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Author Topic: How evil is Bitcoin ?  (Read 13515 times)
grondilu
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October 20, 2010, 10:57:11 AM
 #1

Personnaly, I consider bitcoin to be the first serious candidate for an anarcho-capitalistic currency.

Now, searching the web for the concept of anarcho-capitalism, I've found this apparently famous quote from Noam Chomsky :

<<
    Anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion, is a doctrinal system which, if ever
    implemented, would lead to forms of tyranny and oppression that have few
    counterparts in human history. There isn't the slightest possibility that
    its (in my view, horrendous) ideas would be implemented, because they would
    quickly destroy any society that made this colossal error. The idea of
    "free contract" between the potentate and his starving subject is a sick
    joke, perhaps worth some moments in an academic seminar exploring the
    consequences of (in my view, absurd) ideas, but nowhere else.
>>


Well, somehow I agree that ancap could lead to some ugly things.  I doubt however that it would have no "counterparts in human history".  I think that, to some extend, roman empire can be considered as anarcho-capitalistic, for instance.

Anyway, whether or not anarcho-capitalism is evil is a huge subject, but somehow I think it's pretty much the same as wondering whether or not human beings are evil.  Anarcho capitalism gives individuals a huge power, for instance the power of letting people starve heartlessly.  But I also think it could lead to great things.  Anyway, I prefer the anarcho-capitalist perspective, rather than a bureaucratico-socialist world government.

The thing is :  I don't really know if humans are evil, but I'm one of them, and I know I'm not.  So I give others the benefit of the doubt.
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October 20, 2010, 11:11:09 AM
 #2

I think for the most part people act as they were treated as children. A lot of people are controlling and manipulative because it is easy to treat your children like that.

The most controlling people end up trying to control me, I don't want this. I want to rule myself, I want to be my own leader. I have to be my own leader.

It is absurd to worry about what might happen to me if I am my own leader when I already know what my would be leaders want to do to me. They want to lock me in a cage and kill me if I try to get away from them. Talking about how bad it might be if we stop respecting them is crazy. Yes, we will have problems to solve. It will be challenging, exciting, and fun.

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grondilu
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October 20, 2010, 11:16:25 AM
 #3

Yes, we will have problems to solve. It will be challenging, exciting, and fun.

I like the way you express that.  It's quite exactly how I see it. "Challenging, exciting, and fun".  It will also probably be more dangerous, but I don't care.  If danger is the price to pay not to live in the jail they are buiding around us, so be it.
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October 20, 2010, 11:22:20 AM
 #4

Yes, we will have problems to solve. It will be challenging, exciting, and fun.

I like the way you express that.  It's quite exactly how I see it. "Challenging, exciting, and fun".


I'm glad. So many people want other people to raise their guns as soon as someone mentions a problem. It's absurd and awful and evil.

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Drifter
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October 20, 2010, 11:35:22 AM
 #5

Not exactly responding to the quote, but I think humans are inherently evil. To be realistic, it's hardwired into our DNA from millions of years of survival of the fittest. Where you only lived if you fought for your stay. Living peaceful in society is nature vs. nurture. Forager vs. farmer. We are still inherently selfish and egotistical, but being nurtured in a community where we need to give in order to take, most people have learned to control their evolutionary predispositions.

My view is broad and not based on Bitcoin  but I do not believe it or any other cryptocurrency to be a threat to society, only to government because they would lack the control they always desire.

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October 20, 2010, 11:43:56 AM
 #6

Not exactly responding to the quote, but I think humans are inherently evil. To be realistic, it's hardwired into our DNA from millions of years of survival of the fittest. Where you only lived if you fought for your stay. Living peaceful in society is nature vs. nurture. Forager vs. farmer. We are still inherently selfish and egotistical, but being nurtured in a community where we need to give in order to take, most people have learned to control their evolutionary predispositions.

My view is broad and not based on Bitcoin  but I do not believe it or any other cryptocurrency to be a threat to society, only to government because they would lack the control they always desire.


Do you really think you have better survival chances being mean and aggressive? Are you familiar with Dawkin's "The Selfish Gene"? Consider that everyone you meet has most of the same genes as you and that the genes in your body are more interested in reproducing copies of themselves than copies of you. Helping you reproduce  accomplishes their ends, but so does helping others to thrive since they have copies of the exact same genes. There is no sound evolutionary argument for being evil.

Fit doesn't mean evil. Fit means doing what works and there are mountains of evidence that attacking people doesn't 'work'.

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grondilu
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October 20, 2010, 11:44:38 AM
 #7

Not exactly responding to the quote, but I think humans are inherently evil. To be realistic, it's hardwired into our DNA from millions of years of survival of the fittest. Where you only lived if you fought for your stay. Living peaceful in society is nature vs. nurture. Forager vs. farmer. We are still inherently selfish and egotistical, but being nurtured in a community where we need to give in order to take, most people have learned to control their evolutionary predispositions.

Well, I wasn't quite right when I said that whether or not anarcap is evil depends on whether or not humans are evil.  It's rather a matter of whether or not their evil part is stronger than their good part.  The question is :  can farmers organize a private force to protect them, without letting this force get enough power to enslave them ?

Honnestly I don't know, but I think we can't blame them for trying.
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October 20, 2010, 11:45:21 AM
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Not exactly responding to the quote, but I think humans are inherently evil. To be realistic, it's hardwired into our DNA from millions of years of survival of the fittest. Where you only lived if you fought for your stay. Living peaceful in society is nature vs. nurture. Forager vs. farmer. We are still inherently selfish and egotistical, but being nurtured in a community where we need to give in order to take, most people have learned to control their evolutionary predispositions.

My view is broad and not based on Bitcoin  but I do not believe it or any other cryptocurrency to be a threat to society, only to government because they would lack the control they always desire.


What humans are you talking about? We have had to struggle throughout the generations, sure, for survival, yes. But don't confuse that with being 'evil'. Societies have always struggled to keep their keens safe, and while the concept of 'society' is a little too wide, and may mean the world, a country, a town or a home, the basic thing here is that all the 'evil doing' that is hardwired on our DNAs is actually just survival instinct.

We have, however, learned to be self conscious of our belongings to a point we not only have no desire to share them, but we actually want to take everyone elses. But this is a new thing, a taught thing, not hardwired in any way, in my opinion. I hold no degree in evolutionary theories, and I pride myself of being very much unaware of all that goes around in the world as a whole, but I do know that if it wasn't for the 'bottom line' people would do their best to have their surroundings prosper, as that would make them prosper too, and it has been that way for a long time, but somehow, with democracy as a form of control, laws that are not chosen nor vetoed by the people, currencies that serve no purpose but to control wealth and monitor habits, it just got lost along the way.

Now, having said all that I must add that I don't have a viable alternative, hence I don't 'struggle the system'. I live in my own system as much as I possibly can, and feel very good about it. Bitcoins were a wonderful addition to said personal system, along with all the new knowledge I've been acquiring on the fora.
FreeMoney
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October 20, 2010, 11:51:43 AM
 #9

Not exactly responding to the quote, but I think humans are inherently evil. To be realistic, it's hardwired into our DNA from millions of years of survival of the fittest. Where you only lived if you fought for your stay. Living peaceful in society is nature vs. nurture. Forager vs. farmer. We are still inherently selfish and egotistical, but being nurtured in a community where we need to give in order to take, most people have learned to control their evolutionary predispositions.

Well, I wasn't quite right when I said that whether or not anarcap is evil depends on whether or not humans are evil.  It's rather a matter of whether or not their evil part is stronger than their good part.  The question is :  can farmers organize a private force to protect them, without letting this force get enough power to enslave them ?

Honnestly I don't know, but I think we can't blame them for trying.


If we can't do ancap because people are evil, how exactly are we better off letting evil people tell us what to do? And if the 'fittest' are the most evil then won't we be amplifying the problem by magnifying those evil people?

Or we could have a democracy, where a bunch of evil people choose their evil ruler?

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Drifter
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October 20, 2010, 11:57:37 AM
 #10



What humans are you talking about? We have had to struggle throughout the generations, sure, for survival, yes. But don't confuse that with being 'evil'. Societies have always struggled to keep their keens safe, and while the concept of 'society' is a little too wide, and may mean the world, a country, a town or a home, the basic thing here is that all the 'evil doing' that is hardwired on our DNAs is actually just survival instinct.

Sure, that's all I meant. Survival instinct. At times when humans were struggling from meal to meal, not even close to an organized society, it was a necessity to be the "baddest motherfucker" in town. If you weren't, you'd starve. In that sense, I feel humans are naturally more evil than peaceful because we needed that in order to survive. Peace, outside our own group or family, didn't come until we realized people had stuff we wanted. Either way, it's still selfish.

grondilu
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October 20, 2010, 11:58:15 AM
 #11

If we can't do ancap because people are evil, how exactly are we better off letting evil people tell us what to do? And if the 'fittest' are the most evil then won't we be amplifying the problem by magnifying those evil people?

Or we could have a democracy, where a bunch of evil people choose their evil ruler?

Obviously nowadays democracy has indeed become inacceptable, for it has legalized theft, and only a small minority of bureaucrats and technocrats really benefit from it, by stealing people's fruit of labor, in order to maintain their way of life.

Anarcap is scary, but we just can't accept the direction social-democracies are taking.
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October 20, 2010, 12:04:48 PM
 #12

If we can't do ancap because people are evil, how exactly are we better off letting evil people tell us what to do? And if the 'fittest' are the most evil then won't we be amplifying the problem by magnifying those evil people?

Or we could have a democracy, where a bunch of evil people choose their evil ruler?

Obviously nowadays democracy has indeed become inacceptable, for it has legalized theft, and only a small minority of bureaucrats and technocrats really benefit from it, by stealing people's fruit of labor, in order to maintain their way of life.

Anarcap is scary, but we just can't accept the direction social-democracies are taking.


Considering that democracy is obviously evil with three people in a room or 300 million I don't think it's right to say "nowadays" as if the last few decades or something is the first time people have voted themselves other people's labor and freedom.

In case it isn't clear to everyone, rape, murder, and theft don't change their nature because over half (well, try 20% actually) of people vote to call them taxes and a justice system. Not any more than I can justly "punish" a lone guest who comes to my house when my wife and I outvote him. If someone wants to tell me where the democromagic begins number wise I'd love to hear the justification.

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mpkomara
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October 20, 2010, 12:04:55 PM
 #13

the most evil thing I've seen bitcoin do thus far is draw far too much of my attention to the bitcoin forum.
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October 20, 2010, 12:17:10 PM
 #14

Yeah, I suppose I got a little off topic.

Bitcoin could be used to do evil things. You could use bitcoin to pay your evil henchmen when they get tired of fiat. You could buy a gun and shoot a child.

But the gun and the bitcoin were not evil, only you were.

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October 20, 2010, 12:25:10 PM
 #15

Bitcoin isn't any kind of "istic". It's just a tool.

Even in its spirit, it differs from anarcho-capitalist principles in some subtle ways.

Anarcho-capitalism is based on the notions of private property and voluntary, but binding contracts.

Bitcoin's most intuitive form of usage is based on divulgation, gamerism, and reputation. Not property and contracts.

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grondilu
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October 20, 2010, 12:40:13 PM
 #16

Bitcoin isn't any kind of "istic". It's just a tool.

It is a tool indeed.  But I think it is THE tool anarcap needs in order to become reality.
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October 20, 2010, 12:48:48 PM
 #17

Bitcoin isn't any kind of "istic". It's just a tool.

It is a tool indeed.  But I think it is THE tool anarcap needs in order to become reality.


Since it exists it will be used. I think it's hard to say whether there is any other route at all.

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October 20, 2010, 01:23:29 PM
 #18

The bitcoin economy and the community give me the warm fuzzies.  Wink

Beside, I think we're dedicated to more of the principle Voluntarism rather than anarcho-capitalism. Anarcho-capitalism is just the inevitable implementation of voluntarism.

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October 20, 2010, 10:29:31 PM
 #19

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner. The funny thing is the state doesnt actually exist,people just think it does - which has many parallels with religion. God in this case is not the ultimate ruler it is the state which has taken this position. Any system which has the power to take your labour and kill you if you refuse to give it up is inherently evil.


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Political language that conceal what is really going on include such things as "jurisdiction" "constitution" "nation" "state" "license" "court" "law" "statute" "arrest" "contempt".

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October 21, 2010, 03:20:13 AM
 #20

Personnaly, I consider bitcoin to be the first serious candidate for an anarcho-capitalistic currency.

Now, searching the web for the concept of anarcho-capitalism, I've found this apparently famous quote from Noam Chomsky :

<<
    Anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion, is a doctrinal system which, if ever
    implemented, would lead to forms of tyranny and oppression that have few
    counterparts in human history. There isn't the slightest possibility that
    its (in my view, horrendous) ideas would be implemented, because they would
    quickly destroy any society that made this colossal error. The idea of
    "free contract" between the potentate and his starving subject is a sick
    joke, perhaps worth some moments in an academic seminar exploring the
    consequences of (in my view, absurd) ideas, but nowhere else.
>>


Well, somehow I agree that ancap could lead to some ugly things.  I doubt however that it would have no "counterparts in human history".  I think that, to some extend, roman empire can be considered as anarcho-capitalistic, for instance.

Anyway, whether or not anarcho-capitalism is evil is a huge subject, but somehow I think it's pretty much the same as wondering whether or not human beings are evil.  Anarcho capitalism gives individuals a huge power, for instance the power of letting people starve heartlessly.  But I also think it could lead to great things.  Anyway, I prefer the anarcho-capitalist perspective, rather than a bureaucratico-socialist world government.

The thing is :  I don't really know if humans are evil, but I'm one of them, and I know I'm not.  So I give others the benefit of the doubt.


It's important to remember, when quoting Noam Chomsky, that he is an Anarchist himself.  He's an Anarcho-socialist, so he's not arguing for beaurocracy or state socialism or anything of the sort.  He's arguing for Anarcho socialism as opposed to anarcho capitalism because he doesn't feel anarcho capitalism is really possible.

I'm also an Anarcho socialist and I see bitcoin as a definite plus for anarchists in general, no matter what our economic views.  I think Chomsky would probably agree.

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