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Re: <nettime> Mute article on Bitcoin
Dmytri Kleiner on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 17:39:33 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Mute article on Bitcoin

Hey Jaromil! Great to see you too, too bad I couldn't hang out longer, no doubt we'll bump into each other again sooner, rather than later.

I fully understand that DYNDY and your research is not focused only on BitCoin, however this thread, and the mute article it references is specifically about BitCoin, as where my comments that BitCoin is nothing more (or less) than digital specie. So I'll stick to BitCoin as a topic here, although I do agree a much larger topic is related.

The two direct questions I asked, which I don't feel your response really addressed in any direct way, was what reason do we have to believe that BitCoin (or any specie new or old, digital or physical) would affect the structure of wealth and income in society in such a way as to bring about more fairness and equality?

I'm not looking for a macroeconomic "prediction" here, merely an argument that has macroeconomic consistency. Meaning an economically logical argument. In simple terms, how can a digital specie change the structure of wealth or income? In the most basic macroeconomic terms: total income is equal to profits plus wages, so for BitCoin to have a macroeconomic effect, are you suggesting that it will lower profits or raise wages? If so, how? Or perhaps are you suggesting that BitCoin will redirect profits from private to social forms? And again, if so, how?

The other direct question was: in what way is BitCoin democratic? Your response was directed at being "state-centered," yet, this was not the point or implication of the question. The question was: in what way can BitCoin (or any other specie) perform "democratic" economic functions, such as the provisioning of public goods, leveling of accumulation and moderation of price fluctuations. In other words, what are the mechanisms for making collective social choices about economic outcomes?

You raise a point of wether accumulation of capital is a consequence of capitalism or an obstacle to a freer society, yet, it is of course both, so this is a false dilemma. Clearly the structure of wealth and income today is a consequence of capitalism, just as clearly, it is an obstacle to new economics modes as well. Not only because of the coercive requirement that the majority of us work for, and thus continue to enrich, capital, and not only because the accumulated wealth available to capitalist interests is used to capture and direct social and public institutions, compelling the to put the interests of the elite above the interests of the masses, but also very directly in that, the current division of income in society means that the amount of wealth that is available for non-capitalist productive modes is simple too negligible to bring about major changes as is.


Dmyri Kleiner
Venture Communist

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