Monday, August 18, 2014

Bitcoin and The Return to Free Markets

In order to understand how society has arrived at its current state, one must understand its past. Confucious said, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” and with this, one can understand how propaganda, through the State apparatus, has skewed and subjectivized everything in society. Orwellian double-speak is in full swing, with words holding contradictory meanings, effectively destroying wisdom, evidence and reason, allowing for the enlargement of our rulers. But with the advent of the Internet and now Bitcoin, the tides are quickly turning, showing these evils for what they truly are. As society has grown, understanding of property ownership and free-markets has allowed for the vast majority of human kind to flourish. A Yale study shows that,
We are in the midst of the fastest period of poverty reduction the world has ever seen. The global poverty rate, which stood at 25 percent in 2005, is ticking downwards at one to two percentage points a year, lifting around 70 million people – the population of Turkey or Thailand – out of destitution annually. Advances in human progress on such a scale are unprecedented, yet remain almost universally unacknowledged.(Yale Study)1 
However, this does not mean we are out of the jungle. Regulation, taxation, inflation, confiscation and war are still in good health and gaining at an ever-faster pace. But, as with everything in life, each action has an equal and opposite reaction, with liberty and markets pushing against the regulation and domination that is so ever present in our lives. Bitcoin is leading the fight for true deregulation and giving back control of one’s money, property and resources at an astonishing rate. Thanks to the Internet, the double-speak that is so prevalent is being hacked away at an increasing pace. Famous Austrian economist Murray Rothbard notes that the,
“Free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society.”
Bitcoin is now providing a platform for peaceful and voluntary exchanges to occur outside of the statist paradigm.
To show how Bitcoin is restoring the broken structure of peaceful exchange, it is important to note the difference between control and ownership. Ownership has degrees of control within it, but it does not truly retain the exclusive rights of control in full capacity. Control on the other hand has the complete package of exclusivity when it comes to property and this is where Bitcoin reigns king. For instance, one may claim to “own a house”, but this is more accurately stated as a “permission slip of partial control”, by State privilege. One may be able to occupy, arrange, destroy or discard a house, but in Western countries and others, property taxes exist as a defacto “right to use” grant from State institutions. Legitimate control is never allowed for those outside of the bureaucratic regime. The same intrusive and destructive measures apply to money and value mechanism.

This is best seen in the public/private relationship of central banking, where coercive control is instituted by States and prohibitions are established against all other forms of monies/currencies from competing with State functions. The most notable recent case with Bernard von NotHaus and Liberty Dollar. Control of money has been sized and any legitimate attempt by individual actors to opt-out is quickly snuffed out. Through manipulation of interest rates and legal tender laws, double-speak is seen again where the “Federal Open Market Committee” “goes to market” to “discover prices”. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the market operations of peaceful individuals and voluntary exchange. But now, individuals are taking a stance against such violations and are using Bitcoin to finally regain authentic control again of their resources and life.

With Bitcoin, the mechanism of freedom are finally being reverted back to cooperative market forces. Control of property is the true pinnacle of individual autonomy and with the Internet and Bitcoin shaking the statist world, sovereign peoples are now the sole controllers of their money and resources. Blockchain technology has revolutionized property rights, by allowing for mass disclosure of assets, property, value and resources on a trustless, decentralized, mathematically validated structure, which means individuals have direct control of what is theirs. To further elaborate, Murray Rothbard states that property,
…begins with the basic axiom of the “right to self-ownership.” The right to self-ownership asserts the absolute right of each man, by virtue of his (or her) being a human being, to “own” his or her own body; that is, to control that body free of coercive interference. Since each individual must think, learn, value, and choose his or her ends and means in order to survive and flourish, the right to self-ownership gives man the right to perform these vital activities without being hampered and restricted by coercive molestation.” (Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty)2
Because of these inherent characteristics, Bitcoin finally allows for a pipeline out of the coercive State institution and provides a break-point for individuals to truly opt-out of the regressive and detrimental system of fiat and legislative domination.

With these crucial definitions put into place, one can now begin to understand how crypto is giving true control back to the individual and allowing for markets to flourish once again. We have seen a massive boom in the space of Bitcoin and now, with alt-coins, competition is growing at a spectacular rate, testing the market for which features and prospects are in demand and which are not. As these coins test the water for market demand, the crypto-space will expand and grow to satisfy all market participants. Andreas Antonopolous, Bitcoin enthusiast and entrepreneur states,
Once you break the link between a fixed market for these things – like we’ve had with publishing institutions or financial institutions – you allow anyone to use those as a tool of expression, and in response, people will start using them(bitcoin/alt-coins)…Once you look at it from that perspective, the question about how many alt-coins there will be is equivalent to the question of how many bloggers there will be on the Internet. (Andreas Antonopoulos)3
With all these points taken into account, one can truly begin to see how the waters are parting when it comes to State monopoly vs. free-market experimentation. For too long, the most crucial parts of society have been defined, occupied and manipulated by institutions such as the State, but with the Internet and the cryptospace finally in full bloom, the rulers are effectively trying to put a stranglehold on sand. As each individual takes charge of their life, property and money, another sand particle slips out and it is only a matter of time until the stranglehold squeezes its own body out of existence.
Harrison Fischberg is a Bitcoin entrepreneur, writer and enthusiast.

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