The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism


#1

The 6th Feb 2018 episode of Against the Grain, which is a great radio show from KPFA, is on The Libertarian Ideology of Bitcoin (mp3):

Can an anonymous alternative currency — not tethered to the oppressive arm of the state — make us free? That’s the premise behind Bitcoin, invented less than 10 years ago, which has soared stratospherically and then, recently, fallen sharply. David Golumbia reflects on the rightwing libertarian ideas behind Bitcoin.

Resources:

David Golumbia, The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism
University of Minnesota Press, 2016

It is a very accessible discussion — you don’t have to know anything about cryptocurrencies to listen to it.


#2

Thanks - I’ll check that out. Curious that it is characterised as right wing. I don’t recall that from the stuff that I’ve read - simply that it was a libertarian approach to currency, operating outside of state control.


#3

In the US, where KPFA is, “libertarian” is much more likely to be the USian meaning of "Rand-roid anarcho-capitalist propertarian” than when the term is used on the far side of the pond. This, of course, tracks with right-wing. Just FYI.

And bitcoin does also track pretty well with the tech-bro variety of “libertarian” over here.


#4

Thanks for the link, very interesting. It picks up on some the ideas my fellow co-operator at Digital Liberties, Richard Barbrook developed with Andy Cameron back in the 1990’s: see The Californian Ideology.


#5

Thanks for the link, very interesting. It picks up on some the ideas my fellow co-operator at Digital Liberties, Richard Barbrook developed with Andy Cameron back in the 1990’s: see The Californian Ideology.

Today I learned: Richard Barbrook works at Digital Liberties. Wut!