Jimmy Song: Fiat Withdrawal Symptoms

This article is featured in Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Withdrawal Issue”. Click here to subscribe now.

A PDF pamphlet of this article is available for download.

You’ve been hopped up on debt for so long, you can’t even remember how it feels to be free from it. Every piece of debt you took on gave you that high, that euphoric rush. Not directly, of course, but from the short-term high of instant gratification that comes from buying something you really, really wanted. Your long-term goals seemed too far away, so you bought that car, that handbag, that new laptop, that house. You financed it all through years of debt service.

Let’s pause and think about those words for a moment: “Debt-service”. You’re literally serving the owners of the debt. You were a slave under debt. Really, you were a slave to your own high time preference choices. In a sound money economy, you would have learned a lesson through the natural outcomes of such frivolous spending, like suffering from having less money for essentials. But under fiat money, you can delay, delay, and delay until declaring bankruptcy. All it costs is your goals, your dreams, and your soul. You became a debt zombie.

But you found bitcoin and started waking from your fiat-induced stupor. Instead of going down the well-trodden debt-slavery path, you got your financial house in order. So now, through years of study, saving, and selling chairs, you’ve reached a point where you’re finally free!

But you don’t know what to do with yourself. The freedom is almost too much to handle; you’ve never had this much responsibility before. Being in debt slavery sucks, but at least you knew what you needed to do. You either had to keep running from the debt collectors or slave away and pay it off slowly, even as you accumulated more debt. The certainty was comforting. Having freedom is hard to handle because you have to think about your life again, and what you actually want. You have to have goals, meaning, and purpose. You’re no longer a debt zombie. You have to think and desire things for yourself, and that’s not something you’re used to doing. Can a recovering zombie have a soul?

Unfortunately, many people waste their newfound freedom and dive right back into debt, just of a different kind. Maybe it’s slavery to an altcoin, where you do its bidding, selling your reputation and integrity. Maybe it’s slavery to some other high time preference activity, like degenerate gambling. Freedom itself is a righteous burden. You have the responsibility to make something of yourself. But too many people would rather just serve some other master.

Many get caught up in fiat status games. They want to get invited to the right parties, so they buy big houses or the proverbial Lambo. But again, that’s a fiat mentality. You’re competing to be the chief debt slave — the kind who can leverage enormous amounts of debt and weaponize it. But do you really want to be Bill Gates? He might have money, but he’s a slave like everyone else in the fiat system.

The journey to financial freedom is a roller coaster of emotions, filled with moments of self-realization, ironic twists, and the occasional chair-selling escapade. It’s breaking free from the chains of debt, learning to embrace the responsibility of freedom, and discovering that maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to be Bill Gates after all.

As you navigate the unfamiliar world of financial freedom, you’ll encounter the withdrawal symptoms of fiat money: the temptation to indulge in high time preference activities, the allure of debt-driven status games, and the realization that freedom is a double-edged sword requiring a new level of self-awareness and responsibility. Through it all, you’ll find that breaking free from the fiat system is a journey worth taking — a journey that leads to a life of purpose, meaning, and self-sovereignty.

It’s not about the Lambos, the parties, or even the chairs (as important as they may be). It’s about understanding that the fiat mentality is a trap, a Venus flytrap of debt that ensnares those who fall for its seductive allure. It’s about recognizing that the fiat system imprisoned us, not just economically, but also mentally. To break free from its values can be harder than breaking free from its debt.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. As we escape the cycle of debt addiction, the temptation is to keep the mentality that had us enslaved. Your very desires, in other words, need reexamination. Fiat values are vices of the soul. Modern society is crumbling under the weight of the fiat incentives these values create. An examination based on first principles of what we really need will ultimately drive us to build. We will use our unique gifts and talents to add our own goods and services.

As you embark on this journey to financial freedom, remember that the withdrawal symptoms of fiat money are just that — symptoms. They’re temporary roadblocks that you can overcome with dedication and reflection, especially around the unquestioned assumptions of fiat idiocy. Embrace the challenge, find your purpose, and always remember the debt slavery you’ve been freed from.

Now, go change the world.

This article is featured in Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Withdrawal Issue”. Click here to subscribe now.

A PDF pamphlet of this article is available for download.

This is a guest post by Jimmy Song. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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