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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Friday, May 20, 2011

At C4SS--Bitcoin: More Important Than You Realize


Blogger Τζούλια Ρήμπερ Πιτ said...

I really love the idea of alternative currencies, since it can be a way to erode the capitalist system (and the state) and give working people more autonomy. I don't know all that much about bitcoin, though, aside from the fact that I've seen it promoted on a few libertarian blogs and facebook pages.

I posted an article about it on an anarchist forum, and someone posted this criticism:

"Since it [bitcoin] is deflationary by design, it is similar to gold and silver. It's not a very good medium of exchange, but it can used as a method of hording capital. As such, Bitcoin is fundamentally capitalist. It may provide a challenge to the state, but I'm not optimistic."

I guess it would be fair to point this out. I don't really know how bitcoin would compare to things like labor/barter notes or whether or not using it as a currency would ultimately lead to capital accumulation. Something I suspect is that the reason why a lot of ideologues for capitalism (like the Ron Paul crowd, for example) support ending the Fed and going back to the gold standard isn't because they believed what Tucker did about monopoly tuition notes being a form of ruling class control but simply because they already own most of their assets in gold and/or silver, and know that if the dollar collapses and the price of gold/silver skyrockets they will become extremely wealthy. I don't want to make false accusations, but it wouldn't *surprise* me if there was some truth to that. The only thing that would make me at all skeptical of certain alternative currencies is if the same holds true with them. I'd just like to get your perspective on these notions.

May 23, 2011 1:49 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

The deflationary thing is one point a lot of critics have brought up, and it strikes me as a drawback. Also that, with the generating algorithm and the fact that exchanges can't be denominated in simple dollar prices, it's really not user-friendly enough for non-geeks.

The biggest drawback is that it's backed by anything, and is a store of past value, rather than simply denominating the values of exchanged present and future goods. IMO it would be best to have a tiered system with an encrypted version of Greco's credit clearing networks locally, and with encrypted commodity-backed exchange of surpluses between local systems.

May 23, 2011 12:55 PM  

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