Libertarians are theorists, not doers. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has handsomely rewarded those who have embraced it and understood its decentralization and autonomy, things Libertarians claim to cherish but never really advance. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:
I am not trying to insult libertarians; they’ve been right, or reasonably close to right, on most everything, and for decades on end; that’s not a trivial thing. Nonetheless, they could never get much moving in the world, while Bitcoiners, to use an old but fitting phrase, are turning the world upside-down.
I think it’s important to understand why.
To Say And To Do
Can you name a Libertarian martyr? I’m not sure I can, and I’ve been involved with libertarian things for a long time. There’ve been a few anti-tax protesters, but they weren’t actually libertarian martyrs, largely because libertarianism excluded them.
Now, shall we name martyrs for the causes of Bitcoin and cypherpunk ideals? The list, as most of us know, is long. We can begin with Julian Assange and Ross Ulbricht, and from there we can go on to Charlie Shrem, near misses like Phil Zimmerman and at least a dozen lesser-known names.
Martyrdom doesn’t prove too much, of course – thugs will destroy for many reasons – but there is a clue here, and it’s this: Libertarians didn’t threaten very much. The powers that be never loved them, of course, but publishing policy papers didn’t overturn very many apple carts.
Now, to be very frank about this, and with apologies for doing so, libertarianism is a philosophy of intellectuals who wish to change the world without risk or suffering. That is, they imagined they were smart enough to do it by intellect alone.