Just before the internet became a massive display of human ingenuity and networking, a few individuals anticipated the emergence of tools that would help progress the end of politics and the nation states. 22 years ago, much like Nostradamus, Isaac Newton, Gerald Celente, and Carl Jung’s forecasts, a book called “The Sovereign Individual” predicted the growing autonomy of the individual but also noted the development of the world’s largest economy flourishing in cyberspace.
Also read: Bitcoin Is a Viable Way to Remove the State From Your Life
Cryptologic Methods Will Fundamentally Alter the Nature of Interference in Economic Transactions
Since the inception of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin, many people have come to believe that cryptographic technology is meant to progress freedom and liberty by separating money from the state. The concept is similar to when the church was separated from the state but when the power of the church dissipated, the nation states quickly took its place. Cryptocurrencies now provide the means to transact financially without a middleman and this removes the great wealth of power from the state’s arsenal. More than two decades ago, the cypherpunks started spreading the seeds of crypto-anarchy after envisioning that the internet would help remove the parasites that stem from governments.
What’s the Sovereign Individual VC thesis?
– Cryptocurrency (decoupling of money & state)
– Defense companies (unbundling state monopoly on violence)
– Charter cities (markets for governance)
– Influencer economy (trust shifting from institutions to individuals)
— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 19, 2019
“Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions,” cypherpunk Timothy May wrote in 1988. Humans have always tried to predict the future and forecasting trends has been popular since medieval times. People predicted the world wars decades beforehand, global economies collapsing, and monumental events that have changed society a great deal years before they happened.
Most people know about the cypherpunks from Silicon Valley and the great crypto-anarchist manifestos that were published at this time. In addition to these new philosophers, in 1997 two well-known investment advisors and authors, James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg, published a book that also predicted a huge change coming to society over the next century. Within the book of forecasts, the two authors of “The Sovereign Individual” predicted the coming of cryptocurrencies and economic realignment. Rees-Mogg and Davidson’s book does not specifically mention Bitcoin, because it was published 12 years prior to the cryptocurrency’s inception. However, the predictions do note the coming existence of an uncontrollable “cybercash” and that with technology “we will see the growing autonomy of the individual and taxing capacity will plunge by 50-70 percent.”
“[Society will] develop what promises to be the world’s largest economy by the second decade of the new millennium,” The Sovereign Individual states. If we were to look at the invention of Bitcoin as being part of the Sovereign Individual’s timeline, we can see that things are just getting started. The cryptoconomy, for instance, is a $200 billion dollar economy that is not backed by a sole individual or endorsed by a corporate entity. Governments do not support the electronic borderless money, and ever since it was created the nation states have met the technology with adversity.
How the Information Age and Bitcoin Resets the Odds
The open web has allowed online economies to flourish and financial epicenters like New York and technological regions like Silicon Valley have no hierarchy over the internet’s borderless and faceless power. Governments feel threatened by these technologies and The Sovereign Individual’s predictions suggest that the nation states will push back just like the church did. At the time, during “its predominant institution, the church, saw its monopoly challenged and shattered — authority that had been unquestioned for centuries was suddenly in dispute,” Rees-Mogg and Davidson’s book highlights. The Sovereign Individual’s timeline predicts the next millennium will be very similar. With economic tools like cryptocurrencies and other forms of technological advances like autonomous software, drones, defense groups, meshnet technology, Tor, VPNs, and influencer/gig economies, society can begin to remove the bureaucracy from their everyday lives. Davidson and Rees-Mogg’s novel states:
We believe that change as dramatic as that of five hundred years ago will happen again. The Information Revolution will destroy the monopoly of power of the…