The arc of the universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.
One of the challenges of a democratic government is making sure that even in the midst of emergencies and passions, we make sure that rule of law and the basic precepts of justice and liberty prevail.
– Former President Barack Obama
Bitcoin can only succeed under the rule of law
The two quotes from former President Barack Obama are powerful in their own respects but especially so when taken together. Justice requires foot soldiers to effect meaningful change and, independent of the political winds that are currently blowing, the rule of law must prevail.
Under the rule of law, which is enforced by the courts, every individual is subject to the law and no person or entity, despite importance or power, is above the law. Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.
Bitcoin can only work and be accepted within the rule of law, under which we are all equal. In this system, meritocracy prevails and people can achieve anything if effort is applied honestly and correctly.
This is in stark contrast to those that push Bitcoin as something that can surpass human law, which will not, and cannot, be permitted to flourish or exist. The Bitcoiners that do not wish to work under the rule of law typically see themselves as anarchists and/or are self-righteous.
History suggests that anarchy cannot function in a modern society as anarchist groups fall swiftly because of internal strain, due to a lack of central values, and external stresses, such as the rule of law. A current example of internal strain is BCH and its network split on November 15. In the media, BCH is being called a fork known for forks due to this form of community tension. These types of internal disputes ultimately result in low acceptance of a platform due to frustration, fatigue and the uncertainty around consensus. Roger Ver himself in a recent media interview with CoinDesk stated: “if PayPal knew that this sort of contentious hard fork was likely to happen, maybe they wouldn’t have added bitcoin cash at all to their roadmap.”
I will discuss the external pressures in the context of the Dr. Craig Wright and Peter McCormack case—namely, Dr. Wright’s pressure to force Bitcoin to function within the rule of law and the sensed attempts of those such as Mr. McCormack to undermine it via the media.
Referring to MIT Press, self-righteousness is one of the most destructive forces in our current social media driven society, in which wars are conducted on the rest of society outside the rule of law on unequal and unbalanced platforms where the minority and less popular risk oppression, which is extremely dangerous. As MIT Press eloquently puts it, these wars waged by the self-righteous via media are characteristically brief as, eventually, the self-righteous are wiped out by society and more often, simply disregarded.
The self-righteous use media as an attack mechanism on society, which undermines the rule of law. I consider a large segment of Bitcoiners to be self-righteous, in a war with the rest of society and the rule of law. In these factions of current Bitcoin culture, questioning and undermining the rule of law and a functioning society has been embraced, which again, as history has shown, cannot prevail. More importantly, to protect equality, we must work now to remove it from our system.
For Bitcoin to flourish, it must work within our system of rules and laws. We want a society that builds and becomes better and the rule of law is vital for that to happen.
Dr. Craig Wright and Peter McCormack
Coming to the case between Dr. Craig Wright and Peter McCormack, Dr. Craig Wright’s claim against Peter McCormack is a defamation matter which relates to a seeming public campaign by Mr. McCormack via social media revolving around the theme that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto.
Dr. Wright has been vocal that Bitcoin must function within the rule of law and regulation, which upholds and promotes equality and meritocracy. To enforce the rule of law, in response to Mr. McCormack’s statements, in a democracy where justice and honesty prevail, Dr. Wright gave Mr. McCormack the opportunity to state his case in a legal system that enforces equality, meritocracy and the rules of our society. As mentioned above, under the rule of law, every individual is subject to the law and no person or entity, despite importance or power, is above the law. Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.
Mr. McCormack was afforded these rights of equal protection and equal benefit under the law. Instead of using this opportunity to defend his beliefs in a system designed to promote honesty and equality, Mr. McCormack commenced and pursued very public defamatory campaign against Dr. Wright. Dr. Wright has applied to the English High Court for an order granting him summary judgment in those proceedings, which application the Court is due to consider later this month.
Given the opportunity by Dr. Wright to make their cases under the rule of law, under an equal and accessible justice system which he himself has subjected himself to on numerous occasions, the anarchists and self-righteous have instead retreated to unbalanced and unregulated venues, social media, to maintain their support for Mr. McCormack, which should not be accepted in a just society designed to protect all equally. As mentioned, outside the rule of law, the minority and less popular risk oppression, which is extremely dangerous.
How Bitcoin wins
As history tells us, anarchy and self-righteousness are eventually destroyed by society and more often, ignored. Though these types of practices are currently glamorized in current segments of the Bitcoin universe, this destructiveness needs to be removed from the system envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto before it devastates it. If we allow these elements to remain, we let banks, governments and incumbent corporations fulfil the dream of Satoshi Nakamoto instead of the originators and “the people” willing to work within the rules of society, with banks and governments, to achieve that dream. As mentioned above, in addition to the dangers presented by subverting the rule of law, internal conflicts, as exemplified in the current BCH saga, may already be beginning to take a toll on the potential of Bitcoin.
Those that truly believe in Bitcoin must work with the people and platforms that respect the rule of law, such as Dr. Wright and Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision). It is the only way Bitcoin will achieve mainstream acceptance and become the world’s new money and the global public blockchain for enterprise, all done on an equal playground where meritocracy succeeds.
Regardless of the outcome of the McCormack case, as long as the anarchists and self-righteous remain committed to unsustainable and destructive actions outside of the bounds of society’s rules, in the pursuit of equality and meritocracy, Dr. Wright should continue to give them the opportunity to present their cases under the rule of law through legal action if they attempt to subvert it. Though resorting to the courts may not be popular with large factions of Bitcoiners, it is the only way justice, equality, meritocracy and honestly will succeed. Also, it is the only way Bitcoin will prevail and be accepted by society as intended.
Dr. Craig Wright, for reasons personal to him, maybe seeing the vision of Bitcoin not being realized, stepped out as Satoshi Nakamoto. For some, it may be a realization that Satoshi Nakamoto is not the romanticized ideal envisioned, and that Satoshi Nakamoto may be a human with scars and faults like all of us. There is the maxim that we should never meet our heroes, as a shattered illusion may also shatter the power of that hero to teach. Michael Jordan is often cited as a hero that has shattered the illusions of his fans; this should not take away from his ability to teach as the greatest basketball player of all time. Similarly, whatever your feelings are towards Dr. Wright, they should not take away from his power to teach us about Bitcoin.
Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—from BitMEX to Binance, Bitcoin.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift and Ethereum—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.