I'm having difficulty understanding the position of left-leaning digital rights groups who are opposed to the anti-cryptocurrency provision to the recent US Senate infrastructure bill. Many Senators have a large stake in the existing global financial system, so it's reasonable to point out that it's transparently corrupt for them to go after any threats to that. But this seems like a case where the enemy of your enemy is still the most corruption-enabling technology ever created.

I semi regularly come across leftists who have adopted relatively principled stances that nevertheless proceed directly from accepting tech-liberatarian-right claims about technology - that crypto is "economic emancipation", that full automation of labor is inevitable, that general AI is on the horizon and that it will be a suitable replacement for human decision making.

Within the left, ie in spaces where there is an assumption of shared values and goals, I want to be able to have these discussions. But I'm stymied by a conclusion I keep arriving at which is that these people are being naive and taking profoundly untrustworthy people at their word.


The perspectives I trust most these days proceed from the left-Luddite questions: what is this technology *really* for? Who does it truly serve? If it becomes clear that it harms the world, does it deserve continued existence?

· · Web · 2 · 9 · 24

The modern concept of "technology" is about two centuries old. It has brought this profound shift in how humans conceive of the future. And it has indirectly landed us in pretty deep shit - by conceiving of tech as some neutral thing that "simply happens", we have relinquished much agency in the process of shaping our future.

There are cases where "trustless" systems are benign and facilitate freedom of communication. "Trustless" in finance is a misnomer, it really means "the people who already had the most capital can buy consensus and monopolize mostly-invisible power networks". As far as I can tell this effect is more, not less, pronounced in the proof-of-stake systems that pro-crypto leftists offer as the humane alternative to the ecocidal proof-of-work model.

@jplebreton blows my mind that "waste more stuff" is considered a good alternative to "waste more power." It might even be strictly better, I don't know, but wow is it still not good

@jplebreton leftism doesn't fundamentally challenge production thus it'll never fundamentally challenge technology. It's incapable of any truly revolutionary relationship with production or technology, despite its own claims.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!