Why Is Bitcoin-Twitter Suddenly Obsessed With The Essay “Anatomy Of The State”?
It’s only logical that Jack Dorsey is a Twitter influencer. The mind behind Twitter used his platform to promote “Anatomy Of the State,” an essay by Murray N. Rothbard. The Austrian School of Economics is slowly permeating mainstream consciousness. Dorsey’s focus and dedication to Bitcoin’s ideals reached a whole new level. And crypto-Twitter reacted in different ways, with Rothbard’s name trending over the weekend.
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The tweet that started it all offered no explanation:
— jack⚡️ (@jack) August 14, 2021
The .pdf file containing it is freely distributed by Mises.org, an institution dedicated “to promote teaching and research in the Austrian school of economics, and individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard.” About the incident, the increased attention they received, and Dorsey’s choice, the institution said:
Dorsey linked not to some article on bitcoin or money, but to Murray N. Rothbard’s seminal 1974 essay “Anatomy of the State .” This short missive may well represent Rothbard’s most bracing and concise attack on government as an institution, and that’s saying something.
So, this is not just some essay. What does it say about the government exactly?
A Summary of “Anatomy Of the State”
This short book is deep and covers many concepts and hard truths. The monopoly on violence. The fallacy of the “social contract” concept. How governments use “vested economic interests” to keep us at bay. “The alliance between the State and the intellectuals.” War. Revolution. The alliances between different states. State power and social power. A lot. However, we could summarize “Anatomy Of the State” with this example it provides:
“One method of the birth of a State may be illustrated as follows: in the hills of southern “Ruritania,” a bandit group manages to obtain physical control over the territory, and finally the bandit chieftain proclaims himself “King of the sovereign and independent government of South Ruritania”; and, if he and his men have the force to maintain this rule for a while, lo and behold! a new State has joined the “family of nations,” and the former bandit leaders have been transformed into the lawful nobility of the realm.”
And that explains the world we live in.
Ok, But, What Does Rothbard Have To Do With Bitcoin?
The Mises.org institute links Dorsey’s “Anatomy Of the State” tweet to this one:
— jack⚡️ (@jack) August 15, 2021
That one refers to this phenomenal website that uses easy to understand charts to show how everything got exponentially worst when Nixon un-pegged the US Dollar from gold, giving rise to the Fiat currency era. The era we’re living in. Well, that directly relates to the Austrian School of Economics, as the institute explains:
Only Austrian economists present a coherent critique of pure fiat currency, which means only Austrians have anything compelling to say about Nixon’s final closure of gold redemption. The Mengerian and Misesian explanation of how money arises and obtains value as a highly saleable commodity requires no central fiscal or monetary authority. It requires no state.
And, do you know what else requires no state or central authority to function? Bitcoin, the greatest money ever created.
“The Mengerian and Misesian explanation of how money arises and obtains value as a highly saleable commodity requires no central fiscal or monetary authority. It requires no state.” @jeffdeist for @mises commenting on @jack‘s tweets
— Stephan Livera (@stephanlivera) August 16, 2021
What Is Sound Money And How Do We Get It?
And that relates “Anatomy Of the State” to our sister website’s Book Club. They’re analyzing “The Bitcoin Standard,” and defined sound money as :
Austrian economists pose that, “the best money revolved around understanding salability and what the market would choose as money.” Saifedean Ammous adds one more thing.
… the salability of money according to the will of its holder and not some other party. Combining these criteria together formulates a complete understanding of the term sound money as the money that is chosen by the market freely and the money completely under the control of the person who earned it legitimately on the free market and not any other third party.
So, to sum it all up, the human family doesn’t need the independent government of South Ruritania to dictate what we should use as money. We have Bitcoin. And that’s what Dorsey’s “Anatomy Of the State” tweet was all about.