Money and its mental associations occupy people’s minds. People picture money alongside images of success, happiness, sports cars, mansions, caviar, and expensive clothing. Some people have more negative associations. They conjure the visage of the monocle-wearing monopoly man, the capitalist wage-slaver looming over downtrodden workers. They also experience strangling emotions. Feelings of terror, anxiety, or hatred overwhelm them. Some may even associate anger and anxiety with strange symbols that seem to have no relationship with money.
Also read: How Bitcoin can Alter Our Psychology
‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’
They may not be imagining the relationship, though. Fiat currency has been associated with the occult and the mysterious. The U.S. dollar is printed with the Eye of Horus and pyramid from Egyptian symbology. Occult writers have made connections between the symbolism of the dollar and conspiracy allegations of the New World Order. It is true that the Latin phrase on the dollar bill, “Novus Ordo Seclorum,” means Order of the New Ages, or New Word Order.
An article called, “Occult Secrets Revealed in the US Dollar” contained these words about fiat symbology: “It possibly reveals the connections between the U.S., secret occult societies such as the Freemasons and the use of occult symbols of that time and use on money.”
As scary as that sounds, it would be premature to jump to conclusions.
The founding fathers wanted to demonstrate the strength of America through symbols because they understood the power that symbols and motifs have over the human mind. Their thinking, however, did not necessarily demonstrate a desire for a New World Order to rule the world.
According to historical records, the founders wanted to garner appreciation for the nation. They did not intend to imbue money with esoteric secrets. Down the road, President Franklin Roosevelt did make changes to the dollar to reflect his personal views of freemasonry. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve website elaborated:
“As Freemasons, both Roosevelt and Wallace saw the symbol above the pyramid as representing the ‘all-seeing eye,’ the Masonic symbol of the Great Architect of the Universe. President Roosevelt liked Wallace’s idea very much — so much so, in fact, that he decided to replace the design on the reverse of our $1 bills with something more symbolic and patriotic: the Great Seal of the United States.”
Regardless of whether ruling elites wanted money to harbor occult ideology, fiat currency still impacts individual psychology. Merely making and spending money can increase happiness for some, but others dwell on difficult thoughts and images instead. They experience a tidal wave of emotions. Fiat currency cripples their well-being. They may even suffer from a total aversion to money called “chrematophobia” (although it is not known exactly how many people suffer from it because it is not a legitimate “disorder”).
Crypto-Psychology & Cryptographic Systems
Bitcoin can change the negative associations and symbolism contained within fiat monies, and perhaps heighten the happiness money can bring. It may even help some cope with their chrematophobia. The emerging school of thought that will partly address this fascinating subject is called crypto-psychology.
Crypto-psychology is the discipline of how cryptographic protocols, blockchain technology, and cypherpunk activity alter the way people understand money, money symbolism, and the behaviors and emotions they cause. Crypto-psychology examines human behavior from the perspective of blockchain systems and open source, peer-2-peer technologies.
Cryptographic software allows money information to be distributed to a vast array of networks with multiple people working on the design and altering the protocol. These software based processes represent a new way of looking at monetary behavior mentally and emotionally. Indeed, the imagery this technology produces is fundamentally different than fiat currency in terms of how it influences people.
Bitcoin exists in the cloud, so a print of it does not exist physically (except Casascius coins). Nonetheless, a graphical representation of Bitcoin has been created, and it displays a “B” with the familiar vertical lines running through it. But the mental associations with this symbol are arguably different from the ones attached to fiat currency and its secretive and possible occult symbolism.
People are not consumed with evil visions when thinking about Bitcoin. They do not think of rigid authoritarian doctrines because bitcoin is not controlled or minted by a central planner (unlike Fiat currency). It is true that the original creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared shortly after Bitcoin’s rise to popularity. Nonetheless, Satoshi’s existence or nonexistence does not affect the distributed nature of Bitcoin as demonstrated by writer Eric Sammons in a recent article.
The symbolism of control and dominance is altogether absent from the protocol that spawned Bitcoin. In other words, cryptocurrency is changing the psychological ethic that underpins money. No longer can a small group of people imprint their symbolic ideas upon money and have it torment a person’s mind. It forgoes the occult and authority-laden symbolism that fiat currencies employ. The bitcoin ecosystem is not only economically healthy—it is psychologically healthy.
For years, people have believed that money equals power. Kings and dictators have always imprinted their personal seal or signature onto coins, letting people know who controls them and their money.
Therefore, fiat currency is a kind of external control psychology. Fiat makes people fearful because they know they are being controlled through it. It clouds judgment and instills people with a love of servitude. It even invokes Stockholm syndrome, which means that citizens come to love and adore their political masters. Thus, kings and despots mint money with the intent to bend the will of the commonwealth to their dark ambitions.
The anarchist Russian writer Leo Tolstoy had similar feelings, although his critique was of money in general:
“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.”
What Issues does Crypto-Psychology Address?
Bitcoin can produce the opposite effect of slavery. Its symbols represent motifs inspired by free trade and peace rather than totalitarian oppression. The underlying psychological motivation is benevolent. A small group of individuals do not have power to choose what representations get disseminated for Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s iconography evolves through interactions in a market environment. The influential symbolism and its functions are not decided by a power elite. It is decided by consensus, the true democratization of money.
Tragically, little professional research has gone into this unique field of study–but these are some of the questions investigators might ask:
How do cryptocurrencies alter the way people think about money and its symbology? How does cryptography in general affect money psychology? Do people view money differently when the source of its creation is different? Can Bitcoin change the way people think about power, government, and banking? Does occult symbolism make people anxious or unnerve them? What thoughts does Bitcoin create as opposed to fiat?
These questions are unending, and they may seem odd. That is because humanity has not had a purely decentralized method for creating money until the advent of Bitcoin. Money has always existed in the form of a physical object, like gold or coins. It is true these types of monies were less controlled and regulated by governments, but they were often melted and minted into coins by State administrators, as briefly mentioned above. If these hard metals weren’t adopted and disseminated, governments would eventually create a central banking apparatus and adopt a fiat currency as the State unit of exchange.
Just the beginning
Since no formal research has been conducted, all I can do is speculate on how the differing forms of money symbolism alter individual psychology. However, there has been research into the positive and negative aspects of money in general, which I discussed in a previous article.
Nonetheless, the emergence of crypto-psychology and the new ways to look at how cryptographic protocols affect thinking and behavior are fascinating; and anecdotally, they already seem to be altering the course of money, where it should come from, and the feelings and thoughts it instigates.
No longer do occult secrets and their associations with power have to plague monetary interactions. People can start to gravitate toward money happiness with less anxiety. Of course, that is not saying that they will never get anxious or angry over money issues, but a lot of their difficult emotions can be worked through. If people know their money belongs to them and it is not controlled by a group of central planners, they will naturally feel safe and secure in their holdings. They may even rid themselves of the chrematophobia they were previously suffering from.
The path to transforming the mind through money is right in front of everyone, and crypto-psychology offers new insights and methodologies to employ. The future of understanding the relationship between cryptocurrencies and human behavior just now opening up. No telling what the future holds, but it is probably not the image of the overbearing government or monopoly man.
Image Sources: wallpaperup.com, bizarrockero.deviantart.com, inquisitr.com, bitcoin.com, pinterest.com