Is Bitcoin Racist?
This is not to say that Bitcoin and the blockchain can never be used for non-rightist purposes, and even less that everyone in the blockchain communities is on the right. Yet it is hard to see how this minority can resist the political values that are very literally coded into the software itself.
I almost audibly exclaimed “finally!”, thinking we had at what seemed like long last, gotten to the part in the book where Golumbia was going to now show the reader exactly where the right-wing extremism was “very literally coded into the Bitcoin software itself” …and I eagerly turned the page…whereupon I reached the end of the book.
Let’s face it, Bitcoin is a movement born from protest. If the people behind it thought that the monetary system was fairly structured, that those who control it exercise legitimate power to the benefit of wider society and that an egalitarian democratic ideal was at work, functioning largely as intended; then nobody would have bothered to invent it.
The opposition to Bitcoin and the wider crypto-space is following a predictable arc, very similar to the early Internet days: it facilitates criminality, it will destabilize everything, and in a plot twist peculiar to this specific point in history, it is, like anything else progressives and self-appointed social justice warriors disagree with: extremism and racist:
“Many of these debates over new technologies are framed in context of risks to moral values, human health and environmental safety. But behind these concerns often lie deeper, but unacknowledged, socioeconomic considerations”.
Calestous Juma, “Innovation and its Enemies, Why People Resist New Technologies“
The reality however, the driver behind the hostility is the existential threat a technological innovation such as a decentralized extraterritorial monetary system poses to entrenched vested interests:
“The face-off between the established technological order and new aspirants leads to controversies…perceptions about immediate risks and long-term distribution of benefits influence the intensity of concerns over new technologies”.
Given the stakes, it’s not uncommon for a book like this to appear, but it is important that it be widely known that the book itself offers no substantive rebuttal of the emerging paradigm and is, consciously or not, a smear campaign proffered under the veneer of scholarship:
“One of the most favored propaganda tactics of [the establishment] is to relabel or redefine an opponent before they can solidly define themselves. In other words, [they] will seek to “brand” you (just as corporations use branding) in the minds of the masses so that they can take away your ability to define yourself as anything else….
Through the art of negative branding, your enemy has stolen your most precious asset — the ability to present yourself to the public as you really are.
Negative branding is a form of psychological inoculation. It is designed to close people’s minds to particular ideas before they actually hear those ideas presented by a true proponent of the ideas. ”
Brandon Smith, alt-market.com