https://www.jamesfreemangallery.com/artworks/emily-allchurch/capital-folly-after-piranesi

Capital Folly

Getting it wrong about capital is a big one to have to admit to, but better later than never.

Most folk will recognise these things, as things that can be traded in markets.

Most traders do so with a view to making profit.

Because we all need profit, of course, as things stand.

Personally I’ve spent the previous fifty odd years believing completely in that system.

In 2008, the world shook.

We variously lost businesses, money, marriages, even lives.

And we learned that the financial system was not what it had seemed.

We realised we could no longer trust it. And with that, we started to wonder what exactly we could trust.

Bitcoin appeared as a response, almost like divine intervention.

It’s main property is secure, enforced scarcity, of a new token of wealth, which can be traded in the same way as stocks, shares, or other forms of “asset”.

I never got involved as an investor in any serious way.

But, we watched as the value of the Bitcoin token went from some small fractions of a slice of pizza, to prices ranging from $8000 to $20,000.

At last, we thought here might be an alternative to the currencies of the now untrusted Banks.

My most recent post on the Bitcoin evangelism path followed also the possibility that worldwide Bitcoin adoption could ultimately lead to a new, non-profit world of free energy.

That post was not wrong, it could have gone that way.

But it hasn’t.

Covid has appeared since, and changed everything.

We’ve watched in horror as various minorities have been victimised and literally massacred by our flawed system, the system that we built.

We became aware once again, of the full horrors of the thinly veiled cannibalistic monster that is colonialism.

Covid also gave us a glimpse of the effects of massive stimulus, given for nothing, with nothing really expected in return (Because nothing really can be asked from those with nothing to give except their bodies… right?)

By making us figure out how those things are connected, Covid has opened our eyes again, at least some of us, to the much deeper problem in the human psyche.

Colonialism, in it’s purest form is an animal territorial instinct.

It is the instinct to claim possession of all things, and seek to gain from that possession.

Even deeper, it is the urge to expect more, in fact anything, for anything given.

Every agreement ever made between humans, every contract ever written, is based on the same, flawed, animal instinct!

And yet logically, if we didn’t do the possession thing, we would absolutely literally have an infinity of more things which would be available to all of our species.

If we were free to give where we see need, asking nothing in return, we would see all humans empowered to achieve their full potential, an infinite world of creativity towards human benefit, with profit having no meaning.

Whilst the problem of controlled scarcity exists, it will ironically absolutely prevent any realisation of the ideal world envisaged in my Satoshi World Saviour article, the same world as once envisioned by the great Nikola Tesla, prevented by exactly the same thing.

No-one wants to fund it, because there is no profit in it. In fact, many will actively oppose it, because they believe that their own wealth depends on them hoarding what they have to themselves. Again, zero-sum thinking.

For that reason, fundamentally, the Bitcoin strategy is wrong.

Used as stands, it just gives us more of the same thing at fault; an economy and a world, built on controlled scarcity.

What is the difference between Fiat capitalists, Gold capitalists, Bitcoin capitalists?

Nothing, only that they each wish they had possession of what the others are perceived to have, in addition to their own.

So, I was wrong about Bitcoin, because I was wrong about capital.

However, Bitcoin also gives us a new technology of distributed ledger.

That is its real strength, the real thing we should be grateful to Satoshi Nakamoto for, and upon which we can, and absolutely must build, as further detailed and justified in this post:

Solarpunk