The blockchain: anarchy 2.0

2년 전

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©f3nix 2017

“Even if the absence of government really did mean anarchy in a negative, disorderly sense - which is far from being the case - even then, no anarchical disorder could be worse than the position to which government has led humanity”.
(Lev Nikolàevič Tolstòj, 1828-1910, Russian writer and philosopher)

What would Tolstòj have said about the blockchain technology?
There’s a common thread that links the modern anarchic ideology to the creation of the Bitcoin and the many altcoins. This article aims to give food for thoughts, providing a philosophical and social perspective to what should be seen, more than as an innovative technology, as a global movement deeply reshaping our society.

What really is anarchy?

There is nothing chaotic, aggressive or negative in the concept of anarchy, as instead the common sense or the media try to suggest and even inculcate in the general perception.
A small note of colour: it happened that my father gave accidentally a peek to the monitor when I was creating the logo which you can see above. I’m letting you to imagine the following conversation, with me trying to explain the blockchain to a 76 years old man that sees the smartphone mostly as a sort of witchcraft (keep trying dad!).
“Anarchy is order without power”, wrote the philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) who first used the term anarchy in his essays dated in the first middle of the XIX. Maybe not everyone knows that the circle forming the anarchy’s symbol, is in reality an “O” which stands for the word “order”.
As a matter of fact, anarchy (from ancient greek: ἀναρχία, ἀν, absence + ἀρχός, government or principle) conceives a society in which the individuals organise themselves freely and independently from the power of a central authority. This concept doesn’t reject but, instead, embraces the idea of a peaceful development of society through an organised system and thanks to a constant research of agreement between all the members. In this perspective, the anarchic theories approve the idea of a social agreement as the fundament of society (see Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau), even though this agreement should never lead to the legitimation of a pyramidal structure of power, being government and hierarchy considered as the wellsprings of degradation.

Anarchy and blockchain follow the same principle of freedom.

There are interesting historical analogies between the birth of the anarchic ideology and the rise of the cryptocurrency era. The anarchic movement finds its roots in the French Enlightenment (1715-1789): an intellectual, scientific and philosophical response to the darkness of the previous French monarchic period, a fight through the power of rationality and science. Anarchism itself was inspired by the “People’s Spring” in 1848, a reaction spread between several European countries to the so called “Restoration”, the return of many monarchies after Napoleon's French were defeated.
On the other hand, Satoshi Nakamoto gave birth to the Bitcoin in 2009, right after Lehman Brothers’ tragic events and the American financial crisis that ignited an economical depression, from which the whole world is still trying to recover.
Satoshi’s paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was able to synthetize a mix of previous experiments and existing tendencies around the theme of cryptocurrency and privacy (A Cypherpunk's Manifesto by Eric Hughes, Davis Chaum’s Digicash, Wei Dai’s B-Money, between the many). Although Satoshi’s essays and words have been always very concrete and focused on the coding, it’s undeniable that the collapse of the financial and economical establishment in 2008 worked as a powerful catalyst in order to focus the community on one target and channel its energy and ideas.
As much as for the anarchic movement, the inequality of the corporatocracy, combined with its evident inefficiency and the desire for freedom fuelled the brain of Satoshi and of the cypherpunk activists.

Another important correlation between the traditional anarchic vision and the blockchain technology may be found in the idea of how interactions between people should develop and how society should organise itself in a horizontal non-hierarchic setup.
It’s amazing how the message of Proudhon (but even Bakunin and others exponent of this movement) is applicable and still so valid in consideration of what is happening in the world nowadays. It surprises me even more how his ideas are matching with those at the fundament of the crypto-revolution we are witnessing.

According to Proudhon, an anarchic society is not a society based on simple “one-time” consensus, but one continuously regenerated by a constant agreement between all its members. When you take a decision according to the anarchic thinking, a synthesis has always to be reached between the many discordant opinions. A majority vote is possible in case of the non-spontaneous formation of the agreement but, at the same time, an anarchic society is bound to always provide the maximum respect for the minority, which will never be obliged to follow the decisions of the majority but can simply join another assembly or organisation, or create its own. The similarities with the PoS algorithm, the creation of forks in the blockchain and, also, with the way Steemit chooses its witnesses are many and could be further deepened.

Decentralisation: a utopia becoming real?

The blockchain is part of an unstoppable decentralisation process that started with the internet and continued with the sharing economy and the progressive awareness that people gained about the power of the crowd.
Time will tell how amazing and emerging technologies, such as the internet of things and the many applications of artificial intelligence, will interact with the blockchain and between themselves.
An interesting essay by Sterlin Lujan, Toward Techno-Anarchy: Blockchain Tech Will Thwart Government, Transform Society, defines this new revolution as “techno-anarchism”.
The power of the crowd have been demonstrated by companies like Uber, AirBnB and all those platforms that distributed the economy in a horizontal and efficient way, exploiting the unused energies of each one of us. Now, the power of the Ethereum network will lead us to a further step.
When you talk about decentralization you talk about Ethereum, a crypto-protocol so sophisticate and advanced that its true meaning is charming and partly elusive at the same time: Ethereum is not just a digital currency but a decentralised worldwide computer. Ethereum can be also defined as a platform that runs smart contracts. The following infographic synthetises better than words the enormous potential that this network will disclose in the future:

Source: http://usblogs.pwc.com/emerging-technology/how-smart-contracts-automate-digital-business/
Source: PwC

Ethereum will enhance a steep evolution in the sharing economy, eliminating the control of super-partes central authorities and, most probably, at the same time amending many of the faults that are becoming more and more evident in the contemporary technocracy, ruled by molochs like Apple and Amazon. Ethereum is the post-Apple, post-Amazon, post-Microsoft, it represents the real freedom, against those corporates that, in a way, still try to close us in the cage of their technological eco-system, dragging us from a type of enslavement to another. This trade-off, their technology for a piece of our privacy (our identity, our freedom), will never happen again with Ethereum and similar project in development like Neo and Iota.

Conclusion

We all are in the here and now. We are those that felt the whistle of a train from a distance, run and jumped on it with no hesitation, beginning an amazing journey. We may be here for investing, for the beauty of this technology, to follow a new trend or for our idealistic reasons, seeking for a change. No matter why we are on this train, I believe that we should try to understand the deep roots of what we are witnessing, and that all of this belongs to a long way that humanity have already walked in its history, looking strenuously for pursuing happiness and freedom.
Proudhon, Tolstòj, Bakunin and all the free beings who joined the anarchic movement would be amazed and proud of the point where we find ourselves nowadays: let’s not waste the enormous technological potential that they couldn’t dispose of and make their dream of an equal society come true.


This is an original work made with passion! If you enjoyed it, please help me to grow by checking my other articles and sustaining me. I am looking for good friendships and quality articles/discussions here .. you're very welcome to follow me and I'll do the same with you :-) Thanks!

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Blockchain is a revolutionary technology. It's going to be a fun ride, seeing new domains incorporating and solving long stretched problems with blockchain everyday. Problems which hold back a society from achieving something great, problems like corruption. I just wish all this happens in my lifetime.

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I share your wish, but I'm quite confident that we are going to witness great things ;-)

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I think it will if you are under 50 years old and live healthy.

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Im 38.. @pjcswart I thought a bit about this topic, as a matter of fact. My only sad point is that I believe I will start to witness huge changes when a bit old (no pun intended for anyone!)... And wars apart, that's another risk.

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Wars? What do you mean?

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Well all this development does not account that variable in the whole scenario, does it? Can we exclude a global war in the next years? I dunnow, what do you think?

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Who knows, one thing's for sure - change is rampant.

Agreed. Free and independent organisation is the concept from which government should arise, not the other way around. 😀 😃 😄 😁 😆I hope you have a WONDERFUL day!!!

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Well, actually we Will be able to organise ourselves with no apical levels.. the anarchic vision remained a utopia just becouse they didn't have the tools we have now..have a stunning day too!!!!

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What is an apical level?

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It means an organisation of society in a pyramidal hierarchic system , like usually happens from the beginning of time.

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O yeah you think we can get away from that? Seems pretty ingrained.

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Well the challenge is all there ;-)

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Sure of course! Hey what do you think about my ad?

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No ad here pls, ill comment in your blog

Excellent job dude! I'm impressed by the overview and the interesting linking to the traditional theories with the blockchain technology. I think that sometimes it's worth to remember where we come from and not only were we're going. Keep up the good job! :-P

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Hello @steelochlaver! It's been a hell of a work I don't hide it, especially because if you have to properly write on these comparisons I think you should come out with a book, not just a small article lol ..thanks for your sustain and what you said about remembering the origins is exactely my point ;-)

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Hi @f3nix, I think USA is doing a good job with this relative to the rest of the world, even though things have changed.

Your post up is impressive. Followed @f3nix

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thanks man :-)

Hi, @f3nix, nice Hello ^^. Unfortunately i don't have much voting power. Need to grow a little ^^. Have a great time

@reported has voted on behalf of @minnowpond. If you would like to recieve upvotes from minnowpond on all your posts, simply FOLLOW @minnowpond. To be Resteemed to 4k+ followers and upvoted heavier send 0.25SBD to @minnowpond with your posts url as the memo

This is a quality post. I upvoted it 100 percent and resteemed it.

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Thanks dude! Your posts are great too..this is the way to sustain each other..I'll upvote / resteem too. I joined qurator btw :-)

great job @f3nix :) so happy that you took the time to explain, and i resteemed it to share this great knowledge , as well as to read it again....also shared on my fb page...who knows what can happen??? i thought of a funny song that convinced me to be an Anarchist before i knew what it really is...lol...U;ll either love it or hate it :) Blessed Be )O(

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Hahah that song is a delirium! Thank you by heart Paige, It took me some time to reorganise all the ideas and synthesise them..glad to know that it was worth it :-) Blessings!

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yay :) i hope it gave you a smile and a laugh ...U did a bang up job, and i can tell you worked very hard...thanx...U deserve many up votes and resteems...hope you get them...i will come back after i get a chance to really read it good

This post received a 32.01% upvote from @morwhale team thanks to @f3nix! For more information, click here! . this is @originalworks . steem @steemprice BTC

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Thanks @f3nix !! By upvoting this notification, you can help other Steemit users !

Coming back later to finish reading and to give you an upvote - they are tiny but better than nothing, right? Out of steem and out of time right now.
And following you :)
I have to! I need to know where the banana fish is!!! :)

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hahah the bananafish is more elusive than a unicorn! Don't worry I know I wrote quite a brick of a piece..I need to find a way to make articles short and sweet (maybe storiess with a common thread?). I agree for the upvotes..plus I have to say that till yesterday I didn't even know about the "out of steem" thing! :-)

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You could always break up your post in part one, two, three..... Then link them all to each other. That way, you have more posts as well.
One never knows about the bananafish - there have been unicorn sightings........ :)

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Hah good advice! I think I'll do that..plus i can't go crazy for writing in English everytime, these articles are resource consuming lol (i think the bananafish will be perfect in the oven with guava sauce)

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Agreed!! let's bake that thing with Guava sauce and guava jelly :)

English is my second language as well - but for a long time now and I live in the US. But here is a tool I am finding really helpful. https://app.grammarly.com/

I started with the free version and have upgraded, but I think the free version is great to begin with.

I do sometimes ignore what it tells me to correct :) Also if you write in certain applications, it doesn't seem to work (or I haven't figured out how it works yet) and on this platform, the auto correct doesn't work. It gives you the correct spelling of a word, for example, but you have to fix it manually.
I love this tool so much, I should become an affiliate for it :) But I am not.....

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Thank you for the helpful hint @mariannewest! I used it when I was working abroad.. you're right it's cool, but I wouldn't pay to upgrade..I downloaded steemitmoreinfo 1.3, by armandocat. After you telling me about the steempower in voting now i'm paying attention to that...wat super minnow I am ahaha.. If you don't know this browser extension I really reccomend that you ive it a check..(I try to be helpful too haha) ;-)

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It's all good! Even the big fish started small :) Thanks for the tip! There are so many things to learn about this platform and crypto and all that jazz.....

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