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Author Topic: Agorism, Bitcoin.org Politics, and Future Directions  (Read 1030 times)
xc
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June 18, 2011, 01:44:25 AM
 #1

As a (relatively) long-time follower of these boards, I've found the entire discussion of removing political discussion interesting.  There was certainly a different 'culture' back in the days when bitcoins were just hitting parity with the US cent.  I guess it's a sign of our growth as a community that we now have calls to 'remove politics' from the forum discussion.  But still, I sometimes long for the old days when the forums felt a bit more 'exclusive.'

Nonetheless, I find Konkin's words reassuring:

"There will be a spectrum of the degree of agorism in most individuals, as there is today, with a few benefiting from the State being highly statist, a few fully conscious of the agorist alternative and competent as living free to the hilt, and the rest in the middle with varying degrees of confusion." -Samuel E. Konkin III, New Libertarian Manifesto

The truth is bitcoin is a deeply political development whether most people consciously recognize it or not.  When you have a currency that is decentralized and pseudoanonymous with a predicitable money supply, of course it's political.  Its usage is by definition counter-economic.  But in our own agorist version of slowly raising the temperature of liberty from room temp to boiling so that the frog doesn't notice, we have to focus on the larger audience. 

We have to remember that our ace-in-the-hole is the immediate, tangible benefits to the individual utilizing our developing ecosystem: minimal fees, increased stability, freedom of association, tax avoidance, regulatory avoidance, ease of contract enforcement, etc...  They may not recognize the ultimate political ramifications, but they will quickly appreciate the system's practical value.

Here are just some of the many ways we can continue to draw them in:

More exchanges in more countries and less emphasis on the West - particularly the developing world where black/gray markets are already well established and the absurdity of government beneficence is well-known.
Distributed Contracts and Arbitration - in my mind a real potential game changer.  Much more effective enforcement of contracts resulting in lower legal fees, more business relationship predictability, and increased commerce
Futures and Options - increased pricing stability, ability for merchants to lock in a price and mitigate bitcoin exchange risk
Meta-trading - trade oil, corn, wheat, stocks, etc... in BTC
Bitcoin capital formation markets
International Transfers
Micro-payment platforms
More Agoras

It's exciting to see that much of this work is already being done by so many.  Much of this involves repackaging the growing Bitcoin toolkit for ease-of-use by end-users. We have much to be optimistic about.  What happens to these forums just doesn't matter.

XC

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mikegogulski
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June 18, 2011, 08:30:23 AM
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Good thinking, xc. It's been exciting lately to see BTC exchanges opening up for Thai baht, Chilean pesos and Indian rupees. Those early movers both stand to make a fortune, and help to grow and provide liquidity to the ecosystem.

I see Bitcoin as a key component of the agorist revolution. As I wrote on Facebook a couple of days ago:

Quote
The best of today's tech empowers individuals, not governments. The Silk Road drug marketplace will not be shut down by court order. It will probably never be located, its principals never identified. And it will have competitors... in other markets, too.

Bitcoin is something long dreamt of. It is not perfect, but it needn't be. All it must do is out-compete state money. And it will. And states will fall.

Since you cited New Libertarian Manifesto, a link to my reading of the work is called for: http://www.nostate.com/2111/new-libertarian-manifesto-audio-mp3-podcast/

FREE ROSS ULBRICHT, allegedly one of the Dread Pirates Roberts of the Silk Road
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June 20, 2011, 11:10:31 PM
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I appreciate your posting as well.

The core reason for my fascination in BitCoin is the empowerment of the individual to make its own choices and decisions, independent from a force controlling the intermediaries.

Let this apply to money, that's fine. Or to other parts of society, be it domain names, content, whatever.

It was heartwarming that there are others here with similar inclination.  Smiley
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June 25, 2011, 06:52:40 PM
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Reply to sub, and also to bump now that all this hullabaloo over MtGox is mostly blown over.

Also, Hi, Mike! good to see you here.

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June 25, 2011, 07:10:08 PM
 #5

As a (relatively) long-time follower of these boards, I've found the entire discussion of removing political discussion interesting.  There was certainly a different 'culture' back in the days when bitcoins were just hitting parity with the US cent.  I guess it's a sign of our growth as a community that we now have calls to 'remove politics' from the forum discussion.  But still, I sometimes long for the old days when the forums felt a bit more 'exclusive.'

Nonetheless, I find Konkin's words reassuring:

"There will be a spectrum of the degree of agorism in most individuals, as there is today, with a few benefiting from the State being highly statist, a few fully conscious of the agorist alternative and competent as living free to the hilt, and the rest in the middle with varying degrees of confusion." -Samuel E. Konkin III, New Libertarian Manifesto

The truth is bitcoin is a deeply political development whether most people consciously recognize it or not.  When you have a currency that is decentralized and pseudoanonymous with a predicitable money supply, of course it's political.  Its usage is by definition counter-economic.  But in our own agorist version of slowly raising the temperature of liberty from room temp to boiling so that the frog doesn't notice, we have to focus on the larger audience. 

We have to remember that our ace-in-the-hole is the immediate, tangible benefits to the individual utilizing our developing ecosystem: minimal fees, increased stability, freedom of association, tax avoidance, regulatory avoidance, ease of contract enforcement, etc...  They may not recognize the ultimate political ramifications, but they will quickly appreciate the system's practical value.

Here are just some of the many ways we can continue to draw them in:

More exchanges in more countries and less emphasis on the West - particularly the developing world where black/gray markets are already well established and the absurdity of government beneficence is well-known.
Distributed Contracts and Arbitration - in my mind a real potential game changer.  Much more effective enforcement of contracts resulting in lower legal fees, more business relationship predictability, and increased commerce
Futures and Options - increased pricing stability, ability for merchants to lock in a price and mitigate bitcoin exchange risk
Meta-trading - trade oil, corn, wheat, stocks, etc... in BTC
Bitcoin capital formation markets
International Transfers
Micro-payment platforms
More Agoras

It's exciting to see that much of this work is already being done by so many.  Much of this involves repackaging the growing Bitcoin toolkit for ease-of-use by end-users. We have much to be optimistic about.  What happens to these forums just doesn't matter.

XC

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