It is likely that if Ayn Rand were alive today, she would be a proponent of Bitcoin. Her philosophy of Objectivism, as outlined in her novel Atlas Shrugged, emphasizes the importance of the individual as the ultimate moral authority and the pursuit of one’s own happiness as the ultimate goal. These principles align closely with the principles of capitalism and the limited role of government in regulating and controlling businesses. This is a central aspect of Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network, which operates without the need for permission or intermediaries. This allows market actors to trade freely and independently with one another, in line with the principles of individualism and free market capitalism.
Individualism, reason, rationality, and the limited role of government are all themes that are evident throughout Rand’s novel, and they are also central to the concept of Bitcoin. The famous quote from Atlas Shrugged, “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me,” encapsulates the spirit of Bitcoin perfectly. Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the creator of Bitcoin, did not protest or ask for permission. Instead, he released code that gave individuals a system that prioritizes their autonomy and gives them control over their own financial decisions.
It is possible that if Atlas Shrugged had been written after the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, the novel would have included the question “Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?” instead of the famous “Who Is John Galt?” line. There is no doubt in my mind that Rand would have seen the potential of Bitcoin to empower individuals and promote the principles of Objectivism in a world where centralized systems and government intervention often stifle innovation and progress. I don’t believe central planners mean to hinder progress, but that is the natural outcome when unnecessary middlemen get involved. Humans imitate other humans for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is social learning, which is the process by which people acquire new information and behaviors through observation and imitation of others. This type of learning is thought to be important for the development of cultural norms and traditions, as well as for the acquisition of practical skills and knowledge. In today’s society, we are seeing a trend where the actions of those in positions of power, whether in government or other industries, are increasingly focused on plundering rather than creating opportunities for growth and progress. Social media platforms are filled with examples of crime and violence in cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and government officials seem more focused on maintaining their own power than protecting the rights of citizens.
But why do people tend to imitate the actions of those in power, even when those actions are detrimental to society as a whole? This idea of social learning was reinforced by the discovery of mirror neurons. In the early 1990s, when mirror neurons were discovered, they provided new insights into how the brain processes social information and how humans are able to understand and empathize with the actions and emotions of others. These neurons, found in the premotor cortex and the inferior parietal lobule of the brain, respond to both the visual and auditory aspects of an action, as well as the goal of the action. They have been observed in a wide range of species, including humans, monkeys, and even birds. Mirror neurons play a critical role in the development of language and communication, as they allow individuals to understand and interpret the actions and intentions of others. They also play a role in social cognition, allowing individuals to empathize with others and understand their perspective. However, they can also lead to the spread of negative actions and behaviors throughout society, as people tend to imitate the actions of those in power.
Max and Stacy recently discussed this idea on their podcast, Orange Pill. While the rest of the world is experiencing entropy, El Salvador is experiencing a resurgence. Bitcoin seems to be playing a huge role in this advancement. The country, which was once plagued by poverty and crime, is now focused on building infrastructure, creating opportunities through education and jobs, and attracting Bitcoin enthusiasts from around the world. I believe that the reason for this change can be attributed to the leadership of the President and the people of El Salvador, who are following his lead. The citizens of El Salvador can sleep well at night knowing their bitcoin can not be debased by anyone. There is a lot of research to back up the idea that humans tend to imitate the actions of others, particularly those in positions of authority. In contrast, the United States is facing a different challenge, where the government is not taking any steps to address the increasing debt ceiling and instead resorting to plundering. While a disappointing one, this should not be a surprising outcome for a fiat currency essentially backed by debt and violence. We have reached a point where elected leaders aren’t even attempting to hide their crimes. One of the solutions to a ~31.4 trillion dollar budget deficit is unlimited borrowing. If we want society to progress, unlimited borrowing is not the answer. If Uncle Sam can’t practice fiscal responsibility, it is unlikely the average person will either. This is a concerning trend, and it is important to note that the actions of those in positions of authority can have a ripple effect on society as a whole. It is crucial for leaders in government, Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley to lead by example and practice fiscal responsibility if they want to avoid their negative actions permeating throughout society. If those at the top are engaged in plundering, it will spread through every level of society.
I’ll share a personal story to emphasize my point. My relative, who works in politics, had a friend who was elected to Congress. They observed that this individual, who was previously seen as kind, underwent a significant change after being elected. This observation, while anecdotal, raises the question of how a political environment can foster a culture of manipulation and deceit, leading to the acquisition of unethical skills. This phenomenon is not limited to politics, as it can also be seen in the business world, as evidenced by the number of white collar criminals on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. However, being around individuals who prioritize building and providing value, as in the Bitcoin community, can lead to becoming a successful entrepreneur and a better person, despite the challenges and lack of instant gratification.
This is why Bitcoin is so important. More central planning is not going to fix the problems caused by central planning. In Atlas Shrugged, it literally took all the productive individuals moving to Galt’s Gulch to bring down the unproductive class. We’re fortunate that today you don’t have to move to the middle of nowhere in Colorado to withdraw your life force from the economy. Bitcoin, as a decentralized digital currency in cyberspace, allows individuals to take back control of their own financial decisions without the need for intermediaries or government intervention. It promotes the principles of individualism, reason, and rationality and the limited role of government as espoused in Atlas Shrugged. By focusing on Bitcoin and decentralized systems, individuals can take a stand against the plundering actions of those in power and work towards a society that values growth, progress, and opportunities for all. It is time for individuals to start stepping on the rungs of opportunity and climb the ladder of success on their own terms.