Author: Mason Mohon

Mason Mohon is the COO and Director of Content at 71 Republic, as well as Co-Founder. He enjoys researching and writing about topics ranging from economics, psychedelics, and cryptocurrency to libertarianism, postmodernism, and technology. You can contact him at [email protected]

Why Blockchain and Bitcoin Are Becoming a Part of Life

Mason Mohon |@mohonofficial

The Bitcoin naysayers live their life in glee these days, happy that cryptocurrency is finally dead! Well, dead again. Clearly, if something can die multiple times, its death carries far less weight. Cryptocurrency, along with Bitcoin, is in a continuous cycle of death and resurrection. In the short term, this makes it a scary investment. In the long term, though, Bitcoin has a lot of potential and is likely to become a part of the dominant social order. It will do this along with its underlying technology: blockchain.

Continue reading “Why Blockchain and Bitcoin Are Becoming a Part of Life”

Advertisements

Don’t Be a Jordan Peterson NPC

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Jordan Peterson is attempting to use Jungian psychoanalysis to make your life better. His position in society is somewhat akin to that of a rockstar. His book, 12 Rules for Life, is an international bestseller. And it’s a pretty good book, too. I find it both enjoyable and helpful. It fills itself with practical steps that the reader can apply to his or her life and make it one worth living. I regard myself as a fan of Jordan Peterson because of this. But the problem comes in when one takes Peterson as the arbiter of truth. This is particularly problematic in the case of Postmodernism.

Peterson identifies the problem with Postmodernism as its apparent cover-up for Marxist philosophy. He explains that once Marxism became taboo because of the failure of the Soviet project, postmodernists swept in to save the day. They hid Marxism behind a complicated and convoluted veil that meant it would be able to further progress. But this is an incorrect proposition. Postmodernism centers itself around the idea that grand narratives are incorrect and critique them.

Marxism teaches us that history is somewhat determined and that historical forces are pushing forward so as to bring forth a new epoch of the worker. The forces of historical materialism drive this trend. This is obviously a grand narrative that many postmodernists would reject. And many Marxists reject facets of Postmodernism as well.

One of my favorite Postmodern thinkers, Todd McGowan, explains in his book Enjoying What We Don’t Have some of the problems with the Marxist goal. The idea of progress is inherently problematic to him. As an adherent to Lacanian Psychoanalysis, he realizes that moves towards a beneficial end goal will only be frustrated because they don’t embrace what Freud called the Death Drive. McGowan’s critique of Marxism is one of the many Postmodernist critiques.

Postmodernism is not even an inherently leftist way of thought. Some, if only a few, right-wingers I know have begun to adopt this Postmodernist philosophy for their own individual ends. In my interview with Cody Wilson, he explains that his primary influence for creating the ghost gun was the French thinker Jean Baudrillard. Cody Wilson is not a left winger at all.

In addition, the Youtube creator Truediltom has made many videos concerning various postmodernists, primarily focusing on Deleuze. In his video titled “The Metaphysics of War“, he explains his reasoning for looking into authors that are very far out of the mainstream. He does this because even though we may disagree with their conclusions, they are usually capable of identifying problems that are more difficult to spot through a mainstream lens.

Jordan Peterson groups all Postmodern thinkers together, usually only referring to Foucault and Derrida. This is dangerous because it takes away our ability to judge each thinker on his or her own individual merits. Peterson realizes that when we analyze race or class in this way, it leads to negative societal consequences. But he has no problem grouping all Postmodernists together and using Foucault and Derrida as a representative sample.

I was a Jordan Peterson NPC. I let him dictate the code in my mind. One code that I let him implant was “POSTMODERNISM = BAD”. But this isn’t necessarily true. I think Peterson would agree with me that we shouldn’t accept everything someone says as true just because we like some of the things that they say. I was doing this with Peterson, but thankfully I have stopped and begun reading many Postmodern books. Don’t be a Jordan Peterson NPC because there is a lot of valuable knowledge to be gained from those we disagree with.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

National Parks Are Kicking Out Libertarians… For Cleaning Them Up

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The government shutdown has turned into the longest one in United States history. The consequences have included our TSA not being paid (scary!) and the National Parks losing funding. In addition, the FDA is shut down. So amidst the constant slew of overdoses on cheap EpiPens and terrorist attacks, some kind-hearted libertarians decided to step up to the plate and do their part for nature.

Members of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee Delta Region saw that garbage was accumulating, so they decided to head on over and volunteer. Amidst their efforts, though, a park ranger approached, demanding that their tribute to Mother Earth end. In the video above, one can see that the park ranger explains that if they wish to volunteer, they can sign a form that will be provided as soon as the facilities have re-opened.

The problem with that, though, is that due to the government shutdown, the facilities are closed. The park ranger informs a volunteer towards the end of the video that he has not seen the volunteer manager since the shutdown either.

The party explained:

No group of volunteers has been stopped throughout this nationwide effort until today. We were told about 30 minutes into our cleaning that we were not officially “volunteers” and would have to stop. We attempted to reason with the park ranger however he blatantly told us that even walking along side the walkways and picking up trash was prohibited….

The Libertarian Party is a party that centers on volunteerism and helping our community. It is a shame in the “Volunteer State” we are stopped from volunteering.”

Even unconsciously, the state seems to aim to monopolize everything good in this world so as to build up reliance on it. This act is one that shows that without government, beauty and nature will surely die.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Libertarians Need to Embrace Bitcoin to Succeed

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Libertarianism is clearly a pipe dream. The state co-opts libertarianism with seeming ease. The bastions of libertarianism in American politics now are seemingly willingly ignorant of some of the most important issues facing society: an economy that is clearly a facade and wars that will not end any time soon. And the only way out is Bitcoin – but more on that later.

Hopeless Libertarians

Instead of focusing on these precarious features of our present reality, libertarians have decided to take Gary Johnson’s approach. They focus on real issues, like gay marriage (which has been legal since 2015, mind you) and marijuana legalization. Not to downplay the fact that these issues are somewhat important and both should be legal everywhere, it makes no sense to be prioritizing such issues over far more pressing and oppressive institutionalizations that the United States government has decided to implement. Libertarians pair social liberalism with fiscal conservatism. Johnson cleverly called his tax plan the fair tax, so as to virtue signal to everyone that he believed in “fair” taxation, while the numbers chosen for the plan were completely arbitrary and fair is ultimately a completely subjective term.

So things seem pretty hopeless for libertarianism, and this hopelessness is intensified by the nature of democratic governance. The masses, the NPC’s, or the herd, as Nietzsche aptly termed the horde of zombies that consume the latest Kylie Jenner post with feverish enjoyment and meaningful desire, choose who rule us. And what do they choose on the basis of? Whoever makes them the most promises. Trump promised that he was going to impose trade restrictions for the blue collar worker, and they took the bait even though protectionism will ultimately hurt them in a roundabout manner. Candidates like Ocasio-Cortez willingly ignore facts (and defend themselves doing so) while promising truckloads of free stuff to those who have wasted their time and money on useless pursuits and degrees.

Libertarians don’t promise anyone anything. The proper libertarian preaches personal responsibility and strength in your ability to organize your life without the help of a coercive body parading as a mother. But this idea would not appeal at all to the masses. People want to be coddled and escape the harsh reality of owning your own life. And this is why the masses will never elect a libertarian.

It is clear that we should appeal to their self-interest – and on a very basic level. The self-interest of the masses is a simple one. People don’t care about abstract self-interested ideals. Concepts like the importance of time preference and the roundabout benefits of helping entrepreneurs ring hollow. People prefer easy short term gains.

And that is where libertarianism can leverage Bitcoin as a get rich quick scheme to fight back against globalism and liberate the individual.

The Crypto Solution

Bitcoin could be very good for the world. It has a chance to solve both of the very serious issues mentioned beforehand. The ability for Congress to utilize the Federal Reserve in pursuit of endless war means that Bitcoin could sweep the rug out from right under them. No central bank controls Bitcoin. This means that the banks cannot use it as a method for monetary stimulus. This solves the fatal boom-bust cycle. And the only way that this can happen is through mass adoption.

And for mass adoption, there needs to be demand. Some believe that Bitcoin and crypto can be utilized as a form of peaceful resistance. This resistance has already manifested in France. Amidst ATM withdrawal limits and bank runs, the Yellow Vests have become unlikely allies in the fight against the global monetary elites.

Promotion of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the newest way to get rich quick, paired with its use as an anti-status quo tool, would provide Bitcoin a serious opportunity to begin making real change. Crypto isn’t dead. It’s asleep. And it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a serious threat to the status quo. This means that the libertarian movement needs to give up on the dream of getting a 5% vote. Real political change doesn’t happen inside the boundaries of politics. The only way that we can truly make a change is through transcending the political boundaries that have been marked down for us.

All political Libertarians should hear the words of Slavoj Zizek:

Authentic politics is … the art of the impossible—it changes the very parameters of what is considered ‘possible’ in the existing constellation.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Minimum Wage Raises Are Causing Price Hikes – Just As Expected

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

For us it’s very simple. There’s no big pot of money out there to get the money out of.

That was the statement of Mike Wiggins, owner of Granny Schaffer’s restaurant in Joplin, Missouri. He is being forced to raise the prices of food items up to 20 cents for one reason: the minimum wage increase.

He estimates that he may have to pay an additional $12,000 in annual wages to his staff, which is only to the harm of consumers, due to the direct effect that it has on the prices of goods.

But this incident is not isolated to Missouri. New minimum wage requirements are going into effect in 20 states, ranging from a nickel per hour increase in Alaska to an increase in $1 hourly in states such as Maine, California, and Massachusettes. In Seattle, large employers are going to have to pay $16/hour at the minimum. Similarly, in New York City, it has gone up to $15/hour.

As a Yahoo! Finance report indicated:

Economic studies on minimum wage increases have shown that some workers do benefit, while others might see their work hours reduced. Businesses may place a higher value on experienced workers, making it more challenging for entry-level employees to find jobs.

Studies from the University of Washington showed that when Seattle raised its minimum wage to $11’hour, then further to $13/hour, there was a 6.9% reduction in hours for those working for less than $19/hour, leading to a net decline in hours and ultimately leaving the workers worse off.

And all of these results are expected. Free-market economists have been explaining this for years. Ultimately, the worker’s effort for a certain amount of time is a good being sold from the worker to the employer. Like any good, there is a standard supply and demand graph that it can be analyzed against. And in this model, a minimum wage acts as a basic price floor.

The graph for each quality of work is different, with the equilibrium point (the wage agreed upon by the worker and employer) residing at a different position based on the worker’s skill. If the employer determines that the worker’s labor is worth something around $20/hour, this price floor will have no effect. But when this exact same price floor is enacted where the equilibrium wage is at $6/hour, this worker will be guaranteed unemployment.

Economists understand that a price floor leads to a surplus of unsold goods. In this case, it leads to a surplus of low-skilled workers who cannot sell their skill because the government mandated that they cannot reach a voluntary agreement with their employer.

As Yahoo! Finance continued:

The new state minimum wage laws could affect about 5.3 million workers who are currently earning less than the new standards, according to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C. That equates to almost 8 percent of the workforce in those 20 states but doesn’t account for additional minimum wage increases in some cities.

So we have unemployment, or we have what we saw in the case of Granny Schaffer’s. The prices go up and consumers have to pay more. And in this instance, we have the exact same issue with a price floor above equilibrium. There is always a tendency towards equilibrium in any business endeavor as F.A. Hayek shows us, so businesses are always cutting it quite close (unless there is a large change in the quantity demanded or supplied and there is a lag in the adjustment). Because of this, when the price is forced up because the employer does not want to lay off their workers, there will once again be a surplus of unsold goods. This is bad for the business, and consumers are not getting the goods they desire.

All around, raising the minimum wage is a bad bet. So why are we still pushing for it anyway?

The sole reason is the empty platitudes of liberal talking heads and the likes of Sam Seder. When faced with economic analysis, they simply ask “but how is it moral for the employers to not pay a ‘living wage'” (whatever that means). It is a failure to see the bigger picture and look past the immediate effects of a government program. Bastiat warned us that the unseen exists, but because it is unseen, it is hard for many to take into account. One may pity those ignorant of their own economic misgivings, but when you realize that their faults are affecting the economy as a whole, compassion quickly goes out the window.


71 Republic takes pride in distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source