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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 7521 times)
MoonShadow
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May 17, 2012, 06:29:12 PM
 #21

IT's a difficult question to answer, because too many people have different ideas of what 'democratic' actually means.

Really? Many people?  Has G.W. Bush and the neocons screwed up the English language that much that people don't know what is what?    Undecided

No, you don't know what it means.  The US, regardless of who is at fault or who is the POTUS, is not a democracy and never has been.  And don't blame your problems on the village idiot, it's unbecoming of an adult.  The POTUS can't do anything of importance against the will of Congress, so there were over 400 'adults' in the room that wanted to do what was done, and every one of them were thankful for the village idiot.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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May 17, 2012, 06:44:51 PM
 #22

Bitcoin in my mind is definitely democratic, in the sense of what democracy is supposed to be.

I'm baffled by this logic.

Suppose to be... why call it democratic then? Do you call stuff blue that isn't blue but you think is what blue is suppose to be?

If "democratic" isn't what it's suppose to be, then something else is. In this case that something else is a society with a few mandatory but consistent rules, i.e. a voluntary society, i.e. anarchy, i.e. freedom, i.e. honesty, ect.

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May 17, 2012, 07:09:04 PM
 #23

IT's a difficult question to answer, because too many people have different ideas of what 'democratic' actually means.

Really? Many people?  Has G.W. Bush and the neocons screwed up the English language that much that people don't know what is what?    Undecided

No, you don't know what it means.

I am referring to the use of terms like "spreading democracy and freedom" to represent America's imperialistic adventures around the world.

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The US, regardless of who is at fault or who is the POTUS, is not a democracy and never has been...

I won't argue with that... but does that change the real meaning of "democracy" and "democratic"?

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pazor
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May 17, 2012, 07:11:17 PM
 #24

do you think money is democratic ?

wake up!

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May 17, 2012, 07:16:06 PM
 #25

do you think money is democratic ?

wake up!

Isn't the point that bitcoin is meant to be better than the current fiat money?  Something more... god forbid... democratic?    Shocked

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May 17, 2012, 07:16:41 PM
 #26

If "democratic" isn't what it's suppose to be, then something else is. In this case that something else is a society with a few mandatory but consistent rules, i.e. a voluntary society, i.e. anarchy, i.e. freedom, i.e. honesty, ect.
I understand your point but my original point was that many people consider democracy in general a good thing, and it doesn't mean they like our current political democracies. Spending a lot of time and effort talking about semantics is not very productive. It's easier to just concentrate on those points that signify what Bitcoin definitely is, and you listed some of those right there. Calling it non-something or anti-something is simpler if it's non-political or anti-government, for example. Those are easier concepts to understand and agree on.

Anyway, I do think that the Bitcoin network is democratic. The currency, or "bitcoins", are definitely not. The main negative aspect of democracy, coercion, does not apply here by the way. This is because in a free market you have a choice to use a different currency if the majority of the Bitcoin network decides to do something you disagree with. But the network is defined by majority hashing power nonetheless which makes it essentially democratic.

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May 17, 2012, 07:26:26 PM
 #27

Bitcoin in my mind is definitely democratic, in the sense of what democracy is supposed to be.

I'm baffled by this logic.

Suppose to be... why call it democratic then?

He means, perhaps, that some people misuse the term.

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Do you call stuff blue that isn't blue but you think is what blue is suppose to be?

Some people call things blue which aren't really blue. Does that mean we should stop using that word for things which are actually blue?

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If "democratic" isn't what it's suppose to be...

"Democratic" is a fine enough word to describe what the bitcoin experiment is all about.  You can talk until you're blue in the face to try
and change the meaning of the word based on others misuse of it, but, I suggest, it will still represent those positive qualities, already mentioned,
to those with a reasonable education in the English language.  


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May 17, 2012, 07:30:19 PM
 #28

"Democratic" is a fine enough word to describe what the bitcoin experiment is all about.  You can talk until you're blue in the face to try
and change the meaning of the word based on others misuse of it, but, I suggest, it will still represent those positive qualities, already mentioned,
to those with a reasonable education in the English language.  

That's your problem right there. You need a reasonable education in Latin, not English. Demos - people, kratos - to rule i.e. the rule of the people, majority rule! i.e. nothing like Bitcoin.

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theymos
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May 17, 2012, 07:31:18 PM
 #29

I don't see what isn't democratic about the Bitcoin network, you acquire the support of majority hashing power and the minority has the choice to just follow or start their own network. That is well, democracy in such a clear way that I couldn't even think of a better example of real democracy.

A majority of miners can't change the network rules. If every miner chose to increase the block reward from 50 BTC to 100 BTC, they would all just be ignored by everyone else. Your client applies the fixed rules of the network no matter what other people do.

Quote from: gmaxwell
Your bitcoin is secured in a way that is physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter a majority of miners, no matter what.

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hazek
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May 17, 2012, 07:36:09 PM
 #30

I don't see what isn't democratic about the Bitcoin network, you acquire the support of majority hashing power and the minority has the choice to just follow or start their own network. That is well, democracy in such a clear way that I couldn't even think of a better example of real democracy.

A majority of miners can't change the network rules. If every miner chose to increase the block reward from 50 BTC to 100 BTC, they would all just be ignored by everyone else. Your client applies the fixed rules of the network no matter what other people do.

Quote from: gmaxwell
Your bitcoin is secured in a way that is physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter a majority of miners, no matter what.

And those are the undemocratic facts about Bitcoin. Ty theymos for chiming in.

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Portnoy
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May 17, 2012, 07:56:41 PM
 #31

"Democratic" is a fine enough word to describe what the bitcoin experiment is all about.  You can talk until you're blue in the face to try
and change the meaning of the word based on others misuse of it, but, I suggest, it will still represent those positive qualities, already mentioned,
to those with a reasonable education in the English language.  

That's your problem right there. You need a reasonable education in Latin, not English. Demos - people, kratos - to rule i.e. the rule of the people, majority rule!

It comes from the Greek. And that is the etymology and origin of the English term, not an exact definition. Demos means "common people" as opposed
to an elite, who's rule, I am sure you would agree, is less desirable... since it is what we have now and it is not very fair now is it?   

Quote
i.e. nothing like Bitcoin.

Yup, nothing at all like bitcoin.   Roll Eyes

And not all democracies operate on the 51% "first past the post" voting system.
Look up words and concepts like "proportional representation" and "quorum" for a few examples.
I don't mention these to typify bitcoin but just point out there is more to "democracy" than your limited understanding of the term. 


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May 17, 2012, 08:06:24 PM
 #32

A majority of miners can't change the network rules. If every miner chose to increase the block reward from 50 BTC to 100 BTC, they would all just be ignored by everyone else. Your client applies the fixed rules of the network no matter what other people do.

Quote from: gmaxwell
Your bitcoin is secured in a way that is physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter a majority of miners, no matter what.
I thank you for educating me. I should know how Bitcoin works, been here for a while and so on, but it seems that I didn't quite think this through. So basically the minority would automatically form their own network if they used different client software from the rest, right?

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May 17, 2012, 08:18:36 PM
 #33

So basically the minority would automatically form their own network if they used different client software from the rest, right?

Pretty much. I'd say that the people changing the rules would be the ones creating a new network, though.

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May 17, 2012, 08:38:41 PM
 #34

It's not democratic:

1. It was created by ONE guy/group and imposed on the entire world.
2. You can't vote, only use or not use.

I believe it is technocratic:
1. It is a technology.
2. It was created by true experts.
3. It solves socio-eco-political issues - with no regard to left vs. right.

You could tax BTC income at 99% in a communist society (using force/tracing programs) or a 0% in a libertarian one.

It is simply a solution to a problem with corruption, of a human nature, of central banks/politicians, otherwise handling money.


Technocracy coincidentally will be the next great ideology - by the process of elimination; others will simply fail as they are now.


Mainstream propaganda has left people believing democracy = good/all else = evil. Where have we heard that before.

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May 17, 2012, 08:45:23 PM
 #35

We should taboo the word "democratic" from this discussion.

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May 17, 2012, 08:53:49 PM
 #36

Pretty much. I'd say that the people changing the rules would be the ones creating a new network, though.
Understood. The minority/majority concept doesn't really apply here at all, which does exclude it from being democratic. Any portion of the network can choose to start playing by their own rules but they can only play by themselves. I have to say that I like Bitcoin even more now that I understand this. Smiley

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May 17, 2012, 09:05:33 PM
 #37

I don't see what isn't democratic about the Bitcoin network, you acquire the support of majority hashing power and the minority has the choice to just follow or start their own network. That is well, democracy in such a clear way that I couldn't even think of a better example of real democracy.

A majority of miners can't change the network rules. If every miner chose to increase the block reward from 50 BTC to 100 BTC, they would all just be ignored by everyone else. Your client applies the fixed rules of the network no matter what other people do.


Far from being a disappointing example of its nondemocratic nature I would suggest this just affirms its alignment to the democratic spirit, in terms of transparency and fairness etc.; not giving advantage to any particular interest group or class ( e.g. miners ) even if they constitute a majority of participants.  And it is the real world context - the freedom to participate rather than being coerced into this or that - and the spirit behind the system we should keep in mind isn't it, rather than arguing over semantics just for the sake of argument?

Something that we can help the common people feel good about in supporting and participating in... rather than turning a lot of them off with the narrow and/or belligerent and/or agenda driven views of this or that group or class ( e.g. libertarians ). 

This will be my last word on this particular subject... perhaps....  I retain my assumed right of free speech and free association.   Wink

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May 17, 2012, 09:05:49 PM
 #38

Pretty much. I'd say that the people changing the rules would be the ones creating a new network, though.
Understood. The minority/majority concept doesn't really apply here at all, which does exclude it from being democratic. Any portion of the network can choose to start playing by their own rules but they can only play by themselves. I have to say that I like Bitcoin even more now that I understand this. Smiley

Can you now see why I'm so nitpicky about people using the adjective democratic for describing Bitcoin?

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May 17, 2012, 09:17:37 PM
 #39

I don't see what isn't democratic about the Bitcoin network, you acquire the support of majority hashing power and the minority has the choice to just follow or start their own network. That is well, democracy in such a clear way that I couldn't even think of a better example of real democracy.

A majority of miners can't change the network rules. If every miner chose to increase the block reward from 50 BTC to 100 BTC, they would all just be ignored by everyone else. Your client applies the fixed rules of the network no matter what other people do.


Far from being a disappointing example of its nondemocratic nature I would suggest this just affirms its alignment to the democratic spirit, in terms of transparency and fairness etc.; not giving advantage to any particular interest group or class ( e.g. miners ) even if they constitute a majority of participants.  And it is the real world context - the freedom to participate rather than being coerced into this or that - and the spirit behind the system we should keep in mind isn't it, rather than arguing over semantics just for the sake of argument?

Something that we can help the common people feel good about in supporting and participating in... rather than turning a lot of them off with the narrow and/or belligerent and/or agenda driven views of this or that group or class ( e.g. libertarians ). 

+1

Clearly more democratic than any other alternative that I know of.  That's enough for me.   Smiley

 

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May 17, 2012, 09:37:33 PM
 #40

Bitcoin is Technocratic
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