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[liberationtech] Bitcoin and The Public Function of Money

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at appelbaum.net
Mon Nov 5 02:19:57 PST 2012


StealthMonger:
> Dmytri Kleiner <dk at telekommunisten.net> writes:
> 
>> We can not eliminate the State-based tax system by evading it, only
>> by replacing the socially necessary functions it performs with
>> actually-existing non-state forms, an unwillingness to understand
>> and come to terms with this is what makes so many revolutionaries,
>> ancaps especially, continue to be baffled by the continued existence
>> of the State ...
> 
> True, except that those functions are mostly not socially necessary.
> Rather, people feel morally entitled to them because that's what they
> have been taught.  Instead of morally entitled, people ought to find
> accepting State benefits morally repugnant because it amounts to
> receiving stolen property.

Please list a set of functions that are socially necessary and those
that are not necessary. It would be helpful to be specific.

As an example, I think it is socially necessary that all people are
literate and understand well established facts. This is especially true
with regard to to transmission of disease.

I said that even though morons will read Ayn Rand and take it as an item
of faith. Without a broadly and well educated population, we will have
emergent phenomenons that cannot be ignored.

> 
> Popular acceptance of the benefits is the prime mover of State power.
> Unwillingness to understand and come to terms with this is what makes
> so many revolutionaries, and maybe even venture communists, continue
> to be baffled by the continued existence of the State.  As long as the
> State can fence the goods, it will continue to steal them.
> 

I think that Dmytri has clearly stated that until people have an
alternative, people will not choose to starve. Rightly so. Nor will they
choose to turn away help from a thing that they themselves have
contributed to during their life time.

You completely neglect to address his points and you completely neglect
to address that many people *have* contributed to the system directly.
Are some of us bitter about it? Sure. Are you? Clearly!

As an example, I have paid unemployment related taxes and if or when I
am no longer employed, I do not consider it theft to collect funds from
that fund. I haven't had to do so in my life time but I am sure happy
that it exists for others and eventually, perhaps even for myself. I'm a
bit unhappy that I had no say in creating these things of course but
that is largely a bikeshed issue. It helps people today and there is not
yet a better way implemented in the US to deal with the issue.

As a result, I consider it reasonable, while imperfect, that I
contribute to such a fund. It benefits from an economy of scale, which
will catch people before they fall into a socially more expensive
position. Either way, we all pay - the question is if we'll pay more or
if we'll pay less. The results of such a program flow back into society
even while I have employment.

>> On 04.11.2012 00:53, StealthMonger wrote:
> 
>>> Are you suggesting that there is something unkind or thoughtless
>>> about promoting a free market?
> 
>> ...the efficient market hypothesis is "one of the most remarkable
>> errors in the history of economic thought."
> 
> Straw man.  Efficient or not, free trade is by definition a peaceful,
> consensual relation between individuals, and there is nothing unkind
> or thoughtless about promoting it via Bitcoin.
> 

It isn't a straw man. Free trade is a nonsense phrase - free? Free for
you? For me? Unencumbered by state taxes as it crosses a border? How
does that trade happen?

When I create something of value - have I done it in a vacuum?

>>> Resource starvation?  Anonymous markets have thrived throughout
>>> history, and probably before.
> 
>> Do you care to inform us of any period of history where markets
>> thrived while not supported and managed by non-market social
>> institutions?
> 
> There are even stories of warring tribes temporarily setting aside
> hostilities while they meet to catch up on trade, and then turning
> around to resume battle.

So thats a no, eh? A tribe is generally considered a social institution.

The thing I think is hilarious is that you and Dmytri are basically
arguing the same point: you both want the State to leave your life as
much as is possible. However, unlike Dmytri, your argument neglects that
people have needs beyond your own needs. Dmytri is suggesting that we
should meet those needs by acknowledging them and building non-state
structures to address those needs. How will we do that? I'm not hearing
any suggestions from you other than "the market will solve it." That is
so vague as to be less than worthless.

So how do we get from here to there? We won't get there with unspecific
hand waving about liberty - be specific - how will society replace the
function of the State?

In the US, we see that as the State's help declines, society isn't
exactly becoming more free. I'm not sure where you live but I'd guess
that the last decade of our foreign policy isn't exactly making everyone
on the planet more free - certainly not the 100,000+ or so killed in the
Iraq war alone.

In Greece, we see that as the State follows an austerity policy not
unlike the one you advocate, we see the rise of the Golden Dawn. In
theory, it seems like it might lead to liberty. In practice, there is
evidence that such State austerity policies lead to straight up fascist
outcomes.  Absent social structures to replace the State's functions,
people *are* choosing extreme violence as a means of survival. They
aren't choosing it freely unless you'd advocate those beaten (nearly to
death, or to death) by Golden Dawn thugs were asking for it by sticking
around.

I'd love to see a world without the State pushing people around. I've
personally had more than my fair share of it and there is no likely end
in sight. So tell me, how will we change things? Practical suggestions
please!

I'd also love to see a world where the needs of people and the needs of
society are actually met without the State. I'd also like to ensure that
the Zeta cartel doesn't replace one crappy so-called Democracy with an
absolute dictatorship. Again, practical steps toward that goal are welcome!

Without solving the needs of people, they will fall back onto the State
or onto thugs that will make even more misery on the way to an even more
powerful State.

All the best,
Jacob



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