23
Dec

How Compatible Are Anarchism and Capitalism?

by adminadam in essays

Are Anarchism and Capitalism irreconcilable or can these two schools of thought be integrated?

Let’s first explore some definitions. The term ‘anarchism’ comes from the Greek an and archos, which roughly translates to “without rulers”.

Traditionally, Left Anarchism has promoted the idea of political action committees and workers’ councils as an alternative governance structure to State politics. Essentially, these PAC’s and councils are meant to exert political pressure as they see fit. This is both to maintain their political monopoly position — to prevent the reemergence of the “Nation State” (read: any competing governance model) in a given geographic area or indeed the whole world — and also to disrupt the inevitable accumulation of capital in any given enterprise or individual. In effect, the means of political control and domination in such a Left Anarchist society are the same as that of a capitalist nation state. Political power, undoubtedly, still exists; it has just been rebranded. Left Anarchists thus seek to appoint themselves as the new rulers of their society post-revolution.

It is interesting to note the responses received when asking a traditional (Left) Anarchist who it is that would lead these PAC’s and workers’ councils. I have often been disappointed at the naivety (and obstinance) of those with whom I’ve taken up the matter: “All of us would lead. There would be no rulers. We would make all decisions affecting our citizenry through consensus”.

I am personally unconvinced by these assurances and others, such as the assertion that all members of the society would receive everything they needed in order to live a happy and healthy life — and that all this would be accomplished through bi-weekly meetings conducted by the dedicated and incorruptible. Are we all truly so virtuous?

“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” –David Brin

Of course humans are corruptible. And it stands to reason that — in complete denial of our own faults and arrogance — we might view ourselves as pure and righteous and worthy of such power. It is an insidious twist — a leap in logic as it were — to say that instead of just me (for, of course, I am not fit to rule) that we all rule (for, of course, we will make wise and just decisions together). What’s often left out of these discussions in my experience is the question of what happens to the people that don’t participate in the consensus process. Are their views weighed? Or is a small minority (a bureaucracy) making decisions — however presumptuously — for us all?

So we see Left Anarchism is Statism-rebranded, albeit with a necessarily destructive bent towards capital and those who wish to retain the fruits of their labor. With this it seems a wholly more thorough, more potent form of Statism with a penchant for violence and an inherently contradictory nature: If we are all rulers, and some choose not to exercise their place on the Grand Council, we will decide for them. That there can be no competing models, that the Grand Council decides everything, that capital also is inevitably siphoned off to feed this Council smacks of Authoritarianism and Tyranny to me. (Better almost to have a King, considering that: 1. Alone a King could implement logically- and internally-consistent policies, 2. Only a small portion of the populous’ wealth would go to feed him, and 3. he may even give back to his people on occasion.)

Left Anarchists do not truly seek to destroy the State, although they make such pronouncements regularly; they seek to, themselves, become it.

Could Capitalism and Anarchism conceivably compliment each other?

While few understand Capitalism to mean simply the freedom to earn and keep the product of your labor, many take it to mean a world in which corporations — regarded as citizens by the State, mind you — monopolize and exploit workers and the environment. Capitalism is understood to equate to the exploitation of workers in developing countries and the destruction of the environment by corporations. Let us not forget that these corporations are granted rights and given welfare by the State.

In all truth, this consequence or set of consequences, the impacts of corporations, are entirely dependent on the State, which:

  • controls the issuance of credit and fiat currency,
  • subsidizes wholly unprofitable industries, and
  • bails out banks laden with toxic assets (further encouraging investment in such assets).

Remove the State, along with it the subsidies, corporate taxes, and start-up costs… and competition can begin to sort out the problems in the market. Failing banks will fail; private losses will remain private. An oil company that causes undue harm to the environment in this society will be boycotted and hence incentivized by consumers to do the right thing: make ammends, pay reparations, and straighten out its act — or else wither and die. Innovative companies will succeed, and continue to succeed until such time as they stop innovating or are overtaken by even more innovative firms. The Free Market Anarchist, the Anarcho-Capitalist, endeavors to bring about this exact state of affairs.

The Left Anarchist retort to this free market vision is often one which insinuates hypocrisy for proposing to supplant political rulers with the Captains of Industry, the Rich. Wouldn’t the capitalists become the new ruling class, absent any political structure?

This question deserves some exploration.

Capitalists as “Ruling Class”

If we return to elementary economics, we see that when a store owner tries to charge a customer too much for a loaf of bread the customer goes elsewhere. In voluntary market interactions such as these there is by definition no coercive element.

Consider the inverse of this situation, which is that a State or Workers’ Council runs the only store in town — or the only store in the whole country for that matter — and demands $10.00 for Wonder Bread. People are forced to buy it or try to get it through the black market, for which by no mere coincidence they may have their lives and livelihoods threatened by the very same State or Council. This is coercive, indeed. The Command Economy is clearly the more violent of the two systems.

wonder-bread

Which would you prefer? A single state-run bread company, or many firms which compete to offer better bread to you for less money?

Simply put, unless a State is propping up a corporation as a monopoly through legislation, bailouts, and subsidies, a corporation has no chance to coerce its potential customers. Even if for a period of time it charges high prices, eventually competitors will arise.

“The average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 index of leading US companies has decreased by more than 50 years in the last century, from 67 years in the 1920s to just 15 years today.” (source: BBC: Can a company live forever?)

Let us reiterate: The average S&P 500 company of today will last just 15 years! Compare this to the life of Empires and Nation States, which is a much longer 250 years on average.

Even the average life of currencies — at 27 years — is nearly twice as long as that of a corporation:

According to a study of 775 fiat currencies by DollarDaze.org, there is no historical precedence for a fiat currency that has succeeded in holding its value. Twenty percent failed through hyperinflation, 21% were destroyed by war, 12% destroyed by independence, 24% were monetarily reformed, and 23% are still in circulation approaching one of the other outcomes. … The average life expectancy for a fiat currency is 27 years, with the shortest life span being one month. (source)

Compared with the perenniality of the State, corporations are ephemera. As fast as corporations wane at present, imagine a world in which none are bouyed up by the government. Were they then to fall into such disreputable behaviors as price gouging or senselessly inflicting environmental damage it would only hasten their demise. Fear not an enduring Corporatocracy; it cannot exist without the collusion and the many blessings of the State.

So to answer the Left Anarchist retort: No, there are no Rulers in Free Market Capitalism, only the shifting sands of the innovative and the stagnant — a sea of companies with natural variation over time, high and low tides.

But what of the Command Economy? Can’t it even out these natural variations?

Ignoring for a moment the folly of a group of politicos thinking they can outwit the market — the collective economic intelligence of all of humanity — how could we summarize the vision of the Authoritarian or the Left Anarchist and contrast it with that of the Anarcho-Capitalist?

Let us consider the intersections of political power and economic freedom. We have Authoritarianism on the one hand, which is complete political control, not unlike what is espoused in Left Anarchists circles. The typical government is monopolistic. It has one set of laws and one primary means of enforcing those laws. To suggest that alternative, parallel legal systems or means of enforcement could co-exist is tantamount to treason. The authoritarian condemns and incarcerates the dissident, quashes divergent thinking through indoctrination and “re-education”. And while anarchists of all stripes rail against this, sadly only a select few mean to completely dismantle the State and break the spell of Statism that has been cast over the people, like wool over their eyes.

The State, the Commune, the Council are all authoritarian in essence, or at the very least tend towards authoritarianism and tyranny, growing ever bigger with the passage of time. It is due to this that I lump Statism and Left Anarchism under the same category of Authoritarianism. I’ll leave it to you to perform the mental substitution for either of these schools of thought in light of my visual below.

Capitalism, on the other hand, can be considered a politically-neutral state of affairs in which the accumulation of wealth is entirely unrestricted. These two, I will argue, opposing systems often comprise the political reality of the day in concert. The U.S. is one such hybrid model, for instance.

Political Power and Economic Freedom AUTHORITARIANISM CAPITALISM
AUTHORITARIANISM Authoritarian Ruling Class
Entrenched State Monopolies
Command Economy
All Profits Go to Government
Hybrid Ruling Class
Some State-Backed Monopolies
Mixed Economy
Some Private Profits
CAPITALISM Hybrid Ruling Class
Some State-Backed Monopolies
Mixed Economy
Some Private Profits
No Ruling Class
No Entrenched Monopolies
Free Market Economy
Maximum Private Profits

We can summarize the above as follows:

  • If we have a State we have a Ruling Class.
  • Similarly, if we have a Council or some kind of PAC we have a Ruling Class.
  • If we have Corporations and a State we may have a hybrid Ruling Class, but certainly a Ruling Class exists.
  • If we have only Corporations we do not have a Ruling Class. What we have instead is a constant turnover in the means of production and consistent innovation stemming from unencumbered markets.

But how do we make decisions without the guidance of a State or Council?

If all interactions are voluntary, and all transactions are entered into freely by consenting participants, then no need for political authority exists. It is thus up to each individual to determine what he needs and what he desires. The idea of having “No Rulers” is less prescriptive and more descriptive of reality in this imagined Free World in that case. It achieves the end-game of Anarchism without the need for constant, bloody revolution, without the need for bi-weekly meetings in which conniving bureaucrats on one side, and hot-headed idealists on the other, try to convince themselves that they are still all, in fact, on the same side of the table.

All Statist ideologies posit the need for a final arbiter of truth, a single individual or set of individuals which is not only capable but also virtuous enough to make decisions for the whole of society — often without the input of any of the members of said society — on matters as diverse as finance and environmental stewardship, logistics and defense, welfare and money printing, science and morality, immigration and agricultural production, ad infinitum. We live currently in a world in which people predominantly see through the lens of Statism, one that unquestioningly asserts that such expert and morally-superior Arbiters of Truth exist. Tell me, please: Where are all these Anomalous and Divine Beings? And why on Earth would they choose to enter into Politics of all areas?

So aren’t Anarchism and Capitalism complimentary in fact?

Indeed, it appears so, that the absence of rulers (Anarchism) and the absence of barriers to trade and free association (Capitalism) go hand in hand. Anarcho-Capitalism is a marraige of ultimate personal freedom with that of maximum economic freedom. It seems the more internally-consistent and morally-justified of the political models:

Nolan Political Chart - Capitalism

Source: paoracle.com

At the very least Free Market Capitalism, or Anarcho-Capitalism, starts with the assumption of Freedom for All. Maximize freedom for everyone and dismantle Political Power. On the opposing end we see Communism and Socialism — the same camp in which Left Anarchism ultimately finds itself — and these are in close proximity to Facism and Nazism. All four of these -ism’s presuppose and necessitate the expansion of government power, whether the reigns of Government change hands or not. It seems prudent — insofar as you have a choice — to choose to implement or support a system which grants you the utmost freedoms, so that even if they are eventually curtailed, at the very least you will have experienced Freedom in its purest form during your life time. What a marvelous thing that would be!

9
Dec

Current Bitcoin Price & Yearly Price History

by adminadam in home

Weekly Average Bitcoin Prices from Mt. Gox until its collapse in February 2014:


Weekly Average Bitcoin Prices from BitStamp since it opened in September 2011:

Average Monthly Price in October since 2010:

YEAR PRICE EXCHANGE
2010 $0.11 Mt. Gox
2011 $3.53 Avg. Mt. Gox & BitStamp
2012 $11.56 Avg. Mt. Gox & BitStamp
2013 $163 BitStamp
2014 $358 BitStamp
2015 $268 BitStamp
2016 $639 BitStamp
7
Dec

How Far I’ve Come Since 2008

by adminadam in home

In 2008, I created my first personal blog: WELKAOS, a buddhism-inspired, liberal, social-justice centered blog. I laugh at how different I was back then.

At that time I claimed I was all of the following on my about page:

  • friend, brother, son, grandson, and cousin
  • mid-20’s
  • curious
  • compassionate
  • critical
  • white
  • straight-questioning
  • able-bodied
  • male
  • well-educated
  • educator
  • vegan
  • socialist-democrat
  • spiritual and non-religious
  • human being
  • synergy – more than the sum of my parts, just like you!

I mean, c’mon. I identified as Synergy itself! I must have really been struggling to up my ID count.

I was super hippy-dippy. I was vegan. I was a Social Justice Warrior. It was the thing to do. I lived in a small, liberal, West-Coast college town. This conferred benefits: amelioration of assumed and internalized guilt, and access to a community of liberal upper-middle class SJW girls. It was also more-or-less a prerequisite to getting into my teaching program. They really tried to shove guilt and the worshiping of the state down your throat in the college of education.

My tag line was interesting, too. My complete title read:

WELKAOS: We welcome chaos with calm compassion.

Who is we? I don’t know..! On to more salient points, then.

WELKAOS is a portmanteau of “welcome” and “chaos”. I spelt it out for you either way. Apparently, I welcomed chaos with calm compassion. Calm compassion seems a bit redundant, don’t you think? Aren’t compassionate people generally calm? And aren’t calm people generally compassionate? (I mean some calm people are sociopaths — calm looking anyways — really they are emotionless, but I digress…) You’d think that I was the zen-est motha-fucka out there. But no. I had a bone to pick. With everyone.

I was vegan. And what I don’t mention — but what is usually true of vegans — is that I was an environmentalist. A fierce one. I made people from Texas defend their “throwing everything into the garbage” behavior. (Really it just annoyed people and made them not want to talk to me.) I can say this because I was a vegan for 5 years: Vegans are hard to talk to sometimes. I still have trouble talking with new vegans that I meet, and I was one!

Besides all the boring family member descriptions and the fact that I was a male, I felt cool and edgy declaring myself to be straight-questioning, a queer (as in odd) way — pun intended — of saying in the SJW parlance that I was ‘almost doubtful of my heterosexuality’. Never fear, no need to doubt: I’ve checked since then. I’m definitely straight. That is okay, right? (And yes, I like Same Love, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.)

Sadly, the SJW community glorifies fringe identity identification, meaning the more labels, and the more obscure of lables you can place on yourself — whether self-deprecating, or true, or just convenient — the better. Typical middle-class white college straight guy not cool. Bad even. SJ mentality and theory is a creepy-crawly thing. It works to gain converts by slathering potential targets in guilt-butter repeatedly until — having been made to alternate constantly for 6 hours between boredom and confusion — the target inevitably gets hungry, opens their mouth, and tastes the guilt-assuaging (really reallocating) poison of hierarchical ‘egalitarianism’. If you don’t accept it, you are obviously a greedy white capitalist pig promoting rape-culture and the beating of slightly-sleepy, chilled-out black guys. The obvious inverse of this is that Dark-skinned Muslim Native-American Lesbian Women who identify as Men and are Polyamorous are at the top of the hierarchy. At least that’s pretty cool.

Funny that I would so calmly accept being placed into a hierarchical “egalitarian” structure in which I was the bottom-rung on the totem pole. Certainly reinforces any internalized judgments and self-hate that lies in wait inside your heart, that is for sure. What I didn’t realize at the time was that in swallowing the pill of Social Justice, I was wrapping up my latent and probably justifiably-decaying sense of guilt and shame (From where? I dont’ know. Protestantism probably.) in a cocoon of abstraction and insulation. This would shelter me from any critique of my actual character for years to come. Let’s face it, no one is inherently bad because of their race, class, gender, language, or ability — including white people, including me. But if I tell you that I’m cool because I’m really not cool because of all these fairly average facets of my birth, genetics, and upbringing then you’ll think I’m cool, or you’ll just be confused and weirded out by the really intense and pitiful white guy at the party that can’t loosen up and have a fun time. I mean white guys already have a hard enough time dancing… Why do you gotta burden them further with indoctrination and theories of justifiable self-hate? … Anyways, the point is that Social Justice creates Social Justice Zombies who internalize binary and divisive categorizations of people and then proceed to point fingers at themselves and others who they perceive to have privilege (privileged brains, want to eat…!). It’s an easy way to create — or limit yourself to — a small cadre of similarly-minded and small-minded people with which to launch lengthy verbal attacks at the world with the Critical Catapult of Political Correctness. In short, it’s a great way to not grow. Label yourself in order to stop growing.

And that is what I did.

I wrote long treatises and short poems, prosy things that didn’t rhyme, back then. Used words like agency and superiority and allies a lot. Very little of it defined. Where in truth agency was the willingness to confine yourself and curtail your own natural thoughts and desires, sublimating your feelings, and sacrificing yourself to the greater good of Diversity, Democracy, and Socialism — to all the Heavenly Abstractions of Perfect Righteousness, in fact. I talked about reprogramming myself to have no ego, melting into something greater than myself, a flipped world of hyper-New-Age spirituality and black presidents — oh, wait… A flipped world where instead of white people being evil, they were good, but no better than any one of any other color. In fact, maybe we would do away with color then. Maybe we would lose our color and our form, all melting into a primordial human swamp of hive mind mentalities and dogmatic sputtering spontaneous movements. Wouldn’t it be grand? We wouldn’t need allies any more. We would be The Ally. We would be our own Ally, supporting our own decisions, every whim and fanciful notion 100%. Pure genius!

In truth, I felt inferior. Best to tell yourself that you’re actually superior but don’t deserve it right? … No, not really, I’m kidding. That’s just confusing. It’s best to be honest with yourself. Acknowledge where you are. Have you hurt anyone today? Have you gotten out of bed? If the answers are No to the first and Yes to the second then you’re doing pretty good. No need to hate yourself for being a white person or a straight guy or anything else.

Social Justice was my opium. It lulled me into a deadly slumber. The early artifacts of Thrivenotes give hints of this — I was asleep, I was blind, I was naive. While I don’t think it a complete waste to try to base a blog on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, as I did, what I probably needed was not to espouse liberal philosophy and try to convert strangers to egalitarianism through an obscure blog in some tucked-away corner of the internet… Instead, what I needed was a bit more Love, a bit more of a sense of Belonging (but to a community of fun-loving, non-judgmental people), and then to work hard to deserve the feelings of Self-Esteem that I desired as a young man about to enter the field of public school teaching as a noob who still looked like he was in high school.

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeedsSo now let’s return to the tagline again:

We welcome chaos with calm compassion.

What was this chaos? Apparently I welcomed it. Was it my own expected emotional turmoil and self-inflicted insults of unloveability? My own ego destruction? Perhaps more than an abstraction… Perhaps more than symbolic self-obliteration… Perhaps, in a way, it was prescient.

I certainly wouldn’t want a world of Sameness. I want a word that is dynamic and yet orderly; complex, yet navigable. Perhaps chaos was the expectation of conflict with those who would inevitably disagree with me. I was the only one of my four male roommates who thought we were living in a Patriarchy. They all thought we were living in a Matriarchy, by contrast. This caused me to experience chaos. Perhaps this chaos was my other drug. Perhaps chaos was the feeling of trying to stick to my lonely dogma while people around me were trying desperately to loosen me up, to love me. If anything, Chaos was my cocaine. Exciting, stimulating, addicting, fleeting, and ultimately unfulfilling. What I really wanted was to know what was going to happen, to know that I was going to be okay. Asking my ego to die was my way of hiding from the world. I wanted to know what to expect. I wanted regularity. I wanted to be comforted. I just didn’t know it. I was in denial.

Perhaps my Anti-SJW Journal can lead with this article:

Deconstructing Liberal Fear-based Guilt-reinforcing Obfuscating Abstractions for the Purpose of Liberating Feaful and Isolated Young White Men

Now let’s get down to it: I was a grad-student who shouldered overwhelming perennial social and environmental issues in order to feel worthy when I didn’t. I was scared to enter the real world, where growth is slow and painstaking. But Thank God I climbed down from that Awful Ivory Tower of Indoctrination. The people there, the Multicultural Education professors to the greatest extent, seemed quite unhappy. The serious education researchers and philosophers seemed the happiest. Perhaps because they were less encumbered by lofty, glorified notions of constant revolution and idealized vernaculars.

The exciting thing about all this for me is that I’m noticing I feel more excited about life with each passing day. I am looking for more and more people of differing dispositions with whom to exchange ideas and enter into friendships. My previous schema and idealism had me cut off from the true diversity of the world, one which is not static like the identities of a multiculturalist worldview.

I feel so lucky to have been able to let go of so much. To have left some things undone.

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.— Lin Yutang

Life is, in many ways, simpler and more nuanced, slower-paced and more exciting than I ever would have expected.

I can’t wait to see how the next eight years turn out.

7
Dec

Minimal Effective Stack, v2.0

by adminadam in articles

The Stack

  1. Creatine — 5g powder, AM
  2. Noopept — 10mg capsule, AM/noon/PM
  3. CDP-choline — 400mg capsule, AM/PM
  4. Modafinil — 100-200mg tablet, AM
  5. Ashwagandha — 570mg capsule, AM/PM
  6. Rhodiola — 500mg capsule, AM
  7. Probiotics — one capsule, AM
  8. Cod Liver Oil — three 650mg soft-gels, AM/PM
  9. Nicotine Gum — 1mg gum, PM
  10. Melatonin — 1mg tablet, Night

Changes Since Version 1

I have switched out piracetam for noopept. My main reasoning is to reduce the quantity of both powders and capsules that I consume. So I can cut my total piracetam powder levels from what they were previously — about six grams per day — to just three 10mg capsules per day of noopept.

I have added CPD-choline back in. While I have never experience an acetylcholine-depletion headache from taking racetams, I have heard that CDP-choline helps maintain cognitive abilities under sleep deprivation and also can help with dry eyes, both of which I experience at times.

I have removed Bacopa and added Ashwagandha. This was a hard choice which I took a long time to arrive at. Bacopa is lauded as the only effective, cheap, and safe way to truly improve your memory from a young-healthy subject baseline. But it made me excessively sleepy and caused me extreme stomach upset whenever I consumed it without food. These simple hindrances were what led me to cut it from my stack. While I enjoyed its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, I had experienced stronger effects of that nature from Ashwagandha, an all-around resiliency-enhancing herbal supplement also from the Ayurvedic tradition. Ashwagandha improves immunity, reduces stress, and reduces insomnia in many subjects. I have experienced reduced stress and anxiety. Other effects are questionably related to many of the supplements I take, like Modafinil and Creatine for enhanced energy and motivation. Ashwagandha may also be contributing to these positive outcomes.

I have changed from Fish Oil to Cod Liver Oil. Cod Liver Oil is said to contain more Vitamin A and D. I take these soft-gels in ample quantities, sometimes up to nine a day, if I feel like I need the Vitamin D for enhanced immunity or serotonin production in the winter months.

I dropped Lion’s Mane Mushroom after listening to a podcast on the medicinal mushroom industry. It seems that the quality of many of these supplements is suspect, with the greater-guarantees-of-quality brands costing an arm and a leg. I’d prefer to save the money.

I have added Melatonin to the list. In fact, I have always used Melatonin to get to sleep faster, fight insomnia, and serve as an anti-oxidant. Now that I’m using lower doses of 1-2mg per night, I feel more refreshed waking up than I used to when I took between 3mg and 6mg. Research shows that 0.5mg to 1mg is the most effective dose. Melatonin is especially helpful if you are in front of bright screens with blue light in the evening, or if you drink lots of caffeinated beverages, or if you take modafinil mid-day or — heaven forbid — late in the day.

What I’ve Kept the Same

Creatine is a godsend for athletes. I am running regularly now, in addition to lifting weights, and I find I have the energy to give an extra push at the end of nearly all of my workouts because of Creatine. It is also said to boost cognition in individuals with low natural levels of Creatine in their diets.

Modafinil keeps me productive and emotionally-intelligent after late nights spent hanging out with my brother or my girlfriend, or after working to the wee hours of the morning on Linux projects. Speaking of which, check out my new blog: Kernelmastery.com. You might say Modafinil is the Mascot for Kernel Mastery.

Rhodiola I would never abandon. It enhances immunity, fights stress, and helps you fight fatigue. It is a tried-and-true resiliency supplement.

Probiotics for the gut; a healthy gut for a healthy mind.

Nicotine Gum eases my stress, wakes me up on my long drives home from work, and reboots the cognitive engines after a long work day. With Nicotine Gum, I can avoid drinking large quantities of caffeine in the afternoon. Most gums come in two- or four-milligram sizes. Because one milligram is plenty for me, I simply buy the two milligram version and cut the pieces in half. Easy and cheap!

31
Oct

10 Rules for Success – Elon Musk

by adminadam in videos

  1. Never give up
  2. Really like what you do
  3. Don’t listen to your detractors
  4. Take risks, the younger the better
  5. Do something important
  6. Focus on Signal over Noise
  7. Look for other Problem Solvers to work with
  8. Attract great people; surround yourself with great people
  9. Have a great product, one that is miles ahead of the competition
  10. Work super hard, particularly if you’re starting a company
10
Aug

Reclaim Your Freedoms

by adminadam in articles

Peter Schiff, chairman of SchiffGold, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Inc, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, fearlessly ventured into the heart of Liberty Plaza during the Occupy Wall Street protests to try and find common ground with the people there. What I love most about this video is not Peter’s bravery in facing the 99% as a more-or-less unapologetic member of the 1%, rather I admire his tenacity and consistency in the conversations with folks who seem to believe, and in fact are likely to have been pigeon-holed as believing that the main reason for the inequality and injustice in our country lies in corporations taking in too big of profits. So as you watch know that there is some oversimplification going on. But ask yourself: Is it the Occupy protesters who are engaging in oversimplification, or is it the media that is oversimplifying their arguments? (I’ll give you a hint: Not all of the Occupy protesters are anti-capitalist!)

As Peter explains, corporate taxes are always passed onto consumers or taken out of workers’ pay. Thus, corporate taxes discourage growth and development in the economy. Personally, I believe growth and development in the economy are a good thing.

Unhindered growth allows for innovation. Just look at the smartphone in your pocket. Any state-run phone company would produce half the product for twice the cost, and it would take twice as long at that! In 1913, there was only one telephone that you could get, and you couldn’t even buy it; you had to rent it from AT&T, which was a state-regulated monopoly.

How would you like to use a 1920's Western Electric Oval Telephone and Handset? Remember: You can't own it; you can only rent it.

How would you like to use a 1920’s Western Electric Oval Telephone and Handset? Remember: You can’t own it; you can only rent it.

Fortunately for us, the Market always finds a backdoor or a workaround to allow innovation to continue. It’s just that sometimes these black-or-grey-market innovators find themselves in court for their unsanctioned attempts to increase our choices and our freedoms.

In the telephone market, competition began creeping in in 1956, when the courts overruled an FCC ban on Tom Carter’s Hush-a-Phone, a device which snapped on to a telephone and made it possible for the user to speak in a whisper. That was perhaps the first step in the dissolution of the telephone monopoly.

The Hush-a-Phone decision paved the way for 110 and 300 bit per second acoustically-coupled computer terminals, like the one shown below.

AcousticallyCoupledModem

One of the very first modems! Read more at: som.csudh.edu’s Telecom History

Carter eventually won a decision against AT&T that allowed customers to connect any device to the AT&T network, without the previously required “Protective Coupler”. That was the Carterfone Decision of 1968. This lead to today’s near total deregulation of telephone equipment in the US, something on which the rest of the world followed suit. The communications regulatory bodies in those countries clearly saw the benefits of allowing their citizens to connect new devices which allowed for both voice and data to be transmitted.

Without this kind of deregulation, it’s possible the Internet would have remained a slowly-moving, bureaucratically-controlled project, restricted to use by the oligarchs in government and large corporations, and a select few who could afford to pay for access to the overpriced, shoddy service they would have certainly provided.

By contrast, in our modern-day, largely capitalistic internet ecosystem — although tempered by some degree of cronyism — we now have reliable, high-performance, internet-connected, bluetooth/wifi/NFC-enabled, secure and sleek smartphones for as low as $35, not to mention the infrastructure (internet backbone, up to 13 Gbps) on which to operate them. Don’t believe me on the price? Just check out what Mozilla has done with their Firefox OS phones, meant for emerging markets like Brazil, India, and the Philippines.

The Cherry Mobile Ace Firefox OS Phone featured below was released in December of 2014 for 1499 PHP — Philippine Pesos — approximately $33! But wait, it gets better. Their sale price was 999 PHP, only $22 for a fully-useable, well-designed smartphone!

Personally, I want as many people in the world as possible to be able to purchase and own devices such as the Cherry Mobile Ace. It is a form of empowerment through technology that nary a socialist would promote if they understood that only through deregulation can such things come to pass. They would have to relinquish political power and their thirst for it in order to allow such empowering trends to fully develop. I truly admire anyone with the courage to let go of their vice-grip attachments to such delusions of grandeur as “empowering the masses” by means of appropriating other people’s hard earned money.

Enterprising Entrepreneurs Empower Everyone

Consider what you can do because of Market Innovation and Market Innovators:

  • Phone and text your friends, families, and business partners for free using things like WhatsApp
  • Send, receive, and manage your money without a bank account or a government ID or anyone’s permission using Bitcoin and a Bitcoin wallet app (there are many options!)
  • Record videos and take pictures
  • Mix and remix almost any kind of media
  • Share and sync files with anyone
  • Learn new skills on Khan Academy and through MOOC’s (massive online open courses)
  • Get weather alerts
  • Get important health information and even diagnose diseases
  • Call on your neighbors to defend or aid you in times of crisis through apps like Peacekeeper
  • Navigate to new areas easily
  • Give and get rides through Uber
  • Rent out your home with Airbnb
  • And so much more!

All of this on a $22 device. And whether we ever stop to think about it or appreciate it, the credit is due to Free Market Capitalism: People being incentivized to work and provide valuable products and services to one another of their own volition. People doing business without being hindered by regulations or sucked dry by the tax man for some vaguely-defined and for-all-intents-and-purposes bankrupt social contract. Just look at our public schooling systems, modeled as they were after Nazi Germany to encourage compliance, complacency, and the production of anti-intellectual, subservient factory workers. Part of our “Social Contract” is that we are forced through taxes to support keeping children locked down in destitute and soul-crushing environs for hours on end until they are 18 years old. It just drives me nuts. It’s why I celebrate, again, the creeping in of some forms of subversive innovation, creative destruction a la charter schools, for instance, or people that manage to provide a good learning experience at home for their children. It’s why I celebrate kids who do the bare minimum in school while finding ways to pursue their passions and careers independently in the few hours they are left each day. Innovation is not commanded, nor is learning imparted through coercion. To cite Plato:

Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.

So who is responsible for this mess? The lobbyists and the lobbied are quite suspect. Increasingly, for me, the activists and the politically-active mainstream are too, though. What ‘revolution’ can this incest between the rulers and the ruled conceivably spawn after all? Is the system ‘working’? Have things gotten tangibly better because of the state? It’s a question not-often explored; more often than not it’s denied or dismissed. It seems, instead, that the assumptions and presuppositions of the state are reinforced at every turn. It’s all about 6- and 8-year political dynasties, and our blind faith in the process: We can fix it, next time we’ll win, it’s their fault not ours, and on and on.

It takes a brave and steeled soul indeed to lock eyes with the system and keep on walking. To walk on, to traverse that mental landscape is to say, “Democracy has failed”. And let’s be honest, it has. It’s time to move on. Plutocrats and Peasants is what we are. To be a politician is to be a bought-and-sold man. And to believe so fervently in the potential of another politician, another movement, to pin our hopes on some new Inflatable Jesus Figure each election cycle, are we not succumbing to Uncle Tom Syndrome? I have begun to view and treat Democracy Lovers as I do 12th-Man Football Fanatics. Let them believe they are making a difference, but avoid them like the plague at dinner parties. You’re better off pitching ice to Eskimos.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone. — Ayn Rand

It’s very frustrating living in a world where Anarchy is a dirty word, thought to mean property-destruction by Angsty Anarcho-Communists, and where Democracy and Environmentalism are God and the infidels and iconoclasts are burned at the stake. We certainly have massive socioeconomic and ideological inertia propelling the prevailing, dysfunctional, political machine, but we also have a budding trend of disintermediation, divergent thinking, open-sourcing-of-everything, and a renewed optimism in the world.

It becomes apparent when looking at many of the volunteer-based projects which have benefited humanity, say Wikipedia, or the Linux Operating System. But there are True Capitalists who continue to raise the bar too: Elon Musk is one example. An electric car that goes 0-60 in three seconds, a rocket ship that can take off and land vertically, and a proposal for a “Hyperloop” vacuum-sealed, elevated, maglev transportation system that will ferry people from L.A. to San Francisco in half-an-hour — all from one man. Did I mention he plans to travel to Mars himself in one of his rockets? What an amazing icon, the likes of which Hank Rearden of Atlas Shrugged might choose to associate with from time to time (when he’s not crafting even better steel that is…). And then there’s the shadowy innovators, Satoshi Nakamoto, for instance. Gave the world Bitcoin, the payment protocol for the 5 Billion Unbanked of the World, plus a currency that is virtually (algorithmically) guaranteed to be a store of value better than gold — bless his/her heart!

There are other ways to pursue peace, order, and prosperity for our lands and our communities. The Wikipedia volunteers, Linux developers, Elon’s, and Satoshi’s of the world are building it in fact. By contrast, all statist systems, whether they be socialist, fascist, republican, or monarchistic, reek like last week’s trash. They rest upon the nullification and disenfranchisement of the individual, as opposed to his empowerment. To take from Ayn Rand again:

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

If I grow a company from the ground up, hire 100’s of people, a board of directors, offer stocks, and make a profit, am I evil? A popular idea in our world today is that yes, I am inherently evil, that profit is inherently exploitative of, most certainly, my employees, but likely the environment, and the rest of my society as well. What do people think is done with profits anyways? Surely they are never reinvested into R&D, or employee bonuses, or invested in other startups. No. Not a chance.

Check out Peter Schiff here pretending to be a democrat at the North Carolina DNC. What should be done about these evil corporate profits, he asks!

Profits incentivize and propel future business ventures. If you think profits are truly evil, then what you should probably do right now is this:

And while you’re at it, what are you reading this blog post on? Go ahead and destroy that device too if it’s not the iPhone that you just destroyed. Apple made over $50 Billion in profit last year. That’s pretty fucking evil, ain’t it?

Surely the fat cats at the top are keeping all that money for themselves, right? No, actually. Forbes did a breakdown of how Apple is using its huge cash reserves — all from profits — in order to evolve and stay relevant as a company:

Apple’s balance sheet shows $97.6 billion in cash. … That money is going to be used to increase the security that the supply chain offers Apple.

… Apple’s immense cash reserves allows not only an investment in new technology, but they can literally buy the complete run of a specialist part for a number of years, locking out the competition.

It’s because of these profits, the profit motive, and Apple’s tireless innovation, that you have a shiny new iPhone in your pocket. No one else could have done it cheaper. Take away that “extra” cash, and we’re stuck with iPhone 4’s. Nobody wants that. Really!

I find this baseless demonetization of profits tiresome. But, there is another more pernicious form of ignorance to contend with: That people readily dismiss how businesses compete to buy labor. Our naivete in this area leads to the creation of policies which fundamentally harm both minority groups and individuals: i.e., Minimum Wage Laws.

Because markets go where labor is cheaper, artificially increasing demand (i.e. price) for a given unit or hour of labor results in local businesses leaving for greener pastures. “Edgar the Exploiter” is a lovely and heart-wrenching depiction of this effect, the result of our ignorance of basic economics:

Artificially raising labor costs through minimum wages hurts low-skill, impoverished, and minority workers the most. This is why I was against the $15 minimum wage law in Seattle when it was proposed. The law would simply gentrify the service industry, eventually getting to the point that only rich white college kids could work legally.

Instead of lofting idealistic legislation into the congressional fighting pits, as in the example of Minimum Wage regulations, and hoping our proposal comes out on top, we should deregulate the markets so that more people can participate in them. Innovation and wealth-creation cannot be commanded. We should stop trying to limit the market from doing what it does best: Provide us with exactly what we need for a low cost.

If we could also address the issue of suppressed interest rates (which discourages people from saving) and Quantitative Easing via the Federal Reserve (which gradually erodes our purchasing power) the world would be a better, freer, and wealthier place. Alas, you can’t have it all.

But there are some things we can do to expedite the transition to a freer and more just world, routing around the broken political system. We should explore continuous, subversive innovation via disruption, disintermediation, decentralization, and democratization. Examples of this path include:

  • Donating to and improving upon Wikipedia and Khan Academy to facilitate the democratization of information around the world.
  • Using OpenBazaar to buy/sell goods online in an uncensorable, pseudonymous, distributed marketplace with Bitcoin. The is subversive grey-market activity which serves to deny the state its sales tax revenue and also deregulate the products on the market. In removing 3rd parties from transactions, it disintermediates banking and financial networks too.
  • Using 3D printers in local Maker Spaces to print toys, tools, guns, and more using open-source blueprints. This is an example of democratization and disintermediation in manufacturing.
  • Patronizing farmer’s markets and paying in cash or bitcoin. This removes middle-men and empowers small business owners.
  • Working under the table saves both you and your employer money and serves to disrupt income taxation.

All social services, up-to-and-including Government itself can be decentralized and disintermediated. Taking advantage of any of these or the above opportunities will enhance social and economic opportunities for you and your community while enhancing your freedom:

  • Defense and Security can be procured locally through neighborhood-watch organizations, private security firms, and the Peacekeeper App. Private security markets would benefit from deregulation and increased Free-Market Competition first, however. This eliminates the need for a public police force or — in the case of Detroit — fills a power vacuum with members of your own community who are passionate about protecting people.
  • Charities and Health Care Sharing Ministries can provide the majority of health care coverage for communities, especially once their members are liberated from taxes.
  • Smart Contracts written via the Bitcoin Protocol can be used to replace intermediaries in many levels of government, to rein in corruption, and to guarantee accountability.

Basically, do all that you can to engage in and promote voluntary exchange. And pull others into it. This is the most effective way of ‘agitating for change’, as the progressives would say, to deregulate industry and technology. This will, in turn, enrich the whole world.

free-the-market-free-the-world

Free the market; free the world.

Liberate the economy and the state will fade into irrelevance. We think the state is an institution of social service, that it’s there for our own good. But perhaps it’s not the morally-superior, altruistic conglomerate of thinking and resources that it’s made out to be. Murray Rothbard said it best in “What the State is Not”:

We are not the Government; the Government is not us. Society and the State are not the same thing. The rise of democracy has conflated the two further. Consider: If 70% of our democracy approved a measure to murder the remaining 30% it would technically be a democratic decision, justified by the internal rules of the philosophical framework. It would not be considered murder, however, as the ‘subjects’ of the state effectively are the State. Consider how in Nazi Germany the extermination of the Jews was a legal and government-sanctioned act. Statism projects that, as appendages of the state, the ‘murdered’ actually killed themselves. The system is full of such internal contradictions.

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

When we get down to it, the state is simply the institution occupying a given territorial area which has a monopoly on force and violence. If it commits some social good, then that is ancillary to its existence. The state need be nothing more. It exists through and because of coercion alone: The violent enforcement of the borders, the appropriation of the territorial residents’ wealth through taxation, and the metering out of pre-appropriated, universal human rights to its subjects via the legislature and the laughably-named ‘Justice System’.

Just like as in War, there are no Winners in Statism. It is a zero-sum game. One policy, one person, must come out on top. Compare it to Socialism’s theory of economics, which incorrectly posits that economic activity is a zero-sum game. Of course, if that were true in economics we would have no more value in the world than we did when only 1,000,000 humans roamed the Earth. It is silly to think of 7 billion people — and the product of all their activity — having no more worth than a measly million hunters and gatherers, don’t you think?

Ironic then, isn’t it, that so many Statists proclaim Capitalism to be a dead-end, when really the State is the one that’s dead in the water. Capitalism is a force for good; Statism a parasite. Free Market innovation is the reason we have a world of such wondrous stability and abundance. And luckily for us, there will always be people who wish to build and consume new and better things.

Let’s get the State out of the way. Engage in counter-economics. Obfuscate your wealth. Avoid taxes. Avoid the “Man’s Money”. State your preference for Bitcoin or barter. Shrink the State, or obviate it by innovating around it.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. — Buckminster Fuller

The sooner you do — the sooner you opt-out and start participating in these new, disintermediated models of reality — the sooner we will all be free.

Let us hasten the demise of the State.


If you would like to further educate yourself in economics, Marginal Revolution University has a wonderful, free, and accessible course entitled “Everyday Economics“. (Yet another Capitalist Innovation; and yes, you can pay for more content later if you wish. It’s up to you!)

Contents of “Everyday Economics” include:

  • The notion of the Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity, a visualization of the explosive expansion of wealth in more recent human history
  • Increased life expectancy as a measure of human prosperity
  • Reduced mortality and increased average height, hygiene, sanitation, and technology as measures of human prosperity
  • The origins of prosperity, lessons from “The Wealth of Nations”, and other insights from Adam Smith
  • How wealth has shifted from being the exception to being the norm

We didn’t used to try to figure out what causes poverty, as we do today. We used to try to figure out what causes wealth. This was Adam Smith’s goal. And you can learn about it for free. Pretty swell, huh?


Please click the “Donate BTC” button up top or the green shield icon below to donate Bitcoin to me if you like my writing. In exchange I promise I’ll have a book someday that you can buy and read..!

11
Jul

Minimal Effective Stack

by adminadam in articles

The Stack

  1. Creatine
  2. Piracetam
  3. Modafinil
  4. Bacopa
  5. Rhodiola
  6. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  7. Probiotics
  8. Fish Oil
  9. Nicotine Gum/Patches/E-Cig

Reasoning

A smaller stack is cheaper and more convenient to travel with. It’s also fast to prepare and consume. Here are the steps:

  1. If creatine and piracetam are in powdered form, mix with water (and perhaps sea salt) first thing in the morning and imbibe. If in tablet form, take in Step Two instead — perhaps still with sea salt. Salt really is key support for staying hydrated while on modafinil, and/or if you are doing a ketogenic diet. Creatine boosts executive function while piracetam enhances verbal fluidity, short-term memory, and focus.
  2. Drink more water with your modafinil and rhodiola. Modafinil boosts executive function and allows you to obliterate fatigue and physical exhaustion for up to 12 hours. Rhodiola is a super-herb from the Arctic regions of the world: Alaska, Canada, Siberia. It has been a treasured (and well-guarded) medicinal herb for millenia for its adaptogenic and resiliency-enhancing properties. As it may be somewhat stimulating, take it only in the morning.
  3. Wait a minute. Eat some fat (butter, bacon, avocado) — maybe with salt on it — and then proceed to step 4. Fat fuels your brain and aids in the absorption of nutrients and supplements, especially bacopa. Protein is good too, of course. Do not take bacopa on an empty stomach. It will give you nausea and diarrhea, I can guarantee it.
  4. Drink more water with your bacopa, lion’s mane, probiotics, and fish oil. Bacopa and lion’s mane both boost memory. Bacopa may act as a vasodilator (increasing cerebral bloodflow). Bacopa reduces cortisol and thus may make you sleepy. If so, you are advised to take it only in the evenings before bed. Lion’s mane mushrooms boost Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and likely boost the immune system too, as most mushrooms are adaptogenic and confer their resiliency to us when we consume them. Probiotics and fish oil will make you smarter and happier as well (happy gut; happy mind). These provide healthy gut bacteria, healthy fats (omega 3’s, EPA/DHA), and vitamins A and D.
  5. Take a “smoke” break if you get sleepy after lunch. Nicotine — if you so choose to use it — may help you retain focus and boost cognitive function if you experience afternoon sleepiness, and is less prone than caffeine to disturb your sleep at night. I use the 2mg Nicotrol gum, cut in two. Usually one piece per day, two at most. If you are not used to nicotine, I recommend you spit out the gum or remove the patch as soon as you feel its effects. Should be a kind of bright buzzing stimulating energy in your brain after ~5 minutes of chewing the gum. If you overdo it be prepared to get dizzy and vomit. Start small and also watch for nicotine cravings.

Where to Buy, Dosages, Pro-Tips

  1. CREATINE — Creatine Monohydrate Micronized Powder from Powder City; BioCreatine Capsules from Natural Stacks. Take between 2.5 and 7.5 grams first thing in the morning. Note: BioCreatine has Himalayan salt in it; adjust morning ‘salting’ routine accordingly.
  2. PIRACETAM — Piracetam Powder (100g tub) from Powder City; Piracetam Capsules (1-month supply for $29.66 if you take x6 per day like me) from Powder City. You can take up to 10 grams a day of piracetam and feel no negative side effects. Lower LD50 than salt, apparently! I recommend 2-3 grams three times per day for optimal results.
  3. MODAFINIL — Modafinil/Provigil from ModUP.net (33% discount if you pay with bitcoin). Take 1/2 pill (100mg) if starting for the first time on modafinil. It can be quite intense and cause irritability, upset stomach, dehydration, and headaches if you take too much for your body or if you don’t stay hydrated and remember to eat. Remember to eat! Modafinil suppresses the appetite. Lasts around 12 hours. Does not usually prevent you from sleeping after 8 hours, although it may be difficult. You are advised to take 1/2 to 1 pill immediately upon waking. Then chug a gallon half-gallon of water — with salt!
  4. BACOPA — Bacopa Monnieri Capsules from Swanson Superior Herbs. Take bacopa with food. 250mg twice a day. Just once at night if you get too sleepy taking it during the day time.
  5. RHODIOLA — Rhodiola Rosea Capsules from NOW Foods. Take one per day upon waking.
  6. LION’S MANE MUSHROOM — Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules from Swanson Superior Herbs. Take one AM, one PM.
  7. PROBIOTICS — Primal Defense ULTRA Capsules from Garden of Life. Take 1-2 capsules per day.
  8. FISH OIL — Organic Lemon-Zest Fish Oil from Barlean’s; Cod Liver Oil Softgels from NOW Foods. Take 1 tbsp fish oil or 2 capsules cod liver oil per day.
  9. NICOTINE — 2mg Nicotine Gum from Nicotrol. Use as needed.

###

24
Jun

Bitcoin Will End the Nation State

by adminadam in articles, videos

Satoshi Nakamoto set in motion the unraveling of the nation state and the end of central banking — two closely related institutions that have directed history since history has been recorded. When we come to understand the economic and technological implications of bitcoin, we arrive at a somewhat startling yet undeniable conclusion: that bitcoin will end the nation state.

“We know what happened to organized religion in the wake of the gunpowder revolution. Technological developments created strong incentives to downsize religious institutions and lower their costs. A similar technological revolution is destined to downsize radically the nation-state early in the new millennium.”

– James Dale Davidson, William Rees-Mogg, The Sovereign Individual

Bitcoin as an Independent Economy

Many observers of bitcoin argue that its value needs to be pegged to a stable, conventional currency in order to assess its value. They claim that bitcoin is too volatile to be taken seriously, and thus, serves as only a novel financial innovation for moving money. What these observers’ fail to realize is that bitcoin does not need to be pegged to a national currency any more than the sun requires the gravitational pull of the earth. The sun has no concern for the deviations on the trajectory of the Earth just as bitcoin has no concern for the developments within national economies. Speculation is the only reason critics will argue that bitcoin needs to be pegged to a national unit of account, and for those actors, bitcoin cares not.

Many observers of bitcoin also argue that for the sake of adoption, bitcoin needs exchange businesses and ATMs in order to grow its user base and subsequently, its market capitalization. On top of these businesses, the conventional thinker will also argue that proper regulation needs to be enforced for the ‘good of the investor’. We certainly don’t want another episode of Mt.Gox do we? Although exchange businesses and ATMs certainly do serve to hasten the adoption process, they are not required for the expansion of the bitcoin economy. The mining process serves as the issuance authority. The miners are the employees of the network, and thus the true citizens of the bitcoin digital economy.

Bitcoin is a [Nationally] Untaxable Money Supply

Let us begin with a simple premise: you cannot levy taxes on a cryptographic money supply through judicial authority. Bitcoin is untouchable by the nation state and can be used with a veil of cybersecrecy.

With bitcoin, taxation takes a voluntary, pay-for-performance role. Users are free to attach as much or as little fee to the transaction as they wish, and accordingly, it will be taken care of by the mining network with the highest incentives rising to the top. Bitcoin transactions are taxed by default, and increasingly, high transaction fees will cause an explosion in the economic velocity of money.

In his Code 2.0 manifesto, Lawrence Lessig described law as a multiplicity of factors, regulation being just one among many. Other factors include the free market, social norms, and architecture. In the bitcoin economy the architecture is source-code. Truly, bitcoin is code as law and the blockchain represents a sort of constitution for the digital economy.

No amount of lobbying, congressional hearings, or bitlicenses will curb the adoption of cybercurrencies in the long run. Because bitcoin is untouchable by the nation state, the lifeblood of these conventional bodies will wither and die. Increasingly, politicians will struggle to squeeze the revenue from their citizens in order to pay for the ever-bloating expenses and programs it has conceived. When the lifeblood of the nation state (tax revenues) have run dry, that is the day we can confidently proclaim that the great empires of flesh and steel have fallen. In our opinion, this is a day we should work unabashedly toward.

Bitcoin Transitions the Nature of Violence

The most dominant currency today is held in place because the authority which issues it has the greatest ability to impose and defend from violence. The United States Federal Reserve Note is the global reserve currency not because of the nation’s unyielding belief in freedom, or the sound monetary policies of its leaders. The USD is the world currency because, as we have seen in times past, when someone threatens to detach themselves from their dependence of it, thereby compromising its position as the king, the authority subverts its own laws and seeks to destroy those who would attempt to disarm its dominance. The USD is backed by military prowess.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, transcends physicality and cannot be destroyed by any nation state. In the cyber domain, the economic returns on violence transition to those who are capable of executing cyberwarfare and thefts through the medium of digital technology itself, The cyberdomain is and will continue to be a haven for those with the technical intellect to command a machine to do what they want with it, rather than the original instructions it was given.

We are now left with a deeper question: Does the fact that it operates from a paradigm which is dimensions more intelligent than military force foreshadow an inevitability where bitcoin will supersede the USD?

Because bitcoin transitions the theft of money and the issuance of money to the digital realm, the nature of violence too is placed within a context which can only be acted upon by participants who dwell in cyberspace. What kinds of violence could be imposed through financial mediums of a digital realm?

Other than theft itself, the threat of a 51% attack is still a real threat with bitcoin. If a party had the ability to perform a 51% attack, not only would they be able to spend their money twice, but they would be able to cut you off from spending your money. Such a scenario would be catastrophic for the individual who holds the majority of their net worth on a network like bitcoin, and therefore should be a focal point of cautious development. Let us not fall into a society where the powers that be may erase our economic standing as easily as flicking a light switch.

Another act of violence could be considered the collectivization of data on the movement, holdings, and relationship of financial information in a digital economy such as bitcoin. A huge incentive presents itself for data mining the blockchain and analyzing the various relationships and patterns of spending. We wrote an article on this approaching threat, entitled The Incoming Surveillance of Bitcoin. Much like the internet of today, the bitcoin network initially presents itself as a bastion of liberty and anonymity, but is in truth destined to become the most surveilled form of money ever to exist.

Prepare Yourself Accordingly

Everything you’ve come to know about pensions, social welfare programs, and nationality as an ideology, will be obliterated by the implications of bitcoin. We have an emerging digital economy, which for the very first time, is able to operate completely independent of physical or central actors. We have a money supply which is based on the science of mathematics and therefore, has functionality dimensions more intelligent than our current economic paradigm. We now have a money supply which is made technically impractical to tax with our current methodologies due to cryptographic technology. We have a network of financial information which transitions the nature of violence, that of cybercrime, to the digital realm.

These factors combined will ensure that the nation state as it exists today will be irrevocably disrupted in a societal shift unseen since the dethroning of religious institutions during the 15th and 16th centuries. This time, the major difference is that it will happen much more quickly, and have much more pervasive effects than almost anyone is anticipating.

Bitcoin Will End the Nation State
Written by Travis Patron
Source: notbeinggoverned.com/bitcoin-will-end-the-nation-state