The longest chapter in Machiavelli’s masterpiece, Discourses On Livy, is titled “On Conspiracies.” He praises conspiracy as the finest mode of overthrowing any regime, because, “… to be able to make open war … is granted to few; to be able to conspire against them is granted to everyone.” In typical Machiavellian fashion, the chapter praises fraud, deception, and lying to further one’s private advantage as the proper mode of action - that is, if they seek to effect regime change.
Contrast this with the doctrines of anarcho-capitalism, which are founded from principle and deduction, the root principle being that of natural law. It begins with assertions, all of its ethics, politics and economics growing from that root.
For decades, their prospects looked grim. Cries to return to the gold standard, grow the libertarian “party,” run in local elections, and infiltrate think tanks — or worse, the Senate — was the predominant strategy. By their logic, even revolution was questionable, as it would essentially be “throwing out one gang of thieves for another” (“Democracy, The God That Failed”). The study of natural law is reached a priori - that is, knowledge deduced from principles alone, for example: no two parallel straight lines can ever cross, 2 + 2 = 4, etc. On the other hand, their a posteri conclusions (empirical observations) were this: the world is governed by a tyrannical elite utilizing the central bank, resulting in the perpetual destruction of wealth, continuous warfare and an expanding bureaucracy hellbent on regulating every aspect of the individual’s private life. They made it clear what the actions of these tyrants will result in, and what they intend to do. They never made it clear what we ought to do about them. It took bitcoin, a technology, to reveal the path of greatest effect.
We’ve heard bitcoin referred to as everything from a “macro hedge,” to a protocol that redefines time and space. Here’s another — a tool for maximum effect in our conspiracy to overthrow the useless ruling class of bureaucrats. As the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis stated, “The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.” Replace “business” with “distributed monetary engineering protocols'' and you have the universe of Machiavellian Bitcoiners — focused only on effect, not principle or ethics. Here to win.
If you’ve been buying bitcoin for any significant period of time, ask yourself, what do you know that bureaucrats don’t? There are the obvious answers: hardness of money as a determining factor in storing value over time, reaching final settlement without a third party, gaining control over your property through the magic of cryptography. But note what’s on the other side of each of these value propositions — outwitting the people debasing money’s value storage capabilities, circumventing any and all third parties, making property seizure at the hand of bureaucrats impossible. On the other side of the wonderful things bitcoin can accomplish for an individual, is what it can accomplish for our collective: to defeat a clearly defined enemy.
The road ahead is long, and certainly not over, but Bitcoiners can say with confidence that, thus far this enemy has been swiftly outsmarted. With only approximately 2.5 million BTC currently floating on exchanges, this means the great majority of BTC is already secured and held, likely by individuals who knew something their respective bureaucratic overlords didn’t. If the bureaucrats knew, the price would have already skyrocketed, considering there are millions of them in the United States alone. Bitcoiners, by their sheer hard-headedness and fitness to reality, are collectively insisting the entire world compete in an arms race over roughly only 13% of the total supply — i.e., our scraps. History will read this as a checkmate. As demand increases, and price soars, bureaucrats will be left with one option, how to cleverly get Bitcoiners to sell their bitcoin. I encourage you to not, so that when the time is right, we can take effect and build a world free of these parasites, and for once, actually win.
This is a guest post by Henry Behar. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.