Bitcoin is not the only challenger to our current neoliberal economic situation. Throughout history, in times of strife, people often look for alternatives. The hyperinflation of Weimar Germany, due to the massive reparations of the Versailles Treaty, led to the appeal of Nazism that Hitler was able to manipulate. The struggle of Tsarist Russia in World War One coupled with the high level of disapproval of the inept Tsar led to the Bolshevik revolution.
The 2008 Financial Crisis has led to a populist rising in Hungary, Italy, Brazil and, most importantly, the USA. Even the situation with Brexit has links to 2008. Their solution to the economic woes of their citizens is to play the blame game. Immigration is the cause of your economic woes!
Bitcoin itself is a reaction against this. But there are many more that are being discussed more pertinently as people scramble to deal with rising tensions.
Andrew Yang has made waves in recent weeks, especially amongst the Bitcoin crowd since he used to have a habit of tweeting about it. Another is the dutch historian Rutger Bregman, who shot to notoriety at the most recent Davos conference. Both have suggested a form of Universal Basic Income as a solution to issues within society.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the biggest names in the US Democratic Party in the space of less than a year. Her bold idea is the Green New Deal, massive investment, and ensuring that the planet becomes sustainable.
Reaction from the right-wing press to such ideas has been typical – arms in the air, huffing and puffing, suggesting these ideas will never ever work, and so on. Such journalists attempt to deal with competition of thoughts by appealing to your emotion, not through factual rebuffing. Appeals to emotion have been shown to be massively powerful throughout history, so why stop now?
Whilst it can be difficult to detach yourself from living in the present, this period of history could come to define my generation. History has a habit of repeating itself with lessons seemingly never learned.
I welcome the different approaches listed above and the challenge to our current status quo. They need to be discussed each on their own merits, less we stumble towards an even more antagonistic future.