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Question: Which statement is true
Bitcoin is democratic - 31 (23.5%)
Bitcoin is not democratic - 39 (29.5%)
Bitcoin is neither democratic nor nondemocratic - 30 (22.7%)
Bitcoin is both democratic and nondemocratic - 10 (7.6%)
It depends on what the definition of "is" is. - 22 (16.7%)
Total Voters: 131

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Author Topic: Is bitcoin democratic?  (Read 7532 times)
mrvision
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November 27, 2012, 02:52:19 PM
 #121

Now you're a tiny minority preaching to others in a remote corner of the Internet about how things should be done. Hmmm....

Oh really? that's what you do? How sad. Instead of that I try to analyze why is it that those people don't actually use bitcoins and try to develop systems to fill in the gap. I don't want to transform anybody, and of course i don't want to coercively force anybody to use bitcoins. If they are not using Bitcoin yet there must be a reason, so instead of 'selling' the product i like to build the ecosystem in order to make it more attractive.

Moreover, I assume that even if i think bitcoin is a 'good' thing, i may be wrong or there may be something better that i don't know yet. You don't have the knowledge of how things should be done.


Quote
What anarchist (anarchocapitalists) say is that everybody should be free to choose and pay what they like and can afford.
No they don't. I've read my AnCap handbook and there is no such rule specified at all! Grin

Oh really?

Quote from: Murray Rothbard
The most viable method of elaborating the natural-rights statement of the libertarian position is to divide it into parts, and to begin with the basic axiom of the "right to self-ownership." The right to self-ownership asserts the absolute right of each man, by virtue of his (or her) being a human being, to "own" his or her own body; that is, to control that body free of coercive interference. Since each individual must think, learn, value, and choose his or her ends and means in order to survive and flourish, the right to self-ownership gives man the right to perform [p. 29] these vital activities without being hampered and restricted by coercive molestation.

Of course, if you are the owner of your own body and life, then nobody else is the owner of your own body and life. If this is true, then you are not the owner of anybodys body nor life. So in strict anarchocapitalist logic, nobody can deny you to buy whatever you like, but you cannot force anybody to pay it for you. So yes, anarchocapitalist are saying:everybody should be free to choose and pay what they like and can afford.

If you want to read the complete libertarian manifesto by Rothbard, here you are:
http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

P.S. Bitcoin is build in a way to make sure nobody makes you pay what you don't choose to pay. Think about that too.

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November 27, 2012, 05:21:27 PM
 #122

DEMOCRACY VS ANARCHOCAPITALISM:
Democracy does not mean 'respect to all views' but 'destroy minority views', it means the majority rules and destroys the minority. Just think how democracy works and you easily see this is just true.

A good example of democracy would be 10 friends sitting on a table at a restaurant deciding what are they going to eat. What democracy means is that they will rise their hands in votations and they will eat all the same. But what if two of them are vegetarians and the other eight want to eat meat? Well they will have to pay the meat even if they don't want it and give thanks for the freedom they have.

What anarchist (anarchocapitalists) say is that everybody should be free to choose and pay what they like and can afford.

Which system is less violent? Obviously the second, just because it doesn't coercively force anybody to do the other's will.

Moreover, if you analyze your believes you'll find out that you defend democracy because your very own superstitions (that were inducted by propaganda). The first and more dangerous of all of them is that you believe and assume as right that there should be a goverment, and you see democracy as the less harmfull system to rule the monster.

If we return to the restaurant, imagine those 10 people were born in that table and forced to eat that way since the begining of their lifes. It is probably that the ones that would fight to stop the system would be the vegetarians, or the ones that were more oppressed by the system, and the ones that will defend it would be the ones that weren't so much oppressed. That's why you can expect hostility from this conversation. Because you're dealing with very deep beliefs.


DEMOCRACY AND BITCOIN:
There is a problem with the rule of the majority and bitcoin, and the problem is that, in case you have not realize it, in real world you are minority.

Is bitcoin democratic? No. It isn't. It is as democratic as cocacola.

It doesn't mind how much people vote for it, the protocol will may remain the same until the end of the days. If the protocol is changed, then it wont be cocacola, it will be pepsi. People are free to chose cocacola or pepsi.

As we have all already discussed, bitcoin has not intrinsic value, and it didn't have value before being a currency. Then, were does this value come from? It comes from the VOLUNTARY aceptance of the system: demand. There isn't a coercitive force or the rule of the majority that said, voted, or forced us to use bitcoin.

Merchants voluntarily accept bitcoins, we have all voluntarily given resources to obtain some coins, and we are voluntarily starting the ecosystem.

There wasn't any votation and there wont be votations for this.

In democracy you don't have the freedom to choose. With bitcoin you can choose not to use it.

And by the way, i'm spanish and i live in a collapsing democracy, i wonder if you know what the fuck a democracy is. If you are north american, you might like to know that you DON'T live in a democracy, but a republic.

Mrvision, you knocked it out of.the ballpark. Fantastic explanation. Eloquent. Truthful. Thanks for your post.

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November 27, 2012, 05:33:22 PM
 #123

It is my view that "democracy"

Your's isn't shared by most people which makes it a lot harder if not impossible to spread the right ideas. Instead of clinging to a term insisting it means something most understand it not to mean, why not use a "clean" word to be able to better communicate? It is the sole reason why I vehemently insist that Bitcoin is not democratic.

Give up, man.  You can't reason with Portnoy.  Whenever he's asked to prove his beliefs, he changes the subject; if he is not indulged in this dishonest bait and switch, he throws a tantrum.  What more proof does a person need to know that he isn't rational and he isn't trying to have a legitimate conversation about the topic?

LOL  What beliefs?  Why didn't you answer any of my questions?  Tantrum? Who rushed to put me on ignore?  And why are you still trying to shout me down with large cap denouncements while ignoring anything I might say in response?  

And about hazek's statement about what most understand the word democracy to mean lets have look at the dictionary:

democratic,

1. Of the nature of, or characterized by, democracy; advocating or upholding democracy.


We can perhaps ignore the definitions that pertain to the specific political parties that go by that name.

democracy,

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.


Isn't this what most people understand it to mean?  Where is the part about theft and oppression by an elite clique?
Remember we are talking about the word and its meaning here...

NOT about some government who calls itself democratic but really isn't.  How many times do I have to remind you of this? And yet you hazek, say things like:

Quote
Just a suggestion if you really care about reality.. pay attention to how many people demonstrate and protest in the streets demanding that the government raise taxes, i.e. steal more from those who worked hard and got rich (calling it the democratic process) which is completely incompatible with the principles I outlined. There really isn't any need to do surveys, all you have to do is walk outside and look around.

I know about things like this. I take part in some of those protests myself about the abuse of power by the various governments of the world, like America.
I, and many others, protest not because America and Canada, where I live, are democratic but because they are NOT democratic.  You talk about their crimes
and say in brackets: (calling it the democratic process)...   And you let them say that... you let yourself believe, seemingly, that it is the democratic process.  
Well by definition it is NOT the democratic process.  I would suggest that most people do accept the dictionary definition and not the definition you and that
elite clique would like us to believe.   Or do you want to switch it around and say rather than an elite clique it is mob rule?  Those are kinda opposites things
aren't they?  

And about 'mob rule' and 'tyranny of the majority' I mentioned things like constitutions and charters of rights and freedoms.  Why not address that?
People are working together on solutions like that to improve democractic systems and to make the world a better place...  

It is interesting and perhaps very telling that you and the others who denounce democracy have not suggested a better solution.  


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November 27, 2012, 06:32:08 PM
 #124

A democracy is 51% telling 49% what can or can't they do.

That is just one specific form "a" democracy can take. Just one form that does not define all possible forms.  

It's what they all tend to devolve toward, given enough time.  Look at what the looters and moochers pulled off three weeks ago if you want proof.

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch.

(Yes, I know that what we have is had was a republic, but with some democratic features.  The looters and moochers successfully pulled off a 51% attack.)

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November 27, 2012, 07:00:32 PM
 #125

A democracy is 51% telling 49% what can or can't they do.

That is just one specific form "a" democracy can take. Just one form that does not define all possible forms.  

It's what they all tend to devolve toward, given enough time.  Look at what the looters and moochers pulled off three weeks ago if you want proof.

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch.

(Yes, I know that what we have is had was a republic, but with some democratic features.  The looters and moochers successfully pulled off a 51% attack.)

Like I say, things are working fine in my bookclub, and there are other democratic groups, systems, and institutions that appear to be operating
relatively smoothly ( including Bitcoin ).  There are also people who see the various problems and work to fix them. Did you see my mention of
things like constitutions and charters of rights and freedoms to protect individual rights etc.? Democracy isn't some automatic fix-it-once-and-for-all
solution that one puts in place and forgets about.  It needs constant maintenance and improvement.  
 
The Taoists have a saying, "Don't let the great be the enemy of the good."   Just because a certain system isn't perfect right off the bat doesn't
mean we should discard it completely... especially when it appears no better alternative exists. Or is there?

What would you suggest would is a better system than democracy, as the word is defined?  


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November 27, 2012, 07:57:13 PM
 #126

Mrvision, you knocked it out of.the ballpark. Fantastic explanation. Eloquent. Truthful. Thanks for your post.

Thank you Cheesy

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November 27, 2012, 09:23:26 PM
 #127

What has Bitcoin got to do with Anarchism? By its very nature it's highly structured, has lots of rules, lots of principles, as well as leaders (of sorts) -- it's the total opposite of Anarchism.

Anarchy doesn't mean chaos, it means no rulers. There are no rulers of Bitcoin, but plenty of community leaders who wield only social influence.

Let's assume for a moment that the Bitcoin dev team turns evil. They introduce some horrible new feature everyone else hates. No problem, normal people just run the old client until the nerd shitstorm settles and then switch to a new fork run by a new dev team. And we don't all have to agree - the original chain will still be there, AND the one with the horrible changes, AND the new competing chains. During the Great Coin War there could even be many competing dev teams, and your total assets remain unchanged until you're ready to pick one and sell the rest. All that really matters are your own private keys proving work+time, and they're ruled by no one but you.

But really I'm just arguing semantics here, it's a computer protocol, not a society. Motorcycles are just as anarchist, if not more so. Cheesy
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November 28, 2012, 03:11:31 PM
 #128

Still fuming in here?

Allow me to put it to you that the original question is nonsensical.

Horrible simplifications follow:

Government arises largely from the fact resources and space are limited. People have to share some things, at least the air they breathe, the water they drink and the land they tread. Conflicts of interest are inevitable and some process must exist to resolve them. At its most basic, that process is violence, but generally other solutions evolve.

All known solutions are flawed. Ideally, we wouldn't have conflicts, but we do, and must therefore deal with them. That understanding is deeply ingrained into us all. Most of us in the West tend to believe Democracy is better than all other forms of government we've tried, but few consider it perfect. Even so, for most people, the less they feel their lives are interefered with, the better.

Bitcoin isn't an attempt to make a better solution to the problem of government. It is an attempt to do away with the conflict of interest problem in a limited portion of our lives. The idea is not to need government to moderate Bitcoin, since the protocol is open, consensus-based, forkable and non-coercive.

It makes no sense to ask if a system is Democratic when that system has no actual government.

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November 28, 2012, 03:48:11 PM
 #129

What has Bitcoin got to do with Anarchism? By its very nature it's highly structured, has lots of rules, lots of principles, as well as leaders (of sorts) -- it's the total opposite of Anarchism.

Anarchy doesn't mean chaos, it means no rulers. There are no rulers of Bitcoin, but plenty of community leaders who wield only social influence.
...

And Democracy has rulers? Who?

The majority.

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November 28, 2012, 05:05:39 PM
 #130

Please, everyone, don't play into Portnoy's rhetorical trick.  Though I won't be reading his response, he still has a burden of proof he has not satisfied: proving his claim that "Bitcoin is democratic".  So do not allow him to change the topic to "what system is better than democracy".

Also: I can't read what blatherblatherblather is saying, but if I know him well, he's talking trash about things he doesn't understand (probably reaping some psychic reward he really craves by angering others with insults).  Ignore him too.

 Cheesy

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November 28, 2012, 05:22:27 PM
 #131

Still fuming in here?

Allow me to put it to you that the original question is nonsensical.

Horrible simplifications follow:

Government arises largely from the fact resources and space are limited. People have to share some things, at least the air they breathe, the water they drink and the land they tread. Conflicts of interest are inevitable and some process must exist to resolve them. At its most basic, that process is violence, but generally other solutions evolve.

All known solutions are flawed. Ideally, we wouldn't have conflicts, but we do, and must therefore deal with them. That understanding is deeply ingrained into us all. Most of us in the West tend to believe Democracy is better than all other forms of government we've tried, but few consider it perfect. Even so, for most people, the less they feel their lives are interefered with, the better.

Bitcoin isn't an attempt to make a better solution to the problem of government. It is an attempt to do away with the conflict of interest problem in a limited portion of our lives. The idea is not to need government to moderate Bitcoin, since the protocol is open, consensus-based, forkable and non-coercive.

It makes no sense to ask if a system is Democratic when that system has no actual government.

The term "democratic" doesn't just refer to governments ( as in the governments of Nation States ). See the definition of that word I posted and then look at the definitions of the word "democracy" I posted, particularly the one repeated below.

Quote
Ideally, we wouldn't have conflicts, but we do, and must therefore deal with them.

And I ask, what better way to deal with conflicts than democratically?
( someone should point out to Rude-O that this too is a question and not the stating of a dogmatic belief that takes on a burden to prove anything one way or another. LOL )

See definition #5 from the dictionary:
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

The issue of how such principles are put into practice are foreign to the definition, but if such implementations do not adhere to those principles, despite this or that tyrant insisting that they do, then they can not be truly regarded as democratic.  

~~~

edit/ I am not making this stuff up...

see also the quote prominently displayed on the http://www.weusecoins.com/ site:  "We make money democratic."

or from https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Public_relations: "Bitcoin is a chance to revolutionize the financial system, making it fairer and more democratic."

or from here: http://www.bitcoin2012.com/
"Denis Roio (jaromil), social activist and long time developer of multimedia applications for Linux. He is also been working with communities in developing alternative currencies and activists in order to bring power and democratic determination back to societies."

or use google... or better yet: http://duckduckgo.com/?q=bitcoin+democratic

to see many more examples for yourself.   Wink



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November 28, 2012, 11:19:06 PM
 #132

Portnoy, you employ such a broad definition of "democratic" that you might as well ask if Bitcoin is righteous.

as for the question of dealing with conflict, my point was, Bitcoin is an attempt, of limited scope, at an end-run around conflict, making it unnecessary to consider how to resolve it.


Put it this way: people have headaches. Let's say we decide Ibuprofen is the best medicine for them. Everyone likes Ibuprofen now, no question about it. Let's then say someone has an idea on how to make sure no-one gets a headache in the first place - it makes no sense to ask if their solution is like Ibuprofen.

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November 29, 2012, 01:09:55 AM
 #133

Allow me to put it to you that the original question is nonsensical.

[...]

It makes no sense to ask if a system is Democratic when that system has no actual government.

I second this.  That's what I've been trying to say all along.  Well said, rebuilder -- you have rebuilt this thread.

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November 29, 2012, 05:54:20 PM
 #134

Portnoy, you employ such a broad definition of "democratic" that you might as well ask if Bitcoin is righteous.

It is a question that you can answer anyway you like, or leave it alone and walk on.

E.G.
"Bitcoin is [perhaps] democratic in this way ___, but [perhaps] not democratic in this way ___. "

Democracy, as I have been saying, is a general concept and does not demand specific implementations.
  
For example there is nothing in the definition that demands there be a centralized leadership structure, even though many systems seem
to find that useful. It doesn't demand a formal system of voting, although that has been found useful to determine the thoughts and feelings
of the people, in certain arenas of life...

In my everyday life many groups I am a part of are anarchic to a large degree: no forum leader; no demand for participation or tribute...
but they are also very democratic: everyone gets a say and is treated with respect... a majority doesn't get to force the minority into
something they don't want ( compromise often takes place that all can agree to ).  

One great principle that I have seen some groups adopt is this: "Whatever is not mutual is released."  
Such things tend to work best among humans than among those who only live at an animal level of existence.   Wink

Despite the assumptions of some here I myself am not sure if Bitcoin is democratic... in what ways and to what degree...

It seems most of the "debate" is over definitions. As I pointed out I am using the standard dictionary definition that most people accept.
( it is only fair to be democratic about what definition is accepted I figure...  Wink  )
 
Some sure get hot under the collar over that and seem to want to consider me a statist and defender of the abuses of the evil governments
of the world, because those evil organizations have attempted to appropriate the word "democracy" for their own evil purposes.  

They also use the word "freedom" as much as "democracy" don't they?   Does that mean we should now let them force us into believing
that the true definition of "freedom" is slavery, just as we should believe that the right and proper definition of "democracy" is theft and murder?  

And speaking of thralldom it seems that many who hold to such rigid views are more slaves to those ideologies than they are to any external
agencies in their angry, humorless worlds...   Cheesy


"Anyone who claims to know what the hell is going on is full of shit."  - Robert Anton Wilson

but what does he know?   Wink


later buds...  

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November 30, 2012, 02:59:38 AM
 #135

It is capitalist. A group of people have entered into a complex contract involving fixed rules and cryptographic signatures. Currency is generated by proof of effort and is dispensed from there via the free market.

We all agreed to the same contract, but that is not the same as voting.

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November 30, 2012, 09:39:47 AM
 #136

We all agreed to the same contract, but that is not the same as voting.

You are speaking to the wall because some falsely believe there's voting in Bitcoin..  Roll Eyes

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November 30, 2012, 02:22:09 PM
 #137

These democ-rats hate themselves for supporting a capitalist invention. Therefore, they try to fool themselves and repeat again and again that bitcoin is not capitalist but democratic. They don't get it. In the kingdom of lies voluntarism has been called democracy, and democracy (and other ways of collectivism) has been called capitalism, so in their perverted minds this sentence is totally correct:

'The system sucks because it's capitalist, and Bitcoin is cool because is democratic'.

The problem is that their ignorance is what feeds the system, destroying capitalism, ergo voluntarism. This makes them fight in real world vs private earnings, private investment, private whatever... because they have also associated the word private with the word capitalism, so this turns them into red ants fighting vs evolution and vs their own interest. Making them work for the interest of the democracy leaders. As Rudd-O pointed:

Unfortunately, I don't think you are going to convince your interlocutor that his slave suggestion boxes are slave suggestion boxes -- his brain is too putrefact with staazi propaganda that portraya the box as a direct line to his gods where he can grovel to the gods to please save him from evil people who just want to be left alone and not be violated.

Do this people understand that the investors this time are they (we)? Probably not.

Will this be a problem in the future? Probably yes.

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November 30, 2012, 07:49:11 PM
 #138

It is capitalist. A group of people have entered into a complex contract involving fixed rules and cryptographic signatures. Currency is generated by proof of effort and is dispensed from there via the free market.

We all agreed to the same contract, but that is not the same as voting.

Yup.  The contract is in software, and using the software (a voluntary, non-imposed, true choice) implies that one accepts how the software works.

No such thing can be said about the imaginary social contract that people seeking to impose on others peddle.

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November 30, 2012, 07:49:31 PM
 #139

These democ-rats hate themselves for supporting a capitalist invention. Therefore, they try to fool themselves and repeat again and again that bitcoin is not capitalist but democratic. They don't get it. In the kingdom of lies voluntarism has been called democracy, and democracy (and other ways of collectivism) has been called capitalism, so in their perverted minds this sentence is totally correct:

'The system sucks because it's capitalist, and Bitcoin is cool because is democratic'.

The problem is that their ignorance is what feeds the system, destroying capitalism, ergo voluntarism. This makes them fight in real world vs private earnings, private investment, private whatever... because they have also associated the word private with the word capitalism, so this turns them into red ants fighting vs evolution and vs their own interest. Making them work for the interest of the democracy leaders. As Rudd-O pointed:

Unfortunately, I don't think you are going to convince your interlocutor that his slave suggestion boxes are slave suggestion boxes -- his brain is too putrefact with staazi propaganda that portraya the box as a direct line to his gods where he can grovel to the gods to please save him from evil people who just want to be left alone and not be violated.

Do this people understand that the investors this time are they (we)? Probably not.

Will this be a problem in the future? Probably yes.

Agreed.  Self-hate is rampant.

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December 01, 2012, 01:33:20 PM
 #140

Democracy is about deciding who decide what and how.
Bitcoin is about deciding who own what and how.

For me it s like comparing 2 different things...

The cost of mediation increases transaction costs, limiting the
minimum practical transaction size and cutting off the possibility for small casual transactions

Satoshi Nakamoto : https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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