At this time of year, nearly every tradition retells its own story of rebirth.i The Christians speak of Jesus’ resurrection, the Jews of freedom from Pharaoh, and the Germanic pagans of the illuminated dawn and its coming blossoms.
Perhaps not surprisingly, then, as April showers breath life into sleepy seeds, a few American -asseters are imagining their own rebirths, free from the shackles of their republic.
First they came for the Islamists sending money to their families, and I did not speak out because I am not of the People of the Book.
Then they came for the people living off the land’s natural bounty, and I did not speak out for I am well-fed, well-housed and worked hard to get here.
Then they came for the whores and hustlers and everyone else struggling to make ends meet without submitting to the humiliation of the dole.
Then they came for the Bitcoiners, but by then we’d already left.
Pack your bags, sweetie. We’re moving to South America.
ThickAsThieves: but yknow i will bring up visiting Africa
ThickAsThieves: does S Africa have MLAT with US?
mircea_popescu: ThickAsThieves you don’t bring it up. you go home and say “woman, we’re leaving for the congo. pack stockings and tank tops, and read up on slim’s guide to cook for bogart”
fluffypony: ThickAsThieves: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/124466.pdf
fluffypony: so it would seem
ThickAsThieves: these USGs be so insidious
ThickAsThieves: mp, to say as much would be to decide whether divorce is the answer
asciilifeform: ThickAsThieves: stay in usa – and perhaps we’ll meet in our common gasenwagen.
A commonwealth by acquisition is that where the sovereign power is acquired by force;iii and it is acquired by force when men singly, or many together by plurality of voices, for fear of death, or bonds, do authorise all the actions of that man, or assembly, that hath their lives and liberty in his power.
It is not the victory that giveth the right of dominion over the vanquished,iv but his own covenant. Nor is he obliged because he is conquered; that is to say, beaten, and taken, or put to flight; but because he cometh in and submitteth to the victor; nor is the victor obliged by an enemy’s rendering himself, without promise of life, to spare him for this his yielding to discretion; which obliges not the victor longer than in his own discretion he shall think fit.
And that which men do when they demand, as it is now called, quarter (which the Greeks called Ζωγρια, taking alive) is to evade the present fury of the victor by submission, and to compound for their life with ransom or service: and therefore he that hath quarter hath not his life given, but deferred till further deliberation; for it is not a yielding on condition of life, but to discretion. And then only is his life in security, and his service due, when the victor hath trusted him with his corporal liberty. For slaves that work in prisons, or fetters, do it not of duty, but to avoid the cruelty of their task-masters.
It’s not just -asseters either, even (the generally detestable) Bitcoin Magazine published a piece on the emigration of American Bitcoiners recently. Though its mostly a pump piece for some mining company, there’s a relevant story in there:
Bob was one of the first buyers for our Bitcoin miner. We delivered it to him, as he requested, at his place of residence in Santa Barbara, California. We did not hear from him again until two weeks ago, almost six months later, when he inquired about our new Litecoin miner.
He was happy with its specs and its price, but was wondering if we could deliver it to his current location (Cebu City, Philippines). When we responded in the affirmative, he replied with a general update on why he had moved (perhaps he could sense our curiosity through the screen).
Instead of looking for a place where electricity was cheap, Bob began to look for a place where it was cheap to live, period. He reasoned, astutely enough, that even if a place had averages rates for electricity, it could be made up elsewhere. He found this place in the Philippines, which had moderately priced electricity, but had a dirt cheap cost of living (rent, transportation, food, and so on).
These stories are interesting on a human-interest level. After all, who would have ever thought that people would uproot their lives to better support a Bitcoin or Litecoin miner? But these stories also carry with them a symbolic value worth examining further. They show that cryptocurrency does not just represent a kind of economic mobility – in these cases, they are economic mobility.
The conclusion that Bob left the States because of the cost of living is less likely than the conclusion that benkay, TaT, and asciilifeform have arrived at from first-hand experience: the USA ain’t the land of the free, much less the home of the brave.v
This year, our friends are surrounded by four fences.
Next year, may they be in Jujuy-layim.vi
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- While the symbolism remains, much of the practise of spring festivals of has, like everything else, been twisted towards consumerism. [↩]
- Which, in coordination with one of the bright lights I connected with in Toronto, I’m presently working through. [↩]
- Though directed more domestically than internationally, this is what we see with the United States of America today. This is because the USG is internationally impotent and has to point its immense bureaucracy and military-indsutrial complex somewhere. So it points it at the only place it politically can: itself. [↩]
- The vanquished being America’s own citizens. [↩]
- When it comes to bravery, Americans can’t even handle the weather, much less Syria. [↩]
- Jujuy is a province in Argentina, one of the nations vying to host the Third Bitcoin Conference in much the way that nations vie to host the Olympics. This is kind of the way Bitcoin works. Note MP’s recent interview with Reuters on -assets:
alexsanjose: and what about [BitBet's] location?
mircea_popescu: still waiting for locations to submit their offers.
mircea_popescu: alexsanjose it’s like this. the way locations normally works is that it doesn’t need people, but people need it. and so people make offers to location.
mircea_popescu: bitbet however needs a location like i need a pair of horns. location however does need bitbet, and business generally.
mircea_popescu: so… waiting for location to get its head out of its ass, realise that the tables have turned and start making offers. [↩]