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Re: <nettime> Mute article on Bitcoin
Jaromil on Thu, 8 Mar 2012 23:44:03 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Mute article on Bitcoin

dear Dmytri,

good to see you today at unlike-us, guessing I can use the occasion to
be a bit more explicit in my email response now. 

On Tue, 06 Mar 2012, Dmytri Kleiner wrote:

> Yet, if a currency is to have some sort of emancipatory potential,
> it must affect the distribution of wealth and flows of incomes, and
> thereby should have a macroeconomic effect, if it doesn't, than it's
> significance is questionable.

OK. you think you can predict a complex propagation from a low-level
change into a macroeconomic effect to the point of liquidating its
emancipatory potential, just being one smart white man, just like
that? :^)

> I'm certainly enthusiastic about LETS, since mutual credit deals
> with liquidity demands much better than specie. In the
> Telekommunisten IRC channel we have had discussions about the
> possibility of building a ripple like mutual credit system on tom of
> the bitcoin infrastructure. This could be interesting.
> However, even this doesn't answer the key social questions, since
> the ever concentrating accumulation of capital is the primary
> obstacle to a fairer society, not lack of exchange or credit
> instruments.

Captivating sentences as the one above will just be a deaf call to the
"oppressed masses" to assault the pile of gold and eat the rich. I'm
not sure you are really interested in that, nor that the so called
masses will actually enjoy it on the long term.

The accumulation of capital is a consequence of Capitalism, not a
primary obstacle for a fairer society. Such a consequence is the
product of a complexity you are avoiding here. As for instance the
austerity rethoric (well recognizable today as much as 80 years ago)
is a consequence, not an obstable.

Nothing can be ever made fairer until we stop seeing the accumulation
of capital as an obstacle and start engaging the complexity that
generated it. Methodologically then I'd advice to leave space for
different perspectives and avoid imposing universals.

But let's nail one thing down: I hope you'll agree to narrow the
meaning of Capitalism to the definition that Max Weber gives of it and
that I'd rather summarize here as an historical change in what we call

Now I believe we are going to witness the same kind of process in our
lives and the dissolution of your notion of State, Nationality and
more in general centralized regulation is a central part of it.

> I dont believe that, and have a hard time understanding how
> oppressive relationships underwritten with violence can be overcome
> by using different counting tokens for the circulation of the
> negligible retained wealth among the oppressed.

The oppressed masses have a constituent role for states, especially
when they are free to acquire consciousness and subjectivity
(desubjectivation is a process that your very use of language enforces
here, in fact). The oppressed can become a constituent multitude only
when you stop feeding them with such mass definitions/media and
recognize their potence.

> You could say that the national currency of country is democratic,
> as the government can create currency and finance public investment
> and social initiatives, and also destroy money to level accumulation
> moderate prices.

I hope you like to avoid a stall on this state-centered position since
a confrontation on the role of the state (which in Europe nowadays
well relates also to a discussion on the scope of a state) would be
now ultimately sterile and flattening us on rather deep disagreement.

I'm seriously expecting some references for your points in this
discussion, facts and scenarios or at least name and links, not just
opinions on what is universally true. You are seriously risking to
depict your production of sense as mere reenactment here.

> I understand that government is captured by capital, and uses it's
> monetary and fiscal power in the interests of the financial elite,
> but not withstanding, for a currency to be called "democratic," it
> must be able to perform simular social functions, directing capital
> democratically towards social ends, etc.
> How can BitCoin do this?

maybe I was not clear in my first email, but this is not just about
BitCoin, which is "just" the first digital born currency to unleash a
narrative that made a constituent potential coagulate into the
pragmatic development of extremely innovative tools.

Even if you consider the way the WarNet developed in Indonesia under
the second wave of persecution of Suharto (referring you to the
research conducted by Merlyna Lym) you will find a well detailed
scenario that helps articulating an answer.

> The more pressing questions is how we fund investment towards
> commons-based production in the first place, how do we mobilize the
> required labour and wealth, from a starting point where nearly all
> existing wealth is controlled by the beneficiaries of capitalist
> production (or what you term the "financial tyranny").

A pressing question is how do we reconnect the processes of production
with the values in circulation and the prices paid for such a

A poignant example here is provided by migrant economies and the tax
applied by the few money transfer companies that are cutting of a 20%
minimum from all kinds of peripheral slavery.

I could go deeper on that, but well...

> The question of how we circulate the products of commons-based
> production is left as a relatively interesting detail, and certainly
> worthy of attention, but nothing more.
> The Telekommunist Manifesto and DYNDY where launched together at De
> Balie, so the projects are siblings by birth in a way. I look
> forward to learning more about your perspective.

I'm sure the mother was different and that's not a quick judgement
based on family names.


jaromil,  dyne.org developer,  http://jaromil.dyne.org
GPG: B2D9 9376 BFB2 60B7 601F 5B62 F6D3 FBD9 C2B6 8E39

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