Please provide ideas on agorism and peaceful counter economics

I’m creating this thread as a general discussion for applied agorism. It isn’t necessarily developed, academic thought, but rather peoples experiences and observations for counter economics and going back to original ideas of operating outside arbitrary government decision making and engaging with your community to further individual value.

Some time ago I read about the idea of a gift economy under the idea of “take only what you need, and give what you can.” I’ve been spreading this idea to people as I travel around the world, and there has been success in creating a network based on trust. Just a year or so in to this experiment, we are already noticing agorism as a powerful tool to increase the the total power and value of each new member. For example, we are realizing that there are middle class households in second world countries that have an extra bed in their house. Meanwhile western travelers have useful skills, resources, and education (knowledge of economics, English language skills, access to foreign markets, etc) that they can provide with little cost to themselves.

Traditional, mainstream investment engines are often too complex for us as layman to fully understand and use our money to take power for ourselves. Why would I own stocks in the US stock market if the market valued is controlled by the Feds? Satoshi knew the concerns related to this, just look at the message attached to the first Bitcoin block.

I think people deserve to gain power and provide community value with their money. The full benefits of owning money should be realized by anyone. Realize that many stock shares don’t even have voting power. How strange is it that in the West many of us see money invested as a way to have more money in the future, but not as a source of individual power in the present? I’ve noticed that some less industrialized societies are actually ahead in this regard. Go to the Orient and you’ll see poor villagers who own gold jewelry to hold their wealth. This seems to be more reasonable than stock options.

Some of the most advanced gift economies of observed are people held together by common ideology, such as religion. I visited a remote island community where a church had a doctor-member that provided free healthcare to other church members. Perhaps in a few years those of us who are early posters on this forum can provide that for each other. I would definitely be down to share my home with some of my cryptohomies :slight_smile:

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I think that the idea of a gift economy is not really compatible with the idea of a debt based system, because ultimately almost everyone will owe a significant amount of money, and not keep surplus around, making gift giving feel more painful and therefore more likely to be considered transactional, which defeats the purpose.

Debt requires an accounting system, usually double entry is the standard method, but then you have Solidity and all the other goofball canival rides.

UTXO, or eUTXO, with it’s cash based model, would be a must for any culture that eschews the frantic pace of debt based systems, where the currency itself is created out of loans.

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On the macro scale you have some good points. But on a micro-scale, like OP’s idea of early ergoforum members?

It can work. Not as a total replacement for the debt-based economy of modern society, but a complimentary addition.

That’s just my initial opinion at least.

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I think this is very much related to the macro issue of CBDC’s that bigoogawoogla brought up in another thread. Hopefully the US CBDC will be UTXO, but I get the feeling that they will not resist tying it to identity via a KYC account system. The question is whether or not the money can be spent like cash, from person to person, arbitrarily, without tax implications below certain thresholds. Privacy will be essential, because I won’t want my competitors to know when I am spending or making money. An entire legal apparatus will need to arise around that, the lawyers are salivating. There would also be a new dynamic of the Fed being able to breath life directly into certain parts of the market (or population).

In this macro context, a fixed supply asset like BTC or ERG will likely appreciate over time, and mostly not be used, but HODLed. That presents a problem for agorism, outside of very limited circles. So Ergo might be the platform to support such an asset or currency, but I doubt it would be ERG itself.

Have you read about the voyage of Satoshi?

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Good read, I’d never read about the Satoshi before.

“As with many stories about techno-libertarian fantasies, the tale of the Satoshi begins in an all-male, quasi-frat house in San Francisco in the late 90s.”
–Haha, hits close to home. I’ve never figured out why libertarian thought is so heavily male-centric.

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Debt requires an accounting system, usually double entry is the standard method

UTXO, or eUTXO, with it’s cash based model, would be a must for any culture that eschews the frantic pace of debt based systems,

Hmm, can you explain that better?

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Loans require accountability, even if it is just your bookie - there is a book. There are different ways to keep books, but in most of the world it is required to use a double entry accounting system, from quickbooks all the way up to the CFO’s stressing over SAP… To make sure that nobody get’s ripped off, every debit must have a credit, and the books must be kept in balance.

That approach is necessary for paying taxes, rewarding investors, and avoiding getting sued for embezzlement. Quickbooks and SAP are not decentralized, blockchain solutions, but they enable power sharing and capital formation by enforcing accounting rules. The idea that you would want an accounting system to be “Turing complete”, and rely on the proprietors to handle the complexity is asking for bugs, rugs, and then when it all falls apart… drugs.

UTXO is a cash model, which has to be handled correctly to avoid fraud and risks, but at least it does not resemble giving a toddler a katana. eUTXO will hopefully make it more useful, without inviting foul play.

A separate question is whether it is a good idea to tie the issuance of new currency to loans, and currency destruction by bankruptcy - in other words, our debt based system. It could work… and some would argue that it worked well until we declared some of the biggest pigs to be too big to fail. It’s like saying the Pope is infallible; the logic of the system breaks and it’s a race to the bottom. Big surprise it is the VC’s and banks that are eager to promote various Ethereum clones.

Does that help you understand my perspective. I could go on at length, but you have to keep winding me up.

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I’m just now really considering what a debt-based/credit issuance system is… In my economics classes I was taught about the federal reserve system, and that the advantage of a debt/credit-based system is that money can be spent that doesn’t exist. For example, credit cards allow consumers to purchase items they can’t afford yet, essentially increasing the money flowing through the economy.

UTXO is a cash model, which has to be handled correctly to avoid fraud and risks, but at least it does not resemble giving a toddler a katana. eUTXO will hopefully make it more useful, without inviting foul play.

^Can you explain what it means for UTXO to be a cash model? Does this have to do with ethereum-type accounting with global state (I still don’t understand what global state is) versus UTXO where any transaction is just a box of inputs and outputs? My understanding is that the main advantage of UTXO over the account-based model is the ability to have theoretically infinite outputs in a transaction box…

A separate question is whether it is a good idea to tie the issuance of new currency to loans, and currency destruction by bankruptcy

^To me it appears that this system has the advantage of creating leverage for a centralized entity to further its own interests. Then again, given the average lifespan of a fiat, maybe that’s not a good haha. I could see this being good in emergencies, like raising funds for infrastructure upgrades with a long-term return on investment.

What’s your background in? Mine is space systems and languages.

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Regarding the debt based economy, I think it is actually the best way to establish a distributed system that rewarded the growth and punished the stagnation of parts of our economy for decades…
Remember that the dollar was only backed by gold in some abstract policy sense. It wasn’t like a king or emperor literally commanding coinage to be minted from the treasury and offering to castrate anyone that tried to counterfeit it. It was a distributed, rules-based system that enabled anyone to set up shop as a bank in a frontier town, and lend to borrowers at their discretion, to facilitate commercial development. It is a system that works well during times of growth.

The dollar is now and has always been a market asset. And the privilege that the commercial banks get to loan beyond their reserves is what brings new dollars to market (at the risk of not getting paid back, resulting in a reduced ability to print more dollars). It’s not the fed that prints the dollars, it’s you and me when we take out a loan. You can’t print borrowers, at least not reliable ones… unless you consider the USG to be reliable. That’s why they are constantly writing bonds, because the federal government is the borrower of last resort. We the people are getting too skeptical, so they will have to take up the slack, and run us off the cliff before the wolves get us.

My background is varied. I have a science degree or two. I am reincarnated from a long line of nobodies.

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Blockquote Can you explain what it means for UTXO to be a cash model? Does this have to do with ethereum-type accounting with global state (I still don’t understand what global state is) versus UTXO where any transaction is just a box of inputs and outputs? My understanding is that the main advantage of UTXO over the account-based model is the ability to have theoretically infinite outputs in a transaction box…

UTXO based blockchains are not an accounting system, they are more like a way to move tokens around in a deterministic fashion, based on cryptographically secured permissions and group consensus about executing the rules. The system consists of these atomic elements, UTXO’s, and runs their logic for their interactions at that level, regardless of what is happening to others. Extending that model allows the movements to be more articulate, but doesn’t change the dynamic. The rules for creating the next block, avoiding double spending, and executing transactions is all just a matter of moving chips.

The global state issue with Ethereum, is that to compute the next block and achieve consensus, all transactions must be checked against each other, and simultaneously satisfy the hunger of the miners for transaction fees. It’s like Vitalik thought Bitcoin was just a calculator, and he wanted a PlayStation instead. As the number of transactions increases with the complexity of competing smart contracts, it will often happen that transactions will get bogged down or outright fail.

There was a popular notion among the ethereum community that Cardano smart contracts would not allow for concurrency, due to this lack of global state. After all, how can you simultaneously support interconnected smart contracts that touch so many accounts without having the entire thing worked out in advance before agreeing on the next block? The answer is to just use a lot of UTXO’s all of which are controlled by you on your own accounting system, rather than trying to let the blockchain be an accounting system.

Dig?

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I’m going to cross-post this to the other thread comparing Ethereum to Ergo.

At this time I don’t have any more questions regarding accounting model vs. UTXO. Thanks for the concurrency explanation. I saw that Cardano DEXES were struggling with currency issues and had difficulty coming up with decentralized solutions. Hopefully the UTXO Alliance will provide a viable community for solving UTXO-specific issues.

Regarding the debt based economy, I think it is actually the best way to establish a distributed system that rewarded the growth and punished the stagnation of parts of our economy for decades…

How does a debt-based system punish stagnation? I imagine businesses who take out loans might grow faster than businesses who are more risk adverse.

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In areas where there are no good borrowers there is no incentive to make loans, create new dollars, and then get repaid to make more loans, create more money and grow…

What is worse, if the banker makes bad loans to bad borrowers, there will be defaults, and that will negatively impact their reserves when they write down the loss, and therefore they have less ability to create dollars. In fact, the default actually destroys dollars because the bank still has to meet it’s obligation to the reserve bank, taking dollars out of circulation.

In short, it discourages malinvestment by punishing the lender, as it should be… Until we declare some banks too big to fail, and the debt gets shifted to the public via bailouts… Now the malinvestment punishes everyone, except the banksters, who still got their bonuses.

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