Anarchists Getting Airtime

March 9th, 2011   Submitted by Seth King

I have mixed views about “Anonymous.” Overall, I would say they are a net positive. I tend to lean more on the defensive side to digital activism. For example, if I had the talents these hacktivists have I would be more likely to found companies that compete with established banking and insurance institutions. I know there are a bunch of digital gold trading companies out there but I’ve yet to find one that completely operates without any government blessings. A true free-market banking company that uses real money as its currency and spans the globe is in dire need. And going after Westboro Baptist Church just seems like a waste of time to me. On the other hand I do love the fact that they are helping to throw a wrench in the gears of the machine. Enjoy this short video interview by the Nightly News and let me know what you think about Anonymous.

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19 Responses to “Anarchists Getting Airtime”

  1. FelaNo Gravatar says:

    I think the “anonymous” scare being played in the media is another poor attempt by the elite to grab more control over the internet, like aassange.
    My two cents.

  2. ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Is Anonymous a government false flag type operation to justify more government control? Sometimes I think we give the government too much credit for being too smart. I would like to see a more aggressive and damaging effort by Hacktivsts. A new way of life will not arise by morphing from the old, it must arise from the ashes of the old – burn it down and start again. The statist’s will never allow the peaceful removal of their system – unfortunate, but the way it is.

  3. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    To counterattack is defensive. Based on what I see so far, Anonymous has not initiated violence or coercion against human beings. Instead, they have retaliated against major corporate and government organs of tyranny by disabling their “property” – much of it ill-gotten – vital to the execution of the their nefarious operations. We could say that Anonymous is acting in strategic defense by neutralizing weapons with which the enemy has already and repeatedly attacked us..

    At this stage it seems the adversary respects force only. From our side, it would seem therefore that a confederacy of cyber-guerrillas such as Anonymous is exactly the tactical agent of choice: voluntary, de-centralized, informally organized though intelligently coordinated, apparently leaderless, highly motivated, and sublimely competent at targeting, not live bodies and physical property, but information and algorithms.

    My 2 bits.

    • felaNo Gravatar says:

      Right on Andrew. You can’t conquer what you can’t find. If there’s no centralized authority there is nothing the statist can replace. Instead, they would have to waste mountains of resources trying to track down every individual that resists. It’s impossible. We should learn a thing or two from the Pashtuns on how to successfully resist state intrusions in our communities.

  4. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    @ Thomas:

    “Is Anonymous a government false flag type operation to justify more government control?

    This possibility should not be summarily dismissed.

    @ Seth

    “…there are a bunch of digital gold trading companies out there but I’ve yet to find one that completely operates without any government blessings.”

    Agree. I once gave serious thought to putting some of our savings in Jim Turk’s Gold Money system or the Bullion Vault plan, but the compromises of privacy and the ties to major Rothschild-dominated banks in New York, London, and Geneva gave me pause. The core idea behind gold and silver is to extricate one’s self from the banking grid.

  5. daprovicNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Seth, checkout Bitcoin 😉

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, but I’ve been told about it several times before. After having looked into it I fail to see how Bitcoin meets the standards of what I would consider real money. It’s quite possible I am missing something and am just not getting the genius that is Bitcoin. But I doubt it.

      • daprovicNo Gravatar says:

        Bitcoin is an open source peer-to-peer crypto-currency. It is decentralized, and has a fixed monetary base. Transactions are anonymous, irreversible and have no need for a third party (bye bye PayPal!). Transactions are also free, whether you send micropayments or huge amounts.

        Bitcoin meets all requirements for hard money. What is your issue with it?

        • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

          Money is whatever we choose it to be. So if two or more individuals wish to trade their labor and goods for bitcoins I have no problem with that.

          In absence of nation-states I suppose there will be a ton of different currencies floating around in the market.

          Bitcoin may very well be one of them, but I’m more interested in natural resources than arbitrarily fixed currencies.

          Gold and silver, while precious, are also industrial metals. What can I use a bitcoin for?

          • Mark HerpelNo Gravatar says:

            Seth, iGolder was built by some very savvy and smart software/business guys. A few years back they looked at all the ways-to-pay online and said, “we can do better and use sound money.” They have built a beautiful digital gold system that encourages online commerce based on the existing centralized DGC model. (lots of tools and helpful stuff to get any biz up and running instantly) This centralized model (operating from one server), DOES require some identifying information on each user plus verified info above certain $ levels and finally recognizes most international laws. This system gives users a lot of freedom and awesome ecommerce tools but still abides by most of the usual rules and regs just like as if it were a UK company regulated by the FSA. These are, for the most part, very generous and easy rules to follow. Any big system based on this centralized model in today’s world will be following these basic rules. For example iGolder does not permit ponzi HYIP scams, MLM or overnight get rich schemes. They would also cooperate with any law enforcement on requests for such things as records on child pornography sellers, drug dealers etc. I mean…what operator wants to wake up to a scumbag in Europe selling pictures of an 8 yr old girl being gang raped, then moving the profits through their DGC server and system? You know if they don’t allow ponzi HYP schemes, they are not going to protect CP sellers. If an operator has the account name and info he’s going to share that with LE or lose his business, can you blame him?
            What you need is a system that does not have that personal information to share. You need de-centralized, minimal non-identifying records so that if requested that operator could truthfully say, “we don’t have access to that information, we are not account based, that info is not required to operate an account”. You need working options that don’t exist in these conventional digital currency accounts because of ‘Know Your Customer’ rules.
            Also, why trust anyone you don’t know, at some central location, with the massive responsibility of “holding” your gold or silver? I think we all recognize by now that if some gov. agency wants your dough, they may eventually get it or at least freeze the account. Trust yourself, trust your family and close friends and trust the fact that your assets can never be in one central location— but spread out around the world only identified by a number. There is no trail to your assets and if discovered there is nothing linking you to them. No trail….what does that mean? No account based system with a record….no link from one user to another after the assets change hands…you need cash. Digital assets that move between people need to be anonymous with no digital trail and work just like traditional cash does. Think back to e-gold, there is a record still on back ups that shows where every transaction, in every account ever completed came from and went to. LE has the records on all users from day one, each transaction permanently preserved. Ouch! No digital transactions, need to begin and end with one payment just as cash works.
            Additionally, you will need multiple ways to add funds and remove funds from your digital system. Perhaps cash to digital, or bank wires to any country around the world, add a debit card with multiple deposit methods or even the option to exchange your digital value into another like system and withdraw it through that currency. You need options that conventional accounts don’t offer because of money laundering laws. (this is why there are NO cash deposit options or prepaid cards on a PayPal account:-)
            Here are two systems that would today meet 100% your needs, anonymous–decentralized–cash like digital systems.
            http://loom.cc
            http://voucher-safe.org/tiki-index.php http://www.voucher-safe.com/
            These were both created by the smartest digital currency minds in the world today for free men everywhere. I’ve interviewed both designers several times and profiled these systems in DGCMagazine on multiple occasions. I use them.
            Good luck,
            Mark Herpel
            Skype IM ‘digitalcurrency’

        • Mark HerpelNo Gravatar says:

          Bitcoin is an awesome system. I have two issues:
          (1) the units can’t be backed with commodity assets like gold and they are partially linked to dollars(this week it takes more Bitcoins to buy a liter of gas than it did last week)
          (2) any digital product that can be created for free by anyone, will attract a massive user base most simply wanting to create coins and sell them. Mining Bitcoin has become much like WOW gold, there is a large community of people just out to create the money and sell it. No tangible products are actually created by this community.

          Having listed my issues, this doesn’t mean it won’t be a monumental success and widely used. I just have to ask, what happens when BitcoinII and BitcoinIII come along, more mining for tokens?

          Mark

  6. daprovicNo Gravatar says:

    You can easily sell your bitcoins for fiat currencies which then you can buy gold. In fact it won’t be long before you can trade bitcoins for gold or silver through different precious metal exchanges.

    Why would you want your money to be necessarily physically useful? People don’t use money because it can be used in the microchip industry. People use money because it facilitates their trade. The most fundamental reason why physical commodities such as gold are used as money is because they are scarce, not because you can use them for something else than trade. Their value is in their scarcity, not their usability.

    All the investment needed to store, insure and protect the gold makes it a more expensive currency. Not to mention that stored gold can be stolen or easily raided by governments. Government’s can also stop the banks’ operations, effectively freezing the trading economy. Scientists will probably be able to create gold some day too, who knows.

    Bitcoins do not need to be stored centrally, they are decentralized. There is no way of raiding bitcoins. There is no way of stopping the system as you can freeze banks. You can’t counterfeit bitcoins, and bitcoin transactions are by design irreversible. Bitcoin has a fixed monetary base, unlike gold that fluctuates and grows.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I still like gold 😉 Checkout iGolder.com and let me know if you wish to give us a small boost on your site 🙂

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I have looked into iGolder before and I got really excited when I first saw it, but then my enthusiasm waned when I read this line:

      “We do not disclose any particulars or details unless compelled to do so by a court order…”

      What I am looking for is a bank that will store my gold and silver and facilitate transactions with other people. It must both accept deposits as well as withdrawals. It must insure my assets in case of theft. And it must never willingly cooperate with government or other criminals.

      It should hide its vaults as well as possible so as to protect their clients’ wealth. Its employees should probably be willing to risk kidnapping because of their disobedience. The company, then, would probably save more money by paying their employees hazard wages instead of forfeiting assets.

      I simply have no desire to get involved with a company that will so easily lose my assets when the feds get tough. Liberty Dollar, while seriously flawed, is a perfect example of people losing their assets overnight.

      The day iGolder announces disobedience is the day I sign up.

      • daprovicNo Gravatar says:

        Seth, I understand your concerns. iGolder does not deal with fiat currencies in order to protect itself and its membership against government laws and regulations concerning banking. You can buy and sell your gold through different exchanges listed at iGolder.com.

        iGolder does not hold all gold in one place. iGolder vaults are spread around the world. No business insures theft by government, we have to deal with that.

        But so it seems that you do value the safety of money than its use. Bitcoin might be a better solution for you. No government can confiscate bitcoins.

  7. JustSayNoToStatismNo Gravatar says:

    “No business insures theft by government, we have to deal with that.”
    I want someone to make this false.

  8. AnrewNo Gravatar says:

    I scanned Bitcoins website and discussion forum. However, my noggin, now in its seventh decade of semi-reliable service, short-circuited when they began borrowing terms from the physical world to mean something not-so-obviously analogous in the virtual.

    For example, how does one “mine” bitcoins?

    And why the pre-programed inflation? Does someone special get to control it? Who benefits from it? I would also like a better understanding of nodes and their functional relationship to this intentional inflation.

    My simpled-minded grasp of the Austrian School is that, given a money supply allowed to evolve naturally in a free market, both deflation and inflation yield a net neutral effect. Prices and wages would adjust in a rapid and orderly fashion to suit both savers and entrepreneurs.

    In the forum I was fascinated to learn that many of the bitcoin members objected, from an erroneous and collectivist standpoint IMHO, to the practice of some of the larger traders who transact their exchanges in “dark” pools. The argument was that such practices were secret, adversely affected price discovery, rendered the smaller traders unable to ascertain “fair” market value before making their own bids and offers, and therefore should be subject to “rules” and “regulations” that insure more transparency. The debate was heated, and the presence of a strong, anti-privacy, pro-regulatory contingency was obvious.

    If the bitcoin program is viewed as someone’s private property, then I could not philosophically object to the use of rules and regulations, since no one is forced to participate…though I would require a clearer explanation of them before deciding whether to partake.

    If the program is seen as collectively or jointly owned, then I would have doubts about its long-term success. In any case, all this was unclear after my first foray into their website.

    My take was that far too many of these folks subscribed to the illusory notion of a “fair” price, rather than the anarchist notion of one price at one time agreed upon in the absence of duress or fraud between a willing buyer and a willing seller. The question is not whether something is “fair,” but whether it is voluntary or, said another way, free from coercion or threat thereof.

    Overall, the bitcoin project intrigued me, but I would need someone patient enough to explain to me exactly how the process works, before I could commit.

    • daprovicNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Andrew, you ask legit questions. What is the link to the forum thread you’re mentioning?

      The Bitcoin virtual mining process emulates the gold physical mining process. Throughout the gold rush lots of gold was found and it was easy to find some. Overtime gold became less abundant and more difficult to mine. Bitcoin emulates this with a logarithmic curve controlled inflation determined by a hard-coded algorithm in the Bitcoin client needed for the bitcoin transactions. If someone in the open source community decided to change the rules, a different bitcoin client would be needed for the bitcoins created by the new rules to be accepted by the Bitcoin network.

      The pre-programmed inflation is a solution to the coin distribution problem. How else would you distribute the bitcoins to people? There is one issue I’ve raised about this though. The fact is that most of the bitcoins in circulation, probably over 90% of them, are in a few single hands, probably less than 10 people. These are the early miners who had very little difficulty levels at mining bitcoins. The fact that what determines the ability to get coins is sheer CPU/GPU power, those who have access to botnets and supercomputers get most of the bitcoins in the economy. So there is a flaw in the system, as in most bitcoin wealth is accumulated in a few hands.

      Now with all that being said, no one is forcing you to use bitcoins. If bitcoins are good money and people use them for that, then I don’t see any problem.

      There have been concerns risen though, about the fact that the bitcoin cartel could offload a bunch of bitcoins in the economy and hence produce market inflation and brining the value of each bitcoin down. I am not sure if this a concern in economic means, as there is after all a fixed monetary base and that the system is voluntary. I don’t think that prices in bitcoins wouldn necessarily follow the bitcoin market inflation due to cartel manipulation.

      • AndrewNo Gravatar says:

        Thanks, daprovic, for your reply.

        Here is the address of the specific thread, titled Distribution of Wealth, which I read to the end – almost 130 posts. It is found under the heading “Economics” on the home page.

        I scanned a few other threads, but found this one to be of particular interest, as core issues having to do with anarcho-libertarian thought and its applicability to free markets and theory of money were being argued.

        http://www.bitcoin.org/smf/index.php?topic=3772.0

        Regards