Crypto-Anarchism, Cyber-Security, & the New RightMatt Parrott
In theory, anarchy is against hierarchy and obedience to authority while traditionalists embrace these unfashionable principles.
In theory, anarchism and traditionalism are polar opposites and naturally antagonistic. In practice, within the current social and political context, the two causes are natural allies. Both anarchists and traditionalists are opposed to this state . . . for the opposite reasons. Anarchists are against any and all sovereign regimes, whereas traditionalists are opposed to this sovereign regime. The anarchist Peter Pan is opposed to parents altogether, while the traditionalist Robin Hood is against this wicked usurper.
Crypto-Anarchism can be understood as an ideology, and it even has its own little Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto. More generally, though, Crypto-Anarchism encompasses any and all efforts to liberate communication from state control and manipulation. It would be ironic for one who conflated Crypto-Anarchism and generic anarchism that the Al Qaeda network–intent on establishing a draconian theocratic global Caliphate–has pioneered the application of cryptography in its ongoing war with several dozen states. Of course, these are the same Leftist fools who rally under the likeness of Catholic traditionalist radical Guy Fawkes, so this confusion should come as no surprise.
There are state laws against cryptography, but they’re utterly inconsequential, except perhaps as additional charges to throw at the condemned. The reason is that it’s impossible to detect cryptography when it’s concealed (steganography), and it’s impractical to detect illegal variants of cryptography when it’s bundled in legal variants of cryptography. While the state may be able to pick off the unwary and ill-prepared, the only complete recourse at this point is for the state to shut off the Internet.
The state’s at least as dependent on the Internet as the citizenry, and untold billions of dollars worth of corporate capital rely on the Internet. The question is not whether this state will tolerate the Internet and secure communication, but whether the Internet and secure communication will tolerate this state. While the Internet did indeed originate in America’s military-industrial complex, and was incubated by multinational corporations, there’s reason to believe that neither the regime nor its financial backers have any real ability to control or contain it.
Jay Rockefeller: Internet should have never existed
There are multiple reasons secure communication remains an afterthought on the Internet, all of which are ephemeral. Some are technical. The “deep web” (the secret Internet behind the Internet) remains flaky and slow because there are relatively few people on it, because the encryption overhead carries a significant performance cost, and because a virtual “commons” intrinsically designed to be devoid of accountability is categorically ripe for abuse. Furthermore, the technology remains a few steps beyond the reach of the digital layman, requiring one to willfully seek it out, download it, and figure out how to use it.
The primary obstacle to achieving ubiquitous secure email communication isn’t a mathematical wizard at the NSA, it’s the frustrating mess of “private keys,” “public keys,” and specific steps involved in the process. Processors and networks will continue incrementally improving, but genuine progress for the deep web will only come when accessing the technology gets easier and carrying on as usual gets harder. Currently, the deep web is largely a frontier occupied by radical dissidents, child pornographers, computer hobbyists, and the sharper organized crime networks.
Up until recently, government regulation of illicit file-sharing networks was rather mild, but that’s changing, driving an increasing amount of it into the deep web and entirely beyond the reach of government enforcement. It’s in the tactical interest of sovereign states to tolerate absolutely all speech and communication except for terrorist plots and the most heinous organized crime (inclusive of child pornography). What grabbing for the royalties of e-book thieves and classic film buffs accomplishes is accelerating the inevitable transition of the entire Internet from a relatively transparent network they can observe like a fishbowl into an inscrutable black box. Military intelligence analysts don’t make policy, they enforce policy. Policy and enforcement is at the hands of corporate lobbying groups like the MPAA and RIAA which lean on legislative, executive, and judicial institutions to rescue their imperiled business models.
There’s an argument that the more advanced intelligence agencies are actually on top of these things. Ultimately, there’s no way to prove or disprove this proposition, and I may be proven wrong, but I don’t believe it’s possible for them to insert back doors into the open source software the Internet runs on. I don’t believe they’ve cracked the more advanced encryption algorithms. There are, after all, substantial cash prizes waiting for those who can demonstrate having cracked the more popular encryption schemes . . . not to mention undying fame within hacker subcultures.
The more successful hacks on record have largely been feats of social engineering, and many of the others have been clever exploitation of simple mistakes at some improbable layer of the technology stack. If the government can control it, Al Qaeda wouldn’t have chat rooms. Banks wouldn’t entrust billions of dollars every day to SSL encrypted websites. Silk Road wouldn’t be mail-ordering cocaine and XTC with impunity. Child pornography wouldn’t be a thriving global black market with only a fraction of the consumers being caught.
What does all this mean, politically? What does it mean for us?
Within the next decade, powerful smartphones will be ubiquitous. The technology connecting them to the deep web will be readily accessible to the layman. Creeping state efforts to intrude upon communication will make the deep web a daily necessity for anybody who desires any degree of privacy. Monetary transactions will gradually shift to the tax-free, inflation-free, fee-free, digital currencies, undermining the global economic order and bringing down with it every regime which relies on military technology or economic incentives to ensure the loyalty of its subjects.
The regimes which rely primarily on financial control rather than more organic and traditional authority are existentially threatened by the rapid advances in secure communication technology. For all the concern about China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea posing a cyber-security threat to the United States government, the greatest threat is coming from BitCoin or a variant thereof. If the state monopoly on legal tender is broken in the same way the music industry’s monopoly on listening to music has been broken, a cascade failure of the prevailing global power structure without historical precedent will follow.
It may be foolhardy to make a prediction as bold and specific as that one, and it’s foolish to speculate on exactly how it will play out. I believe; however, that political progress in the future will favor those vanguards which rely on traditional and organic authority, especially the ones which take the lead in mastering and utilizing the secure communication technologies as they’re developing. As a movement, we have the first half of the equation nailed. To capitalize on the coming revival of tribal and traditional leadership, the New Right needs to know how to send encrypted emails and communicate through encrypted means whenever possible. At the very least, we should all avoid the habit of discussing anything private on services like Facebook, Skype, and Gmail Chat which likely have back doors.
If political pressure on web hosting companies forces our major websites to be pulled, then they should reappear shortly thereafter on the deep web. Readers and supporters should know where to find it.
There’s a certain bias among conservatives and traditionalists against technology, due to its dehumanizing and alienating impact on society, and due to its having been leveraged against conservatism and tradition.
Technology is what one makes of it, and I believe it can be a veritable Excalibur against the global oligarchs and Modernity itself if leveraged intelligently and effectively.
One of the charming aspects of Farnham O’Reilly’s neo-fascist sci-fi novel Hyperborean Home is the proposition that technology will be advanced and ubiquitous, yet seamlessly integrated into the natural world and traditional community. Rather than being a distracting, obnoxious, and gaudy intrusion into our daily lives, it will fade into the background and be there when necessary, as if it were magic. Rather than coming between us, it will help pull us together. Instead of posing an insidious threat to human dignity and privacy, it will enhance both. This is, in my opinion, what the New Right’s position should be on technology, not a reactionary conservative’s reflexive fear of change or the buffoonish liberal’s dehumanizing “futurist” dystopia of bionic people floating in chrome contraptions . . . but a mastery of technology in the service of tribe, tradition, and transcendence.
Are there people in our circles who are AGAINST using technology? If so, I don’t know them.
That’s because they aren’t your Facebook friends. Or anybody’s Facebook friends.
Very possibly, that’s to their credit (I certainly feel that way sometimes).
Obviously I use technology myself, but I remain skeptical about it. I really wonder if it’s going to transform the world in the ways in which Matt describes. I don’t see the traditional state and economy throwing in the towel so easily. Or, even if it does happen, whether that will necessarily be a positive thing for us.
I turn 40 this year and it’s amazing how much the world has changed since I was a kid. When I was a young kid in the 1970s, having cable TV was a big deal. I learned to type on a manual (non-electric) typewriter, and I continued mailing letters to friends and family until the mid-1990s. Now I seldom go a day without checking e-mail, I carry a cell phone and an iPod, and I do all of my work on my laptop. I can’t deny that recent advances in technology have made my life easier in many ways, and that it has certainly opened up many more possibilities and freedom for action – certainly, Arktos and Counter-Currents can only exist because of very recent tech developments. But I really wonder if my life is any better than it would have been if technology had remained frozen since 1973. I often find myself longing for the days when I didn’t have to worry about how many unanswered e-mails I had to get through, when a book meant paper and glue, when people couldn’t interrupt me on my cell at any given moment, even when I’m outside, when I could retain pleasant memories of a friend from grade school rather than finding him within seconds on Facebook and realizing that he/she had become an asshole, and when finding something I wanted to buy involved exercise and human interaction rather than only a few mouse-clicks. Granted, there were many devices that were normal to us when I was a kid that may have been distressing to people born 100 years earlier. But still, I don’t feel that the technology we had at that time was as big of a threat to human nature, civilization and freedom as what we have today, nor what may be coming down the pike. (The long-term dangers of genetically modified foods, for example, are still unknown to us.) I realize this is an entirely moot point, since technology is going to continue to race ahead regardless of what I think about it. I don’t regard myself as a reactionary, and yet, at the same time, I do question whether endless, and more rapid “progress” in the material sense is inherently good. I also question whether the “New Right”‘s attitude toward this progress is really relevant, given our complete lack of power. It seems to me that many of these trends are much more useful to liberals than they would be to people of our orientation.
One can’t be against technology for the simple reason technology is the very definition of a Pandora’s box. Once something is invented, it can’t be “de-invented”. It can be fought against, but in the end what this fight achieves is nothing more than giving the invention to your enemy to use against you. The refusal of the French armies to use “unfair” combat tactics against the English armies meant simply the ruin of the French armies. History if full of these examples, so much that it teaches an indisputable lesson.
One can be against technology on a “personal taste” level, one can examine and criticize the effects of technology on mankind, but one cannot be “opposed” to technology, as it doesn’t mean anything.
One can’t oppose technology more than opposing the flow of time or the fact the Strong eats the Weak.
Those who oppose technology do so on grounds that they consider more important than mere historical/political success. The following excerpt from a work by Ludwig Klages illustrates this point:
‘We know of no better way to illustrate the appalling unnaturalness of our apostles of political and moralistic “progress,” who are so intoxicated by the pseudo-life of the machine, than to adduce two words of wisdom which were attributed to Tchuangtse, and which encapsulate more than two millennia of Chinese philosophical culture: A conceited traveler sees a gardener in a trench drawing buckets of water with which he is irrigating his plot of vegetables; the traveler advises the gardener to invest in a machine that will do his work for him. The gardener laughs and says: “This I have heard from my teacher: the cunning have tools and show their cunning in business, and those who are cunning in business have cunning in their hearts, and those who have cunning in their hearts cannot remain pure and uncorrupted, and those who do not remain pure and uncorrupted are restless in spirit, and those who are restless in spirit are those in whom the Tao can find no dwelling-place. It’s not that I do not understand the tools of which you speak. It’s just that I would be ashamed to use them.‘ (italics Klages’; the rest can be read at: http://www.revilo-oliver.com/Writers/Klages/300.html, aphorism 218).
After all, there’s a vast difference between a society where technology is treated as a means to an end – and one where it is the end itself.
The problem is that “mere historical/political success” is not “mere”. It is synonymous with survival and happiness as a Nation or a race.
Opposition to technology is therefore a form of martyrdom — you abandon success in exchange for the safeguarding of a higher moral principle. I respect somewhat martyrdom, but I don’t personally find it to be a good thing. I actually think the taste for martyrdom and “honor in defeat” among far-right European circles is precisely the reason organized Jewry dominates us today, with the consequences we all know. By refusing to act immorally, we allowed them to win using immoral tools and techniques.
To some extent the discussion we have right now is a bit a reedition of what happened during the early phases of Hitler’s accession to power. Some elements of the NSDAP were strongly “moral”, while others, like Hitler himself, were pragmatic. This led him to embrace technology, capitalism, Jewish propaganda techniques re: the media, and scientific realism instead of other myths and conceptions of society. Goebbels was the biggest “Jewish” media owner on Earth, but he worked for us, so I say he wasn’t all that bad.
“By refusing to act immorally, we allowed them to win using immoral tools and techniques” – Deviance
Aping the immorality of the enemy is not an option because as well as being an insult to our ancestral integrity it undermines any conception of race beyond that of mere matter. If you act and think like them you’re welcome to go and join them along with others disgracing our race.
Regarding technology I think bestowing sovereignty upon it as well as upon the market values that accelerate it is irreconcilable with nationalism and racialism. Each community each nation and each race must uphold their own ethos and have their own national and racial sovereignty and not have to accept anything no matter how innovative (or vapid) it may or may not be.
Great, inspiring article… but… I´m missing the CC-radio (addressing Matt Parrott with that…).
I made a New Year’s resolution to disconnect for six months and quickly abandoned it. To my surprise, my productivity immediately went down not up. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter and don’t plan to, and I don’t subject myself to a constant bombardment of news, information and minutiae on my laptop and mobile devices. The problem is that without my devices, I can’t be productive if I’m stuck in traffic or have 15 minutes to kill before an appointment. With my devices, no matter where I am, I can grab an article or broadcast from CC, face time with my kids, listen to Beethoven or watch a Khan Academy. Without the tech, that’s dead time, and it adds up.
It’s a technique I picked up from a college roommate. This guy was like a machine studying. If there was 20 minutes to kill before a class, he’d do a few calculus problems — while the rest of us watched tv.
The problem definitely isn’t the tech itself. Technical know how can be used to build a Sistine chapel, or a strip mall. Tech can be used to deliver Beethoven to any white in the world, anywhere, anytime. Or, it can be used to deliver porn.
My impression, perhaps mistaken and not entirely accurate, is that a lot of traditionalists and critics of the “bourgeois” confuse symptoms with causes. When Lady Gaga gets 300,000,000 views on You Tube, I see that as a symptom of her audience being spiritually rotten not that advanced technology is per se a problem because it facilitates it.
I like how the technology makes it easy to bypass paying Jews for content that is worth buying. I suspect I will do this year what I did last year — download the whole season of Game of Thrones from piratebay. I bought the books to pay GRRM for the source material.
The “deep web” (the secret Internet behind the Internet) remains flaky and slow because there are relatively few people on it, …
This statement is somewhat inaccurate. The “deep web” is anything on the internet that is not indexed by search engines. This includes all your online bank account records, private corporate databases, anything that requires a password to get to, etc. It’s all of the internet that is not in the “phone book”. It’s not the case that “there are relatively few people on it.” The deep web is much more than what is accessed through TOR.
There is some fluidity in the definitions, but I suspect outside of specialist circles deep web has become synonymous with the Tor network which definitely has few users.
The kind of article that brings in my donation.
G – A – S – P! John Morgan is 40???? I thought he is in his mid-20’s!
It’s my genes. I can still pretend to be an undergraduate, and get away with it.
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