here are two powerful opposing forces battling today: the government and corporations, who have increasingly enlarged themselves and are seeking to consolidate even more centralized power and control; and opposite, a force we’ve only just begun to see the power of: Decentralization.

The Internet is a decentralized system, or at least, it’s supposed to be. We may have had a few years where it was relatively free-range while we dealt with pop-up ads, but today, it’s widely acknowledged that big tech has taken over, and the Internet is now firmly in the grasp of these semi-monopolistic companies. The problem now is that a difference in ideology, even if fairly tame, can result in censorship, or even loss of a platform.

The success of systems like the Internet, and more recently cryptocurrency, shows us the flexibility, resiliance, and promise of what decentralized systems can do for society if implemented. This is of utmost importance — because this movement toward increased centralization isn’t just affecting the Internet, but rather threatens to affect nearly every facet of our lives.

Plans are already in motion by international organizations with the cooperation of government leaders and corporate CEO’s to re-shape the social contract itself by changing and re-creating institutions and systems we use and rely on in modern life. Their desired changes are completely based upon increased top-down control by partnerships between governments and corporations working hand-in-hand.

What we are witnessing is nothing short of the merging of public and private — of corporations into government — under one ideology and one narrative. They call this Stakeholder Capitalism, but it’s really Corporatism, and quickly headed in the direction of Technocracy.

Please consider — there is no guarantee of the level of access we will have to any potentially powerful technologies in the near future. While we still have such technology at our disposal, and we cling to our remaining freedoms, we need to leverage these technologies to harness decentralization for the future of the people.

We’re at a critical crossroads, as we’re heading toward having a parallel society consisting of those on the left and right who are tired of the official narrative, tired of the financial system, and of big tech censorship. Although I expect some blowback on big tech due to their recent actions, I do not expect the pressure to let up. It’s not just the US either — many world leaders have gotten on the same page with the plans to “build back better”.

Quite simply, if we want to retain our rights, we must build and utilize parallel systems.

The government has adequately and thoroughly shown us that it does not care about the people, nor is it seriously attempting to stop businesses from failing or lives from falling apart. We now realize we are on our own, and we must operate under this assumption, taking care of ourselves and each other. To effectively do this, we need new, independent systems, and for sake of both resilience and reasonable privacy, these systems must be decentralized, with no single point of failure or control.

Much of the world is in some form of protest as we collectively realize the current systems are simply not working, and more importantly, no one is coming to rescue us.

It’s time to re-think our institutions, and I mean us — not governments. We need to ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a revolution of the people, for our freedoms. If we do not approach it as such, this will be the decade that human beings lose a tremendous amount of their freedom, privacy, and autonomy.

The Power of Decentralization

The architecture of decentralized systems is such that there is no central power or control. There are multiple pathways from one “node” to another and therefore these systems are much more resilient to attacks, and perhaps more importantly, censorship. We’re talking about our first amendment rights here, this is important.

Decentralized systems often mimic those found in nature. They offer astounding capabilities for communication, transactions, collaboration and more. They are complex, elastic and adaptable. They are not necessarily perfect — but they offer us a great ability to build alternatives, and even replace many systems today that are either inefficient or crumbling under their own weight.

Blockchain in particular is a trustless system. Because human beings are imperfect creatures, we are never going to feel that we can trust everyone, including those serving in governments. Because full trust is not possible, trustless systems are the way of the future. Blockchain is also secure and transparent, two things we greatly need in our world today. This is a model for the future we must embrace, and we simply will not get that from governments, international organizations, NGOs and big corporations.

Decentralized systems show an immense promise in replacing top-down, command and control-type hierarchies of power, authority and legislation. I believe these types of systems are absolutely key to the future of human rights.

We must build and embrace such systems quickly and willingly, with the understanding that they are the closest thing to a digital version of communication salvation we the people will have in the near future. If we do not do this, we will rapidly usher in a dark age of freedom. If we succeed, it will be nothing short of a quiet revolution for the preservation of rights, and it offers the possibility of a new golden age not just of freedom, but also technology and creativity.

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Recent Events

Even though many Americans disapprove of the recent events at the Capitol building in Washington, those events are becoming one more excuse for stricter rules and online censorship. This comes on the heels of the UN declaring an “infodemic” of misinformation online about the pandemic, which had already set in motion ten thousand volunteers to keep an eye out for such content on social media, and bring it to the attention of those handling the blocking and removing of said information. Many cities even have Covid “snitch” hotlines, as they were called, with people calling about their neighbors not wearing a mask, or even just leaving home to get groceries.

You don’t need to be on the right politically to see the headlines indicating our freedoms are very much under attack and in danger of being lost for good. Not just free speech. And it’s happening at staggering speed.

“ Throughout human history, humans have been their own worst enemy, and whenever someone is oppressing someone else, the oppressor seeks to control the tools of communication.”

Jaron Lanier from his book “Who Owns the Future”

I’m writing this just two weeks after protesters stormed the capital. The president was accused of inciting them, and Twitter blocked his account for 24 hours. Shortly thereafter, Twitter permanently banned the president from their platform. Trump then joined Parler, a newer, alternative social media platform, and almost immediately we saw headlines that Apple, who’s App Store offers Parler for iOS download, threatened to remove the app unless they implemented censorship measures. Within hours, ultimately, Apple and Google both removed Parler from their respective app stores and Parler still has not successfully found new hosting.

Now I don’t care what your political leaning is — the fact that a sitting US president was banned from multiple major Internet platforms, and the threat of access to another platform to be removed, should show you the stark reality and raw capabilities of not only big tech, but of centralized control — and it should doubly show you the importance of implementing decentralization into not only social media platforms, but the Internet itself, and ultimately even down to the power grid, however possible.

Digital Control

We need to see that governments and corporations have gained complete control over the majority of our heavily-digitized lives, and that we now need alternatives in order to simply retain our rights. This is an incredibly serious matter. For most people today, it’s barely a feasible alternative to simply live ‘offline’. Try it for a week.

Do you now see how much control the tech companies alone have over your life? They control much of what you see and hear, and your online voice — even if it is your source of income, can be taken away just like that — and if things keep moving this direction, you may not even be able to utilize an alternative.

How long until we need a “Digital ID” to simply get online? Some countries already have this.

Beyond this, you have virtually no online privacy with these major platforms, and it’s not even a secret. In-Q-Tel, The investment arm of the CIA, heavily invests in social media and other tech companies. Big tech is not only unhappy with potential competition — both big tech and the government don’t want platforms that do not sell and share user data to even exist!

When people began to feel that their voices were being censored on popular social media platforms in recent months, do you know what didn’t happen? New platforms that were more censored did not appear. There is a reason for the rise of the likes of Parler, GAB, CloutHub, and others. People don’t want to be censored.

“There’s no demand from the majority of citizens for more censorship — otherwise the free market would cater to it.”

I highly doubt many would voluntarily sign up to use a service that was known to be more heavily policed.

More Centralized Control

We’ve recently witnessed a small taste of what top-down, global control efforts look like, with Operation Warp Speed and similar plans to combat the virus in other counties. Do we really want those in charge of this collective mess of control to be a model for centralized governance?

In the last few years, world leaders and organizations, in line with the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) frameworks and proposals, have been calling for a “Great Reset“ to occur with the coming “Fourth Industrial Revolution“. Although technology plays a huge role, a closer inspection shows it is extremely evident the seemingly utopian future the WEF and their many powerful government and corporate partners envision relies heavily on top-down control and increased centralization of almost every damn thing under the sun. A global system with a global social order at the very least, run by technocrats no less.

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The elites see the condition of the world, the inequality, the protests, the unemployment — and they are getting uncomfortable with the lack of real control they truly have over it. So they are going on the offensive to try to force a new framework with new policies that sound peachy on the surface but only serve to assist them secure their place at the top of the economic ladder, and keep us at the bottom. They are openly striving to get rid of capitalism and the free-market as it exists today. If rights are lost in the process, so be it — to them, our rights are just in the way.

This is the battle then: powers striving for increased centralization, versus the people and decentralization.

Co-Opting the Future

We are gaining the tools to shape and change our world, and build for ourselves greater freedoms than we ever thought possible. But we are not the only ones noticing this.

The elites, the globalists, are already using buzzwords such as “inclusion” as an umbrella term to begin attacking just about everything that may be our future salvation. Wherever inclusion is needed — be it the financial system or healthcare, their solutions always lie in increased control via centralized systems.

Our future success and continued ability to break away from any oppressive governments lies in the decentralization, tokenization and democratization of everything that could benefit us from it — including the functions of government.

The problems with the Internet, according to those in power, is the possibility of anonymity (see Digital ID), the lack of connectivity of certain peoples around the world (see Digital Inclusion), the lack of access to payment system technologies via the Internet (see Financial Inclusion), and certainly there is the ever-increasing problem of radicalization and the spread of misinformation — according to them at least. In fact, the UN and other partners are beginning to build a body of common knowledge which would be considered the acceptable facts — i.e., the “official narrative.”

Even offline, we’re fast heading toward a future in which they seek to define “what is permitted” instead of what is not allowed.

As for the WEF’s “master framework” (“The Fourth Industrial Revolution”), we need not buy into it; we must circumvent it, and reject it wholesale. It is a Trojan horse into the governments of the world in an effort to steer the future in their favor.

We the people must lay claim to decentralization, and do whatever we can to prevent the government and giant corporations from co-opting these technologies for control, and placing them into walled gardens which restrict their significant potential for use for truth and accountability.

Together we must build the next tools and systems needed in a completely decentralized manner — outside of the control of corporations and the elite, and certainly not beholden to advertising money. This will ultimately mean we will need a type of Internet that they cannot shut down, running on servers and network hardware they cannot touch, using electricity from a grid that they ultimately do not have any control over, and a cellular/mobile network and mobile software they cannot interfere with. We need communications such as email and messaging encrypted and outside of their reach.

We need to be thinking on the order of systems and satellites — not just social networks. We need nothing short of a parallel society.

It is a tall order by any standard, but I believe it will ultimately be absolutely necessary for significant, decentralized change to take place, and even for the retention of human rights. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Blockchain technologies will surely play a huge role, but we must also keep the real world in mind — decentralization is not restricted to technology of course.

Have we become the enemy?

Laws that impinge upon our freedoms rarely get undone. After Sept. 11, 2001 we had the Patriot Act, and the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. These were never designed to be temporary. After recent events, legislation drafted by Joe Biden years ago about “Domestic Terrorism” has come off the shelf by the current lawmakers, and is more of the same on steroids — the difference is, it is aimed directly at the American people. As if the idea of “indefinite detention” offered through the NDAA wasn’t enough.

The US Bill of Rights is the document by which we have the ability to stand up and speak out — perhaps the single most important right of all. If that right is taken away, the results are guaranteed to be absolutely dire.

Democrat or Republican, we must acknowledge that rights are rights — for all of us.

People are getting tired of entrusting power and choices to others. Particularly when those in power start to feel less like a guardian and more like a bully or control-freak. To many, it kind of seems like our relationship with the government has become a one-way street — particularly in terms of control. After all, we are supposed to be sharing the power and control of our government, are we not?

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Examples of tomorrow’s systems

Some enterprising individuals and companies have already begun to heed the call for more decentralized services and build the types of networks and systems we’ll need.

Parler certainly did not protect itself in the ways it should have knowing its purpose, however Gab seems to have done a much better job at that, and is able to keep a good level of independence from the powers that be via the hardware and infrastructure it controls.

Mastodon is a Decentralized social network I recommend checking out. Users can run “instances” so it does not require centralized servers. It’s kind of like joining a subreddit, but still being able to engage with other subreddits you can join on the network.

More and more content is being made available to the web accessible via the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) protocol, which is different from HTTP. There’s even a search engine for it.

There are companies that are handling Decentralized DNS (Handshake .BIT domains) using crypto, projects like ZEROnet and Substratum for hosting and Internet access with IPFS, And there are browsers like Brave and Dissenter, which will be important in the face of the Mozilla CEO calling for censorship at the browser level.

There’s even a new Generation of podcasting apps, dubbed Podcasting 2.0 — take a look here at a list of compatible apps.

Hope for Humanity

“A bet on Bitcoin is a bet on human ingenuity”
-Paul Tudor Jones II (Founder and CIO, Tudor Investment Corporation)

We need more individuals building such systems. Thanfully we’re living in a time when some have gotten tremendous gains from Bitcoin and other cyptocurrencies, which gives me great hope. It gives me hope because many of these individuals not only think outside of the box — they think outside of the system. These Bitcoin beneficiaries will likely play a central role in helping to fund the projects, the infrastructure needed, etc. for the systems we now need.

Indeed, a key reason for Bitcoin’s success lies in the fact that it’s a currency not beholden to a central bank that can just create as much money as it wants. Bitcoin can largely operate outside of the system, and that’s the ideal we must be thinking about for the decentralized systems of the people and for the people.

Investment money is also waiting — Anthony Pompliano recently tweeted about this very thing — a desire to heavily invest in privacy-based decentralized tech projects in 2021. We can easily surmise he is certainly not alone. There are also wealthy Millenial investors with millions who don’t like what they are seeing today — and are waiting for the right decentralized project to come along that serves to protect privacy and act as advocate on behalf of we the people.

What about us?

We have a role to play as well. I strongly implore anyone and everyone who has technical skills, ideas, or the ability to offer funding, to find a community or a decentralization-related project, vet its founders and partnerships of course, and contribute however you possibly can. This is far too important for us to sit idly by and assume that others will do it.

We will be utter fools if we do not see and grab hold of the promise and prospect of incorporating decentralization in ways that can re-create our government, and our world — just as has happened with cryptocurrency. The tools are becoming available; we need to find out how to use them for the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time. Technology has the ability to exponentially increase our voice, and even self-governance. It is the future either way — so if the people do not drive it and control it, the elites will… they absolutely will.

We must be able to shake our human paradigm of top-down control and organizational hierarchy. The social contract of yesterday is gone. The fiat system seems to be failing. Our governments are not responsive, and worse, are labeling everyday Americans as enemies by simply varying in ideology.

Things are changing rapidly and we must not just adapt, but we must drive that change. The nations of tomorrow may not be defined by physical borders at all. Going forward, there will either be more centralized control, or the people will gain more control over our own lives. It is up to us. Building this future is feasible, and if we are to keep our rights, it is necessary.

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Our Future Rights Depend on Decentralization | by Justin Honse | The Capital | Jan, 2021

by Benjamin Hartman
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