Bitcoin for an honest society, not anarchy

Bitcoin for an honest society, not anarchy

Let’s get right to the point here. Cut right to the heart of the issue and stop the silly dance. There are really only two types of people in the world, those who believe that a society with laws is better for the individual or those who think that society can exist without laws.  

Many people likely don’t understand the philosophy behind these concepts; instead, they have outsourced their belief systems to others to do the thinking for them. This is understandable, after all, if you are a middle-class minimum wage earner, you probably have a lot of other stuff to worry about than the ideologies and psychologies of social structure. But to understand how this bubble of ‘crypto’—better known as digital currencies—got so big, you’ll have to understand the factions of a much larger battle being fought on the global mind stage, that of the anarchists vs the rest of society.  

The anarchists generally want chaos. Some want it because of naive academic curiosity, and others want it because they feel unhappy with their current lot in life and don’t wish to ‘play the game,’ opting instead to have the game changed. To them, you cannot have true individual freedom unless nothing can be imposed upon you by others. Never mind the obvious issue of how to prevent the deprivation of your freedoms by others in a way that doesn’t deprive theirs. Anarchists often hide among libertarians, who share similar beliefs, although the marked difference between libertarians is that they still believe in the rule of law. And although they often argue for minimal government, they acknowledge that government and the general law of the land must be enforced, though they wish to do so in a way that minimally infringes on their own personal freedoms.

For instance, libertarians will often argue that drug and gun enforcement laws are unjust and an infringement on their rights, but they generally acknowledge that laws that outlaw murder, theft, and trespassing should be enforced as they infringe upon the rights of others. Anarchists, though, while they like to align themselves with libertarians to make their movement look bigger, believe that there should be no government authorities at all, and believe (despite history showing them objectively wrong) that society can exist meaningfully without common laws and law enforcement, resorting only to the free market when the need for enforcement arises. They would argue that if you had a property dispute, you should be able to hire lawyers and a judge who would arbitrate between the parties in an impartial way, even though one of the parties is clearly paying for the judicial process.  

I don’t buy this anymore than I buy the fact that a society where doctors accept direct payments from patients will generally improve health conditions for all people from all means and walks of life. Moreover, even in the societies with no public health care programs, they at least have public law enforcement, which keeps doctors in the health system from exploiting their patients, due to the deterrent of class action lawsuits being brought up against them. If the legal system itself (not just lawyers, but the justices, judges, magistrates) was open for hire, this situation would result in a much more complex and corruptible system.

We don’t have to look much farther for empirical proof of the negative effects of having a law enforcement system ‘for hire’ than when we have police who are corrupt. Having a police force that is open for hire is not much different from having your police force run by the mob. You are pretty much just paying for those with guns to protect you. And if you want to make sure that those with guns don’t get it into their head that they stand to make more money by shaking you down instead of accepting your protection fee, then you probably need to get some friends and guns yourself. Pretty soon, instead of tending to your business, you are devoting quite a bit of resources and energy just for protection and safety. When enough business people and producers start realizing that they can pool their resources and pay a fraction of the costs if they just collectively acted to hire a posse of friends with guns to protect them, then what you get is a local sheriff or constabulary. Pretty soon, the collective group will want the ability to make laws that are enforced by the sheriff, and quite sooner, you have another government.  

Which is exactly the moral of the story here.  

Any time a government is removed, it is eventually (though could take some years, if the War Lord era of China or the warring states era of Japan is to be used as an example) replaced with another government. There is no extended period of time where a power vacuum can be maintained without some group eventually filling that vacuum. It almost feels like we are fighting against a righting force of societal nature. Why? Simply because, people are generally better off when one group is maintaining peace. More trade, more scientific advancement, more infrastructure development, more art, more production, more population growth because it is more economically efficient. And economic efficiency is a force of nature operating on large groups, just like electrical resistance.  

This is what the anarchists are ignorant of. Or they simply choose not to understand this inconvenient truth. Anarchy doesn’t work.  

It is an unstable state of human society1, which ultimately seeks to find equilibrium in the form of a group that wishes to devote its existence to maintaining the state. Why? Because not everyone wants to bother with it. Bakers want to bake; farmers want to farm; software developers want to hack. As per Adam Smith, we as a society tend to specialize in our roles, because it is the net efficient thing to do, which results in the maximum prosperity for all. 

So it makes little sense to have everyone practice their tradecraft while also training in the art of war to defend themselves in times of turmoil. Better to have some people specialize in the art of war and enforcement, and pay them to do it. The big difference is whether you do it via taxes or an under-the-table envelope full of cash. The former is transparent (at least, in theory should be), while the latter is opaque. 

This is the fundamental difference between Bitcoin SV and the other twisted version of Bitcoin, BTC. One wishes to remain opaque, while the other understands that the only fair, honest system must operate in the open, abiding by the laws.

What BTC maximalists (and even some BSV supporters) don’t seem to grasp is that if you build a global societal tool that allows for criminal activity to go unnoticeable, then you encourage that behavior, and that same tool can be used to much more effective means against honest people by a corrupt government, because surprise surprise, corrupt government officials are criminals, one and the same.

Therefore, the world is divided between those who wish to live in an honest society, and those who don’t mind dishonesty in society so long as they have the same freedoms to act dishonestly themselves when they wish without being detected.

Worded plainly in this fashion, it should be pretty clear which side is deluding themselves into thinking that a society can actually function that way in the long run, and not devolve into an ‘every man for themselves’ inefficient and violent dystopia that nobody will wish to live in unless you are one of those few people at the top with the control over the most guns. If peace by ‘who has the most guns’ is the kind of peace you prefer, we will have effectively devolved back into feudalism. I for one, prefer peace via mutual respect of the law.

***

Notes:

[1] Given groups larger than a family or clan in size. Small, disconnected groups with simple economies (such as native North American peoples) have been shown to operate without a central government, due to the disconnected nature of their communities, and subsistence economies.

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