Bitcoin returns economic consequence, and therefore learning from experience, to the pursuit of progress.
This is an opinion editorial by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,” founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of the “Wake Up Podcast with Svetski.”
Bitcoin is superior to all moneys, movements or models that came before it, because it does not need to “tell” you anything.
It’s very reality shows you everything you need to know, through practical experience and blunt realness.
Try for yourself. Send some bitcoin to an incompatible address, or delete your wallet without backing up your seed phrase. Or perhaps lock some up in a DeFi Ponzi like Terra/LUNA. Once it blows up, you might then proceed to call the Bitcoin hotline for a refund because you “made a mistake.”
See how this strategy works out for you.
Much like real life, and the effects of physical laws on the material world around us, Bitcoin has no “rewind” button. “What’s done is done, and cannot be undone,” as Lady Macbeth’s daughter says.
Herein lies Bitcoin’s most important impact on human civilization.
If money is the scorecard through which we measure the use and application of time, energy and scarce resources, then a money which maps to the very real and consequential nature of their use and depletion, is not just accurate, but perfect.
As I stated in Part Four of Chapter 4 of the Jordan Peterson series, Bitcoin is like the Old Testament God, in that it is a consequential god. There is no free lunch, nor ignorance of sin or error. You pay the price for mistakes, but if you heed them and adapt, you shall find that “God is good.”
The Past, Present And Future
One of the diseases of fiat is the constant attempt to remanufacture the past in order to make it bearable or justify the eternally-flawed present, so as to give false hope for the future.
Ironically, in doing so, we actually place our futures at risk because we learn nothing from the mistakes of the past and instead go on repeating them.
For the first time in human history, Bitcoin actually gives us a past that is fixed. A source of truth to which we can anchor ourselves and the societies we choose to build. It also makes the future more realistic by making the actions of the present more evidently consequential.
“The future is like the past. But there’s a crucial difference. The past is fixed, but the future — it could be better. It could be better, some precise amount — the amount that can be achieved, perhaps, in a day, with some minimal engagement. The present is eternally flawed.” — Jordan B. Peterson, “12 Rules For Life”
There exists no possibility to adjust the records (the most important, being the economic record) in such a way as to cover up poor decision-making and sinful value judgments.
The ledger stores and files every score and the further we move from the past, the more fixed and immutable that record is.
Furthermore, its irreversibility means that future behavior and orientation has to be more measured or “moral” (the long-term viable way).
The Bible, The Vedic Samhitas, The Tao Te Ching and all of the great written works of religion are methods of helping illuminate “the way.”
But …they are all mere words that people can ignore.
Economic consequence is something else.
“We have been watching ourselves act, reflecting on that watching, and telling stories distilled through that reflection, for tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. That is all part of our attempts, individual and collective, to discover and articulate what it is that we believe. Part of the knowledge so generated is what is encapsulated in the fundamental teachings of our cultures, in ancient writings such as the Tao Te Ching, or the aforementioned Vedic scriptures, or the Biblical stories. — Jordan B Peterson, “12 Rules For Life,” Chapter 4
Bitcoin is a new chapter in human history but unlike prior attempts to distill and pass values, ideas and ledgers onward via the written or spoken word, we now have a network which resembles the physical direction of time (forward) as an incorruptible, imprintable medium on which these ideas can be recorded.
The possibilities are fascinating and endless. The ramifications, mind-boggling.
Fiat Tells You (Lies)
Many before me have pointed this out, and I shall do so again here.
Fiat is a form of time, resource and energy fraud that uses our most important social game to extract resources from one group and pass it to another, all the while eroding the capital base that our forefathers built.
The Ponzi lasts so long as people remain asleep, have no choice or are distracted by the bread and circus fanfare of the clown world. Sound familiar?
Central banks and governments spend their time and our wealth “telling” us all how things ought to be, in defiance of economic reality and the gravity of truth. This form of decree is not only inaccurate (sinful), but downright wasteful. But they don’t care — they’re not the ones footing the bill. You are.
Bitcoin doesn’t decree or tell you shit. It is raw signal which you interpret for yourself and then take subsequent action upon. You orient yourself based on what Bitcoin shows you. Not what some self-proclaimed authority has told you.
Let’s see some examples:
Bitcoin Shows Us All …
Bitcoin has shown us everything from the beginning. It just takes some humility, perception and intuition to notice.
In the early days, there were faucets, which helped “show” you how easy it was to acquire some bitcoin and use it.
From this emerged a plethora of wallets which took this ease of usability to the next level. You can try it yourself. Download a wallet now, and see how easy it is to be plugged in to the global financial system via Bitcoin:
Of course, you’ll need to load it with money (Bitcoin) as you would any other account, and you’re not plugged into the legacy system so easily, because Bitcoin is fundamentally incompatible with that relic of a soon-to-be-bygone era. But compare how easy it is to be “active” on Bitcoin, versus what feats of disclosure and exposure you must subject yourself to when trying to be “active” with the legacy system.
Try to open a bank as a foreigner in a new country, and see what you’re told. In fact, try the same in your home country, and once you’ve revealed your ancestral lineage for the tenuous “right” to use your own money with said provider, then go ahead and try to do a larger transfer and see what happens.
You’ll be told once again that they must check and verify your transaction “for your safety,” as if you’re too stupid or infantile to know what to do with the product of your own labor. Clown world!
Anyways … moving along.
Payments: If you downloaded a wallet above, see how easy it is to send some bitcoin. You could be in Antarctica right now (assuming you’ve got internet access) and you could send some bitcoin here. Now:
Go try doing that with a normal bank account.
Another example is Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador. Its magnificent success to date has been well documented, so I shall just point to this as another example of a grassroots movement that showed us and thus became the impetus for an entire country adopting bitcoin as a national currency.
In America you have the same thing. Riot Blockchain has revitalized the entire Rockdale, Texas, community north of Austin, and vendors like Brett’s BBQ are now accepting bitcoin in exchange for their food. Owner Brett Boren also serves on the Rockdale City Council.
Bitcoin is not only helping create jobs, and assisting the formation of an independent micro-economy, but it is also stabilizing the energy grid!
The similar “show don’t tell” ideal goes for all the flared gas initiatives that are using Bitcoin to monetise wasted energy.
Bitcoin shows us every single time, what it is capable of.
At the same time, you have people with way too much power, telling you lies and stupidity that always turn out to be false. Whether they’re shitcoiners talking about digital proof-of-stake models to disguise seigniorage and wealth extraction, or the media, or the halfwits in government making things up as they go. They’re all the same.
There are so many examples I could post here, but I shall keep it to those least likely to bring the article down:
Bitcoin Versus Shitcoin
Bitcoin also shows us that there are greedy, short-sighted, naive and opportunistic morons all over the world.
Shitcoins are the perfect example of this, and their proponents all inevitably fit into one of those categories.
Feel free to do your own research. Every single one of these financial experiments has been an attempt to create digital fiat, by the decree of self-proclaimed overlords and insiders.
Whether the intent was to defraud or not is irrelevant. The issuance of money should be outside the hands of fraudsters, well-meaning idiots and even the most noble and moral of us; for its allure is like the One Ring … it shall corrupt the bearer.
Bitcoin solved this problem. It moved money issuance and control outside of all our hands. Bitcoin cast the One Ring into the fire.
And despite this, you have nincompoops running around creating new forms of fake funny-money.
In the end, Bitcoin’s reality shows us what happens. Survival and necessity always prevail. The world shall not converge upon ether, doge, BCH, hex or whatever other ludicrous attempt at printing digital monopoly money some buffoon conjures up, in the same way that on a long enough timeframe, 1 + 1 will not equal 3, and we will not build structures with elastic tape measures.
The gravity of truth prevails.
Bitcoin shows you, it doesn’t tell you.
Bitcoin’s greatest gift is the reintroduction of economic consequence. When I say this, I don’t just mean the making or losing of money, but the fact that every action is economic in nature, and thus actions once again have cost, meaning and a consequence.
I should augment my statement and say that Bitcoin’s greatest gift is the reintroduction of evident and accurately-applied economic consequence, because as much as we obfuscate the consequences of bad decisions by transferring or socializing their costs, the fact is; consequences abound — just the wrong people pay for them in the current system.
Bitcoin, as I’ve said, is “responsibility go up” technology.
We are always calculating where to allocate our precious time, energy and resources. This calculus helps us make value judgments, which in turn determines how we act.
By reintroducing accurate and evident economic consequence, it forces you, not by decree (tell) but by the specter of reality (show), to behave in accordance with the moral teachings that philosophies and religions across history have tried to tell you through narrative.
This is an incredible innovation and one that we’re yet to fathom the importance of as we evolve and integrate bitcoin into our lives beyond its use as base money.
What a time to be alive.
This is a guest post by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,”, founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of The Wake Up Podcast. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.