more random-ish thoughts

This is ultimately about bitcoin, ethereum and, to a lesser degree, other cryptocurrencies.

I’m a fan of Heather Cox Richardson. She’s a history professor at Boston College, whose main area of study is the post-Civil War Reconstruction period in the US. That time was marked by an often violent struggle between forces like the KKK, which wanted a return to the old slavery-based economy with only white people as citizens (those were the Democrats) and defenders of equal rights (the Republicans). Her thesis is that we’re now seeing a reprise of that 19th-century struggle over civil rights–but with today’s Republicans as the new KKK and today’s Democrats the defenders of equal rights.

I’d add another wrinkle. Back in the mid-19th century, Marx applied Hegel’s idea that humanity advances toward perfection through struggle between opposing forces to economics. Aware of the parlous condition of factory workers in Europe, he theorized that the final step in human political evolution would come through a revolt of horribly-treated day laborers. And he thought the center of this struggle would be the most advanced manufacturing country, Germany.

To the consternation of Marxists, that didn’t happen. In the latter part of the century, Lenin theorized that what history needed was a jumpstart. He thought that a militant “vanguard of the people,” led by him (of course) would create the socialist revolution in Russia. That’s despite the fact that Russia was a manufacturing backwater. Ultimately, years later, the organization Lenin built seized power in Russia in an overnight coup, after an army revolt had deposed the tsar, during the chaos immediately after the end of WWI.

This sounds sort of like Jan 6th, except that the attempt to erase the votes that put Biden in office failed, and the ultimate aim was not to create a new workers paradise but to restore the pre-Lincoln status quo.

The crypto part: I wonder how much of the relative strength of crypto lately is based on fear of what will happen if Trump comes back into power.

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