#Bitcoin is an excellent joke. It will be hilarious right up until it’s catastrophic.

Since absolutely everyone publicly associated with Bitcoin is such a sleazy gonoph, how could it possibly be a scam?

Photo by: Steve Garfield

This started as a private conversation, but I’m taking pieces of my part of it public, because it’s of general interest. Our topic:

What do I have against crypto-currencies?

Start here:

I’ll be dead before this plays out, I expect, but I think crypto-currency is essentially latifundial in its objectives. Wealth is stuff people want and the means to obtain more of it, fixed and intellectual capital. Crypto scales our current state of securitization, putting punters at an even further remove from real values, even as the would-be Dukes of the new latifundia lay in for a world without trade, where not even gold-in-hand can proxy for wealth. It’s the Bell Boys coming to Wall Street, and it will be funny right up until it’s catastrophic.

We batted thing around a little, and I circled back here:

Plausibly I’m not being fair. I have no invested wealth, and my interest in Bitcoin is strictly as more of the daily comedy that is news. And, obviously, I could be madly wrong: I’ve been mocking Bitcoin from three digits to five.

Latifundia means large farms in Latin. It’s how the equestrian classes planned for and survived the fall of Rome. These became the political entities of the Dark Ages – tiny fiefdoms controlled by one man but farmed and defended by dozens or hundreds. As with TV stations today in tiny countries, the source of political power was the granary in the castle: The Duke defends everyone’s food, but rebels starve.

My take is that the modern-day equestrian classes are preparing their own modern latifundia, converting their securities to real wealth, using securities bubbles to gull the marks. Bitcoin is just part of that, target-marketed at the lesswrong.com kind of intellectualoid who cannot conceive that he could ever be in error. The perfect con is the one the mark begs to get in on.

As for how to invest, I think every kind of after-market securities investing is rent-seeking – demanding compensation for no added-value – so I’m against it all as a matter of morality. Likewise, liability limitation subsidizes negligence by socializing its risk to its victims – a highly-detailed conspiracy to defraud – so we’re down to a much smaller investment marketplace.

Private banks of issue would be ideal, of course, and I truly don’t care how they do their counterfeiting – gold, fractional, crypto – since all currency is counterfeit when the last turkey has been sold. Exchange rates will keep the honest honest, and arbitrage is just Wall Street lingo for “Vegas, Baby!” So what? Cheaters never prosper – not without central banking.

My overarching assumption is that we are approaching a thousand-year collapse, and that’s just absurd – except for the other times when it’s happened. I will be delighted to be wrong about any or all of this.

That’s what I’m doing here, for what that’s worth – investing in the future. I don’t care about money any more than I have to, but I care a great deal about ideas and what people do with them. The securities marketplace is an excellent example of the tokenization of humanity, how Ci culture destroys every value it claims to prize. It takes the glory of free human cooperation and turns it into predation, where every person is every other person’s candy machine, existing solely to be mutually and interchangeably exploited.

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