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Re: <nettime> Mute article on Bitcoin
Dmytri Kleiner on Tue, 6 Mar 2012 10:45:54 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Mute article on Bitcoin




On 05.03.2012 21:26, Jaromil wrote:

I'd argue is an error to quickly frame into a macroeconomic
perspective the narrative opened by Bitcoin.

Yet, if a currency is to have some sort of emancipatory potential,
it must affect the distribution of wealth and flows of incomes, and
thereby should have a macroeconomic effect, if it doesn't, than it's
significance is questionable.


Let me refer you to the work of Colin Ward, whom I'm recently
reading. I find it hard to ignore that the possibilities for
constituency opened by tools for more agile monetary creation are
related to grass-roots movements as LETS systems, and such.

I'm certainly enthusiastic about LETS, since mutual credit deals with
liquidity demands much better than specie. In the Telekommunisten IRC
channel we have had discussions about the possibility of building a
ripple like mutual credit system on tom of the bitcoin infrastructure.
This could be interesting.

However, even this doesn't answer the key social questions, since the
ever concentrating accumulation of capital is the primary obstacle to
a fairer society, not lack of exchange or credit instruments.


To boil it down to dialectics, an approach I'm sure you relate with
more than I do, InI believe that the strained relationships between
deeply different economical contexts as in City / Countryside, North
/ South for instance can be tackled by the creative use of such
tools.

I dont believe that, and have a hard time understanding how oppressive
relationships underwritten with violence can be overcome by using
different counting tokens for the circulation of the negligible
retained wealth among the oppressed.


Considered the entity of current systemic problem in finance, I'd
argue that the democratization of tools for value circulation
represents a pragmatic attempt to get over financial tyranny.

In what way is BitCoin "democratic?" Is gold or other specie
"democratic?" Does the digital nature of BitCoin make this specie
somehow democratic?

You could say that the national currency of country is democratic,
as the government can create currency and finance public investment
and social initiatives, and also destroy money to level accumulation
moderate prices.

I understand that government is captured by capital, and uses it's
monetary and fiscal power in the interests of the financial elite,
but not withstanding, for a currency to be called "democratic," it
must be able to perform simular social functions, directing capital
democratically towards social ends, etc.

How can BitCoin do this?


Experiences like http://www.torekes.be and others we try to document
on http://DYNDY.net provide a lively commentary of practices around
such visions.

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely interested in alternative and
complimentary currency, and have been for several decades. Yet, just
like other tools, they can only play an extremely limited role and
this role is frequently greatly exaggerated by their proponents.

The more pressing questions is how we fund investment towards
commons-based production in the first place, how do we mobilize the
required labour and wealth, from a starting point where nearly all
existing wealth is controlled by the beneficiaries of capitalist
production (or what you term the "financial tyranny").

The question of how we circulate the products of commons-based
production is left as a relatively interesting detail, and certainly
worthy of attention, but nothing more.

Also, there's no reason to believe that if we escape "financial
tyranny" that we will retain the practice of exchanging goods for
prices at all, since once the capitalist mode of production gives way,
the capitalist mode of circulation may also diminish, leaving gift
economies and public wealth in it's wake. It's not easy to see in how
cryptographic specie can play a significant role in this.

The Telekommunist Manifesto and DYNDY where launched together at De
Balie, so the projects are siblings by birth in a way. I look forward
to learning more about your perspective.


--
Dmyri Kleiner
Venture Communist





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