Chapter 17: Blockchain Democracy

“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.”

-E.O. Wilson

For in order to turn the individual into a function of the State, his dependence on anything besides the State must be taken from him.

-Carl Jung

Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will also find the greatest injustice.”

-Arcesilaus

In the last few chapters, we’ve covered a lot, economically, politically, and technologically. The world of the 2020s and 2030s will be dominated by competing nation-states, broken financial systems, destructive populism, huge corporations, and general economic upheaval. This future can be a dark vision and one that leaves many people uncomfortable. However, it doesn’t have to be like that.

Blockchain is fundamentally a more democratic technology than A.I., advanced manufacturing, and the IoT are. These technologies all rely on centralized and hierarchical systems to produce and order them, where blockchain is decentralized and participated in by choice. In that vein, we believe that blockchain can ultimately become an open-source check on some of the excesses of these other systems. Just as blockchains with unhackable smart contracts can be checks on A.I. and IoT ecosystems, so too can they be a check on wild financial policies and economic theft, as we’ve argued above in the last few chapters.

In this chapter, we’re going to imagine a Star Trek Universe, not based on utopianism but on pragmatic features that may come into the world because of blockchain. This is the world of Blockchain Democracy - one that still has sovereign states and successful private enterprises, but one that hasn’t abolished foreign and domestic conflict. Blockchain will be a check on this world as a fundamentally democratic technology that is censorship resistant, an immutable record of truth, and brings accuracy in accounting to finances, trade, and politics...

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