The left-wing extremist internet magazine Volksverpetzer believes that Bitcoin is money for right-wing extremists, which neo-Nazis use to finance their terror. This is as silly as it is despicable, and reveals a lot more about the state of the left today than it does about Bitcoin.
The magazine Volksverpetzer is actually known for firing on lateral thinkers, opponents of vaccination and RKI skeptics every day from every rhetorical mortar that the authors can get their hands on. On Tuesday, the idea came up to align a gun against Bitcoin.
Hauke Cordts , former intern in the ÖR and former employee in the SPD press office, lists without any introductory explanation which evil Nazis and right-wing extremists in this world have already used Bitcoin:
Nick Fuentes, a well-known US right-wing extremist who was also involved in the “storming” of the Capitol, had previously received $250,000 in bitcoin. Stephan Balliet, the anti-Semitic assassin from Halle, received 0.1 Bitcoin from an acquaintance online in October 2019, at that time 750 euros. The Identitarian Movement called for Bitcoin donations in the summer of 2017 and actually received 50 euros in Bitcoin from the Christchurch attacker from New Zealand.
It has been known for a long time that good and decent people do not have a monopoly on the use of Bitcoin and, in a way, it makes sense. If only “the good guys” are allowed to do something, then you need an authority that decides who is good and who is evil and who revokes the right to use it for those who decide against it. This is exactly what Bitcoin should prevent. Therefore, hackers, scammers, drug dealers and many other scoundrels use Bitcoin and, yes, right-wing extremists, neo-Nazis, communists, kleptocrats, autocrats, paramilitaries and others.
We too have occasionally written about Bitcoin and neo-Nazis . Also about the investigation , which Cordts is now citing, according to which numerous US neo-Nazis use Bitcoin wallets and have also accumulated a lot of money on them. Cordts cites another study, by blockchain analyst Elliptic, which concludes transactions of around $8.9 million are linked to far-right extremists.
So far so ugly, but also unavoidable. But why is the people snitch digging up all this now? And how does Cordts classify this?
A testimony of deep hostility to freedom
On the one hand, the author recognizes the obvious: right-wing extremists use Bitcoin for pragmatic reasons. More and more payment service providers are blocking payments to intellectual arsonists from the right, which is why they have to receive money in Bitcoin. This is not pretty, but it confirms that Bitcoin works.
If Cordts’ article ended here, it would be fine, and one could happily derive from this the demand that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution also deal with Bitcoin transactions. Any body that holds individuals accountable for their actions on behalf of the collective should be competent to read the Bitcoin blockchain. This is my firm belief and has been happening for a long time.
But of course it’s not about the folk snitch. The author tries to generally smear Bitcoin with right-wing extremist colors. He wants to give the impression that bitcoin is inherently right-wing extremist and that bitcoiners are either neo-Nazis or, willingly or involuntarily, support them.
“The anchoring of bitcoin in the right-wing extremist scene also has ideological reasons. Bitcoin is based on a deeply libertarian, anti-state and anti-statist way of thinking… Bitcoin supporters as well as right-wing extremists reject democratic institutions of financial regulation. So it’s not surprising that Richard Spencer, US New Right thought leader and White Supremacy activist, tweeted in 2017: “Bitcoin is the currency of the alt right”. ).”
And with this passage, the folk snitch converts what was at least a moderately interesting article into a testimony of deep hostility to freedom: Everything that even dares to long for freedom from the collective is — right-wing extremist. Libertarians, i.e. people who reject the state itself – not anarchists, but right-wing extremists. Anti-statists, i.e. people who do not think that the state is the solution to all problems — not liberals, but far-right. People who criticize or oppose financial regulation — far-right.
As you can see, you have to go a long way to smear Bitcoin like this. However, this arc misses the mark so wildly that it raises quite a few questions.
Bitcoin is the opposite of far-right
What does right-wing extremism mean and how does Bitcoin fit into it? Wikipedia defines this political stance as follows:
“Right-wing extremism is a collective term for ideologies whose common core is the overvaluation of ethnicity, the questioning of the equality of all people and an anti-pluralistic and authoritarian understanding of society.”
Even this first sentence shows that hardly anything can be further removed from right-wing extremism than Bitcoin: Bitcoin DOES NOT KNOW ethnic affiliations or differences between people. Bitcoin is money that explicitly opposes authoritarian intervention in the financial system. So far, Bitcoin is the complete opposite of right-wing extremists. If you took bitcoin as a standard, any other money would be far-right.
This is followed by a section on conspiracy theories and right-wing extremists on Wikipedia. In my opinion, conspiracy theories are overly politicized here, but that doesn’t matter because there are neither anti-Semitic nor anti-American conspiracy theories involved with Bitcoin. So we come to the next paragraph:
“The structural characteristics of right-wing extremism include dogmatism, a sense of mission and a pronounced black-and-white way of thinking. In the political style, there is a latency to violence and an acceptance of violence, which finds its expression primarily in verbal attacks on political opponents and those who think differently.”
Of course, Bitcoiners are mission-conscious. You have found the best money in the world and want to convince your fellow human beings. And of course there is also dogmatism and black and white thinking, for example when it comes to Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash. But basically the decision to try it with a completely different, namely decentralized and purely virtual money, is rather the opposite of dogmatism. Nor can violence be attributed to purely virtual money, especially since Bitcoin, unlike all other currencies, is not used to finance the military.
I don’t think I have to go on anymore. While there are interfaces between libertarianism and right-wing extremism, which come up again and again in an uncomfortable manner in online magazines such as the Axis of the Good or Eigenitlich Frei – I suspect it is a certain tendency towards social Darwinism – but overall Bitcoin so radically contradicts the characteristics of right-wing extremism that it’s just embarrassing and disingenuous to make an ideological connection here.
Why is the folk snitch doing this? An online magazine that deals so often with right-wing extremism should have an editorial team that is able to understand the term. Since negligence can be ruled out as an answer, the only thing that remains is the resolution: the people snitch intentionally defiles Bitcoin and uses the mace of right-wing extremism, which left-wing extremists have meanwhile brought out as a standard.
The authoritarian turn of the left
I can only speculate here. An article by left-wing journalist Peter Nowak on Telepolis gives a hint: ” One year of lockdown and the authoritarian turn in the left “.
In it, Nowak puzzles over Velten Schäfter’s statement on Friday that “quite a few who positioned themselves as left-wing and despised authority were suddenly caught uncritically distributing Markus Söder content. And others who considered themselves to be good in terms of the constitution were now accused of almost sitting in the right-tipping ship of fools. How ‘authoritarian’ is caring for the weakest when? How ruthless, even ‘fascist’, is the insistence on customary civil rights?”
Nowak experienced this himself. For example, the author seems to find it difficult to be allowed to continue publishing with his previous clients, usually left-wing newspapers and magazines, because he has been critical of the officious Corona narrative a little too often. He finds an indication of what is happening right now in an article in the left-wing magazine “ concrete ”, which writes about “the left in the pandemic”.
Nowak notes that the author “returns to the authoritarian methods of a 1970s left, when the leaders of small communist groups presumed to decide which books were perishable for party members without even dealing with the content of the incriminated contributions. These tiny parties are meaningless today, but “the authoritarian spirit has remained. He demands that authors of certain statements about Corona and the consequences that he dislikes must be broken. This is an expression of an authoritarian turn in the Corona debate.”
So the left became authoritarian again. If you look at the history of the left or socialism, from Stalin to Mao to the Baaht parties in Syria and Iraq, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Rather, one wonders, as a liberal with Hayek and Mises and Berlin, how the world could have overlooked this. Left or socialist parties ALWAYS want to exchange freedom for solidarity. They want the individual to submit to the collective.
In the Corona crisis, the last scraps of fabric that had covered this figure of the left rushed down. Contradiction to the official opinion of Corona – not tolerated, harmful, right-wing extremist. Physical self-determination in times of the pandemic – selfish, socially harmful, right-wing extremist. Demonstrations for the Basic Law and against the obligation to cover up – right-wing marches.
Does the MP project his own far-right characteristics?
The reflexive defamation of non-leftists, whether they are bourgeois, law-abiding, individualistic, lateral thinkers, libertarian, patriotic or whatever, as right-wing extremists, again and again as right-wing extremists, is ridiculous, especially in times of Corona. Let’s look again at Wikipedia:
They “establish an inferior worth and legal status of certain individuals and groups through ethnic, cultural, spiritual and biological differences. This inevitably results in friend-or-foe attitudes and intolerance towards people of different origins and backgrounds… the social disputes and differences of opinion are viewed as harmful to the community. The cause of social conflicts is seen in the inequality of people. Individual self-determination and equal opportunities are fought in favor of compulsory social unity.”
This is what Wikipedia writes about right-wing extremism. Has the corona pandemic turned our society right-wing extremist? The unvaccinated are deprived of their rights because of their biological condition, and unconventional thinkers are defamed by public broadcasting as “appendix” because of their intellectual preferences. Anyone who does not think of Corona with Drosten, Lauterbach and Wieler will find no tolerance for their opinion, but will quickly find themselves hostile and defamed, sometimes as a science denier, sometimes as a cynic, sometimes as a neo-Nazi. The plurality of opinions is openly seen as detrimental to the health of the body politic, which is why the left welcomes, even demands, that big capitalist corporations censor dissenting opinions. And physical self-determination of the individual in the vaccination issue is resolutely suppressed and fought.
In all of this, the people snitch is so in line with the government and the RKI. So it looks like a magazine that embodies significantly more characteristics of right-wing extremism than Bitcoin.
When monetary policy is collectivized but still fails
However, this projection of right-wing extremist features on Bitcoin is by no means the only reason for the people snitch to slander the cryptocurrency and its users. The less intelligent temptation, which oversimplifies the complexity of reality, to dismiss anyone who objects as a right-wing extremist, is not all.
In fact, the left, now back in outright authoritarianism, despises some things that bitcoin embodies more than anything else: individualism, wealth, economic freedom.
The left is currently facing a dilemma similar to that of the Soviets. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described this in cruel detail in his monumental work The Gulag Archipelago :
The Soviets had slaughtered the economic independence of the individual, collectivized the means of production, and handed over every economic decision to a representative of the collective, somehow politically appointed. Because they weren’t experts, they made stupid decisions that resulted in chaos and lost production at best, and the starvation of tens or hundreds of thousands at worst.
Many engineers warned the Soviets about these mistakes, but to no avail. When reality finally caught up with the Soviet decision-makers, they accused the engineers who had warned them of sabotaging production. The engineers went to the gulags, where they died in mining or road construction in Siberia, while the representatives of the collective continued to make senseless decisions and sent more scapegoats to Siberia.
The example is, of course, drastic. But there are structural similarities: Monetary policy has been fully collectivized and handed over to the central banks, and the government and tax ratios are constantly increasing. So the left-wing extremists have what they want: the instruments to influence economic processes through politically appointed representatives of the collective – to respond to economic constraints or incentives with political goals. The mistaken belief that everything can be controlled centrally is one of the dogmas of left-wing economic policy. Against all empirical evidence, they are convinced that the state can do better.
The result of this left-wing policy is tragic, and also ironic, if one assumes that reducing inequality is a genuine goal of left-wing politics: the policy of the central banks since 2009 has led to an extreme increase in inequality. Inflation – of consumer goods and especially capital goods – has made the poor poorer and the rich richer . Never before have the super-rich been so super-rich, and never – or at least in a very long time – has it been so difficult to finance a home on a normal income.
So we have the situation that left politics has been able to do exactly what left politics demands to do, but has achieved a result that is exactly the opposite of left goals. This also happened in a more blatant form in the Soviet Union, when political cadres deprived engineers and entrepreneurs of their power. If someone consistently believes in leftist goals, such as eliminating oppression and reducing inequality, then they should look very critically at leftist politics and ask how it could happen that leftist politics almost always achieved the opposite of what it did she intended. Above all, he should welcome alternatives like Bitcoin with an open mind.
Yet, just as the anger of Soviet cadres was directed at those who had warned and offered alternatives, the folk snitch left-wing extremists are turning their frustration on bitcoin – the alternative to and escape from their own politics. Pointing the finger at others can save you the mental effort of reflecting on your own actions. Laziness is one of the greatest underestimated powers in the world.
Hauke Cordts has been practicing this discipline for a long time, for example when he dismisses Bitcoin as Ponzi or celebrates the MMT, the most left-wing and unrealistic of all economic disciplines.
His aversion to Bitcoin – and that of the left in general – has absolutely nothing to do with neo-Nazis, but very much with the fact that their own economic policy ideals have turned out to be complete non-starters.
In the victim role
The whole thing had an aftermath that is so typical that it tastes pretty bad: After Hauke Cordts smeared almost all Bitcoiners as right-wing extremists – whether consciously or unconsciously, whether as leading perpetrators or helpers against their will – he was contradicted on Twitter.
Many Bitcoiners explained, in a very polite and matter-of-fact way, that Bitcoin is not right-wing extremists. That the proportion of transactions involving far-right extremists is extremely tiny at $8.9 million. That right-wing extremists also drink water and use Twitter. And so forth. But Cordts or the people snitch didn’t answer. Cordts blocked and blocked and blocked.
And of course he then played the victim role:
Everything as usual and we will certainly not experience this for the last time. Extremists just don’t want to discuss.