War Preserves the Petrodollar
As the BRICS countries continue to move away from the hegemony of the petrodollar, the U.S. Empire is desperately striking back, putting sanctions on Russia and fueling the crisis in Ukraine in order to maintain its superpower status. In a recent article titled “Energy War to Currency War”, geopolitical analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya spelled out the U.S. machinations of oil price manipulation and concerted attacks on the Ruble. Currency wars and financial crises continue to ramp up with a looming threat of World War III in the background.
As the global economy stagnates with increasing levels of unemployment and ballooning debt, war is often a favored option for empire. Military interventions are used to distract citizens and to shove any uncontrollable crisis under the rug to keep the profitable bubbles going a little longer. In his 2015 State of the Union Address, Obama pledged to act unilaterally to attack terrorists, authorizing the use of force against the “Islamic State”, which as Mark Danner, Professor of English and Journalism pointed out in his essay “Iraq: The New War” was spawned by brutal U.S. policy during the Iraq war.
The hegemony of the U.S. agenda in the world has time and again been presented as in the national interest, while it has simply led to more wars, an increasingly impoverished working class and insurmountable debt. This brutal dominance was made possible through the petro-dollar which is backed by men with guns and the private banks’ control of the U.S. Treasury.
How did we get to this point? Much of it can be traced back to the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, which took the power to create money away from the government and the people it supposedly represents and gave it to private corporations. Karen Hudes, the former World Bank lawyer noted how the U.S. dollar is financed by debt issued by the Federal Reserve instead of the Treasury and called this debt a fabrication in which bankers load an onerous interest obligation on the people.
With this power of the Federal Reserve to engage in infinite money printing, private corporations hijack the government to infinitely fund their agendas. They bankrupt nations with debts far beyond any hope of repayment and take the US into resource wars without the consent of the governed.
This unaccountable power renders the citizens irrelevant who are supposed to play a vital role in a democracy. As the state sucks us into the political charade of the lesser of the two evils, we are placed into a compromising position of always trying to defend our rights instead of exercising them and pleading with elected officials for reform, hoping that the next election might make a difference.
Without necessary checks and balances on power, the U.S. government increasingly operates with extreme authoritarianism. Efforts to dissent and protest are met with increasingly militarized state violence. The trend is undeniable with the Obama administration’s unprecedented attacks on whistleblowers, the passing of the NDAA and police brutality seen in places like Ferguson.
Where Does Bitcoin Factor In?
In the midst of these rising economic crises and the crumbling facade of democracy, alternative solutions to electoral politics are arising concurrent with earth-shattering breakthroughs in computer science. The invention of the blockchain, the mother of cryptocurrency opens up the possibility for a departure from potential tyranny of state central authority.
Six years since its inception, Bitcoin with currency as its first application has made significant inroads into the global financial system. Its disruptive effect has shaken up taken for granted notions of money and inflamed the imagination for the potential in the separation of money and the state.
The advent of Bitcoin can aid us in effectively challenging this insidious trend of oligarchic and statist centralized power. Before another illegal and immoral war is waged in our name, we now have the option to act proactively and make such wars unnecessary and perhaps even impossible.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer decentralized currency. It is made to replicate digitally the process of mining gold. Digital currency theorist Noel Jones explains how Bitcoin’s value is derived from “an object’s intrinsic worth”, specifically “real computational work that takes energy–no different from the energy used to dig gold from the ground.”
While national fiat currency is now delinked from any intrinsic value (with the creation of the petrodollar and later with the dropping of the gold standard in 1971), Bitcoin is creating its value outside of state decree. Bitcoin maintains a valuation process independent of states or private banks, unlike fiat, where its value is subject to central control through endless derivatives as well as suppression and manipulation of precious metals with the paper markets,
Bitcoin self-regulates through algorithm and is controlled by no one. Like traditional gold, this piece of mathematics enshrined in computer code resists the corrosive forces of outside manipulation. With the strict laws of mathematics, no one can stand above and cheat the system. Math responds to everyone equally. 2 +2 = 4 for everyone, whether it is Warren Buffett or a homeless person on the street.
This algorithmic regulation safeguards society from man’s inflated grandiose self and the urge to have power over others, which is currently carried out in the tampering of banked funds, warlike sanctions as well as currency debasement and outright confiscation of the people’s money seen in Argentina and Cyprus. It is very difficult for any government to seize people’s bitcoin and this makes taxation more sensitive to the will of the people. If we choose it governments would also no longer be able to print money at will and spend it on wars without the people’s permission.
Governments Can’t Get Between Bitcoin Transactions
Bitcoin’s elimination of the need for reliance on a third party breaks the bond between sovereignty and currency. Bitcoin as the world’s first transnational currency has a potential to change the course of endless currency wars and shake up the tension of power dynamics that have smoldered ever since the cold war. In response to the U.S. actions in Ukraine, Sergei Glaziev, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation spoke to how they should be classified “not only as hostile with regard to Russia, but also as targeting global destabilization.” He called for a creation of a “global anti-war coalition” comprised of independent nations to rearrange “the international financial and economic architecture on the principles of mutual benefit, fairness, and respect for national sovereignty.”
This resistance against U.S. imperialism and aggression might sound good in rhetoric, but in the end, a Russian or Chinese hegemony would likely lead to just passing the reins of empire to another oligarchy, thus perpetuating the same old paradigm of empire and levers of power, only with a new face. We don’t need another world order with its closed exclusive payment networks that divide the world into “us and them”. The immanent fall of the current empire brings the world an opportunity for the elimination of these insidious points of control and could finally enable the rise of people power.
With Bitcoin as the stateless currency of the people, we can now create a truly global antiwar coalition and can end unilateral power of empire that makes us vulnerable to such single points of failure. This opens the door for a new decentralized state of peaceful co-existence, respecting the sovereignty of each individual by regarding everyone as equal peers.
War is not only destructive, but is not cost efficient and is mostly used as a tool for geopolitical control by the elites. With Bitcoin we can choose lasting alternatives to war and solve world conflicts more creatively. We can now build an economy that is rooted in values not dictated by a few oligarchs, but by a global consensus of We the People.
Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., is a writer who has been covering issues of freedom of speech, transparency and decentralized movements. Her work is featured in many publications. Find her on twitter @nozomimagine