For years the world has laughed at the idea of a Marxist utopia… and rightfully so. But we now stand at a point of human civilisation where we can reconcile the innumerable failures of capitalism.
I’ve written at some length about Blockchain technology and how it’s distributed ledger is able to change just about any societal function from commercial activity to politics to internet connectivity to a solution for global warming. But how far away are we from a mainstream adoption of the technology and what will it look like when Blockchain’s become integrated into our everyday lives in the way that other staggering advances in technology like the automobile, the printing press, and the internet did?
2018 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the first distributed Blockchain, and if more accessible platforms are created for the general public – it could also be the year the Blockchain finally goes mainstream.
So, try to envision a society where we can manufacture trust, where resources can be shared and every person has the means to survive and lead a prosperous life. Such a society could be just around the corner. The failure to be able to do this is essentially what saw the Soviet Union collapse. Karl Marx posited that the working classes should seize the means of production and that all private property should fall under state ownership – core principles of socialism – with the end goal being communism, a society in which wealth is shared and society functions without the need for the state to serve as an intermediary.
The Soviet Union essentially collapsed because of corruption and the loss of ideological purity, where the Politburo drifted further and further away from Lenin’s vision for Russia. The ideological purity tied to Marxism was never replicated following the removal of Nikita Khrushchev. Corruption saw the wealth of the party elite increase and a fair distribution of resources ceased to exist. Human nature got the better of the state.
Greed prevailed, which destroyed the argument for the possibility of a Marxist utopia. Post-1991, Western democracy and capitalism prevailed as the dominant ideology. Well, with the exception of several successful socialist states in Scandinavia and Australasia, it is the ONLY ideology. However, the rare conditions of those societies and the socioeconomic climate makes those success stories difficult to replicate.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, America has been flexing its military muscle and their capitalist agenda. That ideology has arrogantly abandoned principles of transparency and we now live in a world that is ruled by the elite who line the politicians’ pockets, while millions are on the breadline and the middle class is shrinking at a rapid rate,
We live in a world where the top 0.1% holds as much as wealth as 90% of the population. Needless to say, the wealth gap is enormous, and its consequences have reflected in the political sphere, as we live in a world where Donald Trump is the US president and conservative, nationalist, xenophobic ideologies have gained traction across the globe. Capitalism has failed us. Market forces have been left unregulated and corporate corruption has conquered in the country that is central to capitalism’s survival. Elsewhere in the world, notably Africa and South America, it has failed outright. Democracy and neoliberal economics has been thrust upon the developing world, which was not yet capable of doing so. The ruling elite has failed to give its citizens economic freedom to the degree where famine and civil war have become almost synonymous with the so-called democratic states.
The income gap in Brazil, food shortages in Zimbabwe (where you’ll find the most arable land on earth), conflict in Sudan and Eritrea, and skyrocketing corruption in Latin America are all the consequences of why capitalism is not compatible in the third world. This comes down to trust and the ease at which the ruling elite can assert its dominance over the working class.
In a world where Blockchain technology manufactures trust, we are able to share resources and seize the means of production. We have the power to make sure the world is fair. The deadweight losses from corruption, political and corporate, will become the surplus with which we can uplift the working class. Furthermore, the role of the state and bureaucratic nuances can be automated. All we need is an ideologically pure, far-left leaning system of governance that doesn’t deny us the freedoms afforded by democracy. The full transparency of a government operating with a distributed ledger will ensure resources are shared amongst the entire spectrum, without money being “lost” under the table, and the computational power of the technology will remove any inefficiencies.
Our whole lives will be tied to a system of trust and a Blockchain will also allow us to provide the Proof of Work (PoW) that shows we’re doing our fair share of work, which could lead to a system by which we solve the free-rider problem through incentives or disincentives enforceable by smart contracts.
This world has more than enough resources for us to have an equal share in its equities and we now have the technology to pursue the idea of a Marxist utopia. Eventually, the state can cease to exist and will be fulfilled by a computer. Communism is possible, and we will achieve prosperity for all. All we need is the leadership to push it forward and a democratic consensus.