As cancel culture grows, it is crucial to have a form of money and an ability to transact that cannot be readily confiscated or manipulated.
As the readers of this site are already aware, cancel culture in America and elsewhere is growing. No longer limited to prominent figures or college campuses, it seems to be spreading to all aspects of modern life.
An outgrowth of mobile technology advancements and the network effects of social media, cancel culture thrives on the continuing breakdown of once widely expected threshold levels of privacy. The former assumption of privacy has given way to a more quantified and collated existence, which can be weaponized to target and economically punish politically or culturally disfavored individuals.
The speed with which the mob can descend upon targets is frightening. And the tactics used are often effective. To be sure, powerful and well-financed targets can and have weathered the storm. But that is a difficult task and one that is rarely available to ordinary people.
Perhaps more importantly, targeted individuals’ isolated successes only address the symptoms of this growing cultural affliction, but they do not attack the underlying escalation problem in cancel culture.
At first, the vendettas were relatively modest in their goals and aimed mainly at celebrities or public figures (literally, these were simple efforts to “cancel” their shows). Then it moved on to speakers on college campuses – canceling their presentations. It began targeting university officials and teachers who did not toe the increasingly complex and continuously fluctuating social expectations popular on campus. In this wave – the attempted purging of “problematic” academics – that we can say solidified the reality that “regular people” were officially at risk.
This most recent iteration has not remained isolated to campus. It is now regularly experienced by non-public individuals who get caught up in the viral social media campaign. Far from showing any sign of slowing down, cancel culture is propagating outward into all life walks. And worse, proponents of it are indicating their goals include total economic warfare against targets.
This is evidenced by calls on banks and payments providers to deplatform and/or cease to do business with disfavored individuals. Even Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, was targeted for economic exclusion by major banks. While Trump has the means to weather this kind of storm ably, many do not. Can they survive in the face of job loss, the freezing or limiting access of bank accounts, coupled with a collective de-platforming by payment processors like PayPal or Venmo?
If you think this sort of coordination sounds unlikely or overblown, look at Parler. In under a week, Parler went from the most popular app to being entirely delisted from all major app stores and having their server access revoked by Amazon. In a genuine sense, they were “disappeared.” No crime had been committed. And on top of that, many app supporters were systematically censored by most major tech platforms.
What happens when that same coordinated effort comes for you and your bank accounts, your stocks, and your very economic existence?
Believe it or not, Bitcoin offers a viable solution to this problem. If you are familiar with Bitcoin, you are doubtless familiar with its volatility. In this respect, I caution against looking at it as a “get rich quick scheme” and more as a means to upload your economic output somewhere de-linked from the increasingly erratic decision-makers in our society.
Suppose you’ve written off Bitcoin as a speculative bubble. In that case, I’d suggest taking a second look and considering whether a small interest in a parallel financial system might be worth pursuing, even if it comes with a degree of financial risk. At a minimum, taking the time to understand the network is prudent. When appropriately used, Bitcoin can be viewed as an essential arrow in the quiver to fight against the state’s expanding control and, increasingly, the social mob over our lives.
To be clear, Bitcoin is not “conservative” money or “liberal” money. It is, at the bottom, apolitical money. And that’s the point. Neither vindictive politics nor the ebb and flow of prevailing cultural norms should make one subject to the arbitrary confiscation or diminution of the fruits of their labor.
As cancel culture grows, it is crucial to have a form of money and an ability to transact that cannot be readily confiscated or manipulated. And despite the claims of countless “cryptos,” Bitcoin appears to be the only one with a network and infrastructure sufficiently robust to achieve that end, even in the face of coordinated resistance.DONATE
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