The effects of the 2008 financial crisis are still being felt worldwide today. From austerity in the UK to the rise of Donald Trump and the struggle of the EU to maintain its cohesiveness. Wall Street and the banks have been committing crimes for decades. 2008 put this front and centre for the world to see. Yet, they weren’t punished. Instead, citizens bailed them out and they continue unabashed (apart from every now and again saying they’re reformed and sorry), all as they continue to reap profits and give ludicrous bonuses. The 2015 movie The Big Short highlighted this in glorious detail, and people have started to cotton on.
When those in the inner circle of finance or politics question why both the left and right are rising whilst the centre remains in purgatory, they highlight their distance from the real world that most of us inhabit. Neoliberalism has widened the gap between rich and poor, and people are protesting throughout the world. Brexit, Trump, the “Gilet Jaunes“, Hungary, and Brazil are but a few cases of the unhappiness of the public across the world.
It is not only politicians and banks that must take the blame for this. The media also has a lot to answer for. Within the UK, the Daily Mail has whipped up anti-establishment and anti-immigration sentiment. This despite the Daily Mail being owned by Lord Rothermere, a chap who can’t really complain about the position he is in. The strings that Rupert Murdoch is pulling are even worse. His Fox News outlet in the US is able to manipulate domestic unhappiness into anti-immigration rhetoric. The irony in this lies in the fact that a large proportion of the audience that Fox News appeals to is the economically poor white community. Their unhappiness has been turned not towards the elite that cause their suffering, but instead to those even more poor than them.
There is another point in history that mirrors the events that are transpiring today: the 1920’s. And sadly, we know how those events unfolded.
My friends who are unconvinced by BTC often ask me why I focus on it so much when so much of the community are right-wing libertarianists. Those of us who grew up in the UK, or Europe for that matter, are much more on the left of the political ideology spectrum than those in the US, who have never seen the benefit of a universal healthcare system or a minimal welfare state. I can see their point. However, Bitcoin can be moulded to suit your preference. Yes, many fans of Bitcoin are anarcho-capitalists of a Randian nature, but Bitcoin never said it was. Bitcoin can be what I want it to be.
Bitcoin can be a peaceful protest – a rebellion against the current system which doesn’t favour those less fortunate. It can also be a peaceful “f**k you” to the bankers. Bitcoin is by the people, for the people. As code, it has no political preference or inherent bias. All in all, it is better than what we currently have. 2008 changed the perspective of many. Many mainstream economists criticise Bitcoin any chance they get. And why wouldn’t they? Their economic preferences have enriched their lives immensely. If I was them, I wouldn’t want things to change either.
Question everything. Question what I have written here. Critical thinking is of the essence in today’s society, and will provide you with a tool to see through the mist.