This is an opinion editorial by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,” founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of the “Svetski Wake Up Podcast.”
Part 3, Chapter 4 of the JBP series.
Tyranny cannot feed on truth, for it is poison to its system of lies. In that sense, Bitcoin is “poison” to the “rat” known as the state. — Warren Bitfet, the Bitcoin alter ego of Warren Buffett
The series continues. If you’ve not yet read chapters one through three, you can find them here, and of course read Part One and Part Two of this chapter.
Quotes with no source underneath are attributed to Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.
In Part Two, we explored how Bitcoin helps one enhance their aim and focus their attention on that which matters. This is the only real and lasting antidote to the hopeless helplessness of nihilism.
In Part Three, we’re going to discuss truth, tyranny and the moral obligation we as sovereign individuals have to speak up, as we emerge from this nihilistic world.
The Unholy Trinity Of The State.
In chapter four of “12 Rules for Life,” Peterson informs us of an evil psychological triad that we’re subject to as humans: arrogance, deceit and resentment.
When an individual operates within such a paradigm, or exhibits behavior fuelled by these emotions, their results and their individual orientation are suboptimal.
“It’s part of an evil triad: arrogance, deceit, and resentment.”
They may feel as though they’ve succeeded in the moment, but on an extended timescale, they’ve compromised their position, footing, integrity or their moral compass.
As outlined in Part Two, because we are largely blind, we cannot know what demons or monsters lurk downstream of each such decision or action.
This meta-idea applies to the macro scale. The State is an apparatus who is more blind than the individual, but has more impact on more people’s lives than an individual ever can.
It’s “Unholy Trinity” consists of the:
- Monopoly on money,
- Monopoly on violence,
- Monopoly on morality / justice / law
Combined, this “evil triad” ensures that a territorial operator is insulated from market feedback and thus oblivious to the consequence of their actions and behavior.
Such an ignorant and static structure will slowly but surely transform a territory or society into a tyranny, just like deceit, arrogance and resentment will transform a person into a tyrant toward themselves and those around them.
How does one confront this unholy trinity?
By speaking truth.
To speak up requires courage, and to have courage requires faith.
Knowing when to speak up requires wisdom, and wisdom requires maturity.
The path to becoming mature requires one to be responsible.
Bitcoin is “responsibility go up” technology.
“Resentment always means one of two things. Either the resentful person is immature, in which case he or she should shut up, quit whining, and get on with it, or there is tyranny afoot — in which case the person subjugated has a moral obligation to speak up.”
Bitcoin is our way of speaking up.
We are no longer content with the lot prescribed to us by the State. As free, mature individuals we seek to bear the responsibility of life upon our own shoulders. We seek to be sovereign.
We are mature enough, technologically speaking, to no longer require large-scale bureaucratic nation-states to tell us what we should think, do, eat, believe or say. As a diverse species, we have the capacity to solve problems that no bureaucrat or committee could ever hope to solve if we are left alone to solve them.
The computer I am writing on is one such example. Think about the complexity required for the circuits firing inside the hardware of this device to not only visually represent the thoughts I have in my head by virtue of me tapping plastic buttons on a keyboard, but to transmit them across time and space on an ephemeral network we call “the internet.” It’s just mind-boggling.
None of this came from the state apparatus. It emerged despite it. There was no central planner, organizer or panopticon. It happened because we were all aiming at things we individually valued.
Humans are capable of so much more when we’re not treated like imbeciles in a cage or rats in a maze.
It’s the moral obligation of those of us who understand this, to speak up, and Bitcoin is that voice in action.
Tyranny Versus Truth
Tyranny feeds on lies.
Tyranny is a map that ignores the territory and when reminded as much, the tyrant first ignores, then actively censors the signal.
Tyranny is a pilot removing the altimeter of the plane when it’s warning of low altitude or imminent danger.
Tyranny is the obfuscation and renunciation of economic consequences resultant from central planning, and their placement onto the populace by means of overt and covert theft (taxation and inflation).
Tyranny is the systematic theft by central planners and bureaucrats bailing each other out with the wealth of the people they purportedly represent.
Tyranny is wilful ignorance and coercion despite market feedback.
Tyranny wants silence. It develops mechanisms to censor signals, speech and action so it can have it.
“Because the consequence of remaining silent is worse. Of course, it’s easier in the moment to stay silent and avoid conflict. But in the long term, that’s deadly. When you have something to say, silence is a lie — and tyranny feeds on lies.”
Holding fiat money, cryptocurrency or any other form of permissioned and “approved” monetary asset or wealth issued by the State and their appendages is simply participation in their game.
It is a form of compliance, and therefore silence. Tyranny feeds on this.
Bitcoin is the antidote.
Tyranny cannot feed on truth, for it is poison to its system of lies.
Bitcoin is that “poison.”
Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger are right when they said “Bitcoin is rat poison,” only they don’t realize the “rat” it poisons is the tyrannical persona and the tyrannical state.
Both need to be cleansed.
Peterson makes the case that the quality of our values and morality are indicators of our sophistication.
I’m here to make the case that a Bitcoin standard may increase our level of interpersonal and social sophistication by enabling the organization of individuals and the world around us in accordance with more clear, precise and functional priorities.
In other words, Bitcoin may help us elevate the maturity of the human race.
This is why I believe it’s the most important invention (or discovery) of our lifetimes, and perhaps for centuries.
“Our values, our morality — they are indicators of our sophistication.”
Bitcoin will bring forth the fusion of the studies of matter and what matters.
We covered this in chapter two of the series.
It will open the door once more to the now-taboo non-empirical domain of value and quality. It will give us a chance to enhance and elevate our moral sophistication and thereby become better human beings.
And no — that will not happen in a straight line either. As humans, we shall make mistakes along the way, many of them. But fortunately, on a Bitcoin standard, we are subject to faster feedback loops and a stronger signal, so can more accurately course correct.
In the absence of a controlled money-issuing apparatus, the difficulty (cost) to hide or socialize losses is too great. One must learn the lesson, and in the future be more prudent or more accurate in their aim.
Which brings me to my next point, and one which we’ll explore further in Part Four of this miniseries.
Bitcoin enables honest feedback in the game that 8 billion hairless apes are playing on a pale blue dot floating around in space.
A perfect Utopia will never exist and what Bitcoiners, at least those whose words are worth a damn, mean when they talk of a better world is not some panacea to all ailments such that everything is good for everyone all the time.
This isn’t some Marxist fantasy with Ethereum unicorns.
In fact, Bitcoin’s most important impact on society is the reintroduction of economic consequence. This will more often than not be painful and ugly but necessary.
“We can’t just get the one particular thing we especially just want now, along with everything else we usually want, because our desires can produce conflict with our other desires, as well as with other people, and with the world.”
On a Bitcoin standard we will get a blend of what we want, and more importantly, what we actually need, which are often two different things.
We will have conflict, but we’ll have no choice but to work it out on a more level playing field. At the very least, the systemic possibility of cheating by one player to the detriment of the others, without their knowledge or consent, dissolves. That alone is worth fighting for.
These conflicts will force us to prioritize, and take into account the market of values, which reminds me of John Vallis’s masterpiece “Money Messiah” in which he makes the case for:
Hierarchies as a prioritization and aggregate of values.
The market as an aggregate and prioritization of hierarchies.
This rings profoundly true for me, and I suggest you read that piece once you’ve finished this one.
In a social sense, we are playing a game with a score, and that scorecard is determined to a large degree by how well you “play” in the “market.”
I don’t just mean the quantum of money. Winning occurs across multiple dimensions. A stay-at-home mom can win the game of life with a lot less money than a stressed out, childless female millionaire CEO with menopause can, after she traded her youth for the illusion of “career success.”
Therefore the game of life is like an aggregate of aim, focus, attention, consequence, feedback and adaptation within the context of internal and external value hierarchies.
It’s complex, but the more sophisticated you become at playing, the better your results, or the better your overall score.
“We succeed when we score a goal or hit a target. We fail, or sin, when we do not (as the word sin means to miss the mark). We cannot navigate, without something to aim at and, while we are in this world, we must always navigate.”
For this sophistication to enhance and not distort and confuse the system, it is critical for a society to have a rules that the participants are all subject to, with a functional, scoring mechanism (unit of account) that is transparent and un-fuck-with-able.
This is the case for Bitcoin.
On that foundation, on that standard of truth, we will become better through each successive generation. I’ll see you in Part Four to close this chapter out.
This is a guest post by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,”, founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of The Wake Up Podcast. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.