Politics in today’s world no longer has anything political about it, and how Bitcoin revives The Political.
This article is the featured in Bitcoin Magazine's “The Orange Party Issue”. Click here to subscribe now.
“Today nothing is more modern than the onslaught against The Political. American financiers, industrial technicians, Marxist socialists unite in demanding that the biased rule of politics over unbiased economic management be done away with. There must no longer be political problems, only organizational-technical and economic-sociological tasks. The kind of economic-technical thinking that prevails today is no longer capable of perceiving a political idea.”
—Carl Schmitt, Political Theology
Politics in today’s world no longer has anything political about it. Politics as we understand it has destroyed the very nature of that which we would call The Political, and replaced it with a popularity contest between two corrupt sides of the same fiat coin. Politics then is nothing more than the changing of colors of the decaying and festering system of abuse and exploitation that we call government. Politics lacks any of the spectacular potentiality or deep empowerment that belongs to The Political which demands of itself to think beyond the meager bounds that politics has attempted to confine within it.
This is why there is no path through politics to end wars, defund the military or to create new and better political systems that are more fitting for our time. There is nothing in our day and age that is political about politics — it is just a show. A two-ringed circus to distract the multitudes into feeling like something could politically change, when politics is exactly what will ensure nothing will change. The sad hidden truth is that there is no longer any possibility of radical or revolutionary change through our forms of politics — that possibility died long ago with the death of God and its hidden meaning for the world.
However there is a secret ritual that can be performed by individuals to resurrect the specter of The Political once again. It is not for the faint of heart or those of fiat convictions, but it is possible, and only you can make that choice. It is a method in which politics must be approached in an entirely new and foreign way. A way that no longer troubles itself with the parties of the past or the ideology of state bureaucracy; but through a new and creative way that manages to cut the king’s head off in contemporary politics. This decapitation allows for the birth of an idea which is the most political of all ideas in a world that has made every attempt to destroy The Political — Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is “The Political” as opposed to just another form of politics because it activates this secret ritual that allows for the recovery of The Political. It is The Political because it exists outside and beyond the power of any and all states and it creates a form of organization that is beyond electoral politics or bureaucratic systems of any state. Bitcoin creates real and substantial political change because it has nothing to do with contemporary politics — that’s the entire point. Bitcoin does not need to elect the right leaders, get the right laws passed or even need to be understood by the majority of the population. All Bitcoin has to do is exist to present its political objective to the world.
Since the birth of bitcoin just a little more than a decade ago, it has gone from being a nascent curiosity to one of the most valuable assets on the planet. It has done this because it has accomplished a political objective that no person, institution or revolutionary movement has been able to accomplish in the last century; the creation of an independent, self-sovereign money that is loyal to no person, state or institution. Bitcoin has decrypted the most spectacular form of The Political that exists; the political nature of money itself.
Money is secretly the most political object that there is not because it is in and of itself political, but because of the way that fiat money has transformed it into a political object. Money has only been mutilated into something political through the most deceitful and cunning obfuscations of politics that has demanded, through the state of self-inflicted emergency, for money to become fiat. It is only when we start to understand that fiat money is in and of itself political that we can start to understand just why Bitcoin is more political than any form of politics that can be voted for.
The global monetary system is the most political object in our highly interdependent, digitized, globalized society, and the refusal to acknowledge that is in itself a political issue. Money is the most political ideal because it is that which involves all people everywhere and how we secure ourselves and families for the future. Bitcoin is the declaration that the time has arrived to overcome the monetary imperialism of the last century, and to throw off the last vestiges of slavery from this antiquated political system called fiat money. The time is now for each of us to perform the ritual that will exorcize the demon of fiat money and open us up to the common political dignity that is Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is our common wealth that we all share; the commonwealth that defines us.
Money is political not just because it is our medium of exchange, or even because it is the fiat legal tender that has been forced upon us, but because it is something that all people everywhere use every day. Everywhere, all the time, people are transacting with each other, primarily in fiat money, for their economic wants and needs in the world. This is what makes the commonality of money truly political — it is something that we must share if we desire to coexist peacefully and cooperatively. Bitcoin is the secret ritual that any person can perform to reopen The Political once again, where their wealth will be protected by the common bond that is consensual exchange that is Bitcoin.
Today however, the real basis of our commonality of wealth is that of tyranny represented through fiat money. Fiat money is not accountable to our laws and systems of politics, but comes from jurisdictions that are outside and beyond our power as common people to impact, direct or change. No matter what political system you live under, there is no possibility to directly change how money is issued, directed, credited, placed or created. Whether you are from communist China, capitalist America, socialist Europe, or the Global South; all monetary systems are part of the same bureaucracy that exists for the elite and powerful alone. It is a commonwealth of poverty and it is the most defining political feature of our age.
We have been told that we are free people that have democratic processes available for us to change the systems as we need to, but when we attempt such audacious goals we cannot even enter the door. Like Kafka’s man “Before The Law,” we too find ourselves waiting before the law pleading to access the only way that we can see. We have waited for countless lifetimes before the law only to realize right before we die that we will never be given access to it by the guard; only deprived of it. The secret key to understanding this parable and decrypting the secret of how to access the law comes from the hint given at the very end. The watchman who waits before the door of law who has been refusing entry to the man states, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”
The key is that the law is not something to be “accessed”; it is something to be entered into. Just as we enter into a contract or an agreement with another, so, too, do we enter the law. State actors do not provide access to the law; they can only at best facilitate its entrance. We must understand before it is too late that the state cannot and will not ever create an entrance to a form of money that is fair and unbiased. It cannot do that because the state itself is unfair and biased — it does not have the capacity to ever move beyond that, and we should not expect that of it. There will never be a time that the state will want to liberate us from its shackles of fiat money and the bondage of debt slavery, because it has no incentive in doing that. The only interest the state has is in continuing itself at all cost and expenses — in the most real monetary, economic, social and biological cost that are entailed within that. The state literally cannot exist without fiat money, which means that it cannot exist by providing access to sound money. As Daniel Webster warned us nearly two centuries ago, “There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters.” Let us heed that warning as we move forward in seeking to differentiate what sets Bitcoin apart from the politics of the past.
Bitcoin is The Political because it has the real possibility of creating radical change to our respective political systems through our personal choice to use and hodl bitcoin as our main form of wealth. It is political because it can change the entire affair of politics through the personal decision that is bitcoin upending the entire criminal ponzi that we call politics. Bitcoin is democracy taken to its most extreme place and in the most serious way possible by going beyond politics and into The Political itself. This is not because Bitcoin is another tool of politics to be contorted and mutilated to serve one ruler, or another, as all prior tools have been used; but because it unilaterally and unapologetically ends the need for there to be any masters to rule on the commonality that is our wealth. In our world, within an advanced global digital economy where our shared idea of “what is money” is greater than our shared idea of who is the correct god. Bitcoin has the power to reactivate The Political and vanquish politics forever. We know that God is Dead, and he has been dead for a long while now — long enough that we can understand that he is not coming to save us. In fact, it has been long enough that we now know it is we who need to save him.
We must rescue God from the nihilistic abyss he has been sacrificed into because to rescue God is to save value itself. In a valueless age, the age of nihilism, recovering a value that cannot be corrupted or contorted by politics is to reactivate that which is the most powerful, the most austere, the most political. To fix the money is to fix the world, and not because money is the root of all evil, but because the misunderstanding of what money is is the root of evil. Evil in the deepest sense of the word; it cannot think but only be — it is us who must do the thinking. And if we are to think of money as we understand it today, as fiat money, then money is nothing more than an authoritarian decree. This decree that creates money “ex nihilo” is a fundamental error in the truth and magnanimity inside the idea of wealth. It is a decree of the stake of authority over the truth of work and the meaning that it gives to value. But in a world where we have recovered the meaning of value and wealth once again, we also understand the truth of real risk and work that must go into building wealth. There is no declaration that can create value — only destroy it through the most guileful and deceitful obfuscations of what the truth is. It is this same obfuscation of the nature of value itself that has corrupted our forms of politics.
If we want to escape the night that is politics and reactivate the light that is The Political, we must heed the secret that the watchman in “Before The Law” has offered us. The entrance to the law is a door that is assigned only to you. I cannot access it, just as your private key is something only you can know in order to remain potent; I cannot. It is within this ritual that creates the private key where we find the key that opens the door of law only accessible by you. A private door assigned to only your key. The Political is not something that the watchman will give you access to, but rather an entrance that only you may enter. It is through knowing that this door is only for you to access that you may be able to reactivate The Political, meant only for you, once again.