The Fiat Cave: An Allegory of Monetary Deception
Introduction (Part 1 of 4)
The proverbial bitcoin rabbit hole is a journey of truth and self-discovery.
A right of passage into monetary truth, setting us free not only financially but in all aspects of our lives.
In the simplest sense, bitcoin is peer-to-peer digital cash, as outlined in the original white paper. It's sound money with a hard-capped supply and immutable rules. A distributed and decentralized ledger with no trusted intermediary similar to paper physical cash. However, bitcoin cannot be devalued by governments and central banks and can be sent globally nearly instantly. There are no individuals or entities who decide who can use bitcoin. It's the most inclusive and fair monetary network ever created. A new system to store, send, and measure value globally without any trusted third party's permission.
Bitcoin is a monetary revolution that will permanently change the financial system and all aspects of our lives. Money is the base layer of civilization, so with a change to the monetary system, we can expect there to be monumental shifts in the global economy as we continue to adopt this nascent technology.
Bitcoin's impact on the world can not be fully understood at this time, but it's clear that it's here to stay. Through that process, one deduces that bitcoin is much more than "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System," as outlined in the original white paper.
A deep exploration of bitcoin, and the history of money, best resembles Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
Bitcoin leads us out of the Fiat Cave.
Plato's Allegory of the Cave begins with prisoners in a cave who, since childhood, have been chained to a wall, unable to move, staring at a blank wall in front of them.
A fire burns behind them, casting a dim light onto the blank wall. There are jailers in the cave who carry objects and puppets "of men and other living things" in front of the fire, casting shadows onto the blank wall. The sounds of the jailers talking echo from the walls.
The prisoners watch the shadows on the wall and hear the sounds of the jailers. The shadows on the wall are the prisoners' reality. They believe that to be the "real world." But that will soon change.
One prisoner is freed from the chains. Lifting himself from the ground, he looks around the cave and sees the fire burning behind him. Initially, the fire is too bright for his eyes, which have never seen direct light, and he is tempted to return to his reality.
However, he is dragged out of the cave toward a brighter light in the distance. Eventually, the prisoner makes it to the cave's exit, where he is greeted by the beaming sun. It's far brighter than anything he has encountered, and he is initially blinded.
As the prisoner's eyes adapt to his new environment, the outside world, reality, presents itself. After spending his life in the cave, he is unsure what to make of it all. His previous ideas of reality are challenged as he emerges onto the surface.
In awe and confusion, he wanders outside of the cave, exploring the new environment filled with life, beauty, and wonder. He sees the trees, the birds, the ponds, and the sun. The prisoner processes the fact that he has been a prisoner his entire life and that his existence within the cave was a mere illusion.
Following this tremendous discovery of the real world, he is compelled to return to the cave to share the truth with the others. He wants to explain that they have spent their lives as prisoners, and there is a whole world outside of the cave far superior to life within the cave. That their lives have merely been shadows on a wall.
When returning to the cave, the prisoner accustomed to the sunlight cannot see well in the darkness. Finally, when returning to the prisoners to share the news, they believe that the freed prisoner has gone mad or been harmed since he cannot see in the cave. They do not want to be harmed in such a way and decide it is safer to stay. They even react violently, threatening to kill him should he try to bring them out of the cave.
The other prisoners stay in the cave, to live the rest of their lives as prisoners in a "reality" created for them.
To be continued…
Thank you for reading! I am happy to have you here. If you enjoyed this, please consider sharing it with your family, friends, or audience. Stay tuned for Part II.