Bitcoin Songsheet: Resisting The Fiat Morality Pushed By Elites

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This is an opinion editorial by Jimmy Song, a Bitcoin developer, educator and entrepreneur and programmer with over 20 years of experience. The fiat has invaded our moral universe.

Many wear masks, display Ukrainian flags and use preferred pronouns. These behaviors would seem strange to someone who was even five years old. These are moral rules that were imposed upon us recently. They are not inborn or intuitive. These behaviors were imposed on us by the authorities. They are what I call “fiat morality.”

Fiat morality is a set of values pushed onto us from the elites. They are constantly changing and new ones are added every year. Even moral behavior that was acceptable a few years back can now be considered offensive and vile. The rules are more frequently changed than Ethereum’s monetary policy ..

We all instinctively know that we are being pushed towards a certain set of values. There is an uneasy dread about the agenda and it makes us feel cynical. The morals being promoted seem like a street game with three-card Monte.

Why are these new behaviors being encouraged? These new behaviors are being pushed upon us as if they were good for us. What are we being pushed to do? This article aims to clear the fog of morality and place the blame squarely at fiat money.

The Mechanics Of Fiat Morality

Fiat morality operates similarly to fiat money, that is, it is declared from above. Accepting new moral rules is expected of us because everyone else accepts them. If you question the moral rules being imposed on you, you can be ostracized, shouted down upon, or your license to continue using them will be revoked. There are many bright red lines we must not cross. They accumulate and trap us, much like a laser motion security camera in the movies.

Fiat morals have a lot of power because of the logic behind prevailing opinion. If enough people believe that a particular behavior is vile, then there is little concern about whether it is actually vile. This behavior will not be tolerated. Avoiding confrontation is the same reason that people avoid school bullies: It’s safer. We can change our behavior and let another poor fool take a beating.

The elites use propaganda to propagate new fiat moral rules. This includes media, colleges, and politicians. Many evening news programs tell viewers that they should do X. The same goes for college education and rallies. They are not reporting or educating, but telling. These institutions are mouthpieces for the state and function like the politburo of Soviet Union, receiving orders from above and telling others what to do to keep them in line.

These new behaviors are not intuitive and so propaganda is necessary. For example, it wasn’t considered moral to stay at home during COVID-19, until health authorities declared it so. Fiat morality is determined from above and not by individuals. Fiat morality is determined from above and can be arbitrarily changed depending on the circumstances. To paraphrase George Orwell: One day we are at war against Eurasia, and the next day we are at war with Eastasia.

Virtue Signaling

You would think that such arbitrary dictates would be seen as tyranny and people would rally against them. Unfortunately, this is not true. Most people will comply because they don’t want to be bullied. Some people don’t just comply, but they also declare their loyalty with gusto to become deputized bullies. This is known as virtue signaling, and it’s a key indicator of the effectiveness or propaganda.

“Virtue Signaling” is a misnomer, as it doesn’t care about traditional virtue. It is not just a sign of compliance with fiat morals but also a support for them. While most people will not be blamed or cast aside, they won’t go as far as virtue signaling. In order to gain access to the elites’ ranks, virtue signalers must win the favor of the elites. This is a requirement for elite membership.

Elites have many rent-seeking, well-paid positions that are influenced by money printing. It is no surprise that rent-seeking people are the most enthusiastic virtue signalers. Your typical government bureaucrat will be more enthusiastic about supporting ESG, masking, or invading Iraq than your average manual laborer. Rent-seekers expect everyone to follow the rules, while productive people want to be left alone.

Rent-seeking opportunities are what drive virtue signaling behavior. This is where the “signaling” part comes in. People who are virtuous model behavior they want others to emulate. It doesn’t matter if you support the invasion of Iraq, gun control, or mask wearing. The elites will consider your behavior moral. They support the winning team like bandwagon supporters. They don’t care about the morals, they just want to curry favor with the people who created them.

Fiat morality changes the moral landscape constantly. Virtue signaling allows you to claim the new fiat moral high ground.

Natural Law

This is in sharp contrast to traditional morality, where righteous behavior is derived from a priori moral rules. Natural law is the foundation of traditional morality. These rules of behavior are intuitive and include things like not stealing other people’s property.

Natural law is the basis for what we think of as justice, or treating each other fairly. Because we use a standard for justice to judge evil governments, such as North Korea, the atrocities they commit are considered wicked. This standard is natural law. It is common to all people. This is why it is sometimes called common law, or even common sense.

Governments throughout history have tried to change this standard for their own benefits and the result is fiat morality. There are serious consequences when justice is corrupted by fiat morality. The ones who are affected by fiat morality are the ones who suffer.

Why Elites Push Fiat Morals

The elites of society want to get away with behavior that would be considered abominable under natural law. Let’s take stealing as an example. Inflation allows elites to steal from others using fiat money. They view money printing as “bailouts”, or something that prevents collapse of the entire system.

Giving certain individuals and companies favorable treatment would be unjust under natural law. Reframing the issue to be about the environment, and making judgements about which companies are moraler, makes picking winners and losers seem reasonable.

Historically, war has been the most common reason for fiat morals. Governments seek to justify war and use fiat morality in order to gain support. Justification was required for every war, even those of ancient times. The invasions of Iraq were framed as moral crusades. The defense of Ukraine and the billions spent per month is being framed in the same way.

Ultimately, fiat morality is about political power. Elites promote a morality that will give more moral authority. For example, the BLM movement places those who push this agenda as moral arbiters. Similar is the case with ESG. Through the mechanism of fiat morality, the elites are able to decide what is and isn’t moral. Instead of earning trust from the people, they can earn it implicitly by declaring that they are the referees.

Fiat Money Leads To Fiat Morality

Fiat morality is like fiat money. It can lead to unstable situations that explode violently. Morals are also affected when money is devalued. I wrote about this with respect to no fault divorce and the end of the gold exchange standard. Fiat morality is easier than imposing under an easy money standard. Moral standards can be modified if money can be changed.

Money is a way to facilitate trust between people. A society with high trust is one that is moral, where debts are paid off, contracts are upheld, and fraud is punished. All such interactions are more dangerous and less trustworthy when money is debased. The debasement and theft of money can also lead to a loss of trust and a reduction in moral standards.

Sometimes, debts are paid with bailout funds (read: stolen funds). Bank deposit contracts can be broken to prevent the economy from collapsing. In certain circumstances, fraud that leads to war is permitted. All of these actions require justification. This is where fiat morals comes in. Justification of new behavior, especially those that enriches and empowers elites, requires some reasoning or new rules. Every fiat moral rule is a justification for something the elites want everyone to follow. They are an essential, expensive part of any political game.

New moral guidelines not only justify large changes but also justify the very little. Never underestimate the indignation of bureaucrats. We are given fiat moral imperatives such as recycling, not littering, and social distancing. These are ways to make bureaucrats’ lives easier.

Fiat Morality Is Fiat Slavery

Fiat morals reflect a shift in how the authorities see the people. Governance is about the enforcement of existing moral standards. Fiat morality sees people as resources that can be used by the government. People are controlled by fiat morals to comply with the authorities’ orders.

When authorities treat the population as slaves, they impose petty authoritarian rules such as recycling. The authorities can control the money and impose morals that are favorable to them. Through propaganda, the citizens become their slaves.

A good history lesson in this regard is the four pests campaign under Maoist China. Because it was believed to reduce crop yields, the fiat moral decree made sparrow an enemy. The system made the people slaves and they were given the task of killing sparrows. The campaign was a disaster as it led to starvation and famine. But the bigger question is why were people given the task of creating a socialist paradise.

Fiat currency creates a slave society through fiat morals. We are closer to socialism because of our central-bank-backed fiat currency system.

Better Money, Better Morals

Bitcoin gives us a stable monetary standard. Instead of constantly changing and fluctuating money, we have a standard, unchanging currency. Money is a major component of all market transactions and almost every other relationship. Therefore, it is important to make money consistent so that transactions or trades can be trusted.

Bitcoin’s hope is that individuals will interact better when the central bank is removed. There are no Cantillon effects. This means that justifications are less important. Rent-seeking is less common, which means that there are fewer fiat morals. There is no excuse to steal when you aren’t able to steal.

As a result, the threat of fiat contagion is gone and the need to have fiat morals decreases. The associated costs of propaganda, coordination and heavy coordination are eliminated and can be put to productive use. Because they are not able to benefit from Cantillon effects, elites have less reason to be bad. Governance is about the governed, not the governors. Citizens aren’t considered slaves to be controlled. We can return to natural law without being manipulated morally.

In short, we can get rid of fiat morality and stop being manipulated.

Good riddance.

Ten Fiat Moral Rules Soon To Come

  1. Suggesting that inflation is due to anything other than corporate greed is racist
  2. Wearing hairnets is necessary to prevent the spread of lice
  3. Forcibly silencing people who say anything offensive to someone is not only justified, but deserves a reward
  4. Dissemination of anything that makes the authorities look bad is treason
  5. Children belong to the State and parents who want to teach them something the State disapproves of are criminals
  6. Possessing lots of fat on your body is a sign of virtue
  7. It’s not hypocrisy unless the authorities say it is
  8. Beastiality and incest are different forms of love
  9. Injecting Pfizer’s latest product into your body is the socially responsible thing to do
  10. Ethnicity is something you can self-define and must be respected

This is a guest post by Jimmy Song. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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