This post is a reaction to Charles’ video, “Why We Fight,” which was prompted by the SEC’s decision to categorize Cardano as a security while imposing restrictions on exchanges that facilitate the transition between the crypto and fiat worlds (see “The SEC Comes For Crypto!”).
In summary, Charles’s message can be understood as follows, and I agree with it: Essentially, we are good, but there are also those who turn to evil. Consequently, the majority must fight against the few to prevent them from transforming our world into a place of evil, affecting everyone, including themselves. This viewpoint takes a Manichean perspective, pitting decentralization and centrifugal forces (those of the periphery) against central and centripetal forces.
This perspective assumes an ideal and necessary utopia where decentralization and true democracy reign. However, shouldn’t our focus be on finding a balance between these opposing forces? We are bound by and mirror our natural environment, as reflected in the embodied cognition paradigm. Our resources are not evenly distributed; therefore, we cannot be evenly distributed or decentralized. Throughout our evolution as a species, we have migrated from the ocean to the land, and the uneven distribution of resources on Earth’s crust has led to the development of powers that control access to scarce yet valuable resources like arable land, workforce, salt, copper, silver, gold mines, and trade routes.
While I wholeheartedly agree that money and identities should be managed in a more democratic manner, I don’t believe it’s possible to do so without some form of central force. Even within our decentralized systems, we rely on common infrastructures and mines that cannot be operated without centralization. Any organization built on top of Nature is adding some centralization. Think of the example of the way we want to manage ID in a decentralized manner. How could it be less decentralized than the system we had before the First World War, where most people just didn’t have IDs? They used unique reference letters on need.
If we want to keep the benefits of an efficient way of handling IDs and money at scale, we need to develop a narrative that allows space for everyone, even those few who may wish to take full control. Rather than framing our discourse as a fight that can be lost, we could present it as a process where a naturally gifted being (the good majority) explains to himself (the evil few) why, how, and where he could find a new and better equilibrium. The framing of the discourse is crucial, as highlighted by George Lakoff’s theory on “conceptual metaphors.”
Note: I did use a LLM to help me polish the post, but the ideas are mine.