Sunday, April 8, 2012
The idea of socialism is diametrically opposed to the core philosophy of
a voluntary peer to peer system like Bitcoin. Peer to peer systems
dis-intermediate the transfer of information and eliminate the need for
an arbitrary governing authority or service provider. Bitcoin, like
maths, has no philosophy and is neutral.
basic premise is that 'property is theft', and that all property, goods
and services should be collectively owned for the benefit of all people
in a coercive State with no opt out. Under a socialist system of forced
organization, individuals do not have free use of their inherent
rights, which are violently suppressed.
This is an inherently
immoral proposition, where one group of people inevitably coalesce into
an illegitimate ruling class to control and administer other people 'for
their own good'; the good of the collective. Even if this aggregation
of power were not the case, no man or group of men has the right to
force another man to relinquish his property.
understand that there is no such thing as 'the rights of the collective'
and that only a living individual human has rights. Chief amongst these
rights, the 'root right', is the right of property.
contends that Bitcoin is a socialist idea is fundamentally mistaken
about how Bitcoin works and its true nature, or is trying to redefine
socialism so that it can fit in with and be the standard bearer of the
inevitable rise in Bitcoin. You can detect this when you read the
phrase, "my idea of socialism is" in this context, which means that the
speaker wants to abandon the bad smell of socialism and re-brand the
word to mean something that it is not, so that he can remain 'a
committed socialist' and be a part the real world at the same time.
is the antithesis of socialism. Bitcoin transfers, the ownership of
Bitcoins and the rules governing exchanges are not administered by a
central State authority, unlike a system designed by a socialist, where
who can own what, how much of it, and what can be done with it is
absolutely regulated by a group of violent bureaucrats.
is a strict peer to peer protocol, and not a centralized system under
the control of arbitrary rules or fallacious economic ideas like
Keynesianism. In its essence, Bitcoin acts like a law of nature (powered
by cryptography) and it does not 'care' about your philosophy or
ideology. By dint of this alone, Bitcoin cannot be called 'socialist' or
have a political philosophy attributed to it, any more than an
inanimate object, or a fundamental force of nature can. It is designed
to do one thing, it does that thing, and that thing is not inherently
political; only Bitcoin's users have political ideas that they try, and
fail, to superimpose upon it. Bitcoin is neutral, like a hammer or an
neutron or a hand gun.
Bitcoin is a stateless suite of software
protocols that is purely voluntary. You may or may not use Bitcoin at
your own discretion. No one forces you to be a part of the Bitcoin
ecosystem or to abide by its rules. How many Bitcoins you accumulate in
exchange for goods and services is entirely up to you and your trading
partners, and what you spend your Bitcoins on is entirely up to you.
users of Bitcoin do not 'have a say' in what you can or cannot do with
them. There is no State, Statist, or socialist that can tell you that
you may not collect as many Bitcoins as you can, or that your Bitcoins
belong to the collective, or that you must hand over a percentage of
them to the State 'for the good of the people'. Users of Bitcoin, by
default, are freely associating humans, choosing freely to accept the
rules of the Bitcoin system. This is the complete opposite of socialism,
which is the negation of individual liberty, the abolition of free
choice and the elimination of property rights.
Anyone who claims
to be a socialist whilst advocating for the widespread adoption of
Bitcoin is de-facto acting against their socialist principles and desire
to create a world where collective property ownership and centralized
direction of capital is enforced with violence.
In a world where
money transfers are made entirely through the Bitcoin block chain, a
socialist state will at the very least, have a huge amount of trouble
compelling people to hand over their money to the State by force. As
usual, the socialist collectivists will resort to threats, violence,
imprisonment, confiscation of real property and any other immoral and
disgusting means they can come up with to steal money from people. This
begs the question, "how can an avowed socialist advocate the adoption of
Bitcoin when it has the potential to destroy his violent Statist utopia
from the inside out?"
Its an interesting question. I suspect
that many socialists who advocate the adoption of Bitcoin are having a
profound internal struggle with the emergence of not only Bitcoin but of
the internet itself and its astonishing, undeniable example of
stateless cooperation between men that has had the effect of benefiting
The internet has brought to everyone on it, at a cost
that is near zero, the entire body of human knowledge. Two billion, two
hundred and sixty seven million two hundred and thirty three thousand,
seven hundred and forty two people and counting. It has also rendered
practically redundant, the state monopoly telephone systems and postal
systems. Anyone who still believes that we need the State in the face of
these revelations is completely insane, or is on the road to abandoning
socialism, or is sticking his fingers in his ears unable to face the
facts of this matter.
Man is better off in every way without the
State. The paradigm shifts brought about by the internet in publishing,
music distribution, postal mail, telephony and the new, without
precedent services created by the connectivity of the internet are proof
of this. Each of these industries has been regulated by the State in
the offline world, and now that they are running in the online world
without State regulation they are more efficient and beneficial by
orders of magnitude. The only people who are against this are the vested
interests, the buggy whip makers, and the socialists, and every time
they try and exert their influence they inconvenience and damage people
and cause them to expend time and money where they would otherwise not
The next great shift on the internet is going to be the
complete disruption of the sclerotic bank mediated money transfer
systems in favour of internet facilitated money transfers that remove
banks from the process flow. This event will cause a great acceleration
in the transaction rate of commerce world-wide, will de-fund the
socialist states and be of great benefit to everyone everywhere.
the attempts the banks are making now to embrace the internet and peer
to peer payments systems will eventually fail, as long as people are
free to develop software, release it and freely interface with money.
This is why PayPal has banned transfers that touch Bitcoin in any way;
they know that Bitcoin is completely superior to PayPal, and that it
constitutes an existential threat to their business. PayPal allowing its
system to be used to make payments in exchange for Bitcoins is allowing
blood vessels to feed a cancerous tumour. Bitcoin is cancer to PayPal
and they must kill it at any cost.
The PayPal response to the
inevitable peer to peer payment ecosystem in the form of their 'Blue
Dorito' suffers from the fatal elixir of powdered friction, arbitrary
rules, suppression and regulation by the State, all made soluble with a
profound lack of imagination - none of which Bitcoin suffers from... but
that is beyond the scope of this post. PayPal will eventually become
the MySpace of moving money because it is wedded to the pre internet
mode of thinking when it comes to payments, and they are in an abusive
shotgun wedding with the State.
Money sees the State as damage
and routes around it. This is the fundamental truth of Bitcoin that will
completely disrupt the business of money transfer and benefit billions
of people world-wide. Bitcoin, or one of its successors is going to be
the service that makes this disruption come to pass. Once critical mass
is reached, Bitcoin will be completely unstoppable. We need only look at
the French restrictions on 128bit SSL and the way they dropped them
when it became the standard protection for eCommerce transactions. The
first sign of this shift will be the adoption of Bitcoin as an accessory
service on one of the major money transfer service providers, offering
Bitcoin transfers to the computer illiterate.
Bitcoin is not socialist. It is not collectivist. It is voluntarist.
Reprinted with permission.