With Brexit and coronavirus rattling the economy, questions are being raised about how Britain as we know it is going to survive. With government money flooding people’s pockets, we have a reprieve. But as personal liberty crumbles in the face of the most authoritarian government since the Reformation, there will be a mighty reckoning in years to come. And it’s not going to be pretty.

The Economy

On the economic side, lack of production in 2020 and 2021 is going to have an effect one way or another. If the economy doesn’t produce goods and services, then there’s less to go around. Fewer trades means fewer opportunities, lower profits, less R&D and less capital formation. And that means that long-term, people are going to be poorer than they would have been.

Borrowing, debt and money creation will also likely take their toll. Tax rises in the future and more resources going into the public sector are going to damage private wealth and keep the average person grindingly poor, destroying their life opportunities.

On the personal liberty side, the situation is even direr. The reason so many people want to live in the West ultimately comes down to freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of movement. Those central values are being brushed aside as if they never existed. According to the government, they don’t matter at all when people’s lives are at risk. All that matters is survival.

The question, therefore, is what is going to save us? It looks like philosophy is dead. And traditional economics is also taking a beating, thanks to currency debasement and lack of output.

So will technology see us through?

In some ways, technology looks rather promising. In this guide to insurtech, Artificial points out that technology is going to change how UK financial services work. Risk is going to become much easier to manage and there are going to be fewer unknowns.

Long-term, this could ensure that the city remains stable and continues producing value for the rest of the country. Financial expertise could be a way that the UK saves itself from what seems like economic oblivion.

Technology may also enable the use of new types of currency that aren’t subject to government whim. If crypto was the only option available, it is hard to imagine Rishi Sunak promising every working person in the country thousands of pounds in compensation for the government’s failing disease control scheme. In a world of finite money, paying people to stay home just wouldn’t be possible. We’d have to think of smarter disease control methods — like those being employed in the Far East.

Technology, though, has a dark side and could snuff out our personal freedoms altogether. Already we see the police using automatic number plate recognition to catch people moving around the country and exercising their personal liberty. And no doubt they could use mobile phone location data too if they wanted.

So whether tech will save us remains to be seen. It could help get us out of an economic crisis, but perhaps not the current crisis of personal liberty we find ourselves in right now.