There is a tremendous amount of pain in our society. There are many sources of this pain: the emotional desertification of dysfunctional families, the knowledge that we don’t fit in and never will, a widening disconnect between the narratives we’re told are true and our experience, and a social and economic structure that tosses many of us on the trash heap.
The lifestyle we’re told we need to be happy is unattainable to many, and disconcertingly unsatisfactory to the top 10% who reach it.
We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.
The process of awakening has many paths. For some, the path starts with the incoherence of official explanations and narratives. For others, it’s the inner search for truth via psychotherapy or spiritual practice.
For some, it’s an investigation into the way our economic and political hierarchy function. For others, art is the starting point: a film, a novel, a comic, a song.
For many of us, it begins with this simple but devastating realization: I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in, have never fit in and never will fit in. I play along because it’s easier on me and everyone I interact with to do so, and I value my independence which means I have to find a way to support myself. That is difficult, as what I like to do has little to no value in our economy.
What interests me is how the epidemic of pain and alienation that characterizes our society is the direct result of how our economy and social order is structured. Incoherence, self-destruction, pain and alienation are the only possible outputs of the system we inhabit.
I recently had an amazing free-form 1:50 hour conversation on these topics with New Zealand talk-show host Vinny Eastwood. Any conversation that stretches from the erosion of community to loneliness to Daniel Ellsberg to Marx to Taoism to alienation to Michelangelo Antonioni and on to the process of awakening is amazing in my view.
Here’s Vinny’s page with listening/viewing/downloading options, and the program on Youtube (please ignore my goofy expressions): The magic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (1:49:54)
My conclusion may strike many as radical, but to me it is self-evident: the primary source of the rot, insecurity, inequality and alienation of our society is the way we create and distribute money, which is the conduit for creating and distributing political power.
I explain why this is so in my books A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.
If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we change nothing. Money = power. If we don’t devise a form of money that is beyond the reach of central banks and states, all “reform” is just window-dressing, simulacra of “change” that simply solidifies the system’s bogus claim of being reformable.
Cryptocurrencies are in their infancy. There will be many more iterations of Cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin and Ethereum; recall that bitcoin went public in 2009.
There are security challenges with cryptocurrencies, and the potential for central-state meddling via backdoors in computer operating systems. But once we understand that community and the potential for a less toxic society and economy are crippled by the centralized structure of the state and its money, then there is no way forward but to develop structures of money, work, community, purpose and meaning that are outside the direct control of the state and central bank.
This sort of “crazy talk” is unwelcome. As I noted earlier this week on my chart of the Ministry of Propaganda, in the status quo, skepticism is always a conspiracy or a hoax.
So instead we consider an exploding opiate epidemic, an epidemic of obesity and metabolic illnesses, a discourse of inchoate rage and a Grand Canyon-sized gap between what we’re told is true and what we experience as true “normal.”These things are not normal; they are manifestations of a system that can only generate one output: self-destruction.