Free Money and Open Currencies

January 15th, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Free Money and Open Currencies)

Thanks to Ming for this.

Britt Blaser says some very interesting things about money and capitalism, which I’m trying to wrap my mind around. He says we’re watching the death throes of what he calls “Managerial Capitalism”, which I agree with. And he also seems to feel that a more grassroots kind of self-organizing, reputation based kind of economy ought to replace it, which I also agree with. And then he says:

“Money is Free. Get Used To It.”

Capitalistically funded and traditionally managed big companies are terribly inefficient and deliver things many people don’t really want, and they’re bad at leading people to fulfill their potentials and use their skills really well. So, why are they still the main thing? I’d say, because of the first point, that the people who create them are more well-informed about some important things than you and I. Not well-informed about what we really want, or the best ways of producing that, but well-informed about capital – how to get it, keep it and increase it. And how to keep the general public in the dark concerning your game. They make it look like we all can be co-owners of the capital, owning stocks, investing, having good credit, having a nice credit line, etc. But that is just a distraction, I think. The real thing that would make a difference would be the information about how to organize people and resources efficiently and effectively, without needing investment capital and without needing managers. I.e. the knowledge of how to bring the elements into synergy, without requiring the one guy with all the money to be in charge.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ming. I don’t think  the current form of capitalism is anything remotely resembling a free-market. I support the idea of people creating community around entirely different economic principles. For me the key is free and consensual. What we have instead is a top-heavy, hierarchical, corporate-centered tyranny that uses the strong-arm of the law (read “ability to imprison or kill you”) to get what they want at the expense of democratic principles, environmental sanity, innovation, and basic civil liberties. To understand my point see the story below on the recent blow to the spirit of copyright. Its my strong feeling, that without these strong-arm protections that corporations enjoy, they would die and give way to a more transparent, accessible and bottoms-up type of adhoc organization that is responsive to peoples needs. Since such an organization would be more responsive to the market, in a true free-market such organizations would win in the the marketplace over the corpocracies we have now. So I suppose I’m more accurately a left-leaning libertarian free-market capitalist if there is such a thing. Of course I’ve always referred to myself as an up-winger.


Yodel Bank: Anonymous E-Cash

November 19th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Yodel Bank: Anonymous E-Cash)

Thanks to developments in anonymous communication, such as Freenet and the invisible irc project, anonymous digital cash has become a reality. Yodel Bank is offering ‘yodels’ as a form of currency you can exchange with people who you’ve never met outside of anonymous means. For example, you could pay for some web design or a hosting service anonymously, play video poker with real anonymous money on IIP, or make a donation to a charity without disclosing who you are. Yodel Bank is relatively new, but now that you can transfer money over IIP and Freenet, a real vibrant anonymous economy is springing up, and it’s unclear how government will react to this ‘private’ banking.