Is Decentralization a Meme?

Decentralization, as well as its other grammatical forms, has become about as annoying as words such as "cringe" and "vaxx." The truth is, I am tired of hearing about them all. I don't say this to denigrate decentralization, because despite its alt-tech, alt-media buzzworthiness it is an important topic worth discussion beyond the typical commentator screeching "Decentralize this! Decentralize that!"

Let us begin with things that are decentralized, but can be subverted or otherwise made impractical. Here the most obvious example is crypto currencies: since they are a peer-to-peer technology, they can completely obviate the need for a banking system, which is a good thing, because the current banking system is nothing short of pure evil; believe it or not, one can even argue that the banks actually caused World War I. It is in this case that decentralization is a Godsend, but we can clearly see centralizers who don't want to lose their respective monopolies fight back by using their puppets in office, or how it is difficult these days to obtain crypto without getting KYC'd. Another thing to note is that the technology behind crypto currencies, blockchain, can also be used for unimaginable slavery in the form of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs. To anyone reading this, there is a clear distinction between crypto and CBDCs, but which one do you think will get state approval? For that matter, I think we would all have a hard time explaining the differences to our parents or grandparents, and they would likely fall into the CBDC trap. In summary, crypto is great (well, the real cryptos, not meme coins), but we can clearly see how it can be subverted just by little differences in language.

What about political power? Can it be decentralized? Absolutely: in the form of anarchy, or, more affectionately, volunteerism which is frankly a better term anyway. While I won't argue for the merits or deficiencies of anarchism in this post, let us take for granted that a stateless society can exist. In a volunteerist society, people will work, and do business together without any sort of state compulsion or law enforcement. At bottom, a society with a state rests upon the exclusive and unmitigated monopoly on violence, which should trouble any goodhearted person. Volunteerism takes away this exclusive power of violence, and puts it into the hands of everyone in the form of self-defense or the hiring of personal defenders. I like the idea of volunteerism, truly, but just like crypto currencies, I believe it can easily be subverted in the form of an organized foreign invader, or a few malicious domestic individuals who wish to impose their will on others (think corporations). Not to mention that everyone in the volunteerist society must be rabidly pro-freedom to prevent others from attempting to centralize power; but let's face the facts, most people are completely complacent and obedient to anything that claims to be an authority, and this is chiefly why we desperately need a renaissance of morality and ethics, because they are a bulwark against evil authority. In short, political power ought to be as decentralized as it would be in anarchism as this seems the most respectful of humanity as well as more morally correct (because it is not based upon violence or coercion), but it seems practically difficult. I would like to be completely wrong about this however.

Are there any clear successes in decentralization? Actually yes, and I want to mention two of them: the Internet itself, and alt-media. Despite the fact that grandma believes Facebook IS the Internet, there is really nothing stopping anyone from setting up their own website or online store. If things were more dystopian, I guess we would see more blacklisting of domains and IPs, but I personally haven't seen much of that. Besides that, it seems the only way to centralize the Internet itself would be to put it under complete state control as it is in some jurisdictions, or propagandize people into using only a few websites, which has been wildly successful, but once we recognize the lie, we re-realize that fundamentally the Internet is decentralized.

Because of the Internet, alternative media can exist. Anyone that wants to do the necessary research and work that it takes to report on news events or past conspiracies can easily do it. This makes alt-media decentralized, because you or me could start a website today and report what the dinosaur media won't. Its strengths are the same as the Internet's, and is in fact dependent upon those strengths. While it is conceivable that such websites could be censored to oblivion as in the above paragraph, the fact is that they have not been... yet, anyway.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer some legitimate criticism of the online talking-heads screeching, "Decentralize!" While I believe it is indeed the right way forward to prevent the Great Reset dystopia that billionaires and other parasites want for free humans, I also want practical solutions and ways of achieving decentralization, not buzzwords. We have explored where decentralization has succeeded and where it is possible but perhaps difficult, but we have to face those possibilities with good philosophy, a love for humanity, and persistence. Complacence will get us nowhere, buzzwords will anesthetize most into believing, "things are being done" (like scientism), but legitimate actions such as building more decentralized technologies or discussing the troubles of decentralization so that we can iron out the glaring issues will help us avoid a technocratic cataclysm.