EP 014: Bitcoin isn't about politics, it's about honesty and control.
OR, Bitcoin incentivizes fair trade.
It was an interesting dinner party conversation.
It wasn’t that we were yelling, it was just that we were trying to sort out the mathematics of financial quintiles to assess an argument about financial mobility in the United States.
Our wives decided to stay in the other room and play with the baby.
You see, I was in the process of driving my friend absolutely nuts as he cited Raj Cheddi as the source of an analysis stating financial mobility in America is dead (you can poke around his CV HERE), and I was countering by citing Thomas Sowell of Stanford’s Hoover Institution and his work on inequality and inequity (You can find more of his work HERE) as well as the Nassim Nicholas Taleb argument that many wealth statistics aren’t useful in a non-normal distributions with emergent phenomena (i.e. a fat tailed distributions).
It was clear that my friend fell into the more progressive/liberal side of the political spectrum, and while I was taking the devil’s advocate counter argument, it wouldn’t be fair to call me a Republican or traditional conservative in any regard.
Where does a sovereign individual live politically?
I used to be like my parents and only able to muster every Jewish family’s favorite reply to the, ‘Where do you live politically?” question, which was to say, a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, but I now see the natural extension of that becoming a mix between libertarianism and localism.
Libertarianism, because it focuses on individual liberties and freedom from coercion.
Localism, because it is concerned with governance at various scales and sizes.
Bitcoiners are still finding their political voices, and in many ways I believe they will come to a conclusion that rests somewhere closer to my early read, that is to say, Bitcoiners are Bitcoiners because we expressly believe the government should not be responsible for certain aspects of public life, including both the financial aspects of life as well as the social aspects, but we also believe that truth matters (it’s why decentralization of the Bitcoin blockchain is of incredible importance).
That is, I don’t care how you want to assemble your family (as long as you aren’t abusing your children and/or spouse), whether you want to smoke, drink, squat heavy, eat crappy food or go full carnivore.
I do believe that you, more than anyone else are responsible for all of those choices and don’t need to be ‘nudged’ or coerced into making different choices by a government.
(NOTE: This doesn’t mean I don’t believe you shouldn’t take care of yourself, your body, and your family. It’s that I don’t believe that any existing power should have a mechanism of control or coercion over you to generate what they believe to be a ‘desirable’ outcome.)
So while my friend and I agreed, we didn’t.
Our theses collided in the sense that both of us believed the present day financial and social policy was generating outcomes that were net negative for the American public, but we didn’t come to agreement on what to do about it.
My bias is that when a thorn is stuck in the lion’s paw, the best course of action is to remove it and make sure nobody has the power to poke future thorns into the lion. It seemed his belief was that we needed to find a better way to manage the system of thorns and paw sticking (maybe we choose a different paw?) to generate better social outcomes amongst those with thorns stuck in paws.
That is, I believe macro phenomena are largely emergent and cannot be controlled top down, while my friend had an intuition that macro phenomena could be regulated by the proper causal understanding and intervention.
Fundamentally, reality will prove one of us correct in the long run and I’m sure our current bifurcated political institutions will follow suit (to be clear though, I’m betting on Bitcoin).
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