On Censorship, Control, and Crypto
Written by Pete Eyre.
The level of tyranny self-proclaimed rulers are able to exert depends directly on the generalized tolerance of their edicts and actions. The perceived legitimate “right” of those in the political class to parasite off those in the economic class is contingent on the acceptance of a paradigm that relies on division and fear. The control of information has been vital for predatory individuals and regimes to cloak their dictates and actions as necessary. Yet thanks to technological achievements that maximize distributed, peer-to-peer interactions, the ideas and institutions that maintain the master-slave dichotomy are being made obsolete.
Slavemasters of yesterday forbid their fellow humans, whom they purported to “own”, from learning how to read and write. These hypocrites – many of whom, each Sunday upon bended knee, professed their love of their fellow human – recognized that if their “property” were introduced to ideas that said that each person is born with the same rights, it would not be long until the captivity in which they found themselves would be questioned, then rejected. Fredrick Douglass, who himself escaped slavery, could not have been more correct when he penned “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
Today the attempt to keep people in bondage is not based on skin melanin but is more subtle, done through the control of information. Censorship in all its forms is a catalyst for even greater oppression.
In the USSA and all nation-states, propaganda with roots that go back centuries is peddled as truth under the guise of “education” in gun-run indoctrination centers (i.e. “public schools”). To suppress the natural inquisitive nature of free thinkers, select information is entirely omitted, other misinformation is doled out, and a premium is placed not on creativity, but on conformity.
Is it surprising that we see more parents being threatened with ransoms or a cage because they fail to cart their child to the local indoctrination center? Or that more political actors demand that their neighbors ship their toddlers – yes, toddlers – to the center’s precursor “preschool”? Petty tyrants know that the more they can mold the minds of children, the less threat to their own lifestyle.
Undoubtedly Gary Reed was accurate when he likened government schools to “institutions of coercion.” Brett Veinotte, John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, and many others have expounded on the harms inherent in that stifling environment, giving hope to many. Thanks in part to online networks and resources, more people are choosing not to give their children – and consequently their children’s minds – to the predatory class. They opt instead for “unschooling” and self-schooling.
The attempt of political actors to shape the paradigm of those in the economic class doesn’t end when the school bell sounds. Since Operation Mockingbird in the 1950s, it’s been known that the CIA actively recruits journalists to kill unfavorable stories, implant misinformation, and reveal sources. Other three-lettered-acronymed criminal outfits have similar programs.
As the media landscape became more centralized due to regulatory licensing, entry barriers, and other market distortions introduced by the political class, their ability to control the conversation became even easier and more top-down. Body counts of soldiers killed in unpopular wars were falsified, black swan events were promulgated as truth, and fictitious “enemies” were concocted to seduce those in the economic class not just to accept the regime, but to adore it and die for it.
In 2006 AT&T technician Mark Klein made public the existence of Room 641A – a 24′ by 48′ room inside AT&T’s Folsom Street location in San Francisco, full of equipment used to intercept all telecommunications on AT&T’s network, to be sent straight to the NSA. Now almost 10 years later, other whistleblowers – who the political actors have tried to silence at an unprecedented level – have come forward, and the scale of this top-down surveillance campaign is better understood. Despite this widespread vacuuming-up of information, to make moot the entire surveillance apparatus we who value privacy don’t need to convince all those involved that they’re in the wrong, or work within their corrupt apparatus to try to get them to investigate or defund themselves. Rather, we can deny prying eyes and facilitate the movement of information the use existing tools.
Back in 2010 Ademo Freeman started Cop Block. I joined him there shortly afterward and am considered a co-founder. My involvement with that project is driven by a motivation to share ideas I find conducive to peace, harmony, and justice. To put it another way: To inject a strike-the-root perspective into the discourse about police accountability.
After interacting with thousands of people on the road with The Motorhome Diaries and Liberty On Tour, and having more than one police interaction myself, the subsequent double standards afforded to those who wear badges became something that many of us sought to change. In no uncertain terms, the police serve and protect the statist quo. They act as enforcers of the bad ideas that maintain the master-slave dichotomy.
Rather than confront the injustice system through violence – the only tool known to its actors – I thought it more effective to create and share content that encouraged the replacement of a flawed idea for one better. Now, almost six years after Cop Block was created, the right to film the police has crossed into the larger culture. Certainly that was not due to exclusively to those active with Cop Block, but they had an influence.
Also, the phrase “Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights” and all that stems from it has – at least from my perspective – gained traction, one mind at a time. As an individual realizes that a stranger isn’t an “authority” simply because they don certain attire, they begin to look for alternatives. Not by buying into the fiction that justice can ever grow from a system of injustice, but by circumventing the flawed structure itself, creating new solution outside of it. Apps like Cell 411 is one such manifestation.
It is for that reason that I’m excited to be involved with The Daily Decrypt, a video channel that publishes a video each weekday about the latest cryptocurrency and peer-to-peer tech news. My partner Amanda B. Johnson – the face of The Daily Decrypt – has long had a footprint in the cryptosphere. She does an excellent job presenting new tools – in her own succinct, informative, and quirky way – to utilize to personally divest from the financial and communication structures rooted in the paradigm of the political class.
We live in an opportune time. The bad ideas that have kept us, and generations of our kin, in mental stupors, are being replaced by those that maximize non-aggression, choice, creativity, and human flourishing. Certainly there is inertia and entrenched actors, but try as the political class may, it’s hard to stop an idea. Especially when peer-to-peer technologies exist. Sure, individuals like Irwin Schiff and Ross Ulbricht can be targeted, but ideas are like viruses, and can quickly spread amongst and across the human organism.
That is why predators have so sought to control information – their ideas are based on force and fraud. In stark contrast, the progress we see in the crypto arena – where code is law – maximizes transparency and interconnectedness. It is in that open discourse of ideas that those thought best will emerge.
The Daily Decrypt will be at the Latin America Bitcoin Conference 2015, happening December 4th and 5th in Mexico City. If we don’t cross paths there be sure to stop by The Daily Decrypt for your daily dose of cryptocurrency and P2P news.