Brad Miller

Ten Pillars of Civilization

In Bitcoin, chaos, Civilization, Cryptocurrency, Freedom, Liberty, natural rights, order on March 5, 2018 at 7:53 am

Today most people have two ways of thinking about “civilization”, either it’s the Roman conquering the barbarians or its the destructive corporations raping the countryside model. Either way civilization is seen as a terrible force that imposes order on the “uncivilized” world through fraud, theft and violence.

I don’t see it in those terms. I believe that the best ideas of humanity are what create true civilization. In my opinion true civilization is brining order to chaos without the need for external authority in the pursuit of eliminating human suffering.

Civilization for me, like all things, begins with the individual. That’s why this list doesn’t include any mention of government and that’s on purpose.

The state is not the progenitor of civilization and in fact throughout history it has been antithetical to its advancement. Governments only legitimate purpose is to protect life, liberty and justly acquired property. Thus it is an outgrowth of the ten pillars of civilization.

Civilization gets a bad rap but it’s the only reason why you and I are here. Below are a list of the ten ideas and concepts that underpin civilization and make it possible.

1. Self ownership – From this we get freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of consumption, the right to privacy, the right to self-defense, and the burden of self-responsibility.

2. Private property – All justly acquired property is obtained by voluntary peaceful exchange, charity or through homesteading. Disposal of one’s property is at the discretion of the owner which includes one’s body.

3. Cleanliness – It is next to godliness, which we don’t hear this saying much any more but it’s as true as it ever was. Sanitation and the physical order of things are the foundation of a civilized life.

“Make your bed and put your house in perfect order before criticizing the world”. Jordan Peterson

4. Manners – They are a form of social cleanliness. A Simple “thank-you” or “please” go a long way in reducing social friction. Being courteous without being a pushover demonstrates respect for yourself and for others.

5. Peaceful Voluntary exchange – It is the opposite of war. When two people exchange voluntarily what the other wants both parties win. There is no need to rob my neighbor of his lawn mower that I would like to have if I can peacefully trade with him for it.

6. The Acknowledgment of suffering – Life is hard for everyone. We all suffer. Work is about the elimination of as much suffering in our own life and in the lives of those we interact with as possible.

7. Rational progress – True progress is based upon reason, wisdom, and knowledge in order to develop

new tools, processes and technologies to increase profit, quality, and beauty.

8. Charity – Charity truly begins at home. All charity requires profit from peaceful exchange and it’s always voluntary or it’s not charity. The fact is that everyone needs help at some point in their life.

9. Awe and Curiosity about the natural world – Having an understanding that we only know a tiny fraction of the universe’s secrets is vital to keep perspective and to encourage constant searching for new knowledge and wisdom about ourselves and the wider world.

10. Whole system analysis – Its easy to get lost in details and miss the bigger picture. That’s why it’s important to investigate and understand cause and effect in the widest scope possible. Listening to specialists who have specific knowledge about a specific subject is smart but considering the entire context of the situation is demonstrating wisdom.

This last pillar below is new to the history of humanity and it is what I believe will help spread true civilization to all corners of the world.

11. Peer to peer trustless networks – These cryptographically secured global person to person networks facilitate communication, value exchange and organization without the need for hierarchical institutions like banks, corporations and nation states.

This technology, based upon the concept of blockchain, which is what the Bitcoin protocol runs on, is beginning to show how it can outcompete and eventually supplant the entrenched governmental, banking and corporate interests that currently benefit from the war, fiat currency and subjugation through taxation system.

When people can be their own bank, trade with anyone around the world without regard to artificial boundaries, and vote directly on issues affecting them, the current power asymmetry in society will begin to shift away from the political rats and their cronies, back to the individual where all power originates and should reside.

Unlike what most people fear, freedom of action doesn’t endanger civilization. In fact when people are more free they are more limited, not less inhibited, because they are directly responsible for the consequences of their actions. This is a natural discipline that no government can ever hope to match in quality, severity or efficiency.

Chaos reigns when there is no peace within oneself. Chaos reigns when there is no peace between man and nature. Chaos reigns when there is no peace between man and his neighbor. The pillars of civilization help to create more peace in the world which fosters an environment in which the best qualities of humanity can flourish.

These are what I believe are the best ideas that create a more civilized world. Anyone who wants to go live in nature without any tools will quickly find that the pillars of civilization have been built for a reason. Mother Nature gives nothing for free. Work is the only answer to suffering. Peaceful exchange is superior to war.

Brad Miller

Advocate of Civilized Living

Doctors are pushing back against draconian opioid prescribing restrictions – but is it enough?

In Cryptocurrency, Liberty, Medicinal Freedom, True nature of the State on January 5, 2018 at 11:07 am

In Nevada on 01/04/18 a meeting that was supposed to be about the state’s new restrictions on prescribing opioids but it quickly turned into one of the largest doctor led revolts against these new draconian prescribing rules the country has seen yet.

The doctors that attended the meeting weren’t told to be there by the Nevada State Medical Association, which is all on board with the state’s new prescribing edicts, they came as individuals who were sick and tired of the government interfering with their business and with their customers.

This is a great sign and hopefully will encourage other doctors to push back against the all too common laws that force doctors to restrict pain medicine to those who suffer chronic pain.

During the meeting the doctors expressed concerns about the vagueness of the rules that they believed were written to threaten the livelihood of doctors who simply help chronically ill patients improve their quality of life.

Around the once known land of the free, laws and rules are being written that greatly restrict the ability of individuals to reduce their physical suffering. I myself have been in chronic pain since the age of eleven. For thirty years my body has been the source of constant pain, making my very existence torture. Without pain medication I know I would have zero quality of life.

I believe that every individual owns themselves and has an innate right to choose what they consume. All restrictions on this freedom are tyrannical and cause more suffering.

The idea that our rights come from our humanity and not the government was a radical idea back in 1774 and it’s still a radical idea today. All politicians, bureaucrats and regulators believe they are the ones that grant our rights. America was founded because the British Crown kept imposing more and more regulations and taxes, interfering with how individuals made their living and how they interacted with each other.

Finally enough people became fed up and launched the revolution that changed the world. Not every colonist was for this revolution. Only about a third were for it, a third were loyalists and a third didn’t care.

Today doctors are like the loyalists during colonial times, content to live under the protection of the crown because their chains lie lightly upon them. But as the regulations and burdens on them grow the chains of government control will grow ever heavier and they will be more and more on the side of freedom.

When I speak of revolution I of course mean creating change through peaceful actions. The way the doctors in Nevada handled their complaints is a road map for other doctors and individuals who employ their services to effect change as well. If the politicians, regulators and bureaucrats don’t listen then other peaceful options should be considered.

Civil Disobedience on a mass scale drove out the British from India. No violence was necessary. Gandhi was actually inspired by Henry David Thoreau and his classic essay “Civil Disobedience” originally titled “Resistance to Civil Government”. This is a proven roadmap for peaceful change on a massive scale, which is what is needed in modern medicine today.

Doctors should be on the side of freedom and reject the need for the state medical boards, the DEA, the FDA and the CDC interfering in how they deliver medical services to the sick and suffering. Patients are individuals, customers and taxpayers. Every politician’s and government employee’s salary is paid in taxes extracted from the income of individuals. They are suppose to work for us.

Doctors complain that the State is now getting in between them and their patients but it’s actually been going on since the War on Drugs began and customers were required by law to get prescriptions to buy state approved drugs.

The major issue currently facing doctors is the double edged sword of the prescription pad. It grants them a medical monopoly but it also makes them the government’s puppet.

If they were to reject this deleterious privilege and support true Medical Freedom – meaning an end to the War on Drugs and the decriminilaztion of all state approved drugs – the doctor patient relationship could go back to one based on mutual respect and understanding.

Right now the prescription pad corrupts everything about medicine. It denies the individual the ability to purchase what medicines they choose to without the need to go and pay for a doctors visit, it emboldens a huge corrupt Federal Bureaucracy in the FDA, and it increasingly is used as an excuse by state governments to spy on the medical records of peaceful individuals.

The prescription pad also drives up pharmaceutical drug costs. If all drugs were available in a truly free market their costs would plummet. That’s because they would have to compete without the protection of the corrupt FDA. Their products would be subject to the forced of consumer choice as well as increased litigation if their products aren’t safe and effective. Currently the system is set up for them to reap enormous profits on dangerous drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies once they lose the protection of the FDA and DEA will have to compete in an environment in which people will grow some of their own medicines at home. Even if just a small percentage of the 117 million who grow some of their own food home began growing Cannabis, poppy flowers and medicinal mushrooms that would change the drug market in a huge way. Drug companies would be forced to offer safer drugs to compete with the natural ones that customers could grow extremely cheaply in backyard medicinal gardens.

The price of doctors visits would be lowered as well. The tremendous compliance costs and fees are driving up the cost of medicine. And without the government empowered prescription pad doctors could practice medicine without living in fear of losing their license to the DEA. They would also be able to save that $550 dollar licensing fee that every doctor has to pay the DEA to have the privilege of writing prescriptions.

Innovations in medicine will explode without the stifling bureaucracy imposed on doctors and patients by the privilege of the prescription pad. Doctors could help millions through the internet, they could sell the drugs they recommend from their offices, and without the state imposed monopoly they’ll have opportunities to help the sick and suffering in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. That’s the power of freedom. It creates an environment in which innovations which are unthinkable now become commonplace and ubiquitous ten years from now.

And maybe house calls would become a reality once again.

Eliminating the power of the prescription pad is the one solution that would greatly reduce the spying powers of the government and eliminate a huge portion of the Federal and state bureaucracies that interfere with the transaction between the doctor and the one’s employing his or her services.

The doctors have gone along with all the regulations and the spying and the fees because they make an exceptional living due to the increased cost of their services due to the medical monopoly they currently enjoy.

But like all industries that are granted monopolies they soon find themselves basically run by politicians, bureaucrats and regulators. Medicine like banking has become stagnant, inefficient, hugely expensive and arrogant.

Banks are a perfect example of what happens to an industry built upon a government enforced monopoly. All banks are pretty much the same. They are a franchise of the Federal Reserve System. This privilege comes at a tremendous cost though. Bank employees and even the directors are basically government agents who spy on their customers. They agree to do this because the cost of compliance is currently not enough to outweigh the profits they reap.

When you can print money out of thin air your profits are theoretically infinite. Only when customers get fed up with being spied upon, truly understand inflation, get sick of being charged exorbitant fees and being denied access to their funds will banks choose to change. In the past they had no real way to avoid the Monetary Monopoly granted by the government to the banks. This allowed them to force their services on the public.

People now have a choice. Technology in the form of cryptocurrencies are giving the first alternative to the traditional banking system that indicuals have ever had. When enough individuals become aware of the corruption of the current financial system and that they now have a better option, people are going to flock to cryptocurrencies. Costing banks billions in profits.

Do you think they’ll just stand by for this? Of course not. Bankers’ first reaction is to turn to the government to stamp out the new crypto-competitors. Thankfully that is impossible with cryptocurrencies because of their inherent decentralized properties. Banks will have now have to compete with currencies that allow each individual to be their own bank and send money around the world in seconds for mere pennies.

Most doctors are intelligent, freedom minded compassionate people who want to make a good living while helping people feel better. The hysteria over the so-called opioid epidemic shows that they don’t need the government telling them how to practice medicine. They don’t need a government enforced medical monopoly to help people.

The current deaths from opioids are mainly from fentanyl laced heroin. Afghanistan produces about 90% of the worlds heroin and your tax dollars help protect ad grow that industry. After the US Defense Dept invaded Afghanistan it became the number one producer of heroin in the world.

Doctors who want to practice medicine and make a good living should be pushing for the end of the War on Drugs, the end to the prescription restriction pad era of medicine and the total decriminalization of all medicines, whether grown in the backyard or cooked up by a chemist.

The 40 or so doctors in Nevada are the vanguard of the coming peaceful medical revolution. More and more doctors will realize that their deal with the devil has cost them their soul. To get it back they’ll have to brave the free market alone without the Medical Monopoly they currently enjoy today.

Brad Miller

Advocate of Liberty

How to raise billions of dollars and change the world

In Cryptocurrency, Free Market Miracles, natural rights, True nature of the State on December 30, 2017 at 12:02 am

Those who attempt to use the force of government to improve material progress and the moral improvement of society will always be disappointed by the results.

Government is force. It can never be a charitable or a moral institution. It’s mainly funded through Taxation, which is the taking of the property of one person and giving it to another. When the government spends more then it brings in with taxes it borrows money from the Federal Reserve. Both of these actions produce havoc in the economy, make people poorer, encourages envy and enmity between those in power and those seeking power, and destroys individual initiative.

That is the problem with politics. Two parties vie to buy the votes of 50.1% of the population in order to control the power to tax, borrow, spend and regulate. The party that buys the votes of the majority now has unlimited power over the remaining minority.

That is why there is so much vitriol in politics. It will always be this way because it creates a ruling and ruled class. If we keep looking to the state to create prosperity and cure the ills of society we will continue to get the same results. Trillions of debt, a divided society, and an enormous bureaucratic and increasingly violent police state that crushes individual initiative and voluntary cooperation.

There is a far better way to get people to work together than to force people at the barrel of a gun to cooperate in an attempt to create wealth, peace and prosperity for all.

Voluntary cooperation is the only true way to produce lasting material and moral progress. Civilization advances not by government edict but through the creative acts of individuals adapting to and shaping their environments through experimentation and voluntary cooperation.

Now we have the technology to connect like minded individuals around the world in order to combine their creativity, intelligence and capital to build businesses, start charities and other types of organizations that can create positive change in the world. The rapidly evolving technologies of cryptocurrencies, blockchain and smart contracts will make this extremely easy to implement.

I call this type of invention a Voluntary Crypto-secured Capital Pool (VCSCP). These are self directed, self funded, organizations that individuals who agree on a specific purpose for the accumulated funds.

Most people complain that what we need is capital! Here is a way in which anyone in the world can become involved in helping to acquire and spend massive amounts of capital that can be used to start businesses or charitable organizations. This is how you can raise billions and change the world!

Here are the startling numbers of how quickly a relatively small group of people can accumulate massive amounts of capital in a short period of time. These examples are based on the belief that individuals who want to positively affect the world will be willing to contribute a $1 or $5 per week to their preferred VCSCP.

1. One million people contributing $1 per week would have at the end of 52 weeks $52,000,000. How many urban farms could be funded with this? How many meals could be bought for the homeless?

2. One million people contributing $5 per week would have at the end of 52 weeks $260,000,000. That’s over a quarter of a billion dollars!

3. Ten million people contributing $1 per week would have at the end of 52 weeks $520,000,000. Could you think of ways this could be spent to create positive change in the world?

4. Ten million people contributing $5 per week would have at the end of 52 weeks $2,600,000,000. That’s two billion six hundred million dollars! What business couldn’t be started with this amount of money? How many millions of people could be fed, houses and educated with this amount of money?

The idea that capital is in hands of only a few is totally wrong. The problem with capital is that we don’t realize we already have it and that it’s just dispersed. Everyone who has just $4 per month has the capital to contribute to a VCSCP and change their life and the lives of potentially millions.

We no longer live in a world in which only banks can decide who gets the funds needed to open a business. Nor do those who want to improve the world have to spend billions in an attempt to gain the levers of power to help others.

I do believe that most socialists, communists and conservatives are compassionate people and have been sold the wrong idea that only through forced cooperation made possible by government can things get better.

Those who’ve sold this idea of Collectivism to the majority of people are the very people who benefit from the current political system. The media benefits through increased advertising ads, politicians benefit from donations and increased power, professors benefit through consultation and appearance fees as well as government largesse for the university system. All the pundits, media personalities and politicians who are currently involved in drumming up the political hysteria on the MAGA side and the Resistance side are benefiting in some way.

Those who ultimately pay the price for all this political fighting are the normal individuals who only want a better life for themselves and those they love.

Through VCSCPs individuals in this country and those around the world can pool massive amounts of capital for whatever purposes they want it to go for with no need for the political process. Each one will be a separate entity that could be for profit or strictly for charitable purposes.

VCSCPs would be extremely easy to set up and to administer due to the use of new technologies. By utilizing cryptocurrencies these pools would allow small weekly contributions, be able to hold massive amounts of wealth without the need for banks and utilize blockchain technology and smart contracts to enable all the contributors to vote on fund distribution.

These funds could be held for years or be put to use immediately. Let’s say a group wants to accumulate an endowment to help the homeless. A million people decide to give one dollar a week for five years and then only use the investment gains would be used to help feed and clothe the homeless. The principal amount would never be spent.

In five years the endowment would be worth $260,000,000. If it could earn 5% per year then $13,000,000 could be used in perpetuity to help feed, clothe and house homeless people. Now imagine hundreds or thousands of these type of VCSCPs operating around the globe without the bloated and corrupt overhead of government bureaucracy. Think of it as a streamlined automated charity.

Now let’s say a hundred thousand people in a city want to have more locally grown organic foods. They contribute $5 per week for 52 weeks. At the end of the year they’ll have a pool of capital of $26,000,000. How many organic urban farms can be funded by this pool of capital?

Let’s say on average a half acre organic urban farm costs about $40,000 to get up and running. That means up to 650 mini organic farms could be created. They might not want to do that so they only fund 100 the first year to see how it goes and all the while they continue contributing because they believe that more organic local food should be produced.

Next year they’ll have the expertise of the the ten farms plus a pool of capital of $48,000,000 plus a percentage of the profits from the farms. Now they can expand into larger farms, create farmers markets, create organic products from the excess produce or other opportunities that they decide. Hundreds or thousands of jobs would be created – people who contributed could be employed by the VCSCP as well. That’s a win-win.

Capital isn’t the problem now. The real problem will be how to decide on what type of business you want to be a part of.

This works on a smaller scale as well.

Let’s say you have a network of 500 people who want to have a park in their area. Instead of relying on the force of government to create it, this small group of people can accumulate enough cash to make it happen. In two years they’ll have $260,000 in capital contributed. That’s enough to buy a few acres and to install a walking trail.

The following years they’ll continue to contribute and make improvements and to fund upkeep. How awesome would it be to have your name on a brick on that walking trail? Instead of having the name of a politicians or bureaucrats associated with the park it will have the names of the actual people who payed for it.

Now when the park users see one of the park founders they thank them directly. This helps to create community.

The uses for these pools of capital, whether small or enormous are endless.

Each VCSCP would have its own rules as to what the funds will be used for and how much of a consensus would be needed for the distribution of the funds. By using the blockchain the people contributing will have a direct vote on how the funds are spent. Smart contracts will lock funds away until a consensus is reached.

The administration and the contributions could all be handled through a smartphone. Each VCSCPs would have their own app that would allow individual contributors to vote, set up their weekly contributions, suggest projects to fund and keep track in real time progress of any projects being funded.

Unlike with taxation the money contributed to VCSCP’s are voluntary and the spending is directly voted on. I believe when people join these VCSCPs which support their favorite causes or create the businesses they want to have in their communities they will no longer be interested in the struggle for control of the State.

VCSCPs could implement the changes in the world that people want to see in a peaceful and voluntary way. Feelings of community and friendship will be increased when individuals join together without force to help their fellow humans.

Politics will always breed hatred and mistrust in society. That’s because with a two party system the majority has unlimited power over the minority. Voluntary cooperation increases peace, prosperity and harmony because individuals are working together towards shared goals.

Peace and prosperity are what we all want. Politics and government create violence between individuals and countries. With the borderless nature of cryptocurrencies VCSCPs could be joined by people from anywhere in the world.

An example would be if a group of people around the world who were all against war wanted to help those who’ve been hurt by it. They could pool their capital through a VCSCP and buy a hospital type ship and park it off the coast of a war torn country. They could buy the supplies and pay for the staff to heal those who are being killed and maimed. And at the same time they could paint on the side of the ship in huge letters “End War”.

This is an exciting time to be alive. Anyone who wants to create positive change in the world can do so. Lacking the money is no longer an excuse. Lacking political power is no longer an excuse. Individuals have the power to cooperate and help shape the uncertain future.

I envision a world where millions of these VCSCPs are funding new businesses and creating new charities that are borderless that will help bring about the biggest leap in prosperity and peace the world has ever seen.

I don’t have all the answers. No one does. But individuals cooperating together have the best chance at improving the state of the world. That’s what’s great about voluntary cooperation – you have millions and millions of people experimenting, analyzing and adapting to an ever changing world. This is what Adam Smith called “Spontaneous Order”.

If you are interested reading more about the benefits of voluntary cooperation I “highly recommend Auberon Herbert’s The Voluntaryist Creed” and “A Plea for Voluntaryism”.

Brad Miller

Advocate of Liberty