“Zero Money”: First Principles Thinking About Monetary Value
Change the Money, Change the World (21)
Part 5(E) — Pan-national activism 1
If indeed the ultimate fate of Bitcoin is to become the world reserve currency, and as such functioning within a decentralized economic power structure, it will in the process become a threat to those who enjoy and want to maintain economic hegemony on behalf of nation states with corrupt institutions in the form of central banks working in concert with political parties. Political activism on the part of those victimized by their nation states, and others supporting their peaceful revolutions, should, realizing this is anti-nationalist struggle, a struggle for the entire global population, participate in pan-national political organization. The platform of action needs to resist and replace within the existing paradigm what serves mechanisms of corruption, while simultaneously supporting what serves adoption and adaptation of the “Bitcoin standard”, for the monetary medium being of true value as an epiphenomenon of scarcity.
The political transformation is not about Bitcoin, a very powerful and effective supportive monetary medium, but about change in the world needing a new money as part of the solution. The sound money medium therefore exists, the systemic political structure does not. The structure needed is an innovative and disruptive political vision that can be supported with a disruptive monetary technology. The latter is a kind peaceful weapon, in that taking away the false money is changing the money, while passive resistance is changing the world. I will discuss many aspects of political activism for monetary reform. I will begin with a specific example. I was inspired by the Syriza movement in Greece beginning in 2013 and began chronicling it since:
Syriza Chronicle Brooklyn — The “New Deal” for Western Democracies emerging from the Democracy in Europe Movement by Stephen David Mauldin
This movement is one born from an economic crisis, the collapse of the Greek economy, and the rise of a political party of passive resistance that gained political control of the country. The Syriza Party was predominantly led by the Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, under the new Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras. For years, Varoufakis negotiated against adopting an unfeasible package of austerity measures in exchange for a bailout from the Troika, as the eurozone authorities — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — are known. In the end Tspiras was forced to accept the terms of the Troika and Varoufakis resigned. By that time the resistance movement had captured the hearts of many throughout Europe and Diem 25 was formed. Varoufakis, working with a number of other well known economists, political activists and intellectuals then established a membership of 100,000 plus supporters to crowd design and ratify a party platform. DiEm works in cooperation with other like-minded parties and notably formed another organization with Bernie Sanders known as The Progressive International.
The DiEM 25 party platform has five aspects, but significant to our topic, this movement is unique in a major focus on economic issues and social equality. To keep this discussion focused, I will just introduce that part of the platform that is about Technological Sovereignty. Here is some key text:
“Technology monopolies have attained tremendous powers to shape what we see, who we hear from, or how we think, without any democratic accountability for that power. Technology has become a central form of power in society. This power must ultimately belong to the sovereign citizens of a technologized society. Decisions about technology should not be irreversibly delegated to technocrats, corporations and tech monopolies — Europe can and must do better. The policies proposed by DiEM25 call for new institutions and a participatory governance of technology. They include the development of technological citizenship in the 21st century, based on principles such as the commons, the capacity of self-organisation and the development of counter-power held by citizens and democratic institutions. It will involve a reversal of the trend of socialising costs while privatising benefits of innovation, and the abolishment of monopolistic approaches to innovation.”
DiEm25 Campaigns: Technological Sovereignty https://diem25.org/campaign/tech-sovereignty-2/
There are very detailed proposals put together by large numbers of participants serving the movement. Overall, the entire website is a progressive political blueprint for a new paradigm of democratic society which will be crucial for the objective of “change the money, change the world”. The quotes provided are very general but the detailed papers are well thought out strategies and tactics.
“DiEM25 is the one political movement that wants to create, shape and drive political debate and democratic process around technology, based on the concept of Technological Sovereignty. Technological Sovereignty in our definition means the right and capacity by citizens and democratic institutions to make self-determined choices on technologies and innovation. We see how the costs of technology’s development and its usage are socialised, but the benefits are privatised to a very small group. We see how decisions on technological development are made by powerful, unaccountable private actors, and kept away from transparent and public debate. We want to end the practice of socialising the costs and privatising the profits from technological change. Instead, we want to foster innovations for the common good. We want to see an inclusive innovation ecosystem where all stakeholders, such as users, employees, citizens, and authorities are equally important.”
DiEm25 Green Paper 3 — Technological Sovereignty: Democratising Technology and Innovation
I want to conclude this part and continue in the next with an example of specific tactics for political activism by a pan-national party with an economic strategy fostering a novel monetary paradigm. These are proposals by Yanis Varoufakis. They reference the monetary efficacy of digital technology while adapting, rather than fully adopting, the radical deflationary aspects of Bitcoin in particular. These proposals are very realistic in working within the existing framework of the Troika to mitigate its negative propensity for oppression of excluded populations on behalf of the donor class in its current economic power structure. Varoufakis’ proposals return power to the oppressed populations of the European Union through agitating for new policies within the existing legal framework of the Troika institutions. Similar tactics could be employed in the United States by The Progressive International.
“In this post I return to the problem of deflation in a Gold Standard-like monetary system (e.g. Bitcoin or, indeed, the Eurozone itself) but conclude that, almost paradoxically, the technology of Bitcoin, if suitably adapted, can be employed profitably in the Eurozone as a weapon against deflation and a means of providing much needed leeway to fiscally stressed Eurozone member-states … As corporations restrict output (to reduce the rate at which prices fall) their demand for labour falls, the result being even greater wage reductions accompanied by layoffs which, in a never-ending recessionary circle, reduce further the demand for goods … If, under such deflationary circumstances, monetary policy cannot be loosened up to stop the decline of average prices, wholesale disaster is guaranteed. This was the terrible flaw of the Gold Standard, in the mid-war period. It is the Achilles Heel of Bitcoin today and, indeed, remains a design fault of the Eurozone too.”
BITCOIN: A flawed currency blueprint with a potentially useful application for the Eurozone by Yanis Varoufakis