Using Bitcoin to Boycott War
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Tyrone Johnson at the Daily Anarchist has a great article about the possibility that alternative currencies like Bitcoin provide for cutting off the war machine:
As an anarchist I am against war, and I want nothing to do with it. It takes at least one government, and typically more than one, to have a war. Anarchists have never dropped nuclear bombs on cities, have not decimated populations with artillery strikes, have never committed genocide, and don’t need euphemisms about collateral casualties, because anarchism doesn’t kill civilians in war. But as a humanitarian I want more than to know that my political philosophy isn’t militaristic. I also want to have no part in financing wars. It turns out that it’s rather difficult to avoid military finance. There are so many taxes on so many things that it’s difficult not to participate in some way, at some level, in the system that collects money and makes war possible.
Several hundred years ago, author Etienne de la Boetie wrote about ending tyranny by withdrawing support from the tyrant. You don’t need to place your hands upon him and push him over, according to de la Boetie, you simply stop supporting him. The tyrant doesn’t have enough eyes to spy upon everyone, he needs you and your neighbors to rat each other out. The tyrant doesn’t have enough fists to beat everyone up and keep them in line, he needs police and an army or perhaps some brown shirt thugs to do that sort of work. Most of all, the tyrant needs money to pay for these things.
The more people that reject the fiat dollar of death and destruction, the less resources the US government has to drop explosives, incite coups, start wars, terrorize the world, loot our paychecks and restrict our civil liberties.
This is one of the reasons why I love Bitcoin so much. Not only is it striking at the heart of the US empire’s lifeline of endless paper dollars to feed through the meatgrinder war machine, but allows us to have financial independence and freedom as well.
Bitcoin is decentralized and peer-to-peer; the dollar is controlled and manipulated in secrecy by central banks and forced on us by the barrel of a government gun. Bitcoin is not issued by any corporation, government or bank, giving a store of value, public ledger, and medium of exchange for literally anyone. No government papers needed.
Many may quibble with the price fluctuations and the volatility, but in a way that is one of the beauties of Bitcoin. It is a free market in price discovery, and experiment in radical decentralization and the sovereign independence of the individual. Who wouldn’t except a few price spikes and dips?
On principle, Bitcoin is an innovation that has the potential to fundamentally transform how we view authority, society, law and contracts. The playing field will be levelled, and the barriers to entry virtually non-existent.
The hierachies of violence and coercion – both private and public – that permeate our society will be undercut and circumvented by the power of people to associate, trade, and contract with each other in a sphere of virtually unrestricted liberty.
The elites, the 1%, the banksters – whatever you want to call the parasitical, political class – live off the rest of us through the statist system of pyramidal violence, centralization, and the coercive restriction of individual liberty and the free market.
Their power is maintained by the taxfarm of fiat dollars; Bitcoin takes this power away and devolves down to every last man, woman and child where it belongs.
They need us, we don’t need them. Like a dog shaking off its fleas, we too can be free.
It can be frustrating as hell seeing the US government – indeed, all governments – plunder wealth, consolidate power, restrict freedom, inflate bubbles, bomb cities and destroy societies. Cataloging these crimes is merely therapy for a troubled soul in hopes there are others out there, like Isaiah’s Remnant, that yearn for freedom and dignity in their bones.
Bitcoin (and precious metals too! I love silver rounds and Shire Silver cards) adds flesh to these bones, offering a practical yet revolutionary way of spreading freedom and undercutting the corporatist elite.
It is our antimilitarist heritage, as Sheldon Richman puts it, however, that give Bitcoin and alternative currencies in general its real instrinsic power – both for the libertarian movement and to the general theme of peace and human freedom in general.
While the Pentagon is frantically trying to understand cryptocurrencies and wondering if they can be used and traced by “America’s enemies” (oh, you mean like cash?), we can be one step ahead of them. Trade and economic sanctions that almost always sow the seeds of war can be circumvented by Bitcoin, bringing not only economic cooperation but also a humanizing element to those the US war machine would want us to shoot.
We can use Bitcoin to donate to those exposing the Empire’s lies. The FBI may have scared off significant Antiwar.com donors, but they take Bitcoin for donations. Their site is truly indispensable. Every time I buy some Bitcoin, I send some their way.
When the corporatist oligarchy like Paypal and Visa cut off Wikileaks under pressure from the US government, Julian Assange admits that Bitcoin helped them stay afloat and continue to blow the whistle on corruption and war crimes. We know so much more about the Empire thanks to Wikileaks, and the mass spread of information and transparency that they (and Bitcoin!) provide are the antithesis of authoritarianism and centralization.
Scott Horton’s radio show and Bitcoin not Bombs also come to mind, but there are so many others that are doing the hard work necessary in getting as many eyes, ears and minds as possible open to the alternatives of liberty.
Not only can we support those who are helping undermine the Pentagon’s power through direct donations, but by simply using and trading alternative currencies we are taking that much more financial power and consent away from the Empire while building local, sustainable and free markets.