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Threat Level: Bitcoin

So, there’s been all this talk about war stuff lately. For those of you who may be completely oblivious, unconfirmed reports say some people used chemical weapons on some other people in the country known as Syria, and now the U.S. wants to bomb them (whoever they may be) for bombing them (the other guys). Some (chicken hawks) say that it was the government forces of Bashar al-Assad who used the weapons, but others maintain we just don’t know which side it was.

war-stuffThe uncertainty over which side the perpetrators were is irrelevant to the war machine. Someone needs to pay for the deaths of over 1,400 people, and “we” have to support the Al Qaeda backed rebels in this conflict. The same rebels who are killing people who haven’t chosen a side, and who torture victims and eat their hearts. These are the good guys. The bad guys are bad, too, though.

The majority of Americans oppose getting involved, and aside from obvious moral concerns another question that is raised is how will we pay for it? Well, unless Arab nations foot the bill (not suspicious at all, by the way); it looks like we got ourselves another potentially costly war-ish thing on our hands. I say war-ish because there has also been debate over what we should call invading another country and subverting their people, as if changing semantics to “limited military action” makes it totally cool and hip. I mean, Obama is for it, so it must be a pro-peace war-ish lovey dovey thingy.

I digress.

How do “we” pay for something so destructive when the country’s total debt is over $59 trillion? And what does Bitcoin have to do with it? Well, tanks, bombs, drones, planes, hell fire missiles, soldier salaries, etc. are all paid for in dollars. The Federal Reserve Note is the de facto currency for oil trading and war funding and much of the other criminal activities perpetrated by the U.S. federal government. It’s difficult to avoid using this currency for noncriminal transactions, as well, but Bitcoin is changing the landscape rapidly. While dollars are still used to fund the Empire, they are rapidly losing credibility in other countries and among the general populace in this country. It’s no longer a secret that oil rich countries in the East no longer want to trade in dollars; rather, they want gold or something more tangible. As the Fed continues to devalue the dollar by printing more under the name quantitative easing, your average person is also seeing the value of their money decline. Inflation is eating away at our savings and the cost of food and fuel has been on the rise.

QE cartoon
Pretty much.

Here’s where Bitcoin comes in. I was excited to get involved with Bitcoin Not Bombs because the prospect of a currency that transcends borders and allows people to deal directly with each other is invaluable not only on a personal level, but on a global level. Currently, there is talk of regulating Bitcoin, and while that is a concern it is easy to see why the government and central bankers want to control the crypto-currency. It is a direct threat the failing monetary system and by extension the war machine that it funds.

With Bitcoin, you don’t need to ask permission from your government or the UN to trade with someone in Cuba or Iraq. All you need is a Bitcoin address. This concept of long distance, border-less trade is revolutionary and not in the sense of engaging in physical warfare on government agents as some “revolutionaries” opine. Whether it’s Bitcoin or the myriad of other alternative currencies surfacing, the opportunity to engage in a bloodless coup is here in the present and takes only minutes to set up.

It’s necessary to face facts: a physical fight against the world’s largest and most well-funded military is a losing battle. I don’t care how many militia members you got or how many cops you can take out, they have hell fire missiles and weaponry that far surpasses anything the civilian population can get its hands on. We can talk about the philosophical extensions of self-defense all day, but the reality is you aren’t going to overthrow the state that way and sacrificing yourself won’t make you a martyr; it will merely limit your effectiveness in the long term.

When I say bloodless coup, I am less interested in using alternative currencies to “overthrow” the state as I am in simply ignoring it as much as I can and helping others see how they can be used to maximize their personal freedom. We can bypass the permission asking and deal directly with others in countries that have been cut off from trade. Free trade facilitates peace and increases the quality of life for both parties involved. Sanctions and embargoes seek to limit trade as a “punishment” for other countries who don’t play by the rules the U.S. or other organizations have set, but these sanctions are ineffective and utterly destructive to the people who are forced to live under their equally corrupt governments. Sanctions don’t affect the rich, corrupt politicians you would think would be the target, but rather the people, and this is heartbreaking considering that they have no control over who they are allowed to trade with.

sanctionsBitcoin has the potential to make central governments less relevant to the personal well-being and ability to buy and sell goods of people around the world. Well, not that government serves the well-being of people anyway, and decreasing their hold over the personal lives of people is always a benefit. I also want to say it’s not about “winning” the broader fight against government with subversive force even though crypto-currencies are an excellent tool for subversion. Government is known for its corruption but also for its incompetency. The people are intelligent enough to know what suits their needs, and using Bitcoin to trade goods and services is practical. I also believe that we have intelligence on our side because the incompetency of government comes from the hubris of the individuals that attain that power, and with great hubris comes great errors.

By opting out of the dollar and into Bitcoin (or alternative currency of your choice), you are casting a vote against war and other oppressive government actions. You are sending a clear message that you disagree with their social and economic policies and reject their perceived right to rule over you. You are taking your money out of circulation in the markets that feed death and suffering and into markets that generate the prosperity your fellow human beings. You are saying “NO!” to war with Syria not just verbally but economically, which has considerably more weight.

The revolution will be one of wits as the age of information increases awareness of shadowy government activities, and in this age we have a rapidly increasing amount of tools to facilitate peaceful interaction with individuals thousands of miles away with the click of a button. Never at any other time in history has communication across borders ever been so easy or perhaps so necessary. This development is a profound step forward for redistributing power back into the hands of the economically disadvantaged. While I’m careful not to fall into an echo chamber of how awesome Bitcoin is it realistically provides tangible opportunities to ignore government power, spread peace and free trade, and help build long lasting relationships with others who share common interests. Bitcoin along with other technological advances remain far ahead of legislation curbing their use, so there’s all the more reason to get involved. The timing is perfect, and voting with your money has always been more effective than simply verbally disagreeing. And even if you decide Bitcoin isn’t for you, crypto-currencies will be shaping the future and are forces to be reckoned with as they gain influence in a variety of markets.

Fighting the power.

Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome