Sunday, July 21, 2013

Anonmous Society Or Bitcoin to fund a War

I think everyone is starting to get over the initial "panic towards all things privacy" after the Snowden leaks. And I'm less than reassured the the world will dramatically change following the rather obvious nature of the way Nation States are spying on their citizens private lives. I'd rather consider the implication of longer term trends. I think the conceptualization behind anonymous "cryto-currencies", like Bitcoin, is a rather important long-term trend the cause-effect nature of which is a rather long ways off. So today I'm asking myself, our society were truly an "Anonymous Society" would be any better off? And what effect would it have on "war as the health of the state"?

The first and second "Opium Wars" were essentially trade disputes between the British and Chinese over the fall in tax revenue for the Chinese dynasty due to merchants skirting treaties. The British won, and established what is today one of the largest banking centers in the world, largely to facilitate and finance the shipping of narcotics around the world.

During World War I, the British borrowed heavily from Wall St. banks in the United States to finance their defense against the Germans, great economic debates that are still raging today about the role of government monetary intervention in the value of it's currency originated in the aftermath (think Keynes v. Hayek)

The Spanish conquistadors slaughtered thousands of indigenous Indians (and enslaved the rest, or gave them Smallpox, whatever, sucked to be them...) in a quest for endless troves of gold. Which the monarchy ultimately used to fight other wars, build itself enormous palaces (see picture of me next to Palace of Escorial, Spain), all while the majority of the country remained relatively impoverished. See this awesome picture of me next to a giant castle in Spain.

As I mentioned in a previous post, governments and the powerful have been able to finance war pretty much the same way, and with the same consequences since Sodom and Gomorrah. 

But wait you say: Bitcoin is about individual empowerment and peace! The idealist in us all (conservative and liberal alike) wants to imagine that a return to individual financial empowerment might sow the seeds of utopian prosperity and peace. Conservatives imagine religion and personal liberty free from the intervention of social welfare. Liberals imagine corporations unable to act in the interest of the many at the expensive of the few or the environment. Libertarians are crackpots, whom see black-helicopters and fear "globalist eugenists pigs" -Alex Jones.

I would like to point out, however, that an Anonymous Society is far from a utopia. I'm not advocating for the hauntingly Orwellian nature of our digital society as it exists today. I just want to speculate, that in an anonymous state we are as much the "mob mentality" as we are the individual.

Example: An anonymous posting appears on the internet:
"$100,000,000 has been placed in Bitcoin currency escrow deliverable to anyone whom kills Mark Zuckerberg, his wife, immediately family member, or likewise Sheryl Sandberg and her immediate relatives. 
Here is the Bitcoin address where you can see the balance of funds: "..."
 In order to prove that you were indeed the person whom has executed this operation you must submit the following to ..."
You might say to yourself: why would any individual want to make such a horrible threat? Imaginary foreign fund manager lost $1,000,000,000 of the Prince's money in the Facebook IPO... kiss my ass Wall St. lawsuit, I want blood.

The point of this story might be far fetched, but... I don't think it's beyond comprehension that now Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg's family won't be cruising down to Dairy Queen without enough armed security to handle Los Zetas, and they better check that take-out for poison ):

$100,000,000 is a lot of money to most people. And plenty of people have killed over a lot less. So I don't think it's far fetched to imagine some desperate, greedy person would attempt to act on such an offer, probably for much less in-fact. And no amount of security can protect you and your whole family from the totality of every nameless "Anonymous" society member. Eat the rich and powerful? More like the rich using the poor to eat the rich.

The Anonymous Society is it's own judge, jury and executioner, self-proclaimed Anonomous Spokes man ... said so himself. Forget about being ravaged by social media George Zimmerman. 1000 Tweets a second aren't really going to stop Koney ... except if he's trying to keep his Tweetdeck with a search for "#koney2012" from crashing...than he's fucked. 

However, $100,000,000 in Bitcoin donations paid to a PMC to invade an otherwise backward country and put down an under-funded contingent of child-soldiers in central Africa? In Anonymous Society Occupy Wall St. and your local non-profit are packing heat, and governments and corporations aren't the only one's hiring the big guns. Assassination can be crowd funded! Yay!

ps. I chose Mark Zuckerberg purely by chance after reading this blurb about a documentarian that ambushed him at his house recently. I don't have anything for or against him or Sheryl Sandberg.