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Of Two Minds – What If There Are No Options?

March 7, 2023

The unencumbered realist concludes that there aren’t any options inside a established order construction that’s itself
the issue.

Realists who query acquired knowledge and conclude the established order is untenable are shortly labeled pessimists
as a result of the zeitgeist expects an answer is at all times at hand
–preferably a technocratic one which requires zero
sacrifice and would not upset the established order apple cart.

Realists ask “what if” with out deciding on the “resolution” first. The standard strategy is to pick out the
“reply/resolution” first after which design the query and cherry-pick the proof to help the pre-selected “resolution.”

What if all the established order “options” do not really tackle the true issues? This line of inquiry is
strictly verboten, for there have to be an answer that solves the whole lot in a single fell swoop.

Examples of this strategy abound: a one-size matches all resolution that resolves all of the systemic issues by itself.
All we have now to do is implement it.

Changing fiat currencies is one instance that I’ve explored:

You Need Really “Sound Cash”? A Thought Experiment

Contrarian Ideas on the Petro-Yuan and Gold-Backed Currencies

I’ve additionally explored how actual change works: it takes a few years (and even many years) of sacrifices and
excessive prices with not one of the instant payoff we now count on as a birthright. Actual change pits these benefiting from
the established order towards these lastly grasp that the established order is the issue, not the answer, and
these political/social battles are infinite and brutal as a result of any positive factors come at any individual else’s expense.

The Forgotten Historical past of the Nineteen Seventies

The Nineteen Seventies: From Rotting Carcasses Floating within the River to Kayak Races

Fiat currencies comprise the seeds of their very own self-destruction, however establishing a gold or bitcoin normal
creates its personal issues.
As I defined within the essays listed above, commerce imbalances are inherent in a world
of shortage and so exporters of necessities will find yourself with all of the gold / bitcoin and the importers of necessities
will find yourself with no gold or bitcoin, and no means to purchase exports. For the reason that exporting economies are mercantilist by
nature, they can not import sufficient from their prospects to steadiness commerce asymmetries.

The opposite downside with the gold / bitcoin normal is there may be nothing inherently decentralized, equitable or
democratic about these requirements.
In different phrases, any normal primarily based on wealth distributed by shortage
is inherently neofeudal
as the rich / highly effective purchase uneven possession of all types of wealth and use this to purchase political affect
to take care of this asymmetry to their benefit.

Wealth and political energy are two sides of the identical coin, and so the bulk
of gold / bitcoin / quatloos / land at all times find yourself within the palms or management of the few.

This asymmetry then allow the few to affect political processes to defend their possession / management and decrease the
prices of their dominance whereas rising the prices / taxes paid by the peasantry.

The possession/management of gold and bitcoin is already extraordinarily uneven, and making both the only real type of “cash”
will drastically profit the few who already personal/management these belongings. The few peasants who purchase a gold coin or slice of
bitcoin will stay as powerless as the bulk who personal none.

This does not imply I do not see the worth of treasured metals or cryptocurrencies, it merely means I acknowledge that every one
types of “cash” distributed by shortage or energy are inherently uneven, which suggests the few at all times achieve a
consequential share of those belongings, simply as they purchase a consequential share of all different belongings. Neither gold nor
‘bitcoin are immune from this dynamic, which is inherent to all belongings distributed by shortage or energy, be it
current wealth or political/monetary energy.

The Pareto Distribution is fairly ruthless. The highest 20% ultimately find yourself with 80% of the belongings even when
everybody begins with the identical stake (an historic rarity, to make sure).

The actual downside is what occurs throughout the prime 20%. If centralized energy holds sway (and defends its perquisites),
then the underside 19.9% within the prime 20% are slowly stripmined of wealth and energy, leaving the overwhelming majority of consequential
wealth and political energy in a tiny elite on the prime.

There’s nothing inherent in a gold or bitcoin normal that precludes this focus / centralization of possession. There are quite a few historic examples of how this dynamic concentrates wealth and political energy on the expense of social / financial stability. (Late-era Western Rome, to call however one in every of many.)

To be an actual resolution, “cash” needs to be inherently decentralized in distribution and possession, inherently
equitable (i.e. not distributed by energy/shortage) and inherently democratic, i.e. the best way it’s created precludes the focus of wealth and energy. I’ve proposed one such resolution, a labor-backed forex, i.e. a forex that’s originated and distributed solely in alternate for human labor. (I clarify how this may work in my ebook
A Radically Useful World.)

Sure, it is pie-in-the-sky, blah-blah-blah, however let’s not confuse “options” that preserve the established order with actual
options. Actual options upend the established order, not simply little items of the established order however the entirety of the
energy construction of concentrated wealth and energy.

Meet the brand new boss, similar because the outdated boss is just not an answer, it is merely substituting one other workforce on the prime.
Asymmetries assure that some will at all times be extra equal than others.

True decentralization is difficult as a result of as I clarify in
World Disaster, Nationwide Renewal
it requires a social revolution
that renders the present construction not acceptable. Monetary or political
tweaks aren’t sufficient. Actual change requires an entire transformation of values on the most profound stage.

The identical downside applies to all of the techno-“options” of infinite power. All this infinite power will probably be owned /
managed by the few on the prime of the extremely centralized established order, and this asymmetry ensures that the few
will profit from the infinite power on the expense of the various politically powerless peasants.

The unencumbered realist concludes that there aren’t any options inside a established order construction that’s itself
the issue.
The “options” being provided substitute one other neofeudal asymmetry for the present neofeudal asymmetry.

All of us need options, however let’s not idiot ourselves into believing that altering items of finance or politics will
really resolve the massive issues of centralization (i.e. inequality and corruption) and the fantasy of infinite enlargement on a finite planet through our “waste is progress” Landfill Financial system. If a “resolution” would not instantly resolve these issues, it is not an actual resolution.

The one actual options require altering our personal lives fairly than partaking in fantasies that new asymmetries
in centralized methods will rework a established order doomed by asymmetries.

Realists are neither optimists or pessimists,
they concentrate on rising what they instantly management by advancing their

These charts inform the story.

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