Governments. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, right? From first world countries to war-torn hellholes, bemoaning politicians is de rigueur. Yet for all their flaws, we tend to view our elected officials as a necessary evil, for if they weren’t in office, the country would descend into anarchy. At least that’s what we’ve always been told. The history books, however, would demur.
Less Laws, More Living
589 days. That’s how long Belgian residents were forced to live without an elected government between 2010 and 2011. Due to disagreements between the Flemish and Walloons, a coalition could not be formed. While the two parties fought out their many differences, a former prime minister oversaw a bare bones government that handled the basic day-to-day operations.
Apocalyptic predictions abounded of what would happen to the rudderless country. A debt crisis would be inevitable, doom-mongers asserted. The fallout would affect Europe, they foretold. There would be anarchy. Chaos. Blood in the streets. In the event, the reality proved to be more banal. Nothing happened. Life went on as normal. And, by the time Belgium had entered the record books for its 589-day governmentless stint (a feat recently surpassed by Northern Ireland) its people had learned a lesson: the solution to better government might actually be less government.
The Creeping Hand of Big Government
Government can be likened to the bezel surrounding your smartphone screen: you want it to be as small as possible – ideally invisible. The invisible hand of government, with its system of checks and balances, is meant to serve the people through providing justice for all and supporting the most disadvantaged members of society. So how did we reach a state of affairs where the people are instead serving their government? Bloated civil service, ballooning government expenditure and a creeping barrage of laws have resulted in a top-heavy, tax-heavy behemoth that takes from the lowest rungs of society to prop up the top.
Libertarians catch a lot of flak for their idealistic dream of small government that largely leaves the populace alone. The idea isn’t that radical though; all its advocates are rooting for really is a return to the low taxation, low governance model that was the norm until the mid 20th century. Following decades of intrusion into every last facet of our lives, however, rolling back the clock, repealing the laws, and downsizing the number of elected officials is untenable to those who’ve come to rely on government handouts, from the feckless claiming lifelong benefits to the fat cats, bloated off government contracts awarded by their cronies. Government is the world’s biggest ponzi scheme.
People Are Fragile. Bitcoin Is Antifragile
We think of them as sprawling, soulless entities, but what is a government but a collection of people armed with a mandate to make themselves known? And that’s where the problem begins. Every newly elected government believes its first role, upon entering office, is to stamp its authority. This means rushing through a slew of laws within the magical First 100 Days. Like a newly appointed middle manager compelled to stamp their authority, governments just can’t resist governing. They are whores for laws, enacting legislation with wild abandon, and all the while seeking ways to further entrench their power.
Bitcoin is, in many ways, the antithesis of statism. It is a form of money that removes power from governments and distributes it far and wide. Without the ability to print, debase, and devalue national currency, governments would be stripped of the means by which to implement their spurious laws and senseless schemes. For all its promise, however, Bitcoin is not about to take over the world any more than libertarianism is about to become the dominant political ideology. But what Bitcoin does is introduce a check against the worst excesses of government.
Less government. More Bitcoin.
When your government inflates the national currency so much it causes hyperinflation. When it spies so much it starts trying to backdoor encryption. When it meddles so much it demands full KYC for the most mundane transactions. When it taxes so hard even law-abiding citizens start seeking ways to hide their wealth. When government exceeds, Bitcoin is there. Not as a panacea or a cure-all, but as a protection against the most egregious fiscal policies and privacy invasions.
And unlike government, Bitcoin is optional. It’s sound money for those smart enough to appreciate it. To its proponents, the solution is simple: Less government. More Bitcoin.
Do you think government overreach has gone too far? Let us know in the comments section below.
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