Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bitcoin, Bittorrent and The Red Flag Act of 1865

By Guest
Sunday, June 26, 2011

Editor's Note: The following post
provides an excellent summary of why it may be counterproductive to seek legal recognition for bitcoin. It was written by an anonymous guest in response to an article published on TorrentFreak, but it is unclear why the comment does not appear in the article's comments section.

This piece, "The Red Flag Act of 1865", concludes with the lines:
"The moral of the story is that an industry troubled by technological advances should neither be allowed special laws nor be confused with the public interest, but instead be permitted to die as swiftly as possible, so that new industries and new jobs can take its place."
Actually, that isn't the moral of the story at all.

The moral of the story is that the State is the enemy of progress, and that companies use the State to stifle progress and harm society, and we should not let this happen ever again.

We must not allow the State to interfere in the new business models surrounding the abundance created by the digital revolution. We must not allow the state to cripple or destroy the monetary revolution that Bitcoin represents.

We must not allow or accept any legislation to do with copyright or Bitcoin, and where such legislation exists, we should all actively ignore it.

We have to realise that at the root of the Red Flag Act of 1865, the patents that stifled the development of the steam engine, the Sony Bono Copyright Extension Act, ACTA, HADOPI, the myriad 'Three Strikes' copyright acts and all other society harming acts that are drafted at the behest and by the hand of industry, all are given power by a single fact: the existence and violence of the State.

If you keep begging to the state for your freedom, you will never get it. If you join the state and try and change it from the inside, you might spend your entire life trying to do it, will probably fail, and in the meantime the harm to society and people would be of an incalculable size. The proof of this is the incessant torrent of new laws like the The Red Flag Act of 1865 that are put onto the books every year.

Everyone on earth has an interest in this and must wake up and face the facts squarely. The State is the cause of all of our problems. Rather than each of us complaining about our own separate issues one at at time (gays and marriage, drug users and prohibition, file leeches and copyright, Libertarians and money) we should all group together at one time with our axes to cut down the root cause of everyone's problems: The State.

The State impacts everyone, hurts everyone and makes human life a misery. The State murders, steals, distorts and destroys. It is our common enemy, and we must all fight it together, no matter who we are or what our particular complaint is.

There are some things we need to bear in mind, that we absolutely must not do.

You cannot on the one hand, be for the ending of the State interference in your particular area of interest, and also be for it controlling other people. This is irrational, immoral, and it is the main way that the State manages to continue to exist. Everyone everywhere has a reason to prop up the existence of the State, because they want other people to obey some law or regulation. This is a fundamental problem that has to be addressed, and the final part of the puzzle and awakening that will finally put pay to the State.

Stop begging for your freedom with pointless demonstrations, marches, protests and letter writing to the State. If you want your Liberty, you must simply take it. Accept Bitcoin in payment for goods. Copy whatever you want, whenever you want. Marry who you want. Smoke marijuana. Gamble online. Do whatever you want to do that the state forbids you from doing, as long as no one is hurt by what you do.

As we have seen with the insane and catastrophic failure of the 'War on Drugs', the state cannot stop anyone from doing what they want. They can only pick off a few people here and there to make an example of. The real power of the state is FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real).

You need to tell everyone you know that our true enemy is the State, and make them understand the big picture. All we need is all the productive people to stop cooperating with the State for it to suffer a death blow.

We can live in a much better, prosperous, peaceful and productive world if we abandon the State. If you are tired of all the wars, the banker bailouts, the insane laws, the prohibition, the discrimination, the police brutality, rising prices, banning of herbal medicines and everything good for you and that is your right, you need to give up on the idea of the State. You need to stop financing it, stop going to it for help, stop reciting its propaganda, folklore, lies and nonsense.

I know that what I have just written is difficult to swallow for many. I understand that many of you are frightened of the idea of the death of the State. All I can say to you is this; the vastly superior world that will quickly emerge after the State dies will be enough to change your mind and wash away your fear forever.

The status quo should be unacceptable to everyone now, since everyone is being negatively impacted by the State. Everyone's life is touched by the poison of the state, and as the economic crisis continues to bite, the State will become increasingly desperate to hang on to power. Just look at Greece for an indication of what they will do once they are challenged; the Greek state outlawed cash transactions and put their thugs onto the street. Which brings us back to how to destroy them; marching in the street will only get you assaulted or shot. We all need to withdraw consent and money at the same time, and that is all we need to do. The State survives on our consent and money. Stop them both, and it will have no one to physically attack with its batons and tear gas. It will simply shrivel up and die like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of OZ.

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  1. (but don't hurt anyone else)
    Jon this is a rant against the state, not an ethical treatise. And if you were addressing ethics I would hope for better than this cliche.

  2. as long as no one is hurt by what you do

    incorrect standard, but some good stuff before that.

    the vastly superior world that will quickly emerge after the State dies

    the "clean slate" premise. my instinct is to run from whoever flings that. sadly, squashing the state is probably a permanent job. resistance is required wherever humans abound, in whatever plodding monstrosity many of them call their brilliant collectives.

    the post bothers me only because i was so excited reading the beginning. right on target. send that telegram to the "ron paul!" crowd. there is no salvation via the state. never appeal to it, for any reason.

  3. @saltypig: Can you explain WHY it is an 'incorrect standard'? If you are not harming anyone with your activities, how can that be in any way a bad thing or a wrong personal standard? I think that is actually the highest standard; in fact its the center of the Hippocratic Oath. I really do not know what you are talking about there.

  4. if one accepts that it's merely an artificially lowered "safe" behavior threshold, okay, though it's misleading at best. i don't see it as the direct equivalent of "do no harm", if picking into it.

    rightful defense can often harm others. or others may be harmed through voluntarily trading with you. if one is to extend beyond the ethics of liberty (basically, the rightful use of force), into what rothbard considered the morality of specific acts, i suppose "do no harm" works well enough. years ago i supposed it enough to write an article popping that phrase. however, even that's a standard fuzzier than the already semi-fuzzy "don't initiate force", and more easily hurled at voluntarists by blockading fools.

    my ethical (rothbard's definition of the word) obligation is to not initiate force. i am not obligated ethically to ensure that others aren't harmed through their interaction with me. an admitted fine point, but important in context. for another angle on what i'm talking about, consider the character V, who said, "violence can be used for good."

    that's correct. "as long as no one is hurt by what you do" smacks of "i'm against violence", which repudiates, along with many bad things, ethical defense.

  5. +1

    See "A Way To Be Free" by Robert LeFevre
    for a great commentary on giving up that pagan faith in external authorities such as "the state"


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