Use and Abuse of the UK Welfare State

I am in favour of the Welfare State, in principle, but that just begs the question. Even the Iain Dunce Duncan Smiths and Esther McVeys of this world go that far, at least in public utterances. The devil really is in the detail here.

The famous economist, Milton Friedman, once said that you can have open borders, and you can have a welfare state, but you cannot have both. That it is even necessary to posit that shows how far the more socialist-minded people in the UK (and elsewhere in Northern Europe) have travelled from reality. Many “refugees welcome” dimwits actually believe that an almost endless number of “refugees” or others can enter the UK without affecting State benefits and services (as well as road and rail congestion etc). This seems to be based on the idea that the immigrants will work, pay taxes, in short become normal citizens or quasi-citizens. Angela Merkel thought the same, only to find that most “refugees” were

  • incapable of any but the most basic work (such as fruit-picking) because of their linguistic and/or educational levels;
  • unwilling, in many cases, to work, in a situation where the State provides free accomodation, free utilities, free transport for some, free food for some, as well as pocket money on quite a generous level.

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The UK does not provide social security (or, in our new Americanized speech, “welfare”) benefits on the generous scale offered by Germany or Scandinavia etc, but the fundamentals are similar.

A personal story: when I was much much younger, in my early twenties, I became acquainted, via a lady I then knew, with a friend of hers (more accurately a woman who had attached herself to her like a limpet). Now this other woman was not British in any sense except that she had married a New Zealander who had (presumably because taken there from the UK as a child) a British passport. The woman was in fact a Jewess from Moscow, who had somehow got to know the New Zealander while he was on a holiday trip to the Soviet Union. We need not examine motives and reasons, but that couple married and went to live in New Zealand. They had two children. After about four or five years, the woman left her husband, left New Zealand and flew to the UK.

When I met the woman in question, I believe that she had been in the UK for a couple of years. She washed-up in Downham, an obscure suburb in South-East London, where the local council provided her with a council flat. I have no exact idea of what other benefits she was granted, but they would have included child benefit and some form of income support. She never had to work, though at first she did a couple of evenings a week teaching Russian at some place or other which I forget (possibly Morley College in Westminster Bridge Road, or the City Literary Institute in Drury Lane, both of which adult education centres I myself frequented at the time).

Scroll on a few years. This “Russian” Jewish woman, with no real connection to the UK at all had been given a quite decent house with gardens in Grove Park, a better part of the same borough. She had been impelled to move, apparently, by a visit from her father, a nuclear scientist (which sounds impressive, but the Soviet Union had legions of them) who had told her that she would have a better flat were she to return to Moscow! Of course, there she would have had to work…anyway, I visited the new house once (out of duty rather than choice)  and so saw it, despite being not much liked by the woman. The woman had been diagnosed with a kidney complaint (though I never saw her looking unwell) and so no doubt managed to claim some form of incapacity or disability benefit; and had also acquired a car (almost certainly also funded by the State). In addition to all of that, the woman and her children also had all the usual UK benefits of free education and health. I do not think that she bothered to do much work after that, maybe a little part-time teaching or occasional low-level interpreting.

Now it might be said, perhaps especially by people more naturally drawn to socialism than capitalism, that she was entitled to these things because lawfully resident in the UK. Perhaps, but look at it from the wider point of view: she had never contributed anything to the UK, just taken. The small part-time jobs here and there can be discounted as having been de minimis. She leeched off the UK’s people since about 1979 and, the last I heard (a couple of years ago), that situation remained unchanged, probably to this day. In fact, she would now be “entitled” to a State pension and Pension Credit. Call it 40 years of being a millstone round the neck of the British Welfare State.

Now multiply the above by millions, the millions of often completely useless people from the backward hordes imported into the UK for decades. For example, it is reported that only 20% of the huge numbers of Somalis in the UK (how? why?) are employed at all.

I repeat, I do favour a decent Welfare State, but it can only exist if

a. the economy can support it;

b. it is not swamped.

The above two conditions really come down to the same thing now, or very nearly so.

For me, the answer to the work and income challenges of robotics, computerization, Internet shopping, AI etc is the Basic Income concept, but Basic Income, like the existing Welfare State, will decline and may fail unless it is restricted to those who are at the very least, genuine citizens.

 

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When Britain Becomes A Police State

Repression of Opinion in the UK

Had I written an article with such a title in 1978 or 1988, or even 1998, the reader might have been justified in laughing. However, since (to specify a year) 1989, when President Bush snr proclaimed openly the American/ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government) New World Order, and especially since Tony Blair’s ascendancy in 1997, the British state and society has slid ever faster down the slope towards what amounts to a muffled totalitarianism.

The Blair government introduced a number of repressive statutes, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (extending snooping powers)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000

the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (controlling political parties in various ways)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Parties,_Elections_and_Referendums_Act_2000

and the Communications Act 2003, which has provisions (s.127 etc) under which tweets, emails, Facebook posts etc can be criminalized as, inter alia, “grossly offensive”. It is this Act which is currently being used against the satirical singer-songwriter Alison Chabloz.

The Blair government was not persuaded that it should introduce a “holocaust” “denial” law in the UK (or could easily pass one through Commons and Lords), but the Jewish Zionist organizations and lobbyists are currently using existing laws such as s.127 of the Communications Act 2003 to introduce one by the back door, in co-ordination with the misnamed “international definition” of “anti-Semitism”.

I have previously written about my experience of being interviewed by the police for tweeting socio-political tweets

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/when-i-was-a-victim-of-a-malicious-zionist-complaint/

and have also written about how the Jewish Zionist lobby (and the Theresa May/Amber Rudd government of clowns in the pocket of that lobby) is abusing the ever-tighter “regulation” of professions (another Blair/Brown era feature) to suppress freedom of expression, as when I was disbarred in 2016:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/the-slide-of-the-english-bar-and-uk-society-continues-and-accelerates/

Now the suppression or repression of opinion becomes both harsher and stealthier. The large platforms for opinion have been persuaded to remove dissenting voices. Youtube, in the past week, has removed numerous popular and broadly “nationalist” channels, including that of the London Forum, which had 7,000 subscribers and had had 500,000+ views. Singer-songwriter Alison Chabloz has had her youtube channel removed from many countries, including the UK. Others have suffered similarly. Facebook and even Twitter are also caving in.

What to Do

There are no “digital rights” to speak of that go beyond simple contract law. If a quasi-monopoly such as ebay, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon wants to expel a user or prevent his opinions being seen, that can be done at will (and is being done, now). Several years ago, at the behest of the Jewish lobby, I was prevented from posting further book reviews on Amazon (UK and US sites, by the way…so much for American “freedom”!): on the UK site, a third of my reviews were removed, quite arbitrarily (many were non-political) and I was barred from posting, despite having been a “top 50” reviewer. I have one Jew (it was only one, at first) to thank for that, he having involved the Jewish Chronicle, which then wrote against me, nagging at Amazon UK; on the Amazon USA site, all my reviews were removed without warning (one can guess why: a Jew-Zionist working for Amazon USA…).

The same is true of Facebook and Twitter: if they decide to remove someone, however popular, that person has no right of appeal (certainly no legal right, in any court).

So what to do as this ZOG repression intensifies… I have written previously on this blog about how I believe that the main chance for social nationalism is to concentrate its people and forces in one area of the UK (I have suggested the South West of England). I firmly believe that. It is a way to cluster, to defend and to infiltrate the social and political key points. To some extent, it removes the need for social media. In any case, social media can only assist a political movement, not create one, nor sustain it to victory. We need boots on the ground.

What’s in a Name?

Religious and occult literature is replete with learned disquisitions about the sacred power of the Name. We see that, in Genesis, the Bible itself starts with the words “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In the New Testament, this theme is continued. Jesus Christ renamed some people who had “come over to him”, such as Peter. Others, later, renamed themselves, to mark their “ideological” or spiritual transformation, as when Saul became Paul after his experience on the road to Damascus.

In Rome, Octavius becomes the Emperor Augustus or Caesar Augustus eventually (the style Augustus Princeps was bestowed upon him by the Senate of Rome in 27 B.C., when he was 35).

In early mediaeval Spain, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar is given the name El Cid (from the Arabic for “lord”, sidi) to crown his mission. Likewise, in the Christian monastic tradition, the postulant chooses or is given a new name, often one referencing a deceased saint. The same is true of religious leaders such as bishops, metropolitans, popes etc. Gandhi is called Mahatma Gandhi, same surname but elevated by the new forename.

In literature, we see that the hero who fights perceived evil, particularly if doing so covertly, takes a new name, a nom de guerre: the Scarlet Pimpernel was an early example, followed by many another, right up to the “superheroes” of the 20th and 21st centuries: Superman, Batman, Spiderman etc.

In the field of espionage too, we see that sometimes a secret agent who becomes a known character is given or takes a name: the White Rabbit, the Welshman etc. Mata Hari…

Politically, the same applies: the anarchist Bruno Traven (itself a pseudonym) was known in early 1920s Germany as der Ziegelbrenner (“the Brickburner”). Better known were the noms de guerre of the Bolshevik leadership: Lenin (V.I Ulyanov), from the river Lena; Stalin (I.V. –or JV– Djugashvili), from “steel”, Trotsky (L.D. Bronstein), a Russification or Polonization of the original Jewish (Yiddish/German-style) name. In fact, most Bolshevik leaders took on longlasting pseudonyms, in a macabre aping of those old religious orders: Scriabin became Molotov (from molot, “hammer”), though he was a rare Russian. Most of the Bolsheviks who changed name did so partly to disguise their otherwise all-too-obvious Jewish identity. Having said that, the new names of the leaders also often spelled out the new strong self-image: “Steel”, “Hammer” etc.

Though German National Socialists were not generally given to changing name and in fact disapproved in principle, some did so temporarily, while on the run or on special missions. Hitler himself used the nom de guerre “Wolf”, Herr Wolf”, “Herr Doktor Wolf” while evading State agents in Munich after the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler himself did often say that it was fortuitous that his name was Hitler and not, as it perhaps might have been, Schicklgruber

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler#Ancestry].

“Heil Sch…!” you get my meaning. Names are important. Many a showbusiness personality has achieved fame and fortune only after changing name. Beyond even that, the use of “transformational vocabulary” can change, with the name, the sense, the sense of mission or purpose. Thus, the U.S. combined operation “Desert Shield” of 1990 became “Desert Storm” of 1991, as defence turned to attack.

The use of a particular name for a political party or group can energize it and make it stand out: En Marche!, le Front National, the Angry Brigade, Leave and so on.

An allied aspect is that of the Invocation, a word or form of words designed to link the material with the spiritual, to send up prayer or supplication, and to bring down power to the Earth. “Heil!” is an obvious example. “Heil Hitler!” which eventually (in just a few years) replaced the likes of “Good day” and “goodbye” in, at least official, Germany. Hitler’s speeches are often very well-written, erudite, informed, but the power of Hitler’s oratory was not founded on its content, but on something above and beyond content. Yet that still required words as a basis.

When we consider how to pull the UK and Europe out of the mess into which it is sliding, we must consider the sacred power of the Word and use it.

 

The Train is Hitting the Buffers

The UK train is hitting the buffers. The train crash has been slow, long in coming, but it is now starting to happen.

Decades of decadence, mass immigration, political corruption, Zionist takeover of the legal system, cultural sickness in all mass media (fostered by Zionist infiltration at all levels) etc now results in manifestations that are becoming apparent even to the voting public.

The public has little idea, even now, of the causes, but it sees the effects: National Health Service creaking, beginning to fall to pieces; the housing market effectively closed to most of those who wish to buy a house or even an apartment; sky-high rents paid to speculative parasites by employees and others; congested roads and trains; cities full of those of alien race and culture; schools which brainwash children with “multiculti” propaganda and “holocaust” lies.

Those few (including me) who saw this coming as long ago as in the 1970s (in my case) or even 1960s, were and still are marginalized by a mass media system which is thoroughly corrupted. The same is true of the political system and, increasingly, of the professions, where to speak up at all invites expulsion: see

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/?s=the+slidehttps://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/?s=the+slide

The Zionists are behind much of this and are now trying to shut down free speech and comment across social media– as happened long ago in the mass media.

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/13when-i-was-a-victim-of-a-malicious-zionist-complaint/

The question that now has to be asked is what, in the next 4-5 years, will be the political result of the slow but accelerating collapse of British society in all areas?

It is clear that specifically English (leaving aside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) voters are now, in a semi-rigged “First Past The Post” electoral system, voting against parties rather than for them. There is little enthusiasm for any of the System parties, let alone the more or less washed-up UKIP, Liberal Democrats and Greens, but there is determination to block parties by voting tactically for the party most likely to achieve that in any given seat.

Beyond the wish to block unwanted parties and candidates, there is a general and growing dissatisfaction. Above all, the “Middle Classes” are joining the “workers” and the marginalized at the bottom.

b-cisxdiqaa7qj_-jpg-large

That can only help Labour, despite the misgivings many feel about its MPs and leaders (the obvious example being Diane Abbott). The success of the Corbyn faction and its vanguard, Momentum, may unsettle some voters, but may give rise in others to the feeling that at least Labour is fairly solid ideologically, not a chaotic mess. That is bound to play to Labour’s advantage electorally. Contrast with the Conservatives. This cartoon portrayed the way in which Theresa May achieved office by default:

CnLGOc5XYAALLJdThe next general election will probably favour Labour, though probably not enough for it to win a majority in the House of Commons. After that, one can foresee continuing mass immigration, continuing slide in public services, continuing disparity in wealth. That will be the moment when a social-national party can strike. First of all, one must exist, however.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful at the end of 2017 are several:

  1. The “Conservative” government is weak and getting weaker. Cabinet ministers resigning; no Parliamentary (Commons) majority without DUP help; divisions in the MP ranks based on both personal antipathies and ideological differences, particularly over Brexit. This will make it very hard for Theresa May and Amber Rudd to destroy free speech even further by passing more repressive laws criminalizing even reading online political tracts, or making criticism of Jewish Zionists, their behaviour etc.
  2. The Labour Party, though still not firm enough against the Zionists, is attracting more and more anti-Zionists to its ranks. Corbyn seems to be the only game in town as far as leadership of the party is concerned. He is weak in that, while he opposes Israel and obvious Zionism, he still feels the need to pay lip-service to “holocaust” propaganda etc, which plays into the hands of the Jewish lobby of the UK. Still, better Corbyn than some evil enemy such as Yvette Cooper.
  3. There is every chance that the next general election will be another hung Parliament. Weak System-party governments are good for social nationalism, because they accomplish little and feed a public hunger for different and firmer government.
  4. There is a good chance that the EU will fall apart by 2022, putting the whole future of Europe into the hazard.
  5. On social media, we have seen many pseudonymous Jewish-Zionist trolls either expelled, eg from Twitter, or forced to stop trolling much because they have been identified. More people (social-nationalists) now understand that the best way to deal with these pests in the short term is to block them, because they then have little chance to make false accusations to Twitter or to the police.
  6. Offline, organizations such as “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism” have, for the most part, failed in their attempts to criminalize social-nationalists. The Alison Chabloz case is continuing (which restricts what I can say about it) but the Zionists thought that she would be in their bag by January 2017 and that never happened. The CPS took over the private prosecution brought by the “CAA” and dropped the original charges, though substituting others. Also, the attempts to have her charged with other matters failed. Several Zionists have now protected their Twitter accounts or are no longer tweeting. The “CAA” managed to have the CPS charge Jez Turner (Jeremy Bedford-Turner) with incitement to racial hatred, after taking judicial review application of the original decision not to charge (that particular offence cannot be brought privately). We await the trial in 2018, but I am optimistic. A number of other persons (including me) were subject to police investigation after the “CAA”, led in this respect by Essex-based Stephen Silverman (who was exposed in open court, in a pre-trial hearing, part of the Alison Chaboz case, as a sadistic and pseudonymous Internet troll) made malicious accusations against them [my experience: https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/when-i-was-a-victim-of-a-malicious-zionist-complaint/https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/when-i-was-a-victim-of-a-malicious-zionist-complaint/]. None of those CAA “cases” led to any criminal charge.
  7. The “Campaign Against Anti-Semitism”, having mostly failed in its attempts to pervert the course of justice in respect of me and other private citizens, has started to run wild, trying to get Al Jazeera TV, David Icke and Palestinian demonstrators charged with various offences, often on various dodgy self-produced “evidence”. David Icke has informed his millions of fans about the “CAA” vendetta against him, Al Jazeera has swatted away the CAA nonsense and that seems to leave the three cases noted above (the Palestinian having been prosecuted privately, another CAA attempt to bypass the usual police/CPS process). This “loose cannon” activity by the “CAA” has led to criticism of it by other Jews and/or Jewish organizations, which will only intensify if the three trials in question end in acquittal.
  8. I have noted that several of the Jewish Zionist trolls and plotters who have targeted me in recent years are now suffering from a variety of physical and mental diseases or impairments, which seem to be worsening. Karma, in a sense.
  9. There is a chance that a real social-national movement and party will emerge in 2018. A real reason to be cheerful!

Taking the Whole Package

This evening, I watched a show called something like “The Real Marigold Hotel”, in which four elderly once-“celebrities” went to a country (in this case, Cuba) in order to see what facilities might be available for retired people. As such, as a “documentary”, it was very superficial and lacking depth, though entertaining. What interested me was the society in general.

The Cuba –actually just Havana– shown (and I have never been there, though I am quite well acquainted with its history of the past century and, in the manner of Sarah Palin, have glimpsed it from the air and from the sea) was in fact largely the stereotype: old American cars in pastel pink and blue, decrepit but charming colonial mansions, palm trees etc. The old people went to cultural classes and talked to Cubans in parks. It struck me anew that any society is a package: Cuba has some culture (both European and its own mixture incorporating the Caribbean and African, as well as that of the USA. The Havana shown was one where the parks were (on the face of it) safe to visit, the people well-educated (one or two Cubans carefully making the point that their good education had been free, as were the classes available to the elderly). Most people know that the Cuban healthcare system is also very good, both in relative and absolute terms. On the other hand, and as the TV programme noted, the Internet is tightly controlled, requires a card (no doubt traceable..) and is mostly only available in “wi-fi” areas such as certain parks; not so many have home Internet connection. It is perhaps pointless to reiterate what most of us know in terms of the Cuban police state (which –in all the documentary films I have ever seen– is so pervasive that it is invisible: you never see the hand of the State in plain sight, though it is there all right).

So there you have the Cuban package: low crime rate (supposedly), no obvious disorder, at least some rather polite, cultured citizens, good education and healthcare etc (one Cuban did say that it was better before the supportive Soviet Union collapsed), as well as a certain charm. As against that, a socialist state which controls the news and Internet tightly, imprisons dissidents for years (not to mention the large number who, in the late 1950s and 1960s, were just shot); a socialized economy which (leaving aside the effect of American embargo) –was and largely is– hopelessly inefficient at providing consumer goods; travel restrictions too.

Let us take a different case. The German Reich in the 1930s was intolerant of dissidents too, though it was far more tolerant than was the Soviet Union under Stalin or, indeed, Cuba under Fidel. The National Socialist state imprisoned some dissidents or placed them in concentration camps such as Dachau (though few now know that many served short sentences, such as 3 months, there and were not there indefinitely). Others were encouraged or more or less forced out of the country. There was a generally militarized ethos. How could a state both German and quasi-socialist be anything else?

In the Reich, there was state interference in culture (though, again, far less than, say, in the Soviet Union). Consumer production was given a lower priority than rearmanent (“Guns Before Butter”), though large projects for the benefit of the people were also pushed into the foreground: the Autobahnen; the VW “people’s car”; the 1936 Olympics; a huge programme of educational and cultural events; the Kraft durch Freude [“Strength through Joy”] programme of Canary Islands cruises and Baltic beach holidays for the people (at a time when, in the UK, most people who had a holiday at all were corralled into poky Blackpool guest houses…); better nutrition for young people, too.

The National Socialist Reich was hugely beneficial for most Germans, certainly compared to what existed in the Weimar period. The Reich solved the inflation problem, the unemployment problem, the decadence problem and, yes, what it termed “the Jewish question”.

In the UK at the same time, there was greater ostensible “freedom”: elections every 5 years, the freedom to eat daily at the Ritz or at the Savoy Grill (if one had the funds..), no obvious book censorship (though, behind the scenes, there was much, not least via the Jewish element, even then). There was official theatre and cinema censorship (via the Lord Chamberlain’s office) and there was also, of course, grinding poverty (especially outside the South East), a very repressive justice and prison system, not to mention the pervasive class system and its inequities.

No state, no political system is “perfect”. All have flaws, and all (most, at least) have benefits (though what might be the benefits of living in, say, North Korea or the Congo might be disputed). The aim can only be to do the best with what is available at the material time. We take everything as a package, as a whole.

Thoughts about Bitcoin

First Remarks

I am not an economist; neither am I, at least in terms of occupation and/or formal training, an historian. I say that from the outset simply because it may be objected that, especially in terms of economics, I have no intellectual locus standi, despite the fact that most predictions made by economists turn out to be inaccurate. Also, “two economists, three opinions”…

Bitcoin

So, Bitcoin. Bitcoin was invented in 2008, possibly in Japan, by someone (or a group) whose provenance and even real name or names remain unknown:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin

What is Money, in any case?

Money is an almost metaphysical thing. Different societies have used seashells, precious metals etc as money, the key characteristic being the relative rarity of the commodity used. In China (in the 7th Century under the Tang dynasty), paper currency was invented and more widely introduced in the 11th Century (Song Dynasty), where it was encountered by Marco Polo and others, who introduced the idea to Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banknote

Paper currency was, at first and for a long time, backed or notionally backed by precious metals, notably gold. Paper money only became generally acceptable in Europe a thousand years after its invention in China. The natural scepticism of the people was overcome both by its convenience and by its credibility, that credibility not only bolstered by its supposed convertability into gold or silver but by the draconian penalties visited upon those who counterfeited the notes.

These factors underpin all money, credibility or popular belief in its value being the core.

Speculative Bubbles

One could go wider and say that credibility and belief underpin all valuation of assets, whether money assets, real property or other property in which the population is impelled to invest. Time and again there have been speculative bubbles: in currencies, in shares, in housing, in undeveloped land, in metals and even in such things as tulip bulbs (17thC Holland).

A good history of these bubbles and other mass events of the sort was penned in 1841 after the South Sea Bubble and was reprinted after the Wall Street Crash of 1929: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds

Since that book came out, since its 1930s reprinting, other bubbles have come and gone. Among the more noteworthy were the “Silver Bears” bubble of the 1970s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Thursday

and various real property bubbles across the world.

Bitcoin Goes Viral

At first, back in 2008, Bitcoin was valueless, worth nothing at all. It was just electrical impulses on a machine, effectively. It was still of small value three years later:

“The price of bitcoins has gone through various cycles of appreciation and depreciation referred to by some as bubbles and busts.[129][130] In 2011, the value of one bitcoin rapidly rose from about US$0.30 to US$32 before returning to US$2.[131] In the latter half of 2012 and during the 2012–13 Cypriot financial crisis, the bitcoin price began to rise,[132]reaching a high of US$266 on 10 April 2013, before crashing to around US$50.[133] On 29 November 2013, the cost of one bitcoin rose to a peak of US$1,242.[134] In 2014, the price fell sharply, and as of April remained depressed at little more than half 2013 prices. As of August 2014 it was under US$600.” [Wikipedia]

Wikipedia continues:

“Ponzi scheme and pyramid scheme concerns

Various journalists,[79][144] economists,[145][146] and the central bank of Estonia[147] have voiced concerns that bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. In 2013, Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, stated that “a real Ponzi scheme takes fraud; bitcoin, by contrast, seems more like a collective delusion.”[148] A 2014 report by the World Bank concluded that bitcoin was not a ‘deliberate’ Ponzi scheme, but that it did thus far meet the “standard definition of a speculative bubble”.[149]:7 The Swiss Federal Council[150]:21 examined the concerns that bitcoin might be a pyramid scheme; it concluded that “Since in the case of bitcoin the typical promises of profits are lacking, it cannot be assumed that bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.” In July 2017, billionaire Howard Marks referred to bitcoin as a pyramid scheme.[151]

On 12 September 2017, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, called bitcoin a “fraud” and said he would fire anyone in his firm caught trading it. Zero Hedge claimed that the same day Dimon made his statement, JP Morgan also purchased a large amount of bitcoins for its clients.[152]

Speculative bubble dispute

Bitcoin has been labelled a speculative bubble by many including former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan[153] and economist John Quiggin.[154] Nobel Memorial Prize laureate Robert Shiller said that bitcoin “exhibited many of the characteristics of a speculative bubble”.[155] Journalist Matthew Boesler in 2013 rejected the speculative bubble label and saw bitcoin’s quick rise in price as nothing more than normal economic forces at work.[156] Timothy B. Lee, in a 2013 piece for The Washington Post pointed out that the observed cycles of appreciation and depreciation don’t correspond to the definition of speculative bubble.[131] On 14 March 2014, the American business magnate Warren Buffett said, “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically.”[157]

Two lead software developers of bitcoin, Gavin Andresen[158] and Mike Hearn,[159] have warned that bubbles may occur. David Andolfatto, a vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, stated, “Is bitcoin a bubble? Yes, if bubble is defined as a liquidity premium.” According to Andolfatto, the price of bitcoin “consists purely of a bubble,” but he concedes that many assets “have bubble component to their price”.[53]:21 Speculation in bitcoin has been compared to the tulip mania of seventeenth-century Holland. Comparisons have been made by the vice-president of the European Central Bank, Vítor Constâncio, by JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon,[160] by hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Citadel,[161] and by former president of the Dutch Central Bank, Nout Wellink.[162] In 2013, Wellink remarked, “This is worse than the tulip mania […] At least then you got a tulip [at the end], now you get nothing.”[163] On 13 September 2017, Jamie Dimon compared bitcoin to a bubble, saying it was only useful for drug dealers and countries like North Korea.[164] On 22 September 2017, a hedge fund named Blockswater subsequently accused JP Morgan of market manipulation and filed a market abuse complaint with Financial Supervisory Authority (Sweden).[165]

The Guardian, CNBC, Forbes and Evening Standard compared bitcoin to bubbles such as the South Sea Bubble, the Wall Street Crash, the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the Dot-com bubble.” [Wikipedia]

Current Situation

Bitcoin started to reach escape velocity in late 2016, going from hundreds of U.S. dollars to thousands. At time of writing (December 2017), a single Bitcoin is valued at over $14,000 [USD], or £10,500 [Pounds Sterling]. People who “invested” less than £100 several years ago have seen their stock suddenly rise to be “worth” as much as £100,000. Those who have risked more (in some cases a million pounds or more) now find themselves in theory able to buy small or even medium-size nation-states lock, stock and barrel.

What Do We Know About Bitcoin?

  • Bitcoin’s origins are obscure, to the extent that journalists and others have researched, investigated and written about the names of possible founders and organizers without having come to a definite conclusion;
  • Bitcoin is almost useless as a popular currency: its explosion in “value” has made it unusable for any transaction not involving, at the least, tens of thousands of pounds;
  • Bitcoin, though supposedly limited in overall amount or number, has seen security breaches which, at the push of a button (putting it simply), have at least briefly increased the supply of Bitcoin.

Conclusion

Bitcoin is a classic speculative bubble or, alternatively and perhaps even better put, pyramid scheme. The people who got in early and stayed in are sitting on mirage-fortunes; those who have “invested” more recently will probably lose everything they put in. At the moment of writing, Bitcoin is probably nearing its peak. When it starts to fall rapidly, the panic will probably wipe it out entirely.

The surely inevitable collapse of Bitcoin will take down more than just Bitcoin itself. It may affect the stability of the economy more generally. Beyond that, if (as Bitcoin proponents and/or “investors” say–and their anger at any criticism is perhaps born of subconscious desperation), Bitcoin is as “credible” as any “ordinary” currency (and that is Bitcoin’s strongest point), then the upcoming crash of Bitcoin could take with it much public confidence in the value of the world’s major currencies too. Our major currencies are no longer backed by gold or silver and have only the value we put upon them. We exchange stones for bread. Our currencies are themselves castles in the air and “such things as dreams are made on”.

We recall the hyperinflation of early 1920s Germany, and I myself saw, on several visits to 1980s Poland, how the slide of the zloty affected that country politically and socially. The fate of Bitcoin is not just about Bitcoin.

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