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[liberationtech] Bitcoin and The Public Function of Money

Dmytri Kleiner dk at
Thu Nov 1 07:37:46 PDT 2012

On 31.10.2012 02:51, StealthMonger wrote:
>> ... for example, [money] can be used to pay taxes.
> Taxation is a threat against which a liberated individual has to
> defend itself.

So you believe that we should provide nothing as a society, on behalf 
of all, that their should be no public goods, and that even such things 
as education, child care, health care, housing, scientific research, art 
and cultural production and transportation infrastructure should all be 
private, compete for revenue, and only available to those who can pay.

You also must believe that things like public oversight over the 
environment, human rights and even public safety should be undertaken by 
private organizations, competing for revenues.

Not that I want to argue about any of these things with you, just want 
to spell out what your comment really means for the others on the list, 
since I suspect that many would not share this opinion.

I certainly don't.

>> ... the State is clearly unsatisfactory for modern publics as a
>> result of the fact that static territorial forms are increasingly
>> ineffective and inappropriate structures to serve global,
>> distributed communities.
> Agreed.

However we can not replace the state until we replace the socially 
necessary functions that it performs. This is the hard part for some to 

>> Thus, Bitcoin's innovation in terms of creating a networked form of
>> commodity money is not useful in creating networked forms of public
>> money, ...
> Yes, Bitcoin liberates trade from "public" extortion ("taxation").

The point is that no, it doesn't. It can not, because it can not 
perform the functions that the money issued by the state currently 
performs, and to the degree that many of the functions are socially 
necessary and we have no established and actually-existing alternative 
means of performing such functions, the state remains unchallenged.

Bitcoin is useful and interesting, but it is not in any way a threat to 
the State. Not even a little tiny bit. Bitcoin is specie, noteworthy 
because it's digital, but politically and economically no more 
threatening than gold, cash or cocaine, simply easier to store and 


Dmytri Kleiner
Venture Communist

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