a second hearing to grill Facebook on Libra, many calling for cessation of development. That should be red flag enough.

Just know that Libra is not Venmo. It is a competition killing play that burns all other competitors to the ground so only their own self interests can grow. That’s not democracy. That’s economic tyranny. And once they achieve it, who knows what penalties, fees, restrictions, and exploitation they will impose.

Photo credit: Raphael Rychetsky