Minority Movements: Bitcoiners & Renaissance Catholics
A sea of Guy Fawkes masks and anarchic memes are going to be flooding your feeds today. Despite the risks of cliché, as modern dissenters, let’s take the higher road through this important date in the history of defiance, and see what is of value to consider.
You’ll be drowning in narratives of anti-authoritarian fervour, spiced up with “V for Vendetta” quotes. My goal? To cut through the overdone bromides and capture the essence of the Gunpowder Plot’s kinship with the Bitcoin rebellion, and more importantly show where we diverge.
What truly aligns? Where does it veer off? And crucially, which learnings from that non-explosive epoch still have value to us today? Let’s fish out the gems of wisdom from the murky waters of history.
The Remnant & The Recusant
It’s blindingly obvious that Bitcoiners spot a kindred spirit in the plight of the Gunpowder Plot’s masterminds. Both hate their unrepresentative governments. Back then, Catholics were also grudgingly tolerated, as long as they parroted the Anglican narrative publicly in their mundane existence. They were the undercurrent in a sea of indifference and NPC narrative.
Now and then, this tension would burst into outright defiance, though more often, it was a hidden warfare. A regular Catholic might be fined for non-attendance of Anglican service, but the better known dissenters faced public, grotesque retribution. Tagged as dangerous outsiders, they were the feared ‘other’.
And so it is today: Bitcoin advocates trudge through a world that barely acknowledges their ideology, save for the ones who make waves – they get the modern-day equivalent of the stake. It’s not a fiery stake, but it’s metaphorically scorching: life sentences without parole, forced exile, kangaroo courts for the most vilified among us. Debanking, silent bans from public forums, a gradual strangulation of rights and liberties.
Make no mistake – Bitcoin Remnant are the present-day Catholic Recusant.
Trust not in Authority
With King James’ rise to the Throne, came the illusion of a monarch who might entertain pluralistic forms of belief, offered Catholics a fleeting mirage of hope.
Initially, James’ indecisive stance on the Catholic predicament was a calculated act to cement his reign without outright spurning Catholic subjects. Yet, the hope was short-lived, and the suffocating conditions that Catholics had borne under Elizabeth I didn’t just return; they deteriorated. It is this rug-pull that likely nudged the Gunpowder schemers toward drastic, desperate action.
Rulers are not, and cannot be, anchors of trust. They are whimsical, power-hungry chameleons, shifting shapes to snatch control by any means necessary. The honeyed promises made at the campaign rallies are nothing but smoke that dissipates once the throne is secured.
Machiavelli captured the thought perfectly: “The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.”
This is a lesson that Bitcoiners should be mindful of when their chosen idol starts serenading Bitcoin – Don’t trust; verify.
The Wavering & The Weak
The cautionary tale of Francis Tresham is one Bitcoiners need to be aware of. A crucial but flawed part in the Gunpowder Plot, Tresham’s story warns us of allies whose support wanes when peril mounts, and who prize personal incentives over principle and conviction.
Tresham’s dual loyalty — voicing support while covertly hedging bets — serves as a warning of the risks posed by fair-weather friends within any movement. The Bitcoin community, resilient yet not invulnerable, must remain alert to the Tresham-like figures who falter when their public support becomes a liability.
His suspected betrayal through the ‘Monteagle letter’ illustrates the ultimate danger: not the enemy at the gates, but weak men within the walls. Similarly, Bitcoin’s landscape is dotted with enthusiasts quick to extol its virtues in fair weather but equally quick to retreat when storms brew.
In rallying behind Bitcoin, remember Tresham’s lesson: trust is a treasure in times of trial, not just triumph. True allegiance is forced in the crucible of adversity, distinguishing the steadfast from the superficial. Let this historical lesson inform the future; ally with those whose commitment is immutable. (Despite his own waning conviction, Tresham’s fate was sealed by the very conspiracy he sought to escape, dying imprisoned before trial.)
Violence, treachery, poor planning and desperation - they ain't no bitcoiners
Bitcoiners are Different
The Bitcoin cause may chart a course that bears early resemblance to the Gunpowder Plot in many ways, yet it diverges in more crucial aspects. These differences are not mere footnotes, but are the key to certain victory in this new age mutiny.
United in Disruption, Different in Approach
The similar cause of Bitcoiner and 16th Century Catholic is the quest to disrupt a prevailing order that suffocates our beliefs. But it is here that the paths diverge.
Bitcoin’s crusade is waged not with barrels of gunpowder but with the rules of mathematics; not in darkened cellars, but in the expanse of the network. The Plot sought to destroy what they hated; Bitcoin aims to preserve what is loved. One sought to change the head of power; the other, to render the concept of centralised power obsolete and inert.
Greater Planning, Broader Scope
The Gunpowder Plot, for all its secrecy and intrigue, lacked the comprehensive vision and global scope inherent to Bitcoin’s design. Bitcoin was meticulously crafted with the anticipation of pushback, built to withstand and operate outside the purview of the traditional systems it challenges. It’s a long game, rooted in mathematics and community, rather than a short fuse burning towards an uncertain aftermath.
Hope of Success
Where the Gunpowder conspirators pinned their hopes on chaos breeding opportunity, Bitcoiners invest in the certainty of algorithms and the open ledger. It is not hope but assurance in the principles of cryptography that fuels the Bitcoin rebellion. The blockchain doesn’t merely dream of a world where financial sovereignty is possible—it constructs it.
In essence, while the Gunpowder Plot was a desperate leap in the dark, Bitcoin is a calculated stride towards the light. It’s an evolution of dissent, learning from the past that change doesn’t have to be explosive to be effective—it needs to be relentless and resilient.
At the heart of Bitcoin’s ethos is an unwavering commitment to non-violence as a principle of ethics. The blockchain was forged not as a powerful weapon of destruction, but as an impenetrable shield of value. Where the Gunpowder Plot’s desperation led to a failed explosion, Bitcoin’s design sublimates desperation into creation. It’s a peaceful protest; a bloodless financial revolution.
From Shadows to Limelight
Moreover, the Gunpowder Plot was intended to shock by exploding out of darkness and secrecy. Bitcoin may have started in the shadows but is a bright and overt beacon of truth. Its success doesn’t depend on staying hidden and avoiding discovery, but on widespread adoption and recognition. Bitcoin doesn’t lurk beneath Parliament—it replaces it, asking for nothing, just waiting for it’s chance to displace the current inferior financial ecosystem.
In considering the Bitcoin movement and the Gunpowder Plot, one sees a broad theme of defiance, resilience, and the undying human spirit that seeks freedom.
While the former is a somber reminder of the perils of violent rebellion, the latter is an demonstrates the true power of peaceful evolution. It’s a pivot from the gunpowder of yesteryear to the gigabytes of today—a testament to humanity’s relentless pursuit of liberation, this time not from tyranny of a crown, but from the confines of centralised monetary control.
And with all that said, go eat some candy floss, but never forget to say – “Down with the King!”