Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bitcoin and the new fascism...

Guiseppe Volpi, Mussolini's Finance Minister

Like this from Izabella Kaminska:

Currencies of the realm represent a social contract between citizens and the government. Not only are they mandated as official tender, they end up being inherently superior to other units because of that government affiliation. This is because the government is the one common denominator between all participatory agents in the economy, all of whom at some point have to pay taxes. Why would you accept settlement in BP shares, when you know that ultimately your liability to the government is in national fiat.

That currencies exist because we have to pay taxes is not only untrue but a misrepresentation of the point of currency. Indeed, the liberation of money from state monopoly must be one of the objectives we strive for - monopoly is always bad and doubly bad when it exists solely for the purpose of allowing the government to take that which is ours by main force.

The other reason this is nonsense is because the direction we are travelling is away from government not towards it - thus it is no surprise that governments dislike systems of exchange they don't control. Moreover the size of government requires that these initiatives be stopped - if they are not then government cannot sustain itself (other than by debauching the very currency that Isabella claims is 'inherently superior'). That superiority is simply a consequence of government's monopoly of effective force rather than anything inherent in some mythical 'social contract'.

But then the writer here compounds the misperception by revealing her prejudice:

This is because it is still based on anti-social instincts and the pursuit of personal gain over the common good in a nefarious and unproductive way for society. 

Now - given that the writer claims some economic knowledge - I'm not going to talk about Adam Smith and that famous bit about the butcher's self-interest. Rather I'm going to ask who defines the 'common good'? If (as I suspect is the case here) the definition is 50%+1 then we are simply living in a tyranny and creating the circumstances for the rebirth of what Finer called the 'oikos' state. And the tyranny would be a platonic one - the great and good, the heads of that 'oikos' would decide the common good. Anything - such as a private currency - that would threaten what those heads determine is 'good' must be stopped. As our author puts it:

At its heart the currency is founded on anti-social tenets, which will always tempt capital that wishes to be used unproductively, especially in an economic environment where the only productive use of capital is increasingly through government spending.

Or as Benito Mussolini would have put it:

Everything within the state, nothing without the state.

Welcome to the new fascism folks!


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