Cypherpunks and the Bitcoin Marxist Agenda
I cannot give a proper introduction to the context of this writing. There are those that are familiar with my previous writing to the extent needed to fill in the gaps and the new reader might find some deeper context through them.
I recently realized what I am up against in regard to propagating the insight in John Nash’s Ideal Money. The cypherpunks have had previous successes in their respective fields which have caused them to believe that they are the light to the advancement of our global civilization.
This is non-sequitur self confirmation.
The reality is that they are very immature and irresponsible.
Bitcoin has a perceived ethos of decentralization-a tacitly held belief that an anarchic structure holds the core tenants in place. But it was recently pointed out to the community by Chris Derose that this is only a belief. The truth is there is hierarchy in place that guards bitcoin from external criticism.
I myself intuitively have known this. I can be caught often saying that Ideal Money reveals peoples hands. Since I have a proper and founded argument for a higher use case for bitcoin than simply a medium of exchange, and that it will not be heard by the community that proposes and implements changes and optimizations to the protocol, I have myself learned of this hierarchy.
I now have a deeper understanding of who holds this hierarchy in place and what its purpose is. I learned this further from statements from Eric Lombrozo in which I could not on the surface understand. He was specifically talking about the consensus rules and upon further inquiry I came across this:
Consensus can mean something like “a strong majority when the participants are weighted for expertise and/or strength of argument.” As an example, if four experts strongly agree to something and provide strong arguments for it, but five laymen merely state that they oppose the proposal, then the proposal would in most cases be said to have consensus. However, if four experts present strong arguments for a proposal, and three experts present equally strong arguments against it, then it would probably not be said to have consensus. This is commonly the way that technical decisions are made in open source projects, including many Bitcoin open source projects.
The above passage is the most core tenant of bitcoin. It is the agreement among the technocrats that they will retain control over Bitcoin and over non-technocrats. Furthermore the passage has a game theoretical implication that those of the technocrats that don’t join the consensus with be forked away from.
It is the hidden declaration that only the cypherpunk agenda will be considered regardless of the significance of any dissenting contentions.
I’m not sure everyone will understand what I am pointing out here but I am sure that some important people will.
The cypherpunks have an intrinsic error in their logic and it has to do with their misunderstanding of (or limited knowledge on) time. I can’t go into it all here but I can explain the relevant aspect.
If we start with the premise, and all cypherpunks do, that this technological advance is going to optimize our civilization it is quite natural to look back on the past to understand the limited freedoms our historical institutions afforded us.
I’m going to speak from the top of my head here and not research what I will explain. Anyone can feel free to correct and I am not at all an encyclopedia of knowledge (my memory centres have always been corrupt).
There is a relevant aspect of history in regard to the saying we all generally know that is “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This is the sentiment the cypherpunks vowed to provide a defense to-our powerful governments.
But this is not the proper context for this saying.
This saying comes from Lord Acton who was in correspondence with a bishop and they were inquiring into whether or not we should hold our past leaders to the standards of today (ie if a good leader in the past owned slaves was he immoral?). It is quite a complex question to go into and has great considerations in regard to the nature of time.
It is a folly to simply note that because of the freedoms technology brings us today we should therefore look on the institutions of the past as not only limited but also as evil and corrupt.
This is what the cypherpunks, core supporters, anarchists, etc. are doing when they are pointing to the “evil” powers that be today. And so they feel justified not only in their efforts but in their covert abuse of power as if they believe that they can make such decisions about the direction of humanity simply because they are more learned. But it is really simply that they (feel they) are in a position to do so.
Power corrupts-and that is how quickly they have forgotten.
I have started to understand the comparative relation between Marxism and these Bitcoin maximalists that in both world there was intent on overthrowing the ruling elite in order to break through the slavery imposed. In both movements however there is the temporary government that is deemed necessary to hold the order just long enough to ensure the new democracy will come about.
But it is not possible to give up this power; it is not about intent or intelligence.
I’ve pointed out that the crypto anarchists manifesto starts with the same line as the communist manifesto:
A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.~Tim May The Crypto-Anarchists Manifesto
A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism.~Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto
I am told this is parody and it cannot be further from the truth. I think there is probably sane reasoning to Marx’s observations but regardless who would deny there is a comparable nature to the two movements when we consider bitcoin as a (price) discovery of the cost of (proof of) work done:
The theory’s basic claim is simple: the value of a commodity can be objectively measured by the average number of labor hours required to produce that commodity.
To have Marxist influence or comparable nature I think is not so damning in and of itself but to deny it outright without considering the rest of the world’s contentions I think is the exact danger and folly we wish to avoid in regard to the bad definitions of socialism, communism, collectivism etc.
In other words Neo-Marxism is still Marxism and certainly still if you call it something else. It is not the word but the actions we want to avoid.
I came across this tweet today:
It is an extension of this cypherpunk agenda which seeks to convince the world that technological (scientific!) advance implies that old observations and theories simply end and have no connection to what is new. But I have shown in regard to the implications of Bitcoin that the two main differing schools of economic thought (ie Austrian and Keyenesian or central banking) are actually quite resolvable and understandable from the Nashian orientation in regard to Bitcoin.
So you can go into a room full of learned economists and experience macro economic theorists and practitioners (ie central bankers) and tell them that they simply aren’t technical enough to understand the technology and leave the room rolling your eyes…but I think really you would be fooling only yourself (admittedly not them) and effectively trying to preach neo-marxist propaganda.
Regardless, if we believe that science should be extended from our historical observations who is ready to argue that one view that doesn’t fit with our historical understanding is worthy of consideration versus another that does fit with our historical observations (and yet is not worthy of consideration)?
For this I would be quite embarrassed to be someone like Morales but I think simply she isn’t a scientifically or academically minded thinker and I see many people like this in the industry.
Luke Jr is another example and he is basically the primary custodian of the “keys” that guard the discussion for the optimization process of bitcoin. He is a devout religious man (catholic?) and an anti-capitalist (so I understand or hear or read) which is perfectly at odds with the ethos of free banking theory that so many try to tout when they point to the media reference in bitcoin’s genesis block.
That is my answer to anyone that wants to ask how I could assert it is possible for men or women that are technologically inclined to be so inferior when it comes to basic logic and reason in regard to our society, nature, and existence.
But such a limited mind that has these technologically based talents (Luke is highly touted otherwise etc) would be a perfect blind guardian of the cypherpunk agenda to keep reasonable dissenting contentions away from the Bitcoin improvement process.
My argument is at odds with this agenda because it consider that Bitcoin’s highest use case is not in regard to the optimization of it as a medium of exchange like both sides of the civil war were caught arguing for. Rather my argument shows that Bitcoin could be used to optimize our existing legacy financial system rather than to dissolve or destroy it.
Cypherpunks refuse to entertain this possibility because it crushes their dream and this is where they step away from being scientists and cling hard to their religion.
To do this they needed a coherent narrative to answer the ever more sophisticated questions that the rhetoric of Andreas Antonopoulos could no longer handle and so Saifedean Ammous was brought to the task. In order to put together a coherent argument Saifedean had to bastardize Keynes for reasons I will explain.
I caught this tweet as a re-tweet from Szabo (who is getting noticeable ever more careless and erratic in his arguments himself):
And here we see what Saifedean’s unprofessional argument has done:
And so now we have Nick Szabo endorsing pure ignorance and ad hominem attacks on reason which I think is probably perfectly inline with what is criticized about the marxist movement. The child tweeting above has no concept of what he is talking about and Szabo, being one of the most influential in the space, is perfectly praising and encouraging this kind of ignorance simply because it is inline with the cypherpunk agenda.
The reason Saifedean set this up is simply because Keynes’ proposal for the Bancor was rejected at the Bretton Woods conference in lieu of a decision to give the United States power exclusive control over issuing the world reserve currency. The resulting setup, in which the US would serve the world with their “gold-backed” dollars, lasted until the early 70’s when the world broke off the system to land on the floating currency system we have today.
In this sense, to criticize Keynesianism is not to criticize Keynes and for the reason of the Bancor proposal Keynes was for more sophisticated in comparison to Saifedean’s half baked argument he gives ~70 years later. To drive this point home and to give an understanding of how difficult Nash’s works is to traverse read how Nash carefully describes this nuance in Ideal Money:
He is very careful to distinguish between criticism of Keynes versus Keynesianism (makes a specific point about this) and Saifedean in contrast very purposefully and methodically teaches the reader to conflate to the two. He does this because the Bancor was a proposal for an apolitical settlement unit that would allow all nations to functions under a single global economy:
The bancor was a supranational currency that John Maynard Keynes and E. F. Schumacher conceptualised in the years 1940–1942 and which the United Kingdom proposed to introduce after World War II. The name was inspired by the French banque or(‘bank gold’). This newly created supranational currency would then be used in international trade as a unit of account within a multilateral clearing system~Wiki
The real problem with Keynes proposal was not his private life but that it required political cooperation to bootstrap. Nash’s Ideal Money has the same ends but it is built on rational agents that are self interested. I have argued that Bitcoin provides a proper basis for this competitive based bootstrapping of a global settlement mechanism whereas Saifedean has simply tried to argue that Bitcoin will be the world currency-his argument falls short failing to provide a proper conclusion and relies on an ad hominem based argument.
Furthermore, I have shown exactly why the austrian view has historically been unresolvable with the Keynesian view thus explaining to academic and central bankers how bitcoin “fits in with their theories”.
Coincedently today we start to see the first confirmation of the understanding of the possible true significance and implication of Bitcoin arising:
edit: He certainly did give the lecture Ideal Money in Russia:
I conjecture we will see more financial leaders around the world coming to the same conclusion that Nash already knew they would many years ago because of the reason he traversed in meditations and dialogue he had with himself.
Meanwhile I think “core devs” and the cypherpunks will continue to get more and more irate as they lose their (perceived) control over the direction of Bitcoin. They have the belief that since they are the technical experts then they should be sole choosers of not just what Bitcoin in a vacuum is to be but also what its implications are in regard to our existing global economy and financial system:
But like how Lombrozo implicitly cites Adam Smith here, likely without ever reading his works, and with a misapplication of Smith’s argument this group continues to cite Nash’s game theoretical work without understanding that it is that exact work that Ideal Money is based on and an extension of.
Rather it is exactly that since these coders spend all of their time on their craft that they should be deferring to experts on economic philosophy to understand the implications of what they are doing. Especially if such an expert happens to be also extremely versed in parallel computing, scaling, cryptography, mathematics, game theory and its applications to economics etc.