Bitcoin’s decentralized nature is one of its most important features; it is the feature of freedom. This means bitcoin is not arbitrarily controlled by a central group of jackbooted thugs, political leeches, or other enemies of liberty.
It is true Bitcoin relies on a set of developers to make decisions in terms of protocol changes (albeit dependent on approval by miners and node operators), but in no way do they possess the same authority as the sociopaths who manipulate the central banks in the United States do. Consensus among the developers and community determine the growth, evolution, and direction of the protocol.
In this manner, Bitcoin pairs perfectly with a new type of decentralized, freedom-based community. These communities are what anarchist and freethinker Derrick Broze refers to as Freedom Cells.
These are small groups of renegades that consist of roughly eight members that unite in a decentralized fashion. Their goal is to work cooperatively to live outside the confines of the State. Broze has even started his own freedom cell in Houston, Texas, and refers to their living quarters as the Freethinker House.
In their book, Broze and Vibes describe Freedom Cells as,
“Peer to peer groups made up of 7 to 9 people (with 8 being ideal) organizing themselves in a decentralized manner with the collective goal of asserting the sovereignty of group members through peaceful resistance and the creation of alternative institutions.”
These Freedom Cells implement agorism to power their activity. Agorism is a term coined by late philosopher Samuel Konkin III. It is the philosophy that people should make voluntary exchanges on the black market and subsist through these markets for the purposes of creating social change. Konkin referred to this type of activity as counter-economics.
Broze and Vibes have taken this counter-economic philosophy and uniquely created a practical way to implement it via decentralized freedom cells, and thus Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies provide the obvious type of currencies these groups can use.
Bitcoin Decentralization and the Underground Economy
The decentralized nature of Bitcoin allows freedom cells to prosper in an underground marketplace. It is true that many freedom cells may use a barter system as the primary portal of economic activity, but cryptocurrency provides alternative, digital, pseudonymous, and transferable store of value.
Matter of fact, Bitcoin has the capacity to help incentivize people to create decentralized, peer-2-peer freedom cells, because it makes living economically within those groups more practical and exciting. An interesting side-effect of decentralization is it places emphasis on the smaller community or subgroup.
How Freedom Cells Flourish
When people realize they do not need central planners to run their lives, they immediately start thinking on a small scale. When there is no more government to defer to, people do not imagine that faraway authorities should control them or tell them how to live. Bitcoin is a part of this decentralizing process, and other cryptocurrencies may also fill a similar role.
Bitcoin allows freedom cells to flourish, because it helps these groups make trades without necessarily using a barter system. It provides them with a technological means for accomplishing the same thing, except with more practicality. In essence, crypto-money was created as a technology to make economic transactions simpler and freer. This currency was intended to be the dominant currency of the counter-economy, and it will let more maverick liberty groups illuminate more paths to freedom and prosperity.
Images via Shutterstock and Derrick Broze’s Free Thinker House Facebook page.