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[liberationtech] Bitcoin and The Public Function of Money

Dmytri Kleiner dk at
Mon Nov 5 06:52:12 PST 2012

On 05.11.2012 06:23, StealthMonger wrote:

> True, except that those functions are mostly not socially necessary.

This is well know to be false, and ridiculous. You yourself, could 
probably not survive without the benefits provided by the state. I don't 
mean you can't imagine yourself surviving in a Galt's Gultch fantasy 
world, I mean in the actually-existing real world.  And certainly you 
realize that there are 6 billion people on the planet, and that any 
large scale interruption in the socially necessary benefits provided by 
the State is likely to lead to immense tragedy. I realize that many 
"capitalist" and "green" anarchists don't care, since some view massive 
death and collapse and the shining path to a Rothbardian or Zerzanian 

> 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.

And now we've returned to the real truth of your position, you view all 
public goods as some kind of immoral benefit. You believe that we have 
no responsibility for the health or others, for the children of others, 
you believe that everything from education to personal safety to art and 
culture to environmental justice should be carried out by privately 
owned firms competing for revenue. Your religious faith in the market 
mechanism means you see no possible downside to this

You believe that we owe each other nothing. To the vast majority of 
people your vision of the future is a wretched distopia.

The truth is we are a social species, and our survival depends on 
co-operation and sharing, from the very human needs that follow from 
human frailty, care for the young and old, and sick, to the 
infrastructure of large scale human civilization, to the needs of 
stabilizing and counter balancing complex financial systems, we depend 
very much on social functions, institutions and processes.

We are thoroughly interconnected with, and interdependent on each 
other. And for virtually every one of us, except perhaps for 
psychopaths, our sense of self and personal fulfillment is inseparable 
from our social position and interactions and our satisfaction of doing 
things for and with each other.

> Popular acceptance of the benefits is the prime mover of State power.

You must distinguish form from function makes to realize that to 
achieve popular acceptance of non-state forms, we need non-State means 
of providing these benefits. These benefits are not the "primary mover" 
of State power, the State provides them because they are necessary for 
the survival and continued productivity of workers. The primary mover of 
State power is the wealth accumulation interests of the ruling class.

> As long as the
> State can fence the goods, it will continue to steal them.

Saying the State is "fencing" the goods implies that the State has a 
revenue interest in providing benefits, as this is plainly false, it's 
not much of an argument, just a pat statement.

>> ...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.

Hardly a straw man, you are simply not willing to know that market 
relations can also be coersive, involuntary, and violent and that the 
fruits of exploitation can be exchanged in bitcoins, just as easily as 
the fruits of peaceful social production.

>>> 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.

Which is an example of the market operating within social conditions 
managed and supported by non-market institutions, actually quite a 
heavily ritualized example. Your example is not even anonymous, as this 
sort of trade was usually conducted by way of the "big man" of the 
tribe. Try again?


Dmytri Kleiner
Venture Communist

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