The below is a direct excerpt of Marty’s Bent Issue #1281: “Posture from a position of strength.” Sign up for the newsletter here.
Monday night was the inaugural Bitcoin Jawn meetup in Philadelphia. I had the pleasure of being in attendance and participating in the discussion. The topic of the first gathering was “Bitcoin and Freedom,” which is very fitting considering that Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States of America, where revolutionaries thrust their flag into the earth and said something along the lines of, “We will no longer be ruled by an unaccountable despotic king unfairly taxing us while living in a foreign land. We will be free men.”
As a native Philadelphian, I have always been drawn to the Founding Fathers, what they believed and how they imposed their will on the largest empire in the world to ensure they and their families could live a life rooted in the free will of the individual.
During the meet up, the conversation landed on the topic of what can be done to lobby policy makers to protect bitcoin from overbearing regulation. What can we do to protect bitcoin mining from climate hysterics? How can we get a de minimis spend tax exemption? How can we get bitcoin labeled as free speech, which would eliminate capital gains taxes altogether so individuals can transact freely? These were all interesting topics and definitely things I would like to see. However, I couldn’t shake the irony that we were gathered in a small pub in Philadelphia and essentially begging for the most basic of freedoms: The freedom to choose what we deem to be the best money for ourselves and spend it as we see fit without fear of retaliation from a despotic government. The Founding Fathers would be shrieking in rage over how the Republic they created has changed. Benjamin Franklin would surely remark, “Well it seems that you all were most certainly not able to keep it.”
When one considers the state of the Union today, particularly the bloated and tyrannical state of the federal government, it doesn’t really seem like there is a viable path to affect change via the political process. The whole system has been corrupted by special interests and an intelligence apparatus that has gone drunk with power. It seems like a completely idiotic strategy to think that lobbying the goliath to act favorably toward a tool that is destined to destroy it is a good way to spend one’s time and resources.
Instead, anyone who would like to see bitcoin succeed in defanging a shadow government gone mad with power would be better off spending their time and resources working as hard and as quickly as possible to initiate and fortify a bitcoin circular economy that equips those looking to peacefully escape the goliath and supporting them from a position of impenetrable strength. Asking the goliath for permission to defang it is acting from a position of weakness that is destined to fail. The goliath, understanding its perceived authority in the eyes of its subjects, will probably give subjects looking for permission a false sense of security by saying things like, “Ok, but…”
- You can use bitcoin, but you have to report all of your addresses to me.
- You can mine bitcoin, but you can only use these approved energy sources and only include these transactions in blocks you mine.
- You can use the Lightning Network for payments, but you can only open up channels with channel counterparties on this credentialed list.
If this is the route taken by Bitcoiners, it will lead to a dead end that renders bitcoin’s value proposition completely useless in the United States. This is certainly a path I do not want to take and an outcome I do not want my children to be subjected to.
I want to live free. I want to rid the goliath from my life. I want to have agency over my money. I do not want to ask permission for something I should be able to do freely. Does that make me a “radical” in the eyes of the goliath? Maybe, but I’d sooner change my name to David and take the goliath head-on than bow down and let it lord over me in a tyrannical fashion any longer. I think the founding fathers would have the same inclination and you shouldn’t be afraid to do the same. The goliath morphed from an entity that was supposed to represent us and protect our freedoms into an entity that causes great harm and erodes more and more freedoms every single day that passes.