Why Bitcoiners Should Study Ayn Rand
The Battle Bitcoiners Face
Bitcoiners today are caught in a battle.
On one side we see hope for a beautiful future. On the other we see collapse and misery.
We see potential heroes and we see betrayals by these hoped for heroes. We see outright villains in the most powerful positions in the world, yet are shocked that others do not see them as such.
We ask ourselves “Why?”
We often arrive at the conclusion that the money is broken and if we fix the money we will fix the world. But what would lead to our society allowing for a broken money to take over in the first place?
Why Is Our Civilization Collapsing?
The answer lies in philosophy. The philosopher who answered it is Ayn Rand.
Even only just in her novels, Ayn Rand shows us why all of this is happening. She provides the philosophical basis for having rational hope. She provides all the warnings of what would lead to those hopes being dashed.
These works have characters showing why someone like Elon Musk, beholden to and dependent on special interests, will be unable to consistently uphold their values, yet why someone like Satoshi Nakamoto, who acted with complete rationality and integrity, will forever be a hero.
Her works provide answers as to how every single Bitcoiner can themself be a hero too, if they don’t betray their principles.
Like the cypherpunks who in reality write and run code without asking for permission or help, so too Rand’s heroes go about their lives acting productively with independence and rationality as their standards.
Ayn Rand thus reveals why men need to think and act independently to flourish. She shows why a moral society needs to protect individual rights to allow for that. She explains why only a free market economy is moral. She demonstrates both how and why impediments to freedom cause a society to decay and eventually collapse.
We Bitcoiners see the collapsing society around us and we sense connections between that and a lack of freedom. Without the benefit of studying Rand, we can not see this through a fully developed system of philosophy. Studying Ayn Rand’s work can bridge this gap, and lead us to understanding and expressing what we believe deep inside to be true.
More FUD to Bust
Many people will have heard characterizations of Ayn Rand and her work that amount to what Bitcoiners know of as FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Whether it relates to Bitcoin, Rand or her work, FUD amounts to lies and distortions spun by opponents to discourage study, embarrass the curious, laugh at ideas which the spreaders have no actual valid arguments against and, in general, to engage in vicious, intellectually dishonest tactics.
It is no coincidence that those who despise and malign Bitcoin do the same to Rand.
Where to Begin?
I recently wrote an essay on Bitcoiners and how their virtuous integrity gets mis-identified as toxicity by today’s villains and spectators. I was surprised and delighted by the reception it received from fellow Bitcoiners. It was only possible for me to write it because of the influence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.
Although there are many possible starting points for newcomers, if you’re already here, I’d encourage you to start with a short essay like “Doesn’t Life Require Compromise?” By the time you get to the end of the third paragraph, I hope you’ll be drawn in. The first time I heard it I had to pull my car over and applaud at the last sentence. That essay is about the same length as this, so if you get through this, you should be able to get through that. My hope is that it begins a journey into a different and equally fascinating rabbit hole for you.
When you’re done, you can begin with her two most famous novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”, or you can dive into her essay collections with books like “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “Philosophy, Who Needs it?”
If you’re looking for one more shot of inspiration, read the passage known as the “Money Speech” from Atlas Shrugged.
The Importance of Philosophy to Realize Bitcoin’s Potential
Bitcoin is an extraordinary invention because it is hard for power-lusting villains to take control of it. Yet it is constantly under attack from those who would describe it as immoral.
“Number go up” is not a moral defence, though. We ourselves, after all, morally decry the manipulated prices of scammy altcoins. We claim the moral high ground.
So we need to understand why it is that we have that position. When we can clearly articulate the moral justification for Bitcoin we are in a far stronger position to bring about change. With philosophy we can attract and convince people about Bitcoin. They can then form a strong conviction for these ideas themselves and avoid the lure of immoral projects, the fear from scare tactics and the undeserved guilt from the immoral.
That is why we need to study philosophy, and, in particular, Ayn Rand. Bitcoin buys us the time to study philosophy. But we must do the work ourselves, individually.