Technologies To Save Us From Ourselves: Force Fields and Bitcoins?

I often say that violence is incapable of solving social problems, but I also often fail to address just what exactly will solve social problems.   In this article, I want to discuss a few hypothetical pieces of technology that would change the world we live in for the better.  In today’s society, we often look to various laws to solve social problems, but laws are always enforced at the point of a gun.  Threatening people doesn’t actually solve any problem. Take murder for example.  We have laws against murder, yet murder still occurs.  To actually solve the problem of murder, a technology would have to be created that made murder impossible to commit.

Imagine a world where theft and violence are made impossible through various technological innovations.  By this, I do not mean that criminals will always be caught, but rather that acts of theft and violence are simply impossible to commit in the first place.  For example, to make violence impossible, let’s say a technology was created that turned a person’s skin into an impregnable armor the nanosecond any unwanted force was applied, and then rooted the person to the ground so they could not be moved. What ramifications would this have for society?

If such a technology were to be created, you can bet your bottom dollar that various state entities would seek to outlaw it immediately and keep it for themselves.  Consider that if everyone had such technology at their disposal, why would anyone bother to pay their taxes ever again?  The state could send an army after a tax evader and nothing would come of it.  What are they going to do?  Shoot him?  In fact, virtually every victimless crime would become meaningless overnight, and violent crime would disappear entirely.

It is interesting to note that such a technology would keep people completely safe from harm, without taking any offensive measures against anyone else.  If everyone had such a technology, no one would be able to harm another or control another against their will.  If no one could harm another or control another against their will,  the formation or continuance of nation states would be impossible.  Nation states are able to exist solely due to their monopoly on the use of violent force.

Unfortunately, such a technology does not yet exist, although a thousand years into the future it just might. However, there is another technology that does exist right now which can make the organized theft of currency virtually impossible.  While nation states exist solely due to their monopoly on the use of  violent force, this violence is used predominately in the commission of mass theft.  If a currency were to be created that could not be taxed, it would render nation states just as impotent as if someone had created impregnable armor.

Bitcoin is such a technology; a virtually anonymous digital currency that cannot be controlled or inflated by any state agency.  If a state doesn’t know how much money a person has, how could they tax them?  If  a state cannot debase a currency through counterfeiting and it cannot tax the people who use it, how could it continue to exist?  I would argue that it couldn’t – and it shouldn’t.  Violent theft can only redistribute resources, it cannot magically make more resources spring into existence.  For that, you need private markets where people seek to make the lives of others better for their own personal gain.  In a world where taxation and inflation could not exist, all transactions would have to be voluntary in nature.

While Bitcoin doesn’t entirely solve the problem of currency theft, since Bitcoin accounts can be hacked, it does solve the problem of organized mass theft that has been branded as taxation or inflation.  In a world were Bitcoin is the only accepted currency of private merchants, there could be no offensive wars.  People would not volunteer their own hard earned money to engage in offensive wars with people they trade with.  Trade barriers would also become impossible to impose, since Bitcoins are free from centralized bank servers that can be regulated.  Services that the state provides today would all necessarily become voluntarily funded.  If people don’t like a particular service, they wouldn’t be forced to fund it against their will.

I’m sure these insights may leave many of you worried about the future state of social welfare programs and our justice system.  I ask you this:  If you could chose to live in a world without war and without social welfare, would you chose that over a world with war that had social welfare?  Two world wars and the nuclear destruction of multiple cities is enough for me to say, good riddance to social welfare if that also means good riddance to war.  Besides, Americans donate 300 billion to charity every year voluntarily as it stands right now.  Without taxes, I bet that number would climb substantially.  And as for our justice system, America currently employs twice as much private security as it does police.  There is no reason why people could not pay for security and court services voluntarily, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t, given that those are services that most people want.  If people want something, they will voluntarily pay for it.

 

  • roycat

    The government could prevent you from eating regardless of your force field.