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

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