Something intriguing is happening with bitcoin. What started as a series of perplexing data “inscriptions” containing classified files from the U.S. government has now been confirmed by Bitcoin Magazine as an ongoing effort to cement information in the public record beyond the reach of government censorship.
An anonymous guardian of free speech has begun using bitcoin to republish all of the information originally published by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks back in 2010. Codenamed “Project Spartacus,” the operation seeks to take advantage of several inherent bitcoin attributes:
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- It utilizes bitcoin’s Ordinals protocol that allows users to add personalized data to units of the cryptocurrency’s blockchain.
- Because data within integrated parts of the blockchain cannot be subsequently removed, it forms a part of the cryptocurrency’s permanent record.
- Because the blockchain of transactions operates on a decentralized, global network of sovereign nodes, there is no tech CEO or other middleman who can intervene to do governments’ censorship bidding.
Decentralized blockchain technology, in other words, is about much more than cryptocurrencies. It is a powerful tool that will continue to allow ordinary people to evade government authority.
Project Spartacus is just the beginning. Imagine new social media networks built from decentralized blockchains of information. Imagine an entirely new internet operating beyond the reach of corporate search engines, regulated addresses, and government permissions. With no corporation in control of the networks or in singular possession of communicated data on privately held servers, the problem of State-directed censorship disappears. No longer could corporate oligarchs operate in concert with government dictators to silence public dissent and magnify government propaganda. No longer would it matter what the Marxist Globalists at Facebook or Google think is true — or what they think should be falsely presented as truth — once ordinary people have a dependable workaround technology that allows them to share information free from Big Brother’s menacing intervention.
Discreetly shared samizdat has returned. It will soon run on decentralized blockchain.
This gets to another important point: while Western governments continue to expand their use of cutting-edge technologies to monitor and control the public, ordinary citizens are finding ways to use these same technologies to become more independent. The reason governments have gone all in on mass surveillance and censorship, after all, is because they are losing their shadow monopolies over public perception, shared information, and financial control.
Think about the soft power that ordinary people have gained in the last twenty-five years. In the past, even the “freest” Western governments exercised quiet control over their citizens in ways the citizenry largely did not comprehend:
(1) Market Manipulation
By mandating the use of national fiat currencies that have over the last century become completely untethered from tangible long-term stores of value such as gold, governments have conspired with central banks to secretly tax their citizens with steady inflation arising from unchecked government spending and currency-printing. By forcing citizens to transact with paper monies vulnerable to central bank manipulation, governments have effectively taken over the means of a nation’s production, the valuation of its capital assets, and the long-term worth of an hour of labor. With a dependable currency, a worker would be able to store two years’ worth of labor as savings in a bank, pull those savings out in fifty years, and find that they still equaled two years’ worth of comparable labor. With central bank funny money severely eroding the value of labor saved in fiat currencies, that worker’s previous two years of labor wouldn’t even afford a week’s bills at today’s prices. Even as Western governments applaud “free markets,” they have pursued socialist policies that give them direct control over what is in every citizen’s pockets.
In a short time, the public’s financial I.Q. has grown substantially. Public day trading has introduced ordinary consumers to the vagaries of the stock market. The emergence of cryptocurrencies has heightened the public’s understanding of the government’s regular manipulation of money. If enough people eventually choose to adopt a commodity-backed cryptocurrency or similarly independent workaround, they will effectively set up a market system beyond the reach of investment bank speculators, central bank money-printers, and government spendthrifts. They would upend global financial power.
(2) News, Mass Communication, and Public Perception
Even in the United States, where free speech has long been celebrated and the blunt retort — “It’s a free country, isn’t it?” — has endured as an unofficial motto, freedom has never been as it seems. For most of the last century, a handful of broadcast news anchors and national newspapers unilaterally determined what was newsworthy and what should be kept a State secret. Ordinary citizens lacking privilege or celebrity had practically no means of expressing their points of view to the broader public. The government had little trouble influencing public perception when it could corral the country’s original “influencers” in a small White House Briefing Room and spoon-feed the press daily “narratives.” Hollywood and the book-publishing cartels easily controlled the country’s cultural leanings.
With the rise of the internet, the government lost both its monopoly over information and its illusion of being kept honest by an independent press corps. Citizen journalists fundamentally weakened the government’s power by allowing the public to determine what is newsworthy. Simultaneously, normal Americans found new megaphones for publicly communicating ideas that had never been expressed beyond the family home. Private webpages, blogs, self-published books, social media posts, videos, and other sources of knowledge and entertainment have empowered ordinary people to communicate on a mass scale and shape public perception. This free speech revolution has upended governments’ enduring power over citizens’ minds.
Today’s totalitarianism has sprung up in national capitals not just because Marxist globalists have risen to power throughout the West; it is a direct reaction to the tremendous technological changes that have shifted power away from government authorities and to the people over the last few decades. In losing their traditional monopolies of control, these governments are now thrashing about in desperation to reacquire power. If they must force everyone to use worthless central bank digital currencies by exacerbating current economic crises and confiscating gold, so be it. If they must turn their backs on protections for free speech by claiming that all dissent is either “disinformation” or illicit “hate,” they will do so. If they must construct a system of domestic surveillance and social credit scores that can reinvigorate governments’ lost control mechanisms of the past, they will jump at the opportunity.
Western governments were horrified by the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain not because it deprived those imprisoned of free will and liberty, but rather because its machinery of coercion was so inartfully blunt. Western oligarchs have always preferred to build their systems of control as beautiful — if not invisible — crystal prisons that trap citizens inside alluring cages without their knowledge. When ideas and markets are controlled and ordinary people are none the wiser, illusions of freedom persist. With the era of such illusions now shattered and more people thinking for themselves than ever before, Deep State praetorians of formerly “free” nations are frantically yanking at the rusty chains of twentieth-century tyranny in hopes of dropping a new Iron Curtain around their peoples before time runs out!
That is the game we see today and the source of all the chaos and confusion that keeps beating us in the heads in the forms of new national emergencies, risky wars, censorship campaigns, and unfettered domestic surveillance.
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Western governments are taking revenge against their own people for having the temerity to think and speak freely — and the audacity to reclaim power from the permanent “ruling class.” This aggression is consequently creating a public revolt. Project Spartacus is but one example. As more slaves break free of the government’s chains, the real rebellion begins.