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Upon realization of the idea of liberty, it is immediately thrust into reality, never to be forgotten by those having experienced it.
I believe that the Founding Fathers of the United States inscribed the idea that liberty is inherent to life in the Declaration of Independence. While they made an astounding first step in declaring this, there has been, since the uprising of technology, a necessity of this in monetary form.
I believe that bitcoin is the codification of monetary liberty. Like the Declaration of Independence, Bitcoin was set into existence from the very moment it was realized;
“The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime.” – Satoshi Nakamoto
The mere existence of the idea now facilitated a reality in which liberty was to be demanded. Having had the taste of freedom, man had realized the fullest potential of life, in that of sovereignty.
Financial freedom is achieved the moment you begin acquiring bitcoin. Immediately, you obtain digital value — verifiably scarce and unstoppably mobile. There are no outside entities who can lay claim to your property; there are no boundaries on the transfer of your money. Each individual reclaims their inherent right to liberty, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and now too expressed in the form of Bitcoin’s code.
While the Declaration of Independence proclaimed the idea and theory of self sovereignty, Bitcoin created the physical implementation of such property rights, allowing the manifestation of such liberty to proliferate in reality. What the Declaration did on a theoretical level, Bitcoin achieves on a material level via monetary property rights.
It is interesting to think that such an achievement was only possible given the creation of the internet. As much as the printing press led to the proliferation of education, writing and reading — which were necessary for such a thing as the Declaration of Independence to occur — the internet enabled Bitcoin. The printing press, being the origin of worldwide mediums of content absorption, interconnected people across space and time. The internet accomplishes this feat even more so, more quickly and exponentially more effective.
And so, it is with this realization that we understand; Bitcoin, being enabled by a present global interconnectedness, is a physical manifestation of liberty.
The legendary politician, who advocated for many of the underlying principles present in sound money, believes liberty is inherent to Bitcoin.
One of the most exciting moments for me personally at Bitcoin 2021 was getting the chance to interview Dr. Ron Paul. A true pioneer in libertarianism, Dr. Paul is an advocate for so many of the underlying principles present in Bitcoin. It was truly an honor and privilege to get a quick word from him on his thoughts about Bitcoin. Be sure to watch his Bitcoin 2021 speech on YouTube after reading our interview below.
Casey Carrillo: First of all, thank you so much for joining us here, Dr. Ron Paul. We really appreciate you coming. So many of us see you as a hero of ours, so thank you again.
To start off, how were you first introduced to Bitcoin?
Dr. Ron Paul: It was probably indirectly by just reading about it. When it first started, I didn’t hear much about it because I wasn’t into that. Probably just the business stations, magazines, and the freedom movement, they started thinking about it. I think I associate it more with libertarianism, and I don’t think anyone resents me associating Bitcoin with libertarianism, and I made that big point that the answers will come from dealing with the issue of liberty. Liberty is the answer, then all the quirks that have to be worked out, with government and everything else, are much easier when we live in a free society where people are allowed to do what they want.
Carrillo: Absolutely, I think there is a connection between liberty and Bitcoin that can’t be severed. Going off of that, what do you think the impact of permissionless sound money will be on the world in the long term?
Paul: I don’t really know; I know there are a lot of opinions, but I think only time will tell. There are some unpredictables. One would be the government; one would be “what’s the world like?” I think things are going to get worse socially, but how do we react? And if it works that Bitcoin can operate in a parallel manner under the right circumstances, that could be very beneficial. If there was a society that had more respect for liberty, it makes it a lot easier. Then you don’t have to dodge people that are trying to close you down because they don’t want competition. And libertarians should be quite willing to have competition.
Carrillo: How do you think the U.S. could foster better innovation towards Bitcoin, specifically U.S. policymakers?
Paul: While there are others who would know more about that, my idea is very simple; the least amount of government is the best. Just get them out of the way. There will always be risk in things that we do. In new things there will be risk, but the person that’s doing it that benefit, they should also have the same risk That’s why you don’t wanna say, “Let’s have a government commission to set up some rules on how we’re going to allow Bitcoin to expand themselves and where they go.” I don’t like that. I want people who know about the issue to not have any interference from the government.
Carrillo: What makes you most hopeful about what you’re seeing in the Bitcoin community going forward?
Paul: I think the whole idea. I noticed it a lot at this meeting [Bitcoin 2021]. Sometimes if I go to a meeting, I might not throw the word libertarian around and liberty because you know they might be more conservative, or independent, or democrats, but I’m always trying to introduce it. Here, what I found is that in this audience [Bitcoiners] I don’t think I offended anybody by putting the two terms together; Bitcoin as a libertarian idea. Because I think that’s where I heard about it first when libertarians got into computers before. I think the association is very clear that it is perfectly okay. And I think I even ribbed the mayor [Francis Suarez] about it, and he took it very well.
And I don’t know if I spent enough time on it, is that when people do things, you don’t endorse what they’re doing. Like I did with the marijuana. I want it to be legal, but I don’t do it, or I don’t care about that. It’s because people have the right to do it, and they also have the right to deal with the consequences.
Carrillo: I absolutely agree, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview with me Dr. Paul, and I appreciate you being here at Bitcoin 2021 with us. Thanks again.
Watch Dr. Ron Paul’s talk at Bitcoin 2021 on YouTube.
First of all, I appreciate Joe Rogers, and the Bitcoin Magazine team giving me a chance to contribute, even though I am a total newbie to Bitcoin. I am a passionate student of history, so my interest in Bitcoin started because of my political philosophy and my natural bent against relying on centralized government systems to the best of my ability.
Joe shared an article, “The Political Theology of Bitcoin,” which was very interesting to me, as it blended some of the political theory I have read and other sources I have not. The author quoted Thomas Hobbes, whom the founding fathers and I have studied, from his seminal book Leviathan: “Auctoritas, non veritas, facit legem (authority, not truth, makes legitimacy).” In 1927, Mao said, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” and in the very next breath, “Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.” Both of these statements highlight the basic historical fact that “might makes right,” whether by means of arms, financial control, or other centralized power structures.
Americans’ views that decentralization and self-reliance are essential values began as Western Europe started to colonize North America. A consistent theme was the colonists’ reliance on various manufactured goods they needed from the old world, so they shipped raw natural resources back to Europe and got the needed items back at a premium. Over the years, the frontier spirit continued to persevere, and communities became more self-reliant and decentralized as the means of production in communities expanded. The natural bartering of goods and services enhanced their communities. The colonies continued to expand, gaining representative government along with industry and increased self-reliance.
The American Revolution was not a fly-by-night movement. Depending on the interpretation, there was at least a 20-year buildup before the “shot heard around the world” on Lexington Green on April 18, 1775, which was fired as the British military marched in an attempt to preemptively seize private arms and supplies. One of the seminal moments in the lead-up to the Declaration of Independence was the Stamp Act, which the British Parliament passed in 1765; it directly taxed all legal documents, paper, and other centralized means of licensing and communication. Further restrictions on various manufactured goods continued, and the colonies improved their supply chains.
Humans are inherently imperfect, and I am biased, but I contend that the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution are the best founding documents that humanity has written and enacted thus far. They were not perfect and have been supplemented over the years. One part of the constitution that has been overlooked and commonly abused is the 10th Amendment, which reads:
This is the conclusion to the rather short Bill of Rights, and it is a shining example of how important the theory and practice of decentralization was seen to be.
As America continued to expand, self-sufficiency and decentralized means of production continued to be important, and indeed, they have been central to our growth and continued success. As the years have passed, power has become centralized in both government and industry. The effects of this were starkly on display through 2020 and will continue to reverberate for years to come. The weakness that results from our heavy reliance on critical goods from global sources, particularly from China, the arbitrary and—in my opinion—unconstitutional power seizure by central government agencies, tyrannical orders by governors, and unchecked market manipulation by the Federal Reserve have contributed to a larger awakening of the need to return to our roots and reclaim those natural rights.
Some had seen hard times coming prior to the pandemic, made adjustments in their lives, and sought to decentralize their dependence. This could take many forms, such as buying more locally sourced food; participating in the Twitter #betonmainstreet campaign, which encourages people to pay cash at local businesses; or exercising more caution regarding where purchased products are made. Another real-world effect of this desire for decentralization and lack of trust in “the system” has been the flood of new users to Bitcoin and the use of bitcoin to pay for goods and services.
While I have always preferred using cash or barter, the reality is that there needs to be a digital payment option for doing business in today’s world. I was finally pushed past my Luddite thinking about Bitcoin when I finally started to learn about its possibilities, specifically the solutions that continue to be added and will function as a complete financial suite, including the ultimate goal of a circular ecosystem. I have much more to learn about Bitcoin, and this young Luddite is looking forward to your help in catching up as we all work in our own ways to reclaim our natural rights and put the government back into its proper, limited, and enumerated role of governing with the consent of the governed.
This is a guest post by Trevor Zantos. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.