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Author Topic: Are Bitcoiners Neoliberals?  (Read 8702 times)
bluemeanie1
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October 18, 2014, 01:54:15 AM
 #1

After having a few tweets with Erik Voorhees today, rather than going through yet another libertarian debate, I figured- let's get tactical.

The bitcoin political ideology has been identified before.  It's called Neoliberalism.

do bitcoiners call themselves Neoliberals?

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   The main points of neo-liberalism include:

        THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

        CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

        DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.

        PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

        ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."


sounds familiar don't it?

-bm



edit: mispelled Erik's name.  Dutch names arghhh

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October 18, 2014, 02:28:06 AM
 #2

After having a few tweets with Erik Vorhees today, rather than going through yet another libertarian debate, I figured- let's get tactical.

The bitcoin political ideology has been identified before.  It's called Neoliberalism.

do bitcoiners call themselves Neoliberals?



not neoliberals,because if  let BTC success, it avoid  need current economic and financial system  support.

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October 18, 2014, 02:32:46 AM
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I'd say that's putting it in the most negative way possible. How about we try rephrasing some of that:

THE RULES OF THE MARKET: All goods and services, including labor, are traded using the rules of supply and demand. Employees are expected to stick up for themselves when they are being mistreated by employers but should respect the fact that they're often being paid what their job is worth.

CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES: Instead of paying taxes, families can choose to use their money for the goods and services they use every day, including choosing which from a list of schools you send your children to. You get sick of that pothole in the road, you can make voluntary contributions to a fund that will fill it. You use the city bus, you're the one who pays the fare. There are charities that feed and house the poor that you can donate to. As for corporations, it's the rules of the marketplace again. If you don't want the goods and services they provide, if you prefer to have a solar panel and a well instead of paying for public utilities for instance, that's your business.

DEREGULATION: Buy the more efficient light bulb for the savings on your electric bill. Buy the fuel-efficient car or get around on a bicycle. Go freelance if you feel unsafe at your job. I've heard of joes with a welding license opening up shop in their garage. It's the free market again.

PRIVATIZATION: Tough one, but I like the idea of having several private schools competing for tuition dollars. Check out the MOOCs sometime and you'll see how easy it is to get a cheap education outside of public school. Electricity? Install solar panels. Fresh water? The ones who don't live in the desert can collect rain water, and the ones who live near a coastline can check out this Youtube video to see how to get fresh water from the ocean. Really! I think people are more clever about getting life's essentials than you give them credit for. It'll be a shakeup if governments privatize their assets all at once, but survivors know how to adapt.

I am not seeing how "individual responsibility" is a bad thing. Really a lot of the problems I see in America have to do with the fact that not enough people do the "individual responsibility" thing. Tell me you've never seen pictures of welfare queens with two brats and a third on the way. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be on the dust heap of failed businesses. Honestly, it's not the 19th century anymore. Most poor folks have a laptop or a friend with a laptop and one condition for being on welfare should be that they should demonstrate a new employable skill that they learned from Youtube lesson videos within three months, and have a new job within six.
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October 18, 2014, 02:42:11 AM
 #4

I'd say that's putting it in the most negative way possible. How about we try rephrasing some of that:

THE RULES OF THE MARKET: All goods and services, including labor, are traded using the rules of supply and demand. Employees are expected to stick up for themselves when they are being mistreated by employers but should respect the fact that they're often being paid what their job is worth.

CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES: Instead of paying taxes, families can choose to use their money for the goods and services they use every day, including choosing which from a list of schools you send your children to. You get sick of that pothole in the road, you can make voluntary contributions to a fund that will fill it. You use the city bus, you're the one who pays the fare. There are charities that feed and house the poor that you can donate to. As for corporations, it's the rules of the marketplace again. If you don't want the goods and services they provide, if you prefer to have a solar panel and a well instead of paying for public utilities for instance, that's your business.

DEREGULATION: Buy the more efficient light bulb for the savings on your electric bill. Buy the fuel-efficient car or get around on a bicycle. Go freelance if you feel unsafe at your job. I've heard of joes with a welding license opening up shop in their garage. It's the free market again.

PRIVATIZATION: Tough one, but I like the idea of having several private schools competing for tuition dollars. Check out the MOOCs sometime and you'll see how easy it is to get a cheap education outside of public school. Electricity? Install solar panels. Fresh water? The ones who don't live in the desert can collect rain water, and the ones who live near a coastline can check out this Youtube video to see how to get fresh water from the ocean. Really! I think people are more clever about getting life's essentials than you give them credit for. It'll be a shakeup if governments privatize their assets all at once, but survivors know how to adapt.

I am not seeing how "individual responsibility" is a bad thing. Really a lot of the problems I see in America have to do with the fact that not enough people do the "individual responsibility" thing. Tell me you've never seen pictures of welfare queens with two brats and a third on the way. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be on the dust heap of failed businesses. Honestly, it's not the 19th century anymore. Most poor folks have a laptop or a friend with a laptop and one condition for being on welfare should be that they should demonstrate a new employable skill that they learned from Youtube lesson videos within three months, and have a new job within six.


this sounds like Arizona to me.

Arizonans invented something called 'school vouchers' which let people economize their own public schooling while meeting the federal education requirement in the US.  The program generally worked, although states like California run a non-stop promotion campaign to make it look like it's perpetually broken.

there is a happy medium for sure.

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October 18, 2014, 03:27:46 AM
 #5

I don't believe in selling state "owned" enterprises, goods, and services, because it would not be right for the state to profit from theft.  A better strategy would be abandonment, in which case the services and property could usually be claimed by those who are actually working with it.  Sounds a little bit Marxian, but it was actually proposed by Murray Rothbard, among others.  I saw a variant of this in the fascinating novel Time Will Run Back by Henry Hazlitt, and I believe about 4-5 years ago there were several hypothetical "end of the state" articles on strike-the-root.com which featured accounts of former state employees homesteading abandoned sate resources and putting them to productive use.

Before discovering the idea of the state simply abandoning its ill gotten gains, my personal preference was that the state should auction off all of its goods for fiat money and then destroy the fiat money.  That idea might hold some interest for Bitcoiners. Smiley

I don't think this thread really belongs under "Bitcoin discussion" when there is a politics forum.

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October 18, 2014, 03:40:08 AM
 #6

I'm simply a proponent of freedom. There is nothing complex about it.

How do you define "freedom"?
There is nothing complex about it....
Debates about abortion (for example) can make a "proponent of freedom" quickly run into some complexity.

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October 18, 2014, 04:15:37 AM
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I'm simply a proponent of freedom. There is nothing complex about it.

How do you define "freedom"?

I find this to be a pretty clear, compelling, and consistent definition:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

To make it even shorter, I believe in having the freedom to do what you want, but not the freedom to do what you want at the expense of somebody else's freedom.  I think that's the only way to be consistent about it.

Quote
There is nothing complex about it....
Debates about abortion (for example) can make a "proponent of freedom" quickly run into some complexity.

They certainly do but most such debates honestly do not affect most of us on a daily basis.

Plus, freedom still offers some compelling answers.  Suppose you believe abortion is murder and should be prosecuted.  If we are all free and I do not believe in prosecuting abortion, then you don't have the freedom to prosecute abortion at my expense.  That would greatly curtail your ability to cause trouble on the subject.  Meanwhile, those who do not believe abortion is murder might very well believe in providing free aid to those who are prosecuted for it, so you might want to count your costs before you get into a war on the subject.

There comes a point where you have to start questioning whether or not you should be trying to right every wrong, with the use of force, using everyone else's resources as your bank account.

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October 21, 2014, 12:39:26 AM
 #8

Ummm.... Yeah. I especially like how your 'definition' freely intermixes testable assertions of fact with opinion, and even a healthy dose of scorn. Roll Eyes

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.
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October 21, 2014, 12:41:11 AM
 #9

Bitcoiners are not a monolith.

You'll see people from all over the political spectrum, this is a technology.

Remember Aaron Swartz, a 26 year old computer scientist who died defending the free flow of information.
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October 21, 2014, 01:00:55 AM
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The bitcoin community makes up people from all walks and talks of life. I've met a broad spectrum of people in my travels.

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October 21, 2014, 02:00:39 AM
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Bitcoin itself is a protocol and software program that is not political.  It may be used in a variety of different ways for a variety of purposes who have a political agenda but that is different then claimin that is what Bitcoin is.

People like Erik Vorhees who claim to know what Bitcoin is have latched onto the technology as a way of promoting his personal agenda and promoting himself.  He tries to misrepresent what Bitcoin is because he uses it as a bully pulpit because very few listen to his over-the-top nonsense.  His arguments consist of sound bytes and meme's.  Not that I totally disagree with the basic ideas of limited government but the way it is presented ranges from incredibly poor to ridiculous.  The same thing happened when the Internet was starting, all these people claimed the Internet was for freedom and it will end government corruption and give power to the people, yada yada yada.  Well guess what, it is now a tool for governments to spy on their citizens as well as a tool for freedom fighters.  The term most often used who go around claiming Bitcoin will replace the dollar, collapse governments, and end wars is "Pseudo-Libertarian" but I prefer "Bitcoin Wing Nut."

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October 21, 2014, 02:09:05 AM
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...The term most often used who go around claiming Bitcoin will replace the dollar, collapse governments, and end wars is "Pseudo-Libertarian" but I prefer "Bitcoin Wing Nut."

There is a middle-ground where Bitcoin doesn't "get the credit" for replacing the dollar & collapsing governments, but simply gives people a way to (partially) escape the paper-money system. Eventually, the old, corrupt system will be completely broken and the Libertarian Coin Nuts can take over.  Cheesy

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October 21, 2014, 02:34:03 AM
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...The term most often used who go around claiming Bitcoin will replace the dollar, collapse governments, and end wars is "Pseudo-Libertarian" but I prefer "Bitcoin Wing Nut."

There is a middle-ground where Bitcoin doesn't "get the credit" for replacing the dollar & collapsing governments, but simply gives people a way to (partially) escape the paper-money system. Eventually, the old, corrupt system will be completely broken and the Libertarian Coin Nuts can take over.  Cheesy

Replacing the USD is a bit much.  It will put pressure on current systems and it might collapse Western Union but collapsing national currencies is not going to happen anytime soon.  The Internet put pressure on politicians in ways that have never been done before but it still isn't stopping their shenanigans the way people thought it would.  I remember the protest where the web site owners turned the screens black and the people thought everyone would jump.  The reality was it took 20 or 30 minutes to explain the whole thing to a Washington Bureaucrat and they would just shrug their shoulders.

The real wacky stuff comes from the people who say it will end wars.  The theory being the whole world will switch to Bitcoin and it will somehow prevent governments from spending money on war (I guess they can't use the Dark Wallet?).  The first time I heard the whole thing was that Free State Radio who broadcast parts of the first big Foundation conference.  They played commercials claiming that all government employees were murderers.  That means janitors, social security workers, astronauts, etc. are all murders.  They also talk about 'government" as if is one thing all coordinated.  They played an excerpt from the Onion on the show and I could not tell the difference between the Onion stuff and the stuff they claimed to be serious.  One person who comes from this group often claims on podcasts that Bitcoin is increasing "exponentially" and that there is this "huge" Bitcoin economy.  The real reason is that almost nobody listens to their stuff so they have to latch onto a technology and claim that people who use it agree with them.

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October 21, 2014, 02:47:30 AM
 #14

If you want to hear the difference between a reasonable person and a "Bitcoin Wing Nut" listen to Preston Byrne and Stephanie on Let's Talk Bitcoin

http://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/lets-talk-bitcoin-137-eye-of-the-beholder

He makes perfect sense and then look at all the comments of the story.  They claim he is a State lover, not  libertarian, and on and on.  All he did was describe reality (and I usually can't stand lawyers).  I could not find one valid objection to what he said or any explanation as to why he would be wrong for the position he is in. 

All the regulations have to do with interfacing Bitcoin with the legacy system that these people say they want eliminated so why should they care?  The proposed regs are for people that still want to use banks.  Not that I agree with the proposed regs but that is what they are. 
 

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October 21, 2014, 06:05:22 AM
 #15

The term most often used who go around claiming Bitcoin will replace the dollar, collapse governments, and end wars is "Pseudo-Libertarian"

Out of curiosity, what makes them "pseudo" libertarians?  Is that different from regular libertarians?

Who uses the term?

[[citation needed]]

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October 21, 2014, 06:08:02 AM
 #16

The real wacky stuff comes from the people who say it will end wars.  The theory being the whole world will switch to Bitcoin and it will somehow prevent governments from spending money on war (I guess they can't use the Dark Wallet?).

The theory is that ending the power to tax and the power to inflate the money supply will greatly curtail the government's ability to wage war.

I'd like to end the power to tax - people who believe in a particular battle should fund it with their own resources, rather than picking their neighbor's pockets.  It would have been great if, in 2002, an invasion of Iraq had to be paid for by the people who were convinced of the need, rather than by them plus everybody who disagreed.

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October 21, 2014, 06:09:18 AM
 #17

All the regulations have to do with interfacing Bitcoin with the legacy system that these people say they want eliminated so why should they care?

Because people should have the freedom to make whatever private arrangements they want.

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October 21, 2014, 06:18:15 AM
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I think a lot of bitcoiners have at least some liberalism in their blood, for sure the very early adopters. The ones that are adopting now may just be adopting because they like the technology, etc. But, Neoliberals? good question.
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October 21, 2014, 01:25:11 PM
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All the regulations have to do with interfacing Bitcoin with the legacy system that these people say they want eliminated so why should they care?

Because people should have the freedom to make whatever private arrangements they want.


These are kind of stupid replies you get from the pseudo-libertarians.  You get some sound byte or meme and they act like they just trumped the whole discussion.  a "pseudo-libertarian" is someone who makes some kind of simplistic statement without much research or thought.  They only interact with other people like themselves so they sit around reinforcing each other with flawed and unrealistic ideas.  when they write about Bitcoin they start using political terms like "Libertarian," "state", and "leviathan."  No normal person describes Bitcoin that way unless they are using it to pursue some agenda. 

The people who unconditionally support Ross Ulbricht is an example.  If he really did what he is accused of then most people want him in jail.  I certainly don't want some nut job going around ordering murders.  If was a false prosecution then I want the prosecutors in jail.  What is really sad is that his Mother is upset and you have Roger Ver coming in and "donating" money for the legal defense fund.  Then he uses her in videos and blogs to try to promote his agenda.  You also have these "Bitcoins Not Bombs" people who used homeless people as billboards for their cause.  Nobody listens to them so they use homeless people.

Take another guy, Charlie Shrem.  he thinks all copyrights should be eliminated because it is a "Tool of the State."  Mr. anarchy lived with his parents and then got lucky with Bitcoin.  Maybe if he would try to earn a living as a musician for 10 years maybe he would understand what it is about.  But he doesn't take the time to understand the real world, he cries that nobody understands him except his Bitcoin friends.   

I certainly don't hate Libertarians.  I used to go to meetings at CATO institute when I lived in Washington, DC.  I also work with the NJ Libertarian's party on their Open Government Project.  So I like many normal Libertarians and people who fight for open government.  The guy who runs that project files lawsuits to gain access to government records.  He doesn't go around making a bunch of hyperbolic comments and meme's or attaching himself to a technology in order to promote himself.

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October 21, 2014, 01:37:45 PM
 #20

Bitcoin is the technology and users have many different political views. Do only marxist have cars? no.
The users of bitcoin have neoliberals, socialist, marxist, anarchist and even statist views.
See: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=723537.0
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