Russell Brand And The Currency Of Revolution
By Nozomi Hayase
11 May, 2015
Recently, the news hit social media that comedian and actor Russell Brand is embracing cryptocurrency. Well known for his political activism, Brand has now teamed up with Max Keiser, host of a popular financial program on RT to help fund his ideas for changing the world. Keiser, together with UK based entrepreneur Jamie Scott, co-founded StartJOIN, a crowdfunding website that combines the platform with its own unique currency called StartCOIN. Calling it a “currency of revolution”, he predicted that “cryptocoins such as Bitcoin or StartCOIN will put all central banks out of business” and help ordinary people create their own economy outside of the existing debt-based extractive capitalism. Keiser gave away free crypto scratch cards and described how StartJOIN specifically encourages the idea of “it pays to share” and how with it they are “monetizing altruism”.
This crowdfunding technology was the perfect app to carry Brand’s vision that he articulated in his latest book Revolution, namely to help people transit from “a paradigm of competition and domination to one of symbiosis and cooperation, from greed to altruism”. His digital literacy project aimed to give away 1000 laptops to bring digital access to disadvantaged communities in East London.
The birth of cryptocurrencies broke the paradigm of money as a tool of political control used to impose a social reality constructed through top-down dictated narratives. Up till now, currency has been derived mainly through nation-state sovereignty and its flow captured and directed by those who control the ledger. Now authority over creation and flow is being distributed to the people.
What made all this possible was the invention of the blockchain that was put forward in 2008. It enabled distributed trust; the ability for strangers to achieve consensus at a large scale without any central authority. Keiser, whose astute financial analysis often cuts to the core of current socioeconomic problems saw the potent power in blockchain technology to address social problems that used to be approached through narrow ideological and political frameworks. He once shared on twitter; “Capitalism is not the problem and socialism is not the answer. Corporatism is the problem and the blockchain is the answer”.
The Creative Power of Math
In the existing financial system, money creation is monopolized by central banks printing money under the supervision of 'professional' economists. Professor of journalism David S. Allen (2005) explains how science has become a methodology that backs up professional legitimacy. Expert knowledge and professionalism rely heavily on the so-called creed of objectivity. This creed is the dominant logic based in a positivist and empiricist epistemology accepted by scientists and experts in many fields. It claims impartiality for researchers, as if they are free from their own agendas and biases, when in reality, as one of founders of sociology Max Weber pointed out, value-free objectivity of researchers is simply impossible.
Under this pretense of objectivity, elite subjective bias and interests bypass democratic consensus and are encoded right into monetary policy. This is a pseudoscience of economics that closes the system off from feedback and till now helped it escape critical examination. It creates math that is divorced from the reality of people's needs and is used to enact the current Ponzi pyramid scheme of wealth redistribution from the bottom to the top. Digital numbers on computers can become abstractions that tend to divert the flow of real work or stagnate real economic activity. This manipulated ledger deprives the power of ordinary people to work creatively with numbers that represent their true value. These numbers have become weapons of mass deception to enslave people through debt, usury and devaluation through quantitative easing.
Bitcoin is a breakthrough of imagination that has unleashed a creative force inherent in man. It provides a way for people to opt out of the singularity of an official narrative within this fraudulent aristocratic economy. Unlike central banks, whose monetary policy is subject to printing at will, with the open source protocol of the blockchain, people can predict monetary policy and participate in checking and balancing of the transactional flow. Also, when the source code not controlled, those who wish to create a new currency can modify it, and this fosters voluntary entry and exit from any system.
Now, anyone can create money and program unique features. When algorithms are in the hands of the people, mathematical processes become subject to democratic peer-to-peer review. Algorithmic consensus redeems abstract fragmented numbers, which through modern oligarchical intermediaries have lost connection to basic human relationship.
StartJOIN crowdfunding is an example of a practical application of this new math-based currency. For instance, the platform implements a mechanism called “the Karma Score” to help grow a social network where community members look after each other’s needs. Users who pledge to other projects are rewarded with coins every Friday. This further incentivizes good will, creating a ripple effect of giving.
Keiser pointed to how decentralized digital currency “combined with Russell Brand’s political revolution can now set the stage for a new era”. This powerful team has also launched a people’s Hedge Fund called Trew Boycott (TBHF). With cryptocurrencies, they fund boycotts to decapitalize corporations that are acting unethically.
Crypto is backed up by real immutable numbers that are distributed through decentralized supercomputers around the world. When this network is powered with compassionate hearts, it can generate a bottom up flow of the will of ordinary people that no state violence or tyrannical central banks can stop.
The blockchain innovation has already opened the floodgates. The currency of revolution is showing that solutions to systematic abuse of power are within us. All we need to do is unite our will with what moves us from within and become the diverse currencies of our unfettered wishes and dreams.
Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., is a writer who has been covering issues of freedom of speech, transparency and decentralized movements. Her work is featured in many publications. Find her on twitter @nozomimagine
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