Bitcoin is Hope (Part 4)
Why saving in honest money is the only way to restore hope for a fallen world.
The Destabilization of Civilization
Freedom is held to be the highest value of Western Civilization, where individual sovereignty is superordinate to state sovereignty. Pricing systems, denominated in money, are primary determinants of the configuration of relevance in a free world. Relevance is always a relative and dynamic quality, and in the sphere of exchange it is sculpted by prices. We can think of prices as communication tools for gathering or dispersing attention to the things markets want satisfied or the problems its participants want solved.
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As prices increase (inflation), more attention is drawn to resolving the underlying “want” each represents by dissuading buying and incentivizing selling. In a free market, this is a healthy function, as price increases indicate wants which demand to be satisfied. But when price increases are artificially imposed through currency depreciation, they do not reflect real wants for which the market demands satisfaction (except perhaps an unarticulated want to eliminate central banking). In a non-manipulated market, prices tend to decline naturally (deflation) as we become smarter and better at satisfying wants.
As prices deflate, more attention is liberated to seek satisfaction of higher value wants for society. In this way, central bank induced inflation pumps up our socioeconomic problems and destabilizes civilization: an ironic outcome for a “stability providing” institution. Deflation shrinks our problems by lowering prices away from our active awareness, freeing us to focus on higher value aims, and letting us grow more civilized (as Whitehead so brilliantly said in the above quote). To state the argument succinctly:
Artificial price inflation is destabilizing.
Natural price deflation is civilizing.
Inflation is compulsory and invisible theft—an insidious enemy of hope and an amplifier of socioeconomic problems. When people feel that they are free and able to significantly influence the courses of their lives, they naturally develop higher hopes for the future. Freedom matters for sustainable social cohesion and skill-building. By placing freedom at the pinnacle of our social value hierarchy — as Western Civilization was meant to — we engender an environment most conducive to cooperative problem-solving at both the individual and institutional levels. All force by fiat runs counter to this core principle. A more hopeful world is equal to liberty minus legislative force.
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As Bastiat wrote in his infamous antistate treatise The Law:
“Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.”
Lack of unwarranted legislation in human affairs leaves us free to engage in the activities we find relevant and meaningful. Liberty lets us render more satisfaction from life, and generate more wealth through work. Intuitively, a world where everyone works on what they love is better economically, culturally, and spiritually. Freedom from compulsion is an essential ingredient of this ideal state. Vividly visualize your highest hopes and dreams and I am sure you will find freedom as an indispensable element of your day-to-day existence. But this fading remnant of the American dream is diametric to our world’s present financial nightmare caused by inflationary fiat currency.
In Part 5, we will learn why fiat currency inflation inverts hope into despair…
Thank you for reading Bitcoin is Hope (Part 4).
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