This is an opinion editorial by Nozomi Hayase Ph.D., who has a background in psychology and human development.
The 2008 financial meltdown, with subsequent bank bailouts and a cycle of austerity, led to the weakening of the public’s trust in governments and institutions. Bitcoin emerged as a response to this global crisis of legitimacy.
Now, more than a decade later, the economic damage created by the pandemic has triggered a further breakdown of the system. As the Federal Reserve’s infinite money printing creates high inflation, Bitcoin steadily increases its popularity as a safe haven.
At the same time, as the old economy is being destroyed, the leading global institutions have stepped forward to reboot the entire system. The key organization, the World Economic Forum (WEF), with the theme of “The Great Reset,” prepares for the rollout of the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
CBDC Versus Bitcoin
Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank for International Settlements, explains CBDCs as programmable money that gives issuers the power to control every transaction. Using these powers, issuers can restrict what ordinary people are allowed to spend money on.
In response to central banks creating their own digital currencies, the original cypherpunk and cryptographer, Adam Back tweeted:
Now, Bitcoin and CBDCs, two different types of digital currency with contrasting features, race toward a global adoption. The crux of this competition involves different visions of the world. The outcome of this race will determine the future of humanity.
Shift Of Authority
The crisis of legitimacy triggered by the financial panic of 2008 signaled the demise of the Western liberal democracy. This has begun to create a shift in the locus of authority in our society.
The idea of democracy that inspired the birth of the United States was based on a humanistic worldview. In the past, authority was placed in the gods, and the sacred text. People sought answers from the external. They turned to religion, the Bible and Popes for their decisions.
A move towards democracy brought a shift in values. It placed authority in human hands, putting emphasis on the individual. People who were seeking behavioral norms outside of themselves began to rely on their personal experience.
Threat To Democracy
Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli public intellectual and historian, talks about how, in this crisis of democracy, a threat to the humanistic worldview is now emerging from laboratories and research departments in places like Silicon Valley.
He explains that scientists are saying there is no such thing as free will and that freedom is just another myth, an empty term that humans have invented. He defines feelings as biochemical processes of calculation and contends that there is no reason to consider them the highest authority in the world.
Harari, who has been praised by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, and celebrated by tech workers in Silicon Valley, explains how in this twilight of democracy, authority is now once again moving away from humans. This time, he states it is not some gods above the clouds that control human destiny, but algorithms, and data in the clouds of the Amazon and big tech giants.
He describes a new revolution happening around this shift of authority. It is led by a “techno-religion”, the ideology that technology provides salvation. He explains that this techno-religion is a data religion within which “data and information becomes a supreme source of authority and of meaning in the world.” It makes us believe that technology knows more about us than we do ourselves. It tells us, “Don’t listen to feeling or gut intuition. Just turn to data.”
Acting as a spokesperson for this new sect of techno religion, Harari predicts a coming of a future without humanity. He states that humans like you and I will disappear and that the earth will be dominated by very different kinds of beings or entities. Under the new authority of algorithms, Harari describes how human beings are viewed as no longer spiritual souls, but become “hackable animals.”
Warning For Humanity
Some saw what was coming and warned about the potential machine takeover of the world and the elimination of human beings.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks publisher and one of the notable Cypherpunks, was aware of this trend from early on. He called on those who are technologically capable to take up strong cryptography as a non-violent weapon to defend individual liberty.
Assange warned us: “The future of humanity is the struggle between humans that control machines and machines that control humans.”
As central planners try to deploy CBDCs to push their techno-religious movement, a breakthrough in computer science has brought us an alternative vision of the future of humanity.
Value Of Individual Freedom
Bitcoin, in its 14 years of existence, has provided a response to the crisis of Western liberal democracy, allowing us to truly embody humanistic values.
There was an inherent weakness in the system of representative democracy. The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto recognized that this system was not adequate by itself to secure the value of freedom and the place of individuals as supreme authority in the system.
Those who gained control over the production of money have created an economic system that works to their advantage. Concentration of economic power in a few hands turned democracy into a system of control. With sophisticated methods of persuasion, through use of propaganda and PR under the guise of democracy, the population was subjected to manipulation of their feelings.
By challenging the monopoly of money, Bitcoin — cypherpunks’ holy grail — has enabled economic liberty. With the principle of “don’t trust, verify”, this technology places the source of legitimacy with individuals, for the first time in history.
Rather than residing in the clouds of tech giants, authority is now descending into the human heart.
Revival Of Humanism
The birth of Bitcoin has helped creativity and freedom of expression to flourish, creating the resurgence of the arts. It now inspires a new renaissance of humanism.
Before the Renaissance, history was seen as being shaped by divine forces. With the advent of the Renaissance, beginning in the 14th century in Italy, this view shifted.
The Renaissance placed human beings at the center of life. A man was regarded as a partner in the creation of Gods, to actively engage in shaping the course of their own lives.
Just as the Renaissance placed emphasis on the individual, now, the Bitcoin Renaissance 2.0 creates sovereign individuals, enabling human beings to truly come alive.
A Path Of Salvation Via Proof-Of-Work
People from all nations, with different backgrounds, started to align themselves with humanistic ideals that exist at the core of Bitcoin. Through meetups and conferences, they are now finding one another. They begin to speak the same language and share values.
Transcending their cultural differences, they have become Bitcoiners. They are bearers of humanity, beginning to claim the source of authority in human imagination.
This is now creating a humanistic movement, generating a force strong enough to counter the techno revolution.
Between Bitcoin and CBDCs, we are now presented with a choice.
Worshipers of machine intelligence offer a promise of salvation, through which we once again are made to rely on authority outside of us, this time, on external algorithms.
Bitcoin presents an alternative model of salvation via proof-of-work, where we no longer need to trust authorities outside of ourselves. Through each individual voluntarily participating in a network of consensus, each of us can engage in validating our own truth.
While a path of technological salvation moves a society toward the post-human era, Bitcoin, pro-human technology inspires each individual to create a new world of humanism.
El Salvador (“The Savior”)
El Salvador, the country that first declared bitcoin legal tender, has become a center of this Renaissance 2.0. They are leading the way.
Using Bitcoin as a tool, the President Nayib Bukele began to stand up against the central banks and their financial imperialism.
As the leaders of G7 members are trying to launch centrally controlled digital slave coins, Bukele engages in efforts to increase Bitcoin adoption to open up a path of self-determination.
This is attracting creative minds and talents from all over the world.
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, the world’s leading digital asset exchange is working to provide a platform for financial freedom. Along with his efforts to expand Bitcoin adoption, he aims to maximize decentralization by developing Keet. io, peer-to-peer Chat Apps that are built without any central server.
Can El Salvador, under Bukele’s leadership and his policy of economic liberty, engage people in proof-of-work — to organize a network toward the salvation of humanity?
Positive changes are already happening. Bitcoin Renaissance 2.0 inspires new ideas, bringing in investors and capital to help people build alternatives to big data and centralized cloud products, to enable freedom.
Securing The Future Of Humanity
We human beings share our destiny. The life of all species is intertwined. Our choices and actions affect one another.
With the accelerated speed of technological advancement, as we are being quietly transported into a virtual reality, are we leaving behind our own body and our soul? Without human beings who can feel, what would happen to the earth, ecosphere, trees, rivers, and all of animals?
We Bitcoiners are custodians for this planet. By practicing self-custody and running full nodes which maintain the ecosystem, we preserve the autonomy of individuals. We can work toward securing the future of humanity.
A network of messiahs created through technologically-empowered men and women coming together starts to form a formidable defense against the transhumanism agendas.
Bitcoin presents a humanistic alternative to technological salvation.
Hyperbitconization has just begun. The dawn of new humanity is near. With hearts that beat every 10 minutes, we human beings can claim our freedom and responsibility to steward mother earth and all of her creation.
This is a guest post by Nozomi Hayase. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.