Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
October 20, 2016
Hot Springs, VA
“Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions… And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the fencing-off of vast ranches and farms, thus altering forever the concepts of land and property rights in the frontier West, so too will the seemingly minor discovery out of an arcane branch of mathematics come to be the wire clippers which dismantle the barbed wire around intellectual property. Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!” – Timothy C. May
The S&P closed out Wednesday at $2,144. Gold closed at $1,270 per ounce. Crude Oil closed at $51.72 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury rate closed at 1.75%. Bitcoin is trading around $630 per BTC today.
Today is little Maddie’s birthday! I still remember, two years ago to the day, witnessing her first breath of life. I can see it in my mind’s eye just a clearly as I see the computer screen in front of me. She has become a fantastically sweet and clever young lady in two years time, and her father’s cup runneth over with pride and joy.
Due to scheduling constraints, we actually celebrated her birthday on Tuesday. A few months back I asked Madison what she wanted to do for her birthday. “I want to ride Leo the horse!”, she responded without hesitation. So that’s exactly what we did.
In addition to basic sustenance and security, I see it as my responsibility to share in the discovery of Maddie’s interests and, if possible, help bring them to life for her. This was my first real opportunity to do so, and the smile on her face was the greatest reward a father could receive.
Shifting gears… we are now less than three weeks away from yet another ‘most important election’ in U.S. history. In fact, this election will determine the fate of human civilization… or so we are told.
To me, if you will excuse my being blunt, this is just another mass-ritual dedicated to an obsolete institution designed during the bronze age in the third millenium BC. I look around this world and I see very few things less important than this election – or any election for that matter. The fact of the matter is: top-down politics is an idea whose time has passed; it’s just not that important for your personal well-being. I believe that very firmly.
My reasoning is simple – you do not need politics or its promises. In fact, they are all false promises in the first place. Politics produces nothing and its institutions have nothing to give. All politics can do is force productive people to fund uneconomical programs using the threat of excessive fines and ultimately imprisonment to coerce compliance.
Maybe that’s not how they put it on the campaign trail, but that’s what they are championing: mandatory social programs by means of force, coercion, and violence.
Oh, and those funds they do receive via this means are then funneled through layer upon layer of bureaucracy and special interests. What comes out the other side in the form of useful services is very disproportionate relative to what went in.
Now this is nothing groundbreaking – people have been decrying government inefficiencies ever since the modern nation-state model took form in the late 1800’s. But their solution has always been to reform government and reshape political programs according to their own ideas regarding equality and necessity. If we just had the right people in office…, they say.
Usually those ‘right people’ never show up. Occasionally they do, yet the just reforms they promised fail to be so just. So everyone dutifully marches back out to the voting booth when the next election rolls around.
I offer these observations as merely that – observations. It is not my place to tell others what to do or how to live. That’s their business. I would prefer, however, that they not use politics to take income away from my family to finance programs that I see as unjust, unnecessary, and as a consequence will never use. I would also prefer that they not use politics as a means of initiating force, coercion, and violence against innocent people.
But I have learned that the world very rarely consults me about my preferences, so the best I can do is take care of my own affairs. And getting back to my earlier point, it was in the act of taking care of my own affairs that I came to realize you simply don’t need politics for anything.
Every single civil service function currently performed by governments can now be performed much better and much more equitably by local communities, private businesses, private charities, mutual aid organizations, religious organizations, families, concerned individuals, and decentralized systems based on Blockchain technology – all without requiring force, coercion, and violence as a means of funding and enforcement.
Let me explain with just a few examples.
There has been a major fuss for years now about health insurance, which politics misidentifies as “healthcare”. Politics has been meddling in this area for quite some time now which has led to rising costs and diminishing returns over time. Politics offered you its latest “healthcare” program in 2009, and it will offer you another when this one blows up.
You don’t need it. You can participate in a health cost-sharing network right now and get far better coverage for a substantially lower monthly expense. I mean substantially lower.
Liberty Healthshare is the most prominent network that I know of, but there are others. These cost sharing networks each will have their own policies and underwriting guidelines, but all that means is there are opportunities for people who don’t like what’s currently available to create their own networks. A successful blueprint already exists.
Before we move on, I should mention that “healthcare” has nothing to do with insurance; it is what you do for yourself. Eat well, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, avoid stress… that type of thing.
Let’s move on to education. Many still consider schooling to be a function of the State and thus subject to political involvement. Once again, you don’t need their education. In fact, I would suggest that their education actually is a net-negative. Sure, it provides basic reading, writing, and arithmetic… but it also fails miserably to prepare kids for the world that awaits them upon graduation.
You can build a world-class education that educates, inspires, and empowers your children by pairing online resources with local homeschooling meet-ups and real world experiences. I have written about alternative models of education extensively.
And how about retirement? A cornerstone of Otto von Bismarck’s model nation-state, upon which all modern nation-states are based, was a national pension system. The idea was to force workers to contribute to the national system for their entire working lives and then provide a monthly income to them once they retired. Of course the average life expectancy wasn’t much more than fifty years old at the turn of the 20th century, so Otto didn’t think the State would have to pay for retirees too long.
So national pension systems – Social Security in the U.S. – have become a fixture, but you don’t need them. Demographics and a lack of real actuarial work have created a scenario in which inflation-adjusted monthly income from these systems will necessarily diminish over time – very significantly in places where extreme unfunded liabilities have accrued like the U.S.
There are plenty of alternative options here, but I have shared how one single strategy requiring no more than $250 per month for 15 or 20 years can become a million dollar pension system. That’s without delving into the financial markets or any complex investment vehicles. Anyone can do this. Pair this strategy with a sensible asset allocation model and you will really be set for life.
The last item I will touch on is my favorite: money.
Bitcoin has divested monetary issuance and control from the State and the central banking cartel and transferred it to a borderless, transnational, immutable, incorruptible, and censorship-resistant currency network that is distributed in nature and completely decentralized.
Bitcoin offers participants complete payment freedom, and it makes every user the President and CEO of his or her own bank while eliminating identity theft, fraud, charge-backs, and eradicating fees in the process.
Further, the underlying Blockchain technology is fantastically useful for a whole host of civil service functions. The Blockchain could perform these services far more effectively, far cheaper, and without the possibility for gaming, corruption, lobbying, or special interests – quite contrary to its political counterpart. I have written about some of these possibilities here.
Want something more tangible? Goldmoney is a company that offers gold-backed financial accounts which makes it possible to transact in gold very easily. Goldmoney provides multiple accounts to cater to a range of needs, be they reliable savings, international payments, business transaction processing, or long-term wealth protection.
So when I say that you don’t need politics for anything, I mean it quite literally. This isn’t philosophical or theoretical, the technology and infrastructure to replace politics already exists. These are just a few examples, but there are many others.
The necessary decentralized systems and networks are being built as we speak, and they are being built while the rest of the world fixates on Trump versus Hillary. Nobody is asking for permission to build or join these Gamma systems, and by the time they are taken seriously by the reactionary bronze-age political institutions seeking to protect their monopoly, it will be way too late. By then, any aggressive attempts to attack these systems will trigger the “Streisand effect” which will speed up the process of widespread adoption.
I suppose I should add that the decentralized nature of these systems makes them immune to censorship or shut-down because there is no single point of failure. There’s no CEO to shake down, no central office to raid, no central server to shutter… everything is distributed across a global network. There’s just no way to kill software that runs on millions of computers across the globe simultaneously.
If everyone were to opt-in to these Gamma systems causing politics to fade into obscurity, the cost savings would total in the trillions and those trillions would be left in the economy to spur productivity, innovation, and wealth creation. Today those trillions are siphoned off by administrative bureaucracy and special interest groups, never to be seen again. Everyone would benefit tremendously from this, but those currently underserved by the existing status quo would benefit the most because they would finally have an even playing field.
But of course everyone is not going to immediately opt-in to these systems and politics is not going to immediately fade into obscurity. Instead, most people will go along with whatever politics says they should go along with, and politics will continue on about its business… for now. Come back in twenty years and I bet you will see a completely different picture, however.
What is happening right now, just beneath the gaze of most, is the formation of an alternative world. Instead of hierarchy, power, and monopoly, this new world is based on voluntary association, mutual collaboration, and participatory networks. Instead of seeking to dominate and control individuals, this new world seeks to empower them.
This brave new voluntary world will not be forced upon anyone, but all will be welcomed. Nor will the new world forcefully replace its bronze-age counterpart, but it will eventually make it obsolete. As public debt continues to grow, unfunded liabilities continue to accrue, geo-political tension continues to build, and as the institutional foundation of the industrial world continues to crumble, more and more people will seek out alternatives to the status quo. When they are ready, these Gamma systems will be waiting for them.
Lest I send the wrong signal, the future is not homogeneous nor is it particularly orderly. I am not proclaiming a coming utopia. I don’t mean to suggest that voluntary human association will always and everywhere triumph over the force, coercion, and violence of politics. What I am suggesting is that opting out of politics will finally be a viable option. Indeed, it already is.
Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!
More to come,
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