Last Updated on July 6, 2021 by Haven Direct
Bitcoin is the global declaration of independence from central bank tyranny.
Money is a tool for trading human time. Central banks, the modern-era masters of money, wield this tool as a weapon to steal time and inflict wealth inequality. History shows us that the corruption of monetary systems leads to moral decay, social collapse, and slavery. As the temptation to manipulate money has always proven to be too strong for mankind to resist, the only antidote for this poison is an incorruptible money — Bitcoin.
Table of Contents
Counterfeiters are Slavemasters
In ancient western Africa, aggry beads—small, decorative glass beads—were used as money for many centuries. Of uncertain origins, these beads were a means of wealth transfer between people in trade (as money) and across generations (as dowries or heirlooms). When European explorers appeared in Africa in the 16th century, it was quickly apparent to them that aggry beads were highly valued by African locals. Since glass-making technology in Africa was primitive at the time, aggry beads were difficult to produce and, therefore, reliably scarce relative to other goods—a monetary property which supported their market value.
Back in Europe, glass-making technology was more sophisticated; counterfeit beads virtually identical to aggry beads could be mass produced at a low cost. Seizing the economic opportunity, many crafty Europeans soon began arranging expeditions to western Africa, shipping in huge quantities of (indistinguishably counterfeit) aggry beads expertly fashioned in European glass-making facilities. This scheme was one of the first known large-scale money counterfeiting operations in the world. What followed this seemingly innocuous exportation of glass beads was a multi-decade plundering of African wealth, natural resources, and—ultimately—time.
As European ships arrived on African shores, many with hulls packed full of glass beads, locals readily traded their hard-earned assets for what they believed were precious aggry beads. Spanning the course of decades, this trading of real assets for counterfeit beads facilitated a surreptitious confiscation of African wealth by Europeans—a slow-motion criminal episode that crippled African society for centuries to come. Aggry beads would later become known as “slave beads”; as newly impoverished Africans became desperate, some were forced to sell themselves or others as slaves to their European usurpers. Slave beads—one of history’s many monetary systems weaponized by counterfeiters—became instrumental in the multi-century trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Over the course of 365 years, over 12.5M slaves were transited from Africa to Europe and the Americas.
Like the counterfeit aggry beads used to purchase them, African slaves were packed tightly inside the hulls of ships for transit to Europe and the Americas.
Lured by a virtually limitless profit potential, Portuguese panos producers soon established a state-sponsored monopoly called the Grão Pará and Maranhão Company, which mandated the use of its warehousing and trading-post operations for all financial flows denominated in panos. This company enforced the use of panos for tax payments, to forcibly denominate slave trade contracts, and to hire soldiers. To name just one similar, non-coincidental example today: the US government enforces the use of dollars for tax collections, as legal tender, as the nominal currency for contracts on oil (the energy slave of modernity), and as the international reserve currency (the infamous “exorbitant privilege”).
Events strikingly similar to aggry beads and panos are playing out today throughout the global economy: the US dollar in your pocket, the one you sacrificed so much to obtain, was recently mass-produced by the US government with a (near-effortless) keystroke. In the same way Europeans had access to superior glass-making technology that gave them the ability to counterfeit money at a low cost, or the Portuguese monopolized panos production, central banks have an exclusive privilege to produce money at near-zero cost, enabling them to confiscate wealth from all users of dollars at will. Although less visible and overtly violent, central banks today carry out operations using the same weaponized methods of theft as those wielded by wily Europeans against unsuspecting Africans.
Histories of human action related to aggry beads and panos hold important lessons for societies suffering under central banking: those who can monopolize money production become de facto currency counterfeiting operations that steal human labor in perpetuity. When free market forces are manipulated, producers gain an asymmetric ability to set prices without regard to customer preferences, thereby converting economic democracies into dictatorships, and freedom into tyranny. For money, this implies monopolists can acquire human time (aka labor) in the marketplace at an unfair price. Said differently: money monopolists can steal human time—a malevolent power that effectively makes them slavemasters.
An exclusive right to produce money without regard for competitive market pressures is an apparatus of enslavement—a vile privilege that monopolists can only preserve through deception and violence.
Counterfeit aggry beads and panos were weapons used to acquire human time; acts which led to the direct theft of 12.5M human lives between 1501 and 1806 (and the indirect theft of their progeny). The trans-Atlantic slave trade was a slow-motion holocaust on Africans; roughly 2M died in transit through the infamous Middle Passage, and those who survived spent the rest of their waking lives toiling away, or bearing children to replenish their slavemaster’s stock. Quantifying this atrocity from an economic perspective (not counting those born into slavery): assuming the average slave could labor 5,000 hours each year for 40 years, the staggering total time stolen amounts to over 2.5T (2,500,000,000,000) hours, or 6.8B hours stolen per year for 365 years (source link).
The trans-Atlantic slave trade was a travesty as gruesome as it was gigantic; if only money production monopolies had faced free market competition, this horror of human history would not have reached such a colossal scale. In (non-violent) market competition, producer actions are guided by the preferences of customers: a dynamic that drives low prices and technological innovation. Absent this accountability, producers are incentivized to do anything necessary to expand their market share—up to and including violent coercion. Simply, market pressures keep people honest: as such, the structures of markets and moralities are mutually intertwined.
Markets, Sovereignty, and Morality
Competition is a natural process of discovery: in sports, it is the way we discover which team is more competent in any single game; throughout an entire season of play, repeated competition is how we discover which team is best overall. In free markets, competition is the set of games played to discover “satisfactions of wants”: each entrepreneur places “bets” (investments of capital, money, and time) as they attempt to prove their competitors wrong in the marketplace by delivering better, faster, or cheaper solutions to the problems their customers want solved. Market competition is the catalyst of honest work and true progress for civilization. As the American pragmatists said: “truth is the end of inquiry”—in this sense, the free market may be thought of as a setting of continuous inquiry that zeroes-in on truth. The ideas competition generates, which survive its sustained entrepreneurial inquisitions, are our best approximations of truth—as William James said:
Pragmatically, truth is difficult to distinguish from that which is most useful. In forums of free exchange, truth is generated in the form of accurate prices, useful tools, and individual virtue. Prices dynamically represent market participant concurrences on relative exchange ratios, a derivation of countless trade decisions across time. A tool with superior usefulness is the manifestation of mankind’s sharpest present knowledge for solving a specific problem. Put another way: as entrepreneurs inquire about the nature of reality through experimentation, the tools they produce—and the knowledge structure with which these tools are configured—adapt according to customer preferences until one or a few favored solutions become market dominant. Virtue and competitive competency are the character traits infused into successful entrepreneurs that manage to survive the constant economic pressures holding them accountable for profit generation. This truth-seeking function of free markets is inherently iterative: prices, tools, and virtues are constantly changing according to market conditions.
“Points” in market-based games of discovery are denominated in money — the tool used to calculate, negotiate, and execute trades most effectively. Market competition is the process that keeps producers honest: when it is suppressed through coercion or violence—as it is within “legal monopolies”—truth becomes distorted into inaccurate prices, low-quality tools, and individual wickedness. For money producers, monopolization means dishonest producers become counterfeiters and gain a (deceptive and violent) dominion over human time.
Stealing human time through currency counterfeiting led to the the auctioning of slave labor.
More accurately, money—along with its precursors action and speech—is “the root of all sovereignty”: the authority to act in the world as one sees fit. Sovereignty — a word etymologically associated with monarchy, money, and royalty — refers to the locus of supreme power in the sphere of human action. According to Natural Law, sovereignty inheres within the individual, as each person must consciously decide what actions to take, despite any exogenous influences they may face. An inner sanctum of sovereignty’s generative source lives within each of us — an inviolable principle of reason known as the logos. An interface layer between the primary domains of experience—order and chaos—the logos is the defining feature of humanity: our ability to tell and believe stories is what distinguishes man from animal. Victor Frankl calls this interiorized space the “last human freedom”:
From sovereignty, we derive the word reign, which commonly refers to a period of royal rulership. Most of us now live in an era well-past submission to a royal family, and our civilizational conception of sovereignty has been steadily decentralizing over time, moving closer to a clear reflection of Natural Law. As Jordan Peterson charts this historical progression:
At the foundation of Western Civilization today is the precept that the sovereignty of the individual is held higher than the state: an embodied belief at the heart of legal principles such as habeus corpus, the presumption of “innocent until proven guilty,” and freedom of speech rights.
Freedom of speech is essential to a peaceful society, as our ideas must be free to clash and resolve conflicts so that our bodies don’t. Speech arose in humans as a direct result of our evolutionary development: once a vertical stance was adopted by our ancestral primates, our visual field was expanded, and our hands became more adept at manipulating the natural environment since they were no longer needed for locomotion. Newly outfitted with opposable thumbs, we developed a dexterity that enabled us to particularize the natural world in useful ways—like sorting things, counting, and making tools. Fine musculature in the face and tongue evolved alongside this precision of hand, giving rise to spoken language, which complemented the hand’s ability to categorize the world, and the mind’s ability to comprehend it (even our internal dialogue is composed of speech). An ability to manually reconfigure the world reinforced our abstractive capacity to do so verbally, thereby forming a feedback dynamic between these two defining faculties of man. This co-evolution of craftsmanship and verbal articulation led naturally to trade, and (quite simply) the most exchangeable thing in any trading society is its most important tool—money.
Seen this way, money is a direct derivation of action and speech: all three of which are essential media for sovereign self-expression. In this sense, money may be considered a form of speech in and unto itself—the language of value. Placing limitations on the use of this language (the purpose of central banks) is commensurately catastrophic to restricting the freedom of speech (which can lead to absurdities like illegal numbers). Free speech digs the grave for despotism, whereas its suppression is the trademark of totalitarian regimes. Indeed, the first effort of every aspiring dictator is always to restrict the voice of dissent—to darken the light of inquiry radiating from the logos. The 20th century had many logos-suppressing dictatorships, we will name two:
Logos (λόγος) is a Greek word that means “ratio” or “word”—the principle at the core of interpersonal communications, which are largely conducted via words and prices (which are exchange ratios expressed in monetary terms). Both words and prices are “categorical comparatives,” protocols for encapsulating, contrasting, and communicating different aspects of reality — herein lives the power of the divine logos to render order from chaos. In language, consider how all words only have meaning relative to one another: all definitions are comprised of other words. In markets, the intersection of objective supply and subjective demand is the price: a dynamic figure reflecting the consensus of the collective logos on any particular good’s exchange ratio to any other good (for simplicity, expressed in the common language of economic numeracy: money).
For money, governments corrupt the pricing mode of comparative expression by constantly violating the supply of money (via inflation) while simultaneously compelling its demand (via legal tender and tax collection laws). Distorting natural price discovery, a manipulation of the collective logos, is equivalent to perverting the vox populi—the voice of the people. George Orwell once said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” An inability to speak the truth (with words), or prove others wrong in the marketplace (with prices), is the death of liberty; as the 20th century so painfully taught us, restricting the logos is a slippery slope toward totalitarianism. Free expression in all forms is antecedent to proper moral action.
In Soviet Russia, freedom of speech was suppressed and dissent was punished. Independent political activities were not tolerated, whether these involved participation in free labour unions, private corporations, independent churches or opposition political parties.
*For simplicity, we will ignore the spatiotemporal unevenness of inflation.
If the winemaker chooses the first option, he incurs a 50% loss. If he decides to water down his wine, he defrauds his customers by selling them an inferior product. If he doubles his price to maintain quality, he risks losing customers to less honest competitors who are willing to compromise on quality. Since diluting wine with water is difficult to detect (for non-connoisseurs) and offers an immediate financial gain, all winemakers face strong incentives to defraud their customers when inflation strikes (a cause of wine scandals). In a similar vein, monetary inflation incentivizes sellers across all industries to deceive their customers. Inflation imposes the temptation of larceny onto seller’s hearts, forcing them to weigh financial wellbeing against moral integrity. In this way, inflation is an infectious disease to society’s moral fabric. Inflation-resistant money, then, is an antidote to an afflicted social morality. In this (critically important) sense, Bitcoin—the only money with a 0% terminal inflation rate—is the cure for many of the moral cancers riddling our world.
Inflation is a great immiseration on the soul of humanity—a source much moral sickness worldwide.
Since everything in the marketplace requires sacrifices of human time to produce (even land needs hands to sell), we can say that money is human time emblematized. In the same way a stock certificate is title to company capital, money is title to human time; people sacrifice time earning money which they can then spend on commensurate sacrifices from others. Clearly, a tool that can command human time is an object of great temptation, as it is a potent source of power (defined by physics as work over time). A lust for power is the motivation of most warfare—typically involving attempts to forcibly acquire capital, food, or territory. And a lack of power is closely related to unhappiness, which makes its consolidation alluring—as Philo Judaeus said:
Money has always been a critical piece of mankind’s notions of sovereignty and slavery. When naturally selected by free market processes, money is a culmination of the collective logos: a synthesis of individual self-sovereign expressions. But natural money has been hijacked by artificial tyrants: the reason we call states sovereign today is entirely because they are the gangs that reign over the world’s freely chosen money — gold.
The So-Called Sovereign States
For over 5,000 years, precious metals have been favored as money since they best fulfilled its five properties: divisibility, durability, portability, recognizability, and scarcity. Gold came to reign supreme because of all the monetary metals, it was the most scarce. Scarcity is arguably the most important property of money, as without an assurance of supply limitation, someone always gives in to the temptation to inflate and steal the value stored therein (see: aggry beads, panos cloth money, or fiat currencies today).
Governments have always interceded in the market for money to commandeer gold coinage and warehousing operations, both of which sought to improve the divisibility, portability, and recognizability properties of money by issuing standardized coins or warehouse receipts. By monopolizing these “certification function” businesses, the state shifted the burden of trust from transacting parties onto itself. States throughout history have always made it their (exclusive) business to certify the value (weight or fineness) of money (coins or bars) and money-substitutes (paper warehouse receipts). Remember: insulation from competition interrupts the truth discovery process engendered by free markets; for this reason, trust placed in any monopoly always ends up shattered.
Government exists to protect property rights: a purpose it defiles by monopolizing and counterfeiting money.
Seen this way, “printing money” actually refers to currency counterfeiting—the production of false promises, as currencies are no longer tied to real money. Said simply: fiat currency is a living lie. Regardless of whether you consider it a tool or a weapon (depending on the subjectivities of user intentionality), manipulating money supplies is objectively useful for only one thing: inflicting wealth inequalities (by stealing time). As G. Braschi puts it: “Every tool is a weapon (if you hold it right).” As a means of gaining an advantage in contests of will, currency counterfeiting is a weapon.
In war times, belligerent nations have made attempts to counterfeit opponent currencies to cause hyperinflation. For example, Nazi Germany had plans to bomb England with counterfeit bank notes to sabotage their economy. And in Imperial Japan, the Noborito Laboratory experimented with currency counterfeiting operations as an economic subversion strategy. In peacetimes, currency counterfeiting is the exclusive domain of the central bank, whose “expansionary monetary policy” increases the money supply by, say, 7% per year—that is, stealing only 7% of dollar-holder wealth (an accumulation of time-savings) each year via counterfeiting operations.
Of course, when circumstances become too uncertain, market participants naturally flock back to the trust-minimization of physical gold, since money-substitutes are (at best) promises to receive money in the future, they are vulnerable to default. Unlike fiat currencies, gold is an expression of the collective logos, not compulsion from a counterparty. The self-declared “sovereign” state is a business model built on the confiscation of self-sovereign monies like gold and silver. The superior monetary properties of gold made it the most valuable form of self-sovereign money in history, a reign it has maintained since before the founding of ancient Egypt.
The Great Pyramids
Ancient Egypt is the archetypal tyranny in the Bible. Egypt is renowned for its Great Pyramids, monoliths which were built on the backs of slave labor. Indeed, the grandeur of these constructions owes a major debt of gratitude to the many slaves whose time was stolen by the Pharaohs—masters of Ancient Egypt. To gain a glimmer of understanding as to just how arduous the construction process was for even a single Great Pyramid, consider this data point from the book Heroes of History by Will Durant:
Many slave hours went into building the Great Pyramids, but history has even worse pyramid schemes…
A pyramid scheme is an investment scam based on a hierarchical setup of network marketing, in which higher layer participants profit at the expense of those lower down. Fiat currencies are pyramid schemes erected by central banks, who restrict access to and suppress the price of gold, which would otherwise outcompete their inferior currencies on the free market, since gold is reliably scarce and holds its value across time. The use of fiat currencies is compelled via legal tender and tax laws. It may be hard to believe that the world’s most popular currency is a pyramid scheme, but the symbology of the US dollar tells its own story: