Paul Rosenberg, CEO and co-founder of VPN service called Cryptohippie and author of the Freeman’s Perspective newsletter, is also known as a man who wrote A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, a book instantly called a cryptoanarchist Bible.

A major influencer in the cyber-underground and a lifestyle capitalist with a broad range of interests and experiences under his belt, Paul Rosenberg also predicted a decentralized cryptocurrency and cryptomarkets many years before they actually happened. His current passions include philosophy, theology, history, psychology, and physics.

This diverse interest base is reflected in his extensive repertoire of published titles – aside from A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, those include Breaking Dawn, another must-read for any freedom-minded individual, The New Age of Intelligence, a book he co-authored with Jonathan Logan, and over 50 engineering and construction books.

Prior to this, his highly successful engineering career saw him called as an expert witness in numerous legal cases and recruited as a consultant to a number of high profile organizations, such as NASA and the US military. He developed and taught 19 continuing education courses for Iowa State University’s College of Engineering. He also co-founded the Fiber Optic Association and wrote the first ever standard for the installation of fiber optic cables.

In recent years Paul Rosenberg has repeatedly visited Paralelni Polis, a cryptoanarchist hub in Prague, and on the latest occasion at Hackers Congress 2018 in the beginning of October ForkLog spoke to him, discussing a number of issues ranging from what is wrong with the society today to the ways and tools that can be used to change things.

Photo: Paralelni Polis / Pavel Sinagl

ForkLog: Mr. Rosenberg, this is not the first time you are speaking here in Prague in Paralelni Polis. What ideas do you want to introduce this time?

Paul Rosenberg: This time I’m speaking on a very particular subject. You know, we’ve always been the people who are interested in cryptography and blockchain and all these things. At the beginning we were a very small community, that was growing and growing, and then the question arises: “What happens if things go the way we would like them to?” A system eventually changes, however fast or however slow it happens. And if we get the life that is more the way we want? What would we do about certain problems in the world if things go our way? If we win, what happens to a lot of other people?

We don’t force anyone to do anything our way, but if 50 percent of the population eventually does things the way we like, everyone else will kind of have to come along. So what happens then to the people who are old? To the people who are sick? To the people who are on a pension? What happens to them? If we get our world the way we want it, we really have to think about what happens to these people.

The truth is that it turns out very well for them. But it needs explaining as to why is it going to be okay and what fills the gaps and how do we do this. This is what my presentation is about.

ForkLog: What are the major flaws the society in its current form is experiencing that cryptotechnologies can fix?

Paul Rosenberg: The current world system, and this includes just about every place there is, is built upon a very very old, very archaic, model, a worn-out old model. This is the model where we have one man or a group of people who make the rules on how everyone else will live, who’d punish everyone else who doesn’t do what they say, who take everybody’s money by force, and in many cases it’s half of their money or more, and who sends young people off to fight and die in wars by force.

This model has been going on since the Bronze age. It is hopelessly out of date. Now, we never say it this way, but the basic model of this civilization, the thing that happens every day when we see everything from road signs to policemen to letters from the government is “do what we say, or we will hurt you.” This is really what we live by. And that is a horrible model for human cooperation. It’s the opposite of cooperation. “Do what we say or we’ll hurt you” is not cooperation.

What we need is a way of cooperating, because right now, we grow more than enough food for everybody, we know easily how to build enough houses for everybody, we know how to build cars, roads, and refrigerators, and everything else. It’s not a problem anymore, we know how to have enough stuff for everybody. Yeah, not everybody’s going to get a Ferrari, but everybody can have a reasonable car. All you have to do is cooperate. That’s all we have to do. And this existing system can not handle cooperation on that scale. It’s proven again and again, and it’s very inefficient in that way.

So, what we need to move to is the system that allows free cooperation. And decentralized systems give us a tool to allow us to do that. The reason is the systems we have now are all hierarchical: command and control. It’s all by force. And worse than that is that interactions are all forced interactions, and communication is damaged: “you do this or I’ll hurt you”. If you try to transfer information this way it doesn’t work very well. But if you have a decentralized system, everybody can communicate with everyone in any way they’d like.

This system isn’t perfect, but it makes us able to cooperate efficiently and much better than we are now. This is the kind of system that allows the future to happen. The current system can’t. It can’t and it won’t. Because we don’t need them anymore, really don’t.

The people in this room and the room downstairs [at Paralelni Polis] are morally better than politicians, at least the most part of them. And we’re saying that this better people should not be listened to, should not be given power, should not have the power over their own life, but we should give the power to the people we know are corrupt. That’s what the existing system says and enforces. And what we’re saying is that everybody should have their own responsibility for themselves.

Will things go wrong? Of course, things will go wrong! We’re talking about actual humans here. Some of us do stupid things. All of us do stupid things sometimes. But an individual human making their own decisions can correct their errors. Once an error is written into hierarchy, you can’t change it. But if all of us in this room made a mistake, we won’t do it again next year. But in a hierarchical system it’s written, that’s it, it doesn’t change. It’s a good model for computers, but a bad model for human beings.

Previous articleJapan’s Tax Committee Looks to Simplify Cryptocurrency Gains Reporting
Next articleIs Demand For Bitcoin Mining in Decline? Chip Maker Slashes Target