A lawyer sent me the following link: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/thomas-dilorenzo/the-great-nonsense-of-the-great-reset/ which I found very interesting as a kind of blockchain of ideas, linked to conservative critical thinking based on the western canon.
Now, whether or not you agree with the conspiratorial tone or the analysis presented by the article, the point is that it forms a consistent view linked to other conservative lines of thought. What got me thinking about the article was, strangely enough, a very good book published by O’Reilly Media, written by Alison McCauley entitled, Unblocked. Unblocked is a very well-written book about blockchains. I’m about a quarter of the way through the book but it has triggered a cascade of useful ideas and analogies.
At its most rudimentary level, you can think of a blockchain as a very special database. What makes it special is that it can be used very flexibly to directly transfer anything of value safely from one party to another without central institutions or middlemen getting involved…..You can think of this database as a ledger but not the kind you learned about in accounting class—this one has new superpowers. This ledger not only ensures the transfer is secure and records this transfer permanently for all of time, but also gives everyone in the world (who wants it) [or who has the correct key] instant access to the records.”
The links between blocks are handled by complicated rules of encryption that make the transactions indisputable in terms of record. This may be disrupted by quantum computing but so far blockchains, which crypto-currencies also use, are secure. Blocks of data are linked via hashes, which are also encrypted for even more security and linkage validation.
Now why did this come up when I read the article by Rockwell? It strikes me that the blockchain mirrors the way the human mind works when confronted with various kinds of ideological conflict or competing ideas. We rely on blocks of information that we have vetted—that in our minds are as secure as a block chain record. The truth or falsity of a proposition can be vetted by various sensible arguments but when false information is inserted into any causal chain, you can have defective conclusions. Now it can be argued that this is the same thing as reflexive propositions, i.e., propositions that once accepted produce linked arguments that may be defective, or lead to circular conclusions but the blockchain, used analogously or metaphorically, further illuminates the patterns.
I encountered an interesting aspect of reflexive belief at a Ukrainian Palm Sunday service. The Ukrainians use the pussy willow instead of palms on Palm Sunday because palms are not indigenous to Israel, but pussy willows were, and still are. Note how, as a reflexive cultural issue, the notion of Palms has become ingrained so much into the western Catholic imagination that it seems almost heretical to suggest that pussy willows instead of palms were really used to greet Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. Reflexivity is a real problem because false or distorted conclusions get derived from false suppositions. At the very least cultural conclusions can be twisted or misaligned with what is true by allowing reflexivity as an un-vetted mode of thinking.
Aristotle’s Four causes: material, efficient, formal, and final remain, to my mind, one of the best ways to vet ideas for truth and falsity—not merely on the material or efficient level, which is where science operates but on a higher level, which necessitates other forms of causality. A case in point is where Rockwell in the Great Nonsense of the Great Reset argues that the World Economic Forum, run by Klaus Schwab, promotes a kind of off-kilter Public-private sector partnership with government. Rockwell cites Ayn Rand as saying that “whenever the private sector “partners” with the government, government is always the senior and controlling partner.” These kinds of arguments can be highlighted with blockchain analogies. There is an entire block of conservative thinking that thinks that any public-private partnership is not conducive to constitutional democracy. Then there is an entire block chain of thinkers going back to Engles that think that only government can promote the public good. Then there is a third party, which Jennifer Pahlka has stated that she is interested in: “the get shit done party,” which presumably entails smart government-private sector initiatives. Strawman arguments tend to demonize the various proponents of many consensus-based positions solely on the basis of: “they don’t look, or smell like us.” Like dogs sniffing each other’s backsides, the smell test first involves pissing on a blockchain of ideas in order to make sure that the other dogs know to avoid it.
What I find most interesting is that the architecture of the block chain may (at a future date) help illuminate false or incomplete causal patterns because many blockchains require—presumably and in order to work properly—the truth or falsity of the data they engage.
Now for the record, I strongly believe in a government-private sector partnership, the evidence of which is all around us. The highway system, the railroads, electrification, sanitation, etc., are all functions of public-private partnership. The real question is what vision of social goodness does our government hold—which block of thinking about the public good does it, collectively speaking, subscribe to? Is it Constitutional and American as noted in Edwin Vieira’s book, Three Rights, and as stated in the Declaration of Independence?
“Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such a form, as to the [People] shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness in conformity with the laws of nature and of Nature’s God.”
When the primary public good consists of kowtowing to climate or other advocacies that want to limit human growth through population control or draconian economic methods, we can note that conservatives would see this is a reflexive stance based on a false ideology that makes the world or an ideology more important than either man or God. They would see such thinking as part of a blockchain of ideas going back to Engles and Marx. Marx and Engles were both atheists, which is a religion in and of itself. Those of the progressive persuasion would say, look—your conclusions are derived from a false belief in God. We have to acknowledge that the moral and political conclusions drawn by atheists will be at variance with those derived from Theism. Recall, however, that America was not built by atheists but for the most part by Deists. Separation of Church and state should never, as an argument, allow atheists to hamstring the religious principles upon which America was founded. My message to the neo-atheists cropping up all around us: Go found your own country.
Block chain technology, by analogy at first, and later with direct involvement of software, may make it possible to more clearly see the patterns that people employ in their thinking and ideologies. As McCauley notes, citing Tim Berners-Lee: “over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends,” that we have lost control of personal data, how easy it is to spread misinformation on the web, and a lack of transparency. “The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division, swayed by powerful forces that use it for their own agenda.”
If anyone thinks this kind of thing isn’t important, I would note Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu, cited by McCauley who says: “There is no question more important than who owns the platform by which people access and share information. Before any question of free speech, “he writes, “comes the question of who controls the master switch.”
Given that there appears to be a collusion of ideas and ideology between Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, I would say that verification of information, untainted by false blockchains of unwarranted assumptions is critical. The wire pullers seem to be working with very little real interference because they control the platform that governs public sentiment. Treason is defined as: “the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.” This past election, which involved so many treasonous elements poisoning the atmosphere, and turning Trump not only into a fictious strawman but a political demon from hell, will go down in history as one of the most insane courses ever taken by people trying to pass themselves off as rational beings.