Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

• The article discusses how politics often involve the debate or conflict over power.
• The author argues that Bitcoin should have a place in this discourse, as it is a technology that has the potential to change our current monetary and political systems.
• The author also suggests that Bitcoin and democracy need each other, and that autocracy would be a terrible alternative.

Politics & Power

Politics are often defined as “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” Do we wish for Bitcoin to achieve power? Yes, though power for Bitcoin is different from power for one person or an economic or political entity. But we are still talking about power, as expressed through the design and implementation of code, proof of (electrical power) work, the internet, exchanges, editorials, blogs, laws, courts, schools and politicians. The Blocksize War was ultimately a political-power conflict between those in favor of node decentralization. This article and this magazine are themselves political actors in the contest for future monetary and political power.

Monetary Freedom & Democracy

Ultimately, monetary freedom – as embodied by Bitcoin – is just one aspect of freedom; there are also our political rights as outlined in the Bill of Rights and Constitution. As such, even our terribly-flawed democracy is worth defending and extending. However many Bitcoiners don’t see it that way; Jimmy Song has opined that maybe our democracy deserves to be abandoned. The author suggests instead that Bitcoin and democracy need each other and that without them autocracy would be horrible.

Bitcoin & Political Power

A friend recently pointed out that our current political divide can be seen as one between those focused on freedom and those focused on equality. Like two points on a line, we in the Bitcoin community can find unity around similar visions of what Bitcoin in a democracy makes possible – but we must also consider what living under an autocracy would look like: property seizure & violations of rights being foremost among these concerns.

Woody Guthrie’s Vision

In 1941 Woody Guthrie famously sang,”Don’t like dictators not much myself/But I think the whole country ought to be run/By electricity!” Electrification was then (as it is now with bitcoin) seen as revolutionary technology opposed by business interests & their hired politicians – even today major opposition exists! These issues illustrate how bitcoin is forever caught in currents of political power – thus it’s important to remember why both freedom & equality matter when discussing bitcoin’s role within democracies across the world!


In conclusion: while some may argue against democracy due its flaws; autocracy would surely bring worse results! For this reason it’s important to remember why both freedom & equality matter when discussing bitcoin’s role within democracies across the world; just like Woody Guthrie said – we must strive towards being run “by electricity” if we are ever going to achieve true financial sovereignty!

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