Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The unstoppable rise of crypto-currency and the establishment of a secure technology for global voting

In my last post nearly a year ago I outlined the emerging power of Bitcoin (BTC) and foresaw the amazing growth of this technology, a growth illustrated by the value of each BTC increasing from around $20 to $1200 and now temporarily stabilizing at about $700 before its inevitable next leap upwards.

The American technologist Andreas Antonopoulos is one of the clearest exponents of this emerging technology, and like myself, he was active in the early 1990s on the Internet and foresaw its enormous future at a time when many dismissed the Net as a foolish irrelevance.

In a YouTube video released on December 22nd 3013, Antonopoulos describes how incredibly disruptive BTC is as a technology, and how this technology is far more than another mere currency but that it has established something never before seen in the world - a globally-distributed, consensus-based asset-ledger technology based on proof-of-work, a technology manifested by the BTC blockchain - a global database of all BTC transactions which is updated every ten minutes.

In the early 1990s there was much FUD (Fear, uncertainty, doubt) spread in the mainstream media about the emergent Internet - and today it is no different with BTC - still often but wrongly characterized as a playground of drug-dealers, scammers and criminals.

BTC cannot be stopped however, it cannot be uninvented - and the technology behind it - based on unbreakable cryptography - is so resilient that thousands of hackers from around the world have been unable to break it or threaten it - despite the currently over $1 billion bounty awaiting anyone who succeeds.

Antonopoulos correctly states that national governments and central banks will not survive the rise of BTC unchanged - because BTC is a manifestation of millions of aware individuals from around the world who are consciously gaining economic power as that power leaks away from national governments - nicely illustrated by such sites as fiatleak .

As he says "The business models which underpin the financial services industry which is able to extract 8% of GDP (USA) for an inferior, politically corrupt and in the end harmful to consumer service - with crypto-currencies that industry is gone - only they do not know it yet - they haven’t noticed it yet."

Of course the powerful, established players behind the central banks will not easily permit their power to be taken away from them - there will be an almighty battle fought in the political, economic and media spheres - yet that battle has already been lost by those central powers, lost because the very nature of decentralized, consensus-based, globally-active power is always of a higher quality and has more resources than any kind of centralized power - history has always attested to that.

Such a technology cannot fail to reset the power relationships between people and their governments - but before critics chime up about the dangers of mob rule it will be fair to point out that this technology in reality is being taken up by those who wish to take up their responsibilities as global citizens - a sort of global, modern version of the Athenian free citizens - and not by the masses of "idiotes" who, however decent they be as human beings are generally - due to their life-situation - going to be much more concerned with their personal interests than matters of national or global governance.

The BTC Blockchain is an almost perfect instrument to track global voting in a provable, incorruptible, transparent and highly visible time-stamped matter - and it will only be a matter of time before the Indignados in many countries will set up easy-to-use systems to utilize the Blockchain in their territories.

I would expect that such adoption - small at first, perhaps in cities first, then smaller nation-states will first occur in those countries with less stable political or economic systems, and ultimately spread around the entire world - and much sooner than anyone thinks - due to a combination of a rapid global uptake of crypto-currencies and an ever more failing QE and unpayable debt-addled fiat currency system in nation states.

Today one does not even need to be connected to the Internet to make good use of crypto-currencies, an ordinary non-smart mobile telephone will do thanks to the intelligent gateways springing up all over the developing world.

If one bears in mind that there are about 7.1 Billion people on earth of whom maybe 1 Billion have access to bank accounts and financial services, 2 Billion have access to the internet but there are 6.85 Billion mobile telephone subscriptions - rapid adoption of BTC via these simple devices will mean a huge increase in the use of BTC.

Central bankers and leaders of nation states will have much to fear from the vast increase in BTC awareness and adotion that we will see starting in 2014 - but for us ordinary global citizens this can mean real progress - a change from hidden, archaic centralized money and democratic procedures to open, secure and transparent systems the like of which have never before been seen in the world.

Welcome to a fully aware, globalized world where every citizen who wishes to actively participate in the new political and economic process will have the ability to do so - of course with BTC we already have the beginnings of that - its just that most of the world hasn't noticed yet.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A new order is being built by people every day

Real direct democracy now is an idea which represents a goal to be achieved and at first sight the high hopes of 2011 embodied by groupings such as the spanish indignados seem now to have sunk into insignificance.

The reality however is that a completely new world order is emerging ever more quickly and with an unexpected sure-footedness - an order being built up not by governments, not by shadowy institutions but by millions of ordinary, internet-savvy people all over the world.

In an article published by the Laissez-Faire Club on February 4th 2013, Jeffrey Tucker outlines how this process of people-power has already reached a stage where it is completely beyond the reach of any national government or international institution.

He writes "This emergent reality contracts everything that was assumed at the start of the 20th century. States were supposed to plan. Societies were to be managed. The global order was to be organized by nation-states that would negotiate as if they were homogeneous units with interests and goals. The only planning, communication, and substantial action was to be regime planning, communication, and action.

A century later, this whole system is blown up. And the situation is even worse for all prevailing regimes. Fiscal policy as conceived by Keynesian theory is proven worse than useless. It has saddled the world with unpayable debt and trapped governments in an impossible situation of having made ridiculous promises that can’t be kept.

Similarly, its monetary policies are ineffective and dangerous. Central banks of the world are devoting all their efforts to saving their client banks from market pressures, rather than conducting the “scientific” monetary policy envisioned by technocrats a century ago."

But perhaps the most powerful system which has emerged within this new paradigm is that of the crypto-currency monetary system. Bitcoin is a prime example of such a monetary system based on mathematical rules and unbreakable cryptography rather than on plans and decisions by central bankers. 2013 looks set to be the year when such currencies really begin their exponential climb from a geeky obscurity into mainstream use.

Such peer-to-peer currencies embody the idea of real direct democracy now in a field which affects all of us directly, economics. As more and more people begin to feel the exhilaration of handling their own money which is in the hands of individual users like themselves and realize that they do not have to suffer the constant devaluation of their money by ever more devious central banks, then the use of these currencies will spread like wildfire.

One interesting consequence of such wide adoption of course is that taxation will be harder and harder to collect - because - whatever others may say - crypto-currencies are really anonymous in practice and states with any sense will not even attempt to tax such a system.

It is surely clear that once such a distributed non-governmental monetary system emerges as a dominant economic force in the world then systemically speaking the introduction of direct democracy is just a matter of time.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Failure of Government and the coming of Internetocracy

Those who look can see that in the Western world everywhere representative governments are losing their power, notably in the peripheral EU states such as Greece and Spain where governments are essentially financially insolvent but also in richer countries where populaces are becoming disillusioned with governments which are so obviously out of touch and no longer fit for purpose, while taking ever larger slices of national income merely to run their own functions.

Tyler Durden, writing on his website "Zerohedge" also describes how trust in governments is disappearing

The former British diplomat and writer Carne Ross writes in his recent book The Leaderless Revolution that the structure of representative government is no longer able to deal with the complexities of running modern states, and that only a peer-to-peer structure of leaderless groups has the flexibility and the ability to perform these functions.

The Occupy movement shows quite clearly how these structures can work, they set a precedent which can only get stronger and more effective as time goes on - there can be no going back to the tired old structures of representative government once the immediacy and the power implicit in leaderless structures begins to be felt on an ever-larger scale.

The theory behind the powerful dynamic of leaderless groups has a long history, and Carne builds upon foundations such as those expressed in John Michell's book The Leadership Delusion.

Of course Real Direct Democracy is a prime example of a system using leaderless groups, and it is interesting to observe the emergence of new ideas which could be used to implement such a system - one of which is Internetocracy.

Internetocracy, as expressed in Lawrence Compagna's recent free booklet The Coming Age of Internetocracy describes possible practical ways in which real direct democracy may be implemented across the internet.

More such ideas are sure to emerge soon - the spirit of the age in on their side.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Iceland wants to show other countries how to "rebalance" towards more power for The People.

In an interview with Olafur Grimmson, the President of Iceland, he makes it clear that the world is in the middle of a profound change in the way we are / will be governed / govern ourselves - all brought about by the ubiquity and low cost of modern communications technologies.

He says: "We are seeing a tectonic shift in the nature of our societies, transforming the balance between the market on one hand and democracy on the other. I have even concluded, which is a strange conclusion for me to make because I have spent most of my life within the traditional institutions of a democratic political system, that the democratic power of this movement that technology has enabled and brought about, is now so strong and so fast that the operations of the traditional institutions have almost become a sideshow."

He adds:

"We are seeing a shift from the predominance of the financial and the market institution, over to the reemergence of democracy, and what we have classically called the “public will”, to use a philosophical term. But we are in the middle of that shift; we don’t know where it will take us, or what will be the implications.
But the third shift, which is implied in all of this, is the shift in time.

These changes are now so fast, helped by the social media, that they are of historic proportions. We have nothing comparable in world history as a guideline."

"The time element is of crucial importance because all of us who are now in positions of power in the world, including myself - we have all been trained through our political training and elective offices in a slow, deliberate, and complicated process of decision-making to deal with fundamental legislation. This is no longer possible. You have a situation, where through social media, the people, or the crowd – will give their answer to the president even before he finishes his speech."

Things are moving faster than any of us imagine - before long will we wake up to a different world, a world where real direct democracy has already been established?

Or will we be left behind, wondering what is going on?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


The last few months have been interesting in the extreme in the slow evolution in the world of a real, viable form of real, direct democracy.

The visible flaring-up of movements such as "Occupy" last year has now been apparently extinguished as protest camps in the US and UK have been closed down.

This presents a real opportunity for those supporting the ideas behind these movements to take a step back and learn what has been achieved by their actions. Indeed a great deal has been achieved and the core impetus behind the movement is stronger than ever, getting ready for the next phase of the occupation as the weather in the northern hemisphere gets warmer.

While the energy of occupy movements appears to have gone underground for a while, the relentless progress of the factors which the movement have rallied against, continues apace, and with this progress it reveals itself more and more clearly in what it is.

The theatre that is the "euro-drama" displays this in a clear manner and it is best seen in that modern laboratory of social experimentation that is Greece.

Professor Yanis Varoufakis, Professor of economic theory at the University of Athens, has stated that we now live (in Greece at least for now, coming to someplace near to you real soon now!), under a system which he calls Bankruptocracy – rule by the bankrupt banks.

See: Link

In his article he confirms that the people will only ever take back control of their banking system once the middle classes revolt, because only then will the political classes realize that they have no choice but to yield to the masses, otherwise they will themselves disappear.

As it has always been in revolutions or transformations, it is the educated, articulate and thinking middle classes which decide the outcome, the masses as ever merely have to accept whatever outcome these middle classes decide.

In this way, the real powers which will dictate affairs in a world of real direct democracy will come from the groups of the concerned and educated citizens, and not the "idiotes" who are so strongly represented among the masses.

The middle classes are quietly linking, organizing, planning behind the scenes, ready to strike in co-ordinated actions, but they will move in at a time of their choosing, at a time when they have all of the weapons at their disposal to the extent that they know that they cannot lose - for they know and understand that the spirit of the age is on their side - only this time it will be an international effort.

This is illustrated by e.g. Megan Greene, Senior Economist at Roubini Global Economics who writes "bright, young Greeks" are waiting to form "new political movements, untainted by the parties that have gone before."

See: Link

When she asked when this would happen, one young man told her:

We are all on the sidelines waiting for Greece to hit bottom. We do not want to mobilise and get involved now, because the house of cards could come crashing down on top of us. We will wait until the collapse has happened and then we can finally start rebuilding anew.

First Greece, then the others - we truly do live in interesting times.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Global Occupy Movement

October 2011 was an interesting month.

On the 15th a day of co-ordinated demonstrations took place all around the
world, billed as a day proclaiming an international awakening of citizenship
against corrupt political systems. On that date over eight hundred and fifty
live events globally marked a day of uprising against governmental and public

On that day too - the “Occupy the London Stock Exchange” movement
began protest gatherings in front of St. Pauls Cathedral, addressed by Julian
Assange of Wikileaks amongst others. Later, on October 22nd, a second branch
of the movement appeared in Finsbury Square in the heart of London’s financial
district, and clusters of tents appeared in both locations (much to the annoyance
of the St. Pauls Cathedral church authorities), showing a determination by the
protesters that they were not about to go away.

The online journal Eastlondonlines confirmed that the spirit of this movement
was similar to that of the Asamblias of the Indignados and reported:

"The occupation itself feels different to other protests. The protesters
are diverse, inspired, committed and desperate to see real change. The movement
feels inclusive of different ideas and beliefs and experiencing real
direct democracy
in the form of the General Assemblies is fulfilling
and empowering."

Even in staid, sober Switzerland, over a thousand people gathered in Zürich’s
Paradeplatz, the area around the large banks, to demonstrate against the power
of the world of finance, despite the fact that the banking and finance industries
were responsible for 142,000 jobs annually and accounted for seven percent of
the GDP of this small country. The tent encampments of Wall Street and St. Pauls
had now been replicated in the Lindenhof in the old city of Zürich and
in the Parc des Bastions in Geneva, where for the moment they were tolerated
if not welcomed.

The Occupy movement has now firmly set up shop in the world's financial centres
of New York, London, Frankfurt and Zürich.

There cannot be any doubt that these global protest movements are a mere flash
in the pan, for in reality they are becoming more and more established.

Certainly, many of the protestors appeared to lack focus or clarity of purpose,
and they were often moved by intuitive rather than intellectual forces, but
there is a definite air of expectation that this movement has a goal, the goal
is a global one and it can no longer be stopped.

Another drama began developing in London at the end of October as the authorities
at St. Pauls Cathedral and the Corporation of London both announced that they
would take legal action to evict the demonstrators and their “tent city”
which was camping on the doorstep of the Cathedral. The hapless church authorities
became confused after the resignation of three clerics and changed tack by coming
out in support of the protesters on moral grounds. After much soul-searching
the church had perhaps begun to realize what its true mission in life was. Even
Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described the occupation as
an "expression of a widespread and deep exasperation with the financial

The Guardian columnist George Monbiot wrote a powerful article about the events
which had brought to light the real nature of the shadowy Corporation of London
and how it acts as a state within a state in the city of London – answerable
not to the UK government but to its own financial masters. Monbiot considered
that the medieval, unaccountable Corporation of London was ripe for protest
as it worked beyond the authority of parliament and undermined all attempts
to curb the excesses of finance.

After the Church’s change of heart the Corporation of London too agreed
not to attempt to take immediate legal action to evict the protesters but to
allow them to stay a couple of months at the least and to open up a dialogue
with them.

At a meeting between all three parties on November 2nd Tina Rothery, one of
the representatives of OccupyLSX who was present at the meeting commented: “We
are delighted. This is a great U-turn from the Corporation of London. And following
the backing of the Archbishop and St. Pauls, this is proving to be an exciting
time for our movement. Only on Tuesday morning, the Corporation was about to
attempt to evict us. Now they are offering a reprieve. However, we need to discuss
this offer with our General Assembly and amongst ourselves."

"Our cause – and that of the Occupy movement worldwide – is
to strive for social justice and fight for real democracy. We are pleased that
legal action is currently off the table and we intend to use this opportunity
and the growing momentum of our movement to tackle the iniquities of the financial
crisis and those that have caused it.”

A small but decisive step towards creating a movement for which Real Direct
Democracy Now is not only a necessary but increasingly a viable goal has
been taken and there is no going back until ultimately the global occupy movement
will be victorious in a way no one could have imagined – but that is a
story for another time.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A massive mainstream movement for change

All over the world more and more people are gaining an understanding that real direct democracy is in their power to implement in their regions and in their countries.

This is an unstoppable force which is gathering momentum.

This force is slowly but surely being transformed into a mainstream movement for change, and one way to measure how it has spread is via the site Avaaz.

The activists website Avaaz.org has a new petition to support the Wall Street protesters, and they write:

"Thousands of Americans have non-violently occupied Wall St -- an epicentre of global financial power and corruption. They are the latest ray of light in a new movement for social justice that is spreading like wildfire from Madrid to Jerusalem to 146 other cities and counting, but they need our help to succeed.

As working families pay the bill for a financial crisis caused by corrupt elites, the protesters are calling for real democracy, social justice and anti-corruption. But they are under severe pressure from authorities, and some media are dismissing them as fringe groups. If millions of us from across the world stand with them, we'll boost their resolve and show the media and leaders that the protests are part of a massive mainstream movement for change.

This year could be our century's 1968, but to succeed it must be a movement of all citizens, from every walk of life. Click to join the call for real democracy -- a giant live counter of every one of us who signs the petition will be erected in the centre of the occupation in New York, and live webcasted on the petition page:

Avaaz Link