Imagine a world without a regulated currency, in which the legal system has no part in the flow of the people’s money. A world where individuals are responsible for their own purchases, transactions, and consequences. What would it be like? Could this world and its inhabitants exist, thrive, and function peacefully and cooperatively?
Consider traffic lights. Bohmta is a village in northern Germany that removed all their traffic lights, signs, and sidewalks. They found people became more cautious, alert, and even considerate of each other after doing so. What’s more, the roads actually became safer. This isn’t an isolated incident.
The idea behind this decision was to develop a shared transportation space for all people to enjoy, not just motorists. By removing the enforcers that were intended to impose smart decisions these towns relied on the actual people to take responsibility for their own actions. People didn’t drive safely because they feared the legal consequences of not obeying enforcers, but because they genuinely wanted a channel of transportation that was safe for others.
Knowing that one’s children are out walking or biking leads to an understanding that one is directly playing an instrumental role in the safety of other children by driving responsibly. This changes the accountability felt while navigating the roads.
Without traffic lights it became the duty of each person to travel at safe speeds, not engage in distracted driving, and to look out for pedestrians and motorists. They stopped expecting someone, or something, to do it for them.
Self-respect and social responsibility foster a deeper sense of community where people do not rely on authority to tell them what is right. What if we felt this way about money?
A New Form of Accountability
The internet is a beautiful thing for one very important reason: there are no traffic lights, signs, or sidewalks. The internet as a whole is largely unregulated, thanks to the people who develop and use it. Although the government attempts to control the web from time to time, it has never succeeded, thanks to the people.
Even in countries where the government has succeeded in imposing some type of censorship on the web, circumvention has not been a problem for the tech-savvy.
The internet is the largest medium of information exchange and worldwide connection that has ever existed. Nothing like it has ever come before, and it is indeed a hallmark of things to come in the future. So how, if the government is unable to protect us from the dangers of the web, have we remained safe for so long?
As in the example of traffic enforcement, drivers who have children are not going to knowingly endanger them. Likewise, this can apply to drivers with friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others in the community.
The internet is similar to a very large system of unregulated roads. Although there are ways to get in legal trouble on the internet (child porn, for example), there is no one there to tell you what you can and cannot do.
If you download a virus onto a computer that is your problem to deal with. If you call the police they aren’t going to track down the origin of the virus and prosecute the makers of it. No one is there to arrest scammers that live in Nigeria.
However, you may notice that there are ways to stay safe online with programs and software designed by individuals and companies dedicated to helping us avoid trouble. It really is up to the people to make smart decisions.
When societies remove this personal accountability in favor of appointing enforcers to determine what is right and wrong we forget the reasons why we made laws in the first place. Speed limits are just a number to someone who never lost family to a collision with a speeding car.
Laws are made to take the responsibility off the individual in favor of making someone else decide what is right and wrong and what the consequences should be. However, getting a speeding ticket or a fine doesn’t necessarily help people understand why they should not be driving recklessly.
The communities in Europe that have removed traffic enforcement have rediscovered personal accountability, and they make safe driving decisions because now they are more actively involved in their own actions.
The Concept of Value
So, how does this relate to how people treat each other fairly and respectfully when it comes to value? How does a society that doesn’t rely on one regulated form of universal currency function properly?
Bitcoin is not the first, but it is definitely the most successful virtual currency in the history of the internet. Unlike keeping money in a bank, paying transaction fees, keeping a minimum balance, and having all your purchases tracked, Bitcoin costs minimal amounts to use, transfer, and with the proper precautions, keep anonymous.
Whether or not a currency is regulated, the users of it will determine whether or not it has value, and what that value will be. With regulation, though, it becomes much harder for individuals to collectively determine and adapt to what is valuable.
The world is over $58 trillion in debt. Why is that? Because the money was never there in the first place. If humanity simply decided to turn its back on the dollar, and other forms of fiat money, we would be in the exact same place we are now.
Accountability or Enforcement?
With the entire world in debt, does it really make people want to pay off their comparatively tiny car loans or student loans? With the rate of inflation, a direct result of printing money, $1,000 borrowed today becomes more costly to pay back over a period, not counting interest on top of the repayment.
The only thing keeping some people from simply not paying their debts back is the threat of punishment, and the forceful seizure of collateral. In the case of student loans, this can even be the government taking money directly from their tax return.
So, let’s get this straight. The government wants young people to go into massive debt so they can get a good job, so they can pay back the debt back with interest. Unless they can’t, in which case the Feds will seize what money they have left over after paying taxes on the increased income they went to school to make.
Then, of course, there is the matter that the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, and all the big names have us right in their pockets where they want us. This would be like letting a private cartel own all the roads, and enforce all the traffic laws to keep us in line. No one was holding them accountable, because no one could. Until now.
We Get to Choose
Now that we have alternatives to the world banking system it is no longer a utopian dream to image a better world without a universal form of currency.
I am not suggesting that everyone switch over to Bitcoin, or that we need to replace this system with something else. Whether you use fiat money, virtual money, or even simple bartering, the point is we get to decide what we consider valuable, not anyone else.
When the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913 it clogged the currency roadways with more traffic lights, signs and sidewalks than ever before. There was no internet, which meant there was no way for the people to circumvent those in control. There was no way to be different, without attracting unwanted attention from the enforcers.
Today, we can have as many currencies as we want, virtual or otherwise, without anyone standing in our way. Accountability and social responsibility have been developed and honed through the internet.
Our only enemy is those who regulate us. Someday there will be as many currencies to choose from as groups of people dedicated to developing their own form of value.
In Europe we have seen that even when they took away the law enforcement on the roads people learned to actively hold themselves accountable for their own actions, and to take responsibility for shaping the world they were a part of.
Freedom isn’t easy, but it is certainly becoming more attainable than ever before. Simply put, if we don’t like the world we live in, no one else will fix it for us. So yes, it may seem far-fetched to dream of a world where we don’t have to rely on a universal form of currency, and still thrive, but to me and those like me, it is inconceivable to not dream of such a world.