Bitcoin And The Tragedy Of Afghanistan
So, we all remember the absolute abysmal tragedy that was the United States’ withdrawal from the Afghan theater, right? And I place emphasis on the word “tragedy” here to keep in line with “pandemic ethics scholar” Dr. Julie Ponesse’s clarification during a recent discussion with John Vallis of the word, using it to describe a negative outcome that was brought about by the protagonist’s own actions (the protagonist in this case being the U.S.).
But what you may not know is that the United States, after leaving Afghanistan in a truly tragic position, followed up these activities not by working to make amends, but by freezing and then announcing designs to seize assets held by the country’s central bank, with half of the funds planned for victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Why would funds be going to the victims’ families now, 21 years after the event? And why would these funds be supplied by stealing from the country of Afghanistan when the hijackers involved in this event primarily originated from Saudi Arabia? Not to mention the fact that this activity by the U.S. only compounds the calamity that the people of Afghanistan now find themselves in.
This series of actions gives visibility to the real power of Bitcoin on the global geopolitical landscape. Why should any government have the power to seize a nation’s worth? What happens to the innocent citizens who live within their borders?
It’s surely not the politicians who are footing the bill for these actions — it is the people.
“I came across the news articles regarding it and couldn’t believe it. People at the mercy of centralized banking and inept politicians could not be a better reason for Bitcoin’s existence. As an American it should be concerning that Biden can casually do such things, and with such boldness as if it were the righteous thing to do, because the implications are profoundly serious. Given the current socio economic climate, the bar for enacting overreaching policies has lowered to a professional limbo contest of sorts.”
–Bitcoin community member Okada, per an interview.
Bitcoin And The People
The people are the ones who always end up paying for these decisions. Just like with inflation and liberal monetary and fiscal policy, the average citizens, those aiming to simply live their lives and raise their families, get crushed by these blunders in thinking.
The crushing of the Afghanistan people (and those in similar positions globally) has not been immediate, like we may expect or prepare for in a war. This crushing is more reminiscent of a certain trash compactor from a particular sci-fi favorite, located on a detention level, being expressed in bank accounts, wallets and empty stomachs. This is a slow, sapping and agonizing squeezing of a populace. Whether it’s a suffocation by illegal theft of your country’s funds or via inflation in costs of living, it’s a reality that has been allowed to propagate thanks to the fraudulent system of Keynesian economics.
What could be avoided if more countries like Afghanistan, and more citizens across the globe, had even a portion of their wealth stored in bitcoin? What kinds of freedom can be experienced by our geographically dislocated neighbors, when even a small portion of their wealth is free from the immediate clutches of the fiat state?
These are the blunders in cognition, decision making and abuses of power that should not be afforded to any one government, organization, company or individual via authoritarian controls over money. These are the justifications that continue to wash across the world like a flood, where, instead of Noah, Bitcoin provides the ark. These developments are also a flood that shines a light on the conversation that needs to be had around a state, or federation, having so much power, unchecked, over financial tools, especially having tools and authority that extend to oversight over other sovereign nations. Not to mention questions around where the reach of these financial tools and strategies have seemingly infinite power, with ramifications extending from the individual heads of state to the average citizens of an entire nation.
Tyrannical power over the livelihoods of geographically-distanced parties is what pushed a community of colonies on the American continent to band together and produce a declaration of independence from their presiding power. And, unfortunately, it feels as if we are in a similar position today — calling for the creation of a Declaration of Monetary Independence.
Food For Thought
The seizure of Afghanistan’s bank funds by the Biden administration is throwing gasoline on a fire that is already raging in that nation and region.
Afghanistan, Egypt and much of the Middle East finds itself in the midst of a food crisis. Across the Middle East, there have been reports coming through of water shortages as rivers (such as the Euphrates in Turkey, and the Sirwan in Iraq) and lakes dry up across the region. The problem is that these crises are the results of a cacophony of issues that include natural climate shifts, the folly that is modern industrialized farming practices and decisions made by neighboring countries as well as trade partners (such as implications of diverting water from a neighbor).
This strain on food supplies is also being felt around the world:
“World wheat prices increased by 2.1 percent, largely reflecting new global supply uncertainties amidst disruptions in the Black Sea region that could potentially hinder exports from Ukraine and the Russian Federation, two major wheat exporters. Coarse grain export prices also rose by 4.7 percent. World maize prices increased by 5.1 percent month-on-month, underpinned by a combination of continued crop condition concerns in Argentina and Brazil, rising wheat prices, and uncertainty regarding maize exports from Ukraine, a major exporter.”
–FAO Food Price Index, released March 3, 2022
To make matters worse, while the United States seized a sizable portion of Afghanistan’s wealth, and while the region is already suffering from droughts that are agitating a taxed nation of people, the war between Ukraine and Russia is pushing the costs of commodities such as wheat and corn through the roof, while causing the price for fertilizers to also rise (for reasons discussed in one of my previous articles here).
These are glaring examples of how the fraudulent fiat system gets used to supply the world with false ideals, fake foods and forced wars. Fake foods sold to us as a cheap solution, under false pretenses of “being better for the environment,” and paid for by manipulating a population into a bloodlust for a war that — under normal circumstances — we likely wouldn’t have wanted to begin with. While serving to engorge those at the top while siphoning from the citizenry at the bottom. Bitcoin stands alone with the intent to even out this mismatch.
Last Word: Bitcoin Stands Alone
Many will argue that the “elite” powers that Bitcoin claims to disrupt are those that stand most capable of purchasing up the supply of bitcoin, and they may be correct — but only partially. Bitcoin still, to this day, is discounted by many of these types as a ponzi, or a vehicle for gambling and nothing more. While these wealthy individuals, hedge funds and small nations are only just beginning to see the light, the fact that average citizens can purchase even 1% of a single bitcoin, the hardest asset that humanity has ever known, is a blessing.
Set aside your unit biases, your thinking that you need to own either all of something or none of it. How nihilistic do you need to be to believe that you have to own a whole bitcoin versus owning 1% of an asset that can be broken into 100 million pieces and that stands to challenge the entire economic and financial system of the whole planet?
Get an amount that you can afford to lose without having an impact on your day-to-day life. Get a hardware wallet, secure your passphrase, then get if off of the exchange(s) you used.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.