Civil Forfeiture and Bitcoin


Why do we need a global, decentralized, deflationary money without the need of a bank or government?

The problem of government is not that, as Ronald Reagan had us believe, that government was the problem, but rather that it makes itself the problem.

One of the strongest interactions private people have with the government is when they deal with the police. When the police are fulfilling their mission, to protect and serve, they are the cornerstone of the community.

Unfortunately, human nature and the realities of the job set in – people get arrogant when they assume mantles of power. Because they often deal with people at their worst and because the police are all too frequently in danger of being injured themselves, they all too often develop an us-them mentality where us is the police and them is everyone else.

Thats where leadership, training, and discipline are supposed to come into play. The police need to be reminded frequently by their superiors that even though they have the power to detain, question, and arrest people, and the right to use appropriate force in certain situations, that they remain the servants of the people and must treat all people, even those suspected of a crime, with dignity and respect.

But that message gets horribly muddled when they are also told that they need to collect revenue through ticket quotas or civil forfeiture.

Both tickets and civil forfeiture when used with the goal to interdict crime and promote public safety are arguably useful tools for the police. But when you then take that money and fund the local government, which oversees the police, or even the police department itself, you have now incentivized the police to act as extortionists and thieves on a helpless public.

And this is the regime we have been living under for decades.

This article from Forbes details the efforts of the Institute for Justice to get Freedom of Information Act compliance from the IRS on civil forfeiture seizures from police departments around the country.

With arrogant, predatory police on the loose as ju020216_1414_ThedeathofB1.pngst one example of how the government has ceased to be for the people and instead for the powerful and privileged, is it any wonder that angry is brewing over.

Libertarian and anarchist movements are growing as a result of the loss of trust in the government. The answer, though, is not a return to a state of nature where the strong thrive and everyone else survives, if theyre lucky. No, we need sensible government, but we need it on the kind of terms that we are seeing with the rising decentralization movements.

First the internet came and decentralized information. People now have more and easier access to all kinds of information than they ever have before. They also have the burden of making sure that the information they are looking at is accurate and unbiased – something people still need to learn how to do better.

Next came Bitcoin, which is in the process of taking money out of the hands of the banks and governments and giving it back to the people. With Bitcoin, people will be their own banks, saving money will be encouraged, and governments will be returned to having to spend only what they collect. But, people will also have the burden of having to learn how to keep their money safe since there will be no bank to complain to when something goes wrong.

Next, build on top of the internet and blockchain, we will see experiments in new forms of local and national governments. These governments will be decentralized, transparent, and responsive to the people who empower them, or they will cease to exist and be replaced with something better.

Much needs to happen first, but Bitcoin is the next step in this progression. Join the revolution.