CULTUREJun 4, 2019Rob Loggia
In 2016, both major political parties tried to do what they had easily and without much interference managed to do for decades. It is the only thing the leadership from either party ever wants to do, and that is to maintain the status quo. This includes the nomination of presidential candidates off of a very short list of individuals who can be relied upon not to rock the boat if elected. Unfortunately, for the scions of both parties at least, by 2016 the social and political climate in America had changed too drastically to allow the usual plan to go over successfully.
The changes affected both sides of the aisle, finding the Republican leadership unable to anoint their candidate of choice and the Democrats unable to hold the ranks together enough to elect theirs. Time will tell whether the upheaval in the Republican Party can survive Trump, an unlikely scenario unless some other larger-than-life personality can assume the cult-leader-esque role Trump has developed so successfully.
The leadership and establishment of the Democrats, on the other hand, have a problem. In 2016 that problem was Bernie Sanders, but unlike the Republicans the momentum here is not attached to a single man. It is the momentum of the Progressive wing of the party, and it is defined by a body of thought that will not go away with Sanders. The youth of America have embraced this body of thought enthusiastically, and all signs point to their numbers growing, not receding,
Much like the Republicans that have rallied behind Trump, Progressives are almost completely dissatisfied with the status quo. They are in many ways the mirror image of the Trumpian Republicans, differing in their goals but sharing the same senses of frustration, anger and, in some cases, rage against the machine. The fuel for this rage is the perceived lack of Social Justice in America, and particularly the distribution of resources and wealth among the population.
And it’s not going away. This is a problem not only for Trumpian Republicans, but also for everyone that does not want to see more government, more theft through taxation and more centralized regulation of our human activities. Despite what many appear to believe, the answer to stemming this tide does not lie with ridiculing Sanders or his followers, or with proving that Sanders is a hypocrite somehow. People that believe this are conflating effective activism with self-gratification.
A sober look at the numbers suggests that it will prove difficult, and perhaps even impossible, to defeat this growing political movement. The answer, if there is any, lies with neutralizing the threat by obviating the goals of the movement. And if we look closely, there are Progressive goals that could be achieved, in whole or part, through free market action and voluntary systems.
And why not? Though the justifications given by Progressives are often tenuous at best, based as they are on outcomes rather than solid principles, the motives in many cases can hardly be described as malignant. Is it really a hateful thing to wish for a world where people don’t have to fret constantly over where their next meal is coming from? Or where the sick are left to die in the street, or perhaps saved and consigned to a lifetime of debt? Who is prepared to make the case that these are terrible things to wish for or, at our present level of human development, to believe we should have solved?
The problem is not that Progressives have these goals, but rather the means that they suggest to employ to achieve them. More government, stronger government, and an increase in the centralization of authority. How are you going to pay for it? We’ll point guns at the rich and take what they have. Not very creative, and certainly not ethical. If my neighbor has more berries than me, for whatever reason or cause, it is not considered acceptable for me to hold him at gunpoint and even out our piles. How could it possibly, then, be acceptable that the government does the exact same thing on all of our behalves?
The greater tragedy is that we do indeed no longer live in a world where any of this is necessary. The resources are there, they have been, and we could meaningfully address many of these problems not just in America, but globally, if we set about things differently at the outset. And we can do so without violence or extortion, centralized or otherwise. For we’ve got plenty of tools now.
One of the sharpest tools in the shed is blockchain technology, the single most democratizing and empowering technology invention since the internet, and the printing press before that. The ability to move and store value, information and even state without a centralized authority or stamp of permission changes what we are economically capable of as a species. And the platforms being built on this technology are demonstrating how we can actually start making some things better in the world.
One of the pillars of the Progressive movement, for example, is universal health care. The idea that everyone should have free and unfettered access to basic health care, or Medicare for all. Naturally someone would have to foot the bill – most doctors won’t work for free. For Progressives, the answer rolls off the tongue like water down a seals’ back – taxation. The team at Doc.com, however, is showing how a different solution could work.
The operating goal of Doc.com is to provide free basic medical services to anyone that needs them, worldwide. The original platform was designed to use video conferencing technology to put a person in front of a real doctor, 24/7, for free. The service buffet has since expanded to include psychological services as well as basic veterinary care. All fueled by the movement of a token called MTC, soon to be converted to their own, purpose-built blockchain.
The progress and strategy of the experiment is being communicated transparently through a series of Mission Notes. This progress includes exciting partnerships across the globe, including a partnership with the United Nations. Most importantly, the platform they have built already is helping real people in the real world get the real medical attention they need, that in many cases they would otherwise not have access to.
There are plenty of obstacles, not the least of which are the tremendous hurdles to new medical applications in places like the United States. This is by design, and the ironic truth is that it is usually those on the American left, where the Progressives can be found, that support this shit. But that should only make the blockchain and cryptocurrency communities, not to mention every freedom-loving individual in the world, want to see projects like Doc.com succeed even more.
We have an opportunity to define what the next generation will look like. Will the children of today, the voters of tomorrow, be wowed by do-ers, those that find solutions in adroitly leveraging new technologies and tools? Or will the momentum continue to grow on the side of those who are learning to look to government, and the use of force, for solutions? The answer will likely depend in part on whether the maturation of the cryptocurrency community centers towards Lambo Farms, or towards solving real world problems. And we all need to do our part.