Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him? This famous question, posed by the late Obi-Wan Kenobi, remains as relevant today as it did all those years ago, far, far away. Since the limits of human knowledge are ever expanding and the bar of what we can comprehend about our place in the universe is raised every year, the leaders and the followers of yesteryear seem more and more foolish the more time that passes. This in turn, has been true for every year of recorded history. If one was able to see the the world of today through the eyes of a human born a hundred years into the future, one would probably be baffled by the collective stupidity of the human race as it operates today. Today, a mere couple of centuries after the invention of secular society and the separation of church and state, we are collectively ashamed of our religious ancestors who followed leaders that burned blaspheming, traitorous astronomers who claimed the earth revolved around the sun, to the stake. What do we blindly follow today that our children might look back upon in shame? Some of our leaders for sure but more importantly, some of the systems of governance that we take for granted today might not exist at all in a hundred years.
Take the nation state for instance. Most humans identify with a nationality even though no other animal seems to care about such things at all. People cheer for their national sports team, celebrate their “independence day” and wave flags without ever questioning the nature of the tribe. Even the HBTQ community have decided to unite under a common flag to celebrate a freedom of choice. To an alien, the practice of using a uniform banner to celebrate independence would seem quite absurd. Independence is, or at least ought to be, about not belonging to a certain tribe or cult or state. It ought to be about making your own decisions, thinking for yourself and not following the practices of a certain group. Sadly, very few of us think about politics in these terms. We’re trapped in the stories of left and right that we were brought up in, born into a narrative that fails to paint the whole picture of our place in time. As were our ancestors. History isn’t a thing of the past, history happens right now and you will either live a life of significance or you won’t. There is no such thing as spare time. Your life is happening now and it’s not a rehearsal.
So what makes Bitcoin different from other cults like the nation state, religion or even sports? First of all, Bitcoin was invented as an antidote to the largest cult the world has seen so far — the cult of international banking and monetary policy. Humanity is so intertwined and entangled in this global pyramid scheme that the people on top can always rely on the fool that follows to do their bidding, they don’t have to lift a finger for it to happen. Everyone uses fiat money, only a handful ever question its legitimacy. If you live in Venezuela, Argentina or Zimbabwe you might have learned to question the legitimacy of your local currency but it’s still unlikely that you believe that the US dollar will be equally worthless in a generation or two. Rest assured that it will though. With an inflation rate of only three percent a currency is worth half its current value in less than twenty four years and only a twentieth of its value in a hundred years. That is if the Federal Reserve can resist the temptation to expand the supply at an even faster rate as the economy starts to lag behind. Bitcoin on the other hand has a very limited supply. It is the scarcest means of expressing value there is. Prime numbers are less scarce. People have a hard time grasping the concept of something so abstract yet so robust. It simply can’t be tampered with. Bitcoin is not a cult like atheism is not a cult. It is simply a way to express a disregard for cults in general. Like atheism Bitcoin is about not believing. About rejecting belief and seeking truth. Don’t trust — verify. Cut out the middleman for good.
I believe that our biased thinking, that always takes a tribal motive for granted, is why so many people misinterpret the whole thing. Why they believe in altcoins and why they don’t see the difference between a scam and a legitimate alternative. There are no alternatives to mathematics. Mathematics just is and it doesn’t care about opinions. People are so used to marketing that they believe everything to be designed to sell them something that they can’t see Bitcoin for what is — a great tool for personal independence. Financial sovereignty. A hundred years from now humans will regard their grandparents the children of slaves, brainwashed to devote their time to care about distractions, such as democracy or a finding a good pension fund. They will have a hard time believing how few opted out of their respective cults given the fact that they already had the tools to do so. Hyperbitcoinization is still a long time ahead and only in hindsight will we be able to see the flaws of what came before it.
So, are you the fool or the fool who follows him?