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Re: <nettime> In Praise of Cash (or just another luddite nationalist
Morlock Elloi on Sat, 4 Mar 2017 05:13:08 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> In Praise of Cash (or just another luddite nationalist


There are many different issues here, and I am not sure that it makes sense to conflate them into one or few trends.

Bitcoin: Bitcoin, OK, *is* a testament of how much gold is missed, and government currencies are hated (Bit*coin* - in the US gold ceased to be legal tender in 1933), to the point where any exchange medium not obviously controlled by the government is elevated to the "cash" status. The basic premise of Bitcoin failed when fully distributed minting proved economically unfeasible. Very few noticed this failure. But the original battle lost was the removal of gold as practical exchange medium, and that is the battle that has to be re-fought, as Bitcoin is going to have exactly the same fate if it ever becomes anything close to untraceable practical exchange medium. Burning kilowatts into hashes instead of extracting gold from dirt makes no difference (product note to self: consumer electric heater that mints.)


The sad Luddite fate of the left: agree.

In the 20th century the medium was the message. Now the technology is ideology.

The left failed to notice the rising irrelevancy of many sweaty bodies in the same space listening to fiery speeches. Isn't the Occupy with its mic checks the best example of cargo cult trying to revive moribund 19/20th century mechanisms? The left failed to notice that technology *is* ideology. The left failed to figure out that technologists are not new coal miners or industrial workers, but mercenaries for the ruling class, the new Pinkertons, and that ideology is deeply embodied in centralized services, asymmetric bandwidth, the culture of mediation, and Newspeak of instant messaging. Instead, the left, as bumbling idiots, cheered the use of apps to organize "protests". The left interpreted this ideology as inevitable technological progress, and lost the battle and the war at that very moment. Instead of reading McLuhan, the best it could think of was to use the same centralized ideotechnology from its masters to indoctrinate crowds, but for the left causes. It's fascinating how it manages to stay repeatedly surprised as it gets beaten into the ground over and over again. Fuck such left and its "academic crowd". The faster it dies out, the better.


On 3/2/17, 23:23, Alexander Bard wrote:

Sure, Morlock, all brilliant points taken, and deepest respect, but
"Bitcoin was"? Really?

We have merely seen the beginning of value transfers through encrypted
block chain technology.

Bitcoin in all this is possibly at most "The Alta Vista of block chain
technology". Not nothing more than that. Whatever Chinese sepculators
may think.

The next generation of web browsers is far more likely to be tied to
say Z-Cash buttons or any other block chain technology that is a vast
improvement on the clumsiness and centralisation of Bitcoin. Big deal?
Not in itself. It can turn out to become quite interesting for The
Left to be honest. Since when did paper money in bank vaults help us?

Come on!

But from a leftist perspective this of coursea lso means a massive
loss of taxation coming to mind. In the future, mind you, not in the
past. Where we then see history repeat itself all over again: Capital
constantly beats The Left by in itself being a global phenomenon. So
when Capital went global and unions stayed local, the unions lost. If
unions has "internationalised" 50 years ago we would never have ended
up in "the neo-liberal paradigm" where we are today. You only win wars
if you develop the right weapons and the right resources.

The same thing goes for money today (which will of course all be
virtual real soon).

So we return to where we started: The problem with The Left is its
constant love affair with the 18th century nation-state and its
repeated LACK of utopian imagination. Every time globalisation beats
the shit out of nation-states we lose because the globe beats the
nation. And we stay tied to a nation-state model like brats to whom
the nation-state is the only tit they can find to suck. Repeat after
me: u-n-i-m-a-g-i-n-a-t-i-o-n. Kant, Marx and Habermas were all
globalists. They were right. But where then is the globalist left
today?

Or is all that is left of the left nothing but a pathetic luddite
provincialism?

Why not rather propose how value can be better distributed to the
masses beyond block chains? Since it is value redistribution and not
money models that are of real interest to The Left.

And unless you're willing to discuss that, you indeed are nothing but
a luddite nationalist. Honestly: Can't we do better than that today?
Is the capacity of this highly trained and well paid academic crowd
not better than that?

Personally, I'm going all in on mentoring at non-profit NGO-style tech
start-ups in Scandinavia. I intend to suck all the goodness out of
block chains I can get (massive chains of trust between strangers can
truly revolutionise the world). But then I'm convinced one can avoid
becoming a luddite without being naive. As a matter of fact, I believe
that is what a great leftism is all about.

Best intentions

Alexander Bard

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