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Author Topic: [2018-01-12] ZeroHedge - Is Bitcoin Racist?  (Read 74 times)
BTRIC
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January 12, 2018, 11:17:02 PM
 #1

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It is not only those who see themselves as libertarians who, through the adoption of Bitcoin and the political communities around it, routinely distribute political and economic views that are grounded in conspiratorial, far-right accounts of the Federal Reserve and the nature of representative government…
David Golumbia, “The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism”

Is Bitcoin Racist?
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-12/bitcoin-racist

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January 12, 2018, 11:28:29 PM
 #2

Bitcoin may be against the establishment, but to call any anti-establishment view as right wing and hence say that racism is coded  into the software is letting your imagination run loose. Bitcoin, if anything, is egalitarian. People from Asia to Africa to America can own and use Bitcoin, without any discrimination.


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January 13, 2018, 07:37:40 AM
 #3

I don't see how one can come up with this idea. Bitcoin is not run by any organization, so it cannot and does not differentiate people and lock certain people out. Besides, if you speak out against the Federal Reserve, are you automatically considered to be alt-right? I consider this statement to be a gross generalization.

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January 13, 2018, 09:44:05 AM
Merited by Foxpup (3)
 #4

Quote
It is not only those who see themselves as libertarians who, through the adoption of Bitcoin and the political communities around it, routinely distribute political and economic views that are grounded in conspiratorial, far-right accounts of the Federal Reserve and the nature of representative government…
David Golumbia, “The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism”

Is Bitcoin Racist?
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-12/bitcoin-racist

It's a stretch to call the software itself right-wing or even political in nature. Its design was largely intended to address the double spending problem, not make a political statement. The deflationary supply is characteristic of Austrian economics, which itself is just an economic school of thought.

But Austrian economics, due to its proponents, is closely tied to right-wing libertarianism. Murray Rothbard is often seen as the father of the "anarcho-capitalism" that became characteristic of both the right-wing Austrian movement and later the Bitcoin community, and was infamously incredibly racist. He preached "voluntary" racial segregation (akin to Richard Spencer's "peaceful ethnic cleansing") and made claims based in scientific racism.

There's no doubt that many of Bitcoin's earliest proponents were ancaps, and bitcoiners often show reverence to Rothbard and other controversial figures from the von Mises school. And there's no doubt that this culture still survives today, hence this sort of article.

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January 13, 2018, 02:41:27 PM
Last edit: January 13, 2018, 03:10:37 PM by Carlton Banks
Merited by Foxpup (4)
 #5

But Austrian economics, due to its proponents, is closely tied to right-wing libertarianism. Murray Rothbard is often seen as the father of the "anarcho-capitalism" that became characteristic of both the right-wing Austrian movement and later the Bitcoin community, and was infamously incredibly racist. He preached "voluntary" racial segregation (akin to Richard Spencer's "peaceful ethnic cleansing") and made claims based in scientific racism.

There's no doubt that many of Bitcoin's earliest proponents were ancaps, and bitcoiners often show reverence to Rothbard and other controversial figures from the von Mises school. And there's no doubt that this culture still survives today, hence this sort of article.

Libertarianism as a political philosophy isn't inherently racist, it's simply 18th century liberalism extended to consider how a society could function without any central government at all.

That means racists can be attracted to the philoshophy, they (unwisely) believe that freedom from government diktats means freedom to do anything they like, and that doing so would suddenly work out for them (including behaving in all ways that most people consider immoral/idiotic, such as racist behaviour).

This isn't such a problem, social outcasts (like racists) have a tendency to stick together, and a free society just makes it easier to identify those you don't want to associate yourself with. The modern "ban" on racist behaviour doesn't work at all, racists simply talk racism when no-one else is listening, and make racist decisions disguised with some other intention.

Genuine free speech and freedom to act is for everyone, including reacting to the behaviour of others. It's far better to have racism out in the open (instead of self-censored), pretending unenforceable laws work just makes the problem worse. You can't magically make someone renounce racism by attempting to force their mouth shut. But you can try to reason with them, and that's only possible if people feel confident they can talk freely without being punished.




And sorry but massive ROFL. Which ethnicity is Bitcoin racist towards? Or in favour of? Satoshi was famously just a fake name, no-one knows if Satoshi was 1 eskimo, 5 indonesians or a 20-strong multi-ethnic team of people. All we know is, Satoshi wrote good English, and not such great C++.

If Bitcoin was racist, how did it become used by anyone all over the world? There've been multiple translations of the Bitcoin Core software for many years. If people want to contribute code for Bitcoin Core (the software the majority of the Bitcoin network runs on), there are no ethnicity checks. It's a simple case of whether your coding or design ideas are good or not. Many contribute code using pseudonyms, just as Satoshi did, there's no way of knowing which ethnic group they belong to.


This is like saying "vegetables are racist to arabs, because they refuse to grow in the desert" or "TV screens are racist, because not white".

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January 14, 2018, 09:15:23 AM
 #6


And there's no doubt that this culture still survives today, hence this sort of article.

Did you (and some other posters here) read the article or only the title? Spoiler: the article is actually very thoroughly criticizing the book titled "The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism“. So there's no big need to debunk that Bitcoin is racist here, the article covered it pretty well.


But Austrian economics, due to its proponents, is closely tied to right-wing libertarianism. Murray Rothbard is often seen as the father of the "anarcho-capitalism" that became characteristic of both the right-wing Austrian movement and later the Bitcoin community

Austrian economics, just like Bitcoin's software, is independent from political ideologies. The fact that some right-wingers are fans of Austrian theory doesn't mean that Austrian theory is based on right-wing ideology or supports it.

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January 14, 2018, 09:25:22 AM
 #7

Bitcoin may be against the establishment, but to call any anti-establishment view as right wing and hence say that racism is coded  into the software is letting your imagination run loose. Bitcoin, if anything, is egalitarian. People from Asia to Africa to America can own and use Bitcoin, without any discrimination.

Exactly. Bitcoin is open to anyone regardless of political leanings or inclination heck even criminals can own one if they want to -- just like any fiat money there would be no restriction or qualification before anyone can buy a Bitcoin. However, it does not mean it would be given for free because Bitcoin is not anymore in the promotional airdrop phase and it means we have to work for it with skills, sweat and some love and passion thrown to sweeten the whole experience. In my view, it is about time that we stop labeling ourselves based on what group or inclinations we might be into...let's just call ourselves humans.
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January 14, 2018, 09:57:33 AM
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And there's no doubt that this culture still survives today, hence this sort of article.

Did you (and some other posters here) read the article or only the title?

No, I just saw the reference to The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism, which I've seen excerpts from before. I thought it was an article. Didn't realize it was a book.

But Austrian economics, due to its proponents, is closely tied to right-wing libertarianism. Murray Rothbard is often seen as the father of the "anarcho-capitalism" that became characteristic of both the right-wing Austrian movement and later the Bitcoin community
Austrian economics, just like Bitcoin's software, is independent from political ideologies.

Hence: "It's a stretch to call the software itself right-wing or even political in nature. Its design was largely intended to address the double spending problem, not make a political statement" and "The deflationary supply is characteristic of Austrian economics, which itself is just an economic school of thought."

The fact that some right-wingers are fans of Austrian theory doesn't mean that Austrian theory is based on right-wing ideology or supports it.

I said it was associated with right-wing ideologies due to its proponents. Your response implies that you acknowledge that. I never said Austrian theory was based on right-wing ideology.

My point was more about not being surprised when these associations are highlighted by talking heads, academics, etc.

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January 14, 2018, 01:18:42 PM
 #9

I do not think it is racist because it is a financial asset that exists online. In fact, you can have Bitcoin even without providing your personal details because your success in Bitcoin is not determined by your social status. Also, as long as you are conversant, you can earn especially so that common understanding is key. You can even join campaign ads even if your English grammar is incorrect. So how come others are able to say it is racist? Anybody here who has experienced that you have to provide your personal details before you can start earning in Bitcoin? If yes, kindly let me know. I stand to be corrected.

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January 14, 2018, 04:43:11 PM
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So how come others are able to say it is racist?

Unfortunately, the answer is the same reason that we have to tolerate genuine racism: free speech


But remember, we have free-speech too, which is very difficult to govern in reality. Making coherent arguments that appeal to logic and reason is usually pretty effective, so the author of these bizarre ranting won't fare well in public debate on this matter.

And, as usual, Bitcoin doesn't care. The Bitcoin network is too resilient for one person's opinion about it to make a difference. One of the oldest and most powerful businesses in the world (banking) is very upset about Bitcoin's emergence, and 9 years hence, there appears to be precisely nothing that these powerful people (or their questionable friends) can do about it. This guy's whinging is a fart in the wind in comparison.

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January 14, 2018, 04:49:45 PM
 #11

Racist mathematics?  Roll Eyes

Sadly you don't need to look far to find racism, but that is a silly story.   

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