Recommended Reading

Getting Started

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin

This is the basic explain what bitcoin is and how the system works.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper explaining the functions of bitcoin and how bitcoin technologically works. It’s also great for getting a higher level understanding of the mechanics of bitcoin.

The Bitcoin Protocol as Law, and the Politics of a Stateless Currency

This is one of the better papers that I have seen on Bitcoin. Sarah Jeong does an excellent job of summering some of the history, influences, and developments of bitcoin over the last four years. She also looks at how bitcoin is functioning in the world, and what sort of political issues that bitcoin and digital currencies bring about.

Quantitative Analysis of the Full Bitcoin Transaction Graph

Excellent paper that looks at some of the macroeconomic data of the bitcoin blockchain

Nick Szabo’s Essays

Nick Szabo was writing about digital exchange and contracts back in the 1990s. He has brilliant insights not just into the functions of digital contracts, but also on philosophy, economics, information security, and more. Whoever Satoshi is, he must have been influenced by Szabo’s writting, as the full detailed layout of Szabo’s bitgold sounds very similar to bitcoin. If you a looking for some great indepth reading, I cannot more highly recommend reading through his essays.

Anarchism and Syndicalism

Syndicalism: The Modern Menace to Capitalism

Emma Goldman gives a quick run down of what differentiates syndicalism from other supposed revolutionary organizations.

To Change Everything: An Anarchist Appeal

Crimethinc is the ex-worker’s collective and puts out the best contemporary literature on anarchism and this essay is a wonderful place to start if you would like to know more about anarchism.

Philosophy 

On Civil Disobedience

Above all thinkers, Henry David Thoreau is the one man that I could say best captures the way that I understand the world. I find his writing brilliant, charming, and witty, while also painting a full and beautiful picture for why I also heartily accept the motto, “that government is best which governs least.”

Proposed Roads to Freedom – Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism and The Principles of Mathematics 

Bertrand Russell was an incredible mathematician and a vicious supporter of free people all around the globe. He is considered one of the founders of analytically philosophy, and used his understand of the world through his philosophy to aid in the struggle against the tyrannical forces of the 20th century.

The Illegitimacy of Violence, the Violence of Legitimacy

This piece from the Ex-Workers Collective, Crimethink, is about the way that we view and understand violence within our society.  It calls into question why the state is afforded violent behavior, but autonomous citizens attempting to protect themselves are not.  I believe that is a very informative read for anyone who is curious about anarchist philosophy and perspectives.

Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses

Wrote in 1973 by the deeply troubled Louis Althusser, he deviled much deeper into the Marxist literature and presented a powerful ideological justification for capitalism. I find this piece of work very powerful for explain the ideological structures of capitalism, and how so many people in the modern world today can hold conflicting believes that are illogical. I find this piece of work the best contemporary commentary on the functions of the state and capitalism.

Truth and Power

This is an interview from 1977 with Michael Foucault, who many concern as a philosopher and historian was with power dynamics. As he got older her focused more on the relationship of power within the state’s superstructure, and how the excise of that power has indelibly shaped and formed the world we live in.

The Arcades Project,

Theses on the Philosophy of History,

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and

A Critique of Violence

Walter Benjamin I hold to the esteem of Nietzsche. He is a less known philosopher, but offers an incredible mosaic of commentary on everything. His profound insights into the phantasmagorical construction of capitalism offers a personal process of restoring capitalism from the victorious liberator from despotism, to the sinister enslaver through the illusion of choice. Looking specifically at the refuse of capitalism (as such were the arcades of Paris in the 1920s–similar to the strip mall today) and the history that created such advancements to build these new structures, Benjamin offers a very unique way to understand history, and our roles within it, and how capitalism slowly and deliberately commodified all things.

Economics

The Denationalization of Money

Wrote in 1976 by Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek. This book explains in great detail why money needs to be denationalized, and the theoretical underpinnings of how a ‘free money’ would operate in the world.

Das Capital

Karl Marx’s Magnum opus of the functions of capital. A difficult, though rewarding read if you can slog your way through it. It helps pull away the magical of the functions of capital and allows for one to plainly see the extortionary and exploitative nature of capital.

The Transaction Cost Approach to the Theory of the Firm

A site that explains Ron Corase concepts of the Coase Theorem and how transaction cost operate.

The Theory of Money and Credit

Written by Ludwig von Mises, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of the Austrian School of Economics, which is radically different from the mod

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

By Joseph Schumpeter published during WWII.  Schumpeter takes a critical look at the works of Marx and essentially deconstructs them to display the the quasi-religious nature of marxism, but extends Marx’s economic thoughts. Most interestingly, Schumpeter helps make definitive schisms between capitalism, corporatism, and entrepreneurship and explains very accurately how the post-WWII would would transition away from naked capitalism, to an oddly half-aborted form of state-socialism deeply affected and corrupted by corporatism.

History

The Cypherpunk Revolution

A good background on the history of cryptography, and how it politicized itself in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Videos

Adam Cleary, Founder of Bullion Bitcoin, speaks at to the 14-10 Club at the Royal Institution of Great Britain with his talk, The role of Bitcoin’s popularity in the context of economic crisis.

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