Andrew Barisser, one of my favorite Bitcoin opinion writers, has written a delicious short story set in a dystopian (but sadly plausible) future. It’s the year 2340 and Silk Road 317.0, the infamous drug and thought-crime exchange website, has been shut down by United Earth Federation authorities.
The story includes snippets of triumphant press releases and declarations, for example:
“This is a final, conclusive win for law enforcement. The threat of free exchange between consenting individuals has been ended, for good this time.”
The tone and wording of the fictional statements are very, very similar to the real statements issued by real law enforcement agencies in the last couple of days after the crackdown on Silk Road 2.0 and other online drug markets. It’s worth noting, by the way, that there’s already a Silk Road 3.0.
So what filthy and dangerous drugs will Silk Road 317.0 sell?
Not heroine, not meth, but something much, much worse: sugar!
In 2340, sugar has been banned for centuries by the United Earth Federation health institute, benevolently caring for us on our own behalf. A future government officer says:
“I’d rather restrict a thousand liberties than let one sugary drink free.”
Barisser is referring to the New York City soft drink size limit, which Mayor Bloomberg tried to introduce in 2012 and Mayor de Blasio continues to support. Under the plan, merchants would be barred from selling sugar-sweetened drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces (0.5 liters). Sanity prevailed eventually when an appeal court ruled against the proposed limit, saying that the authorities “failed to act within the bounds of its lawfully delegated authority.”
We Must Listen to Thomas Jefferson
The story is fun, but it illuminates what in my opinion is one of the most disturbing trends of today’s world: that the authorities keep punishing “victimless crimes” and invading our personal space, lifestyle and freedom, more and more. Watch for news about the New York City soft drink size limit, for I am afraid it will eventually pass.
Back to the real Silk Road 2.0 crackdown, Europol’s head claims that the “libertarian arguments that online markets reduce violent drug-related crime [backed by thorough studies published in academic journals] are wrong, as the violence merely goes unseen.” I wish to respectfully ask the authorities to back their opinions with some, you know, facts.
Thomas Jefferson thought that it’s in the nature of governments to seek more and more power and control, and it’s the right and duty of the citizens to watch and keep their government in check. I think it’s time that we start listening to him.
What do you think of Barisser’s story and the bounds of the government’s lawfully delegated authority? Comment below!
Images from Shutterstock.