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While I did previously write a piece that dubbed crypto as simply being ideology, what it neglected was that crypto isn’t just a pretty musing but a system that is inherently accelerationist. Accelerationism, taking from thinkers like Engels or Sadie Plant, is the premise when society (due to capitalism or culture) is bound toward some inevitable transformation and ought to accelerate toward that next state.

Before jumping into its play in crypto, it’s important to pick at accelerationism and how it stems from dialectics. As a synopsis, dialectics is the process of watching some thing’s contradictions lead to their resolutions and the thing’s overall progress. One of the simplest examples would be the development of government models over history. Before civilization was really established, we lived in a world of anarchy, the fullest freedom where there are no constructs or rulings. It works out dandy until, of course, someone with a club comes up to your door and demands your crops; now your circumstances aren’t very free. To resolve this contradiction, we move on to a system of monarchy where, unlike before, there is a king who provides protection and stands between you and the thug demanding your crops. Now all’s great once again until the king, unchecked, demands you humuliate yourself or provide more crops than you agreed to. The contradiction here being that the citizens don’t have a legitimate presence or weight in this society despite being inseparable. To tackle this, we move toward a republic or democracy where there still exists this central player (the government) but, now, the people can keep them in check.

As a more contemporary example, we can look at society’s view on sex. Before the modern tolerant outlook we have today, there wasn’t really sexual freedom. The premise of life was to get married young and have as many kids as your wage could afford where the only way to feel agency is by marrying as young as you can or putting in more work so that your children may live a better life than you. The contradiction in this “Victorian way” of viewing sex is that, no matter how much you try to convince yourself you are doing it out of your own independence, you’re not authoring your own story. To resolve this, we enter a “sex positive” era where sex gets stripped of its ‘higher significance’; it’s now a part of life that we indulge in, a part of life that’s a means to a further end rather than some ends in of itself. However, as we are starting to see today, this, too, has internal fallacies. When sex is purely consumed, it leads to infinite choices in dating apps or nostalgic masturbation. The shift toward sex negativity is not coming about as a luxury belief but, rather, as a dialectic outcome. The phase we’re entering seeks to wrangle this contradiction with maintaining sex as not being the solve-all to one’s story but changing so it isn’t completely ephemeral.

The way crypto plays into a dialectic process is by looking at the progression of technology over time. We started with hardware where it was cumbersome to develop some product and, once it gets shipped to the end user, there was no way to follow up on it aside from releasing a new version of said product. As an answer to this low bandwidth, we have software and SaaS where we can actually create something and updating/improving is just a matter of pushing up new code to a server. The half-step of progress in this phase is the shift from “waterfall development” to agile development using feature flags and incremental rollouts. What’s great about the state of software now is that one can fiddle with more variables in the user’s experience (with lower latency between the app’s development and its present release, you can tweak aspects in real time). However, there is still the inhibiting factor of the real world. Despite the perceived liberation and digital ecosystem of “tech Twitter” or “travel Instagram”, these ‘online’ interfaces still require an essence of the ‘offline’. Stacking on top of that, we are stuck with governments and policies and general beauracracy. But what if these components weren’t necessary and the only thing standing between your app’s creation and distribution was simply your intent to execute? This is what the case for crypto looks like and why it only makes sense that crypto is the next evolution in the overall progression of the feasibility of technology.

Digressing a bit, even if you don’t want to concede to Hegel and dialectics but approach things in a more Nietzche-ian manner with forces and will, crypto still suits well. It’s inherently a system with no friction to enacting things and, as such, provides a better, perhaps even “higher resolution”, representation of a world of will. With instruments in DeFi, one can go further and participate in critique (referring to critique as in Kant’s critique of reason or Marx’s critique of capital) by explicitly enacting your conviction.

Now that we can see crypto is something of an inevitability, let’s pivot to a more societal lens to consider what the subsequent implications of a world on crypto would be. Considering Girard and mimetic desire, there is a very interesting matter of where individuals will stand. In the overall simulation, each individual (or each of their wallets should they juggle multiple presences), is inherently unique; it’s a distinct string identifier. Even if you become “yet another” member of a network, you may be different from the others because of the ‘roles’ you have or from simply recognizing your total stack of networks you’re already a part of. What’s significant about this is that people are then no longer succeptible to falling into buckets or identities that result in conflict as a result of this bickering out of similarities.

To stand against crypto is to stand against the movement of progress, the gravity that directs us to what we recognize as being the future. To recognize this is to realize that we will embrace a world of crypto with the same awe as a boomer embracing an iPad or electric scooter. Don’t expect it to unfold only with your permission, it’s the coming change we should all prepare for.