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Does Passive Income Really Exist? Cryptocurrencies and Capitalism.

As part of our ongoing series on Cryptocurrencies we’re taking a brief look at the concept of passive income. Our friends at Cointcentral have a new piece on this which you can read here:

Technically, the term Passive Income refers to money that generates an increase in value while you do nothing except not touch it. You don’t invest it, use a percentage of it, or in anyway manipulate it. It “works” while you don’t.

This strikes us as a particular aspect of capitalism. The truth is that no income is passive in the sense that in order to have an income source that derives value from your lack of action, it rests on the labor of others without whom passive income could not exist.

This of course is capitalism in a nutshell. We could dwell on the morality or ethics of that but we shall confine ourselves to a more narrow question: Is it a sound long term strategy to build wealth by creating alternate dimensions of value in which lack of labor produces value?

The more value is moved into cyber coins – Cryptocurrencies – the more traditional labor become either valueless or retains value based on its use as a means to buttress passive income.

The result of that, inevitably is a stratified system of Passive Income, have and labor heavy have-nots which of course builds resentment.

The standard response would be to insert here some comment about how were a long way from pitchforks and torches and people storming the gates or setting up guillotines on the National Mall.

But consider this from Marketwatch – hardly anyone’s idea of a Left-wing propaganda piece – and then rethink your strategy.

“In fact, a cultural revolution is creating a new global collective conscience between capitalism and inequality, the Haves and the Have-nots. A powerful virus is spreading, rising from the grass roots of billions in the repressed poor and the middle class, forcing moral leaders to step forward and openly challenge the destructive forces of capitalism. You can now even see them jumping on this new bandwagon.”

Read the rest here:

10 comments on “Does Passive Income Really Exist? Cryptocurrencies and Capitalism.

  1. The ideal of passive income creates a pyramid scheme with plutocrats at the top. But it is justified through the promise that anyone greedy enough too can become lazy worthless pieces of shit sucking off the hard labor of others. The present risk is that this promise is beginning to ring hollow for even the most selfish ignoramuses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rauldukeblog says:

      Pyramid scheme is exactly what it is 0 within the even more vast pyramid scheme that is capitalism.

      The whole cryptocurrency thing fascinates me. There is a strange tech bro aspect to it. They focus on how secure the system is but when you point out that decentralized currency will hollow out the state’s ability to provide services derived from taxation they repeat their mantra that the technology is safe.

      I’m beginning to do some research on the connection between crypto, China’s gambling colony of Macau, and its biggest foreign investor – Shelden Adelson who of course is Trump’s biggest financial (American) patron. No surprise that Macau is sub-controlled by the traditional Chinese mafia.

      This in turn raises another issue: the binary construction of the sham debate about Trump/Putin. It’s always presented as either or – Putin did or didn’t screw the election. But despite Adelson’s relatively high profile there’s been essentially no public discussion about Trump-China-Macau-Adelson-Israel-Crypto etc

      A great big casino where everything is screwy.


  2. Now that sounds tasty (spoken in WSB’s voice), a thick juicy slab of possible corruption and collusion, conniving and conspiracy. I don’t recall hearing about Macau, much less Adelson’s connection. That deserves some serious investigative journalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rauldukeblog says:


      It’s both very interesting and deserving of wider investigation/discussion.

      The little that’s available had Adelson investing in Macau as a kind of duplicate of what he did in Vegas. The PRC took over Macau from the Portuguese but changed nothing so you still have the network of gangsters that traditionally ran it in place. Interestingly there is no death penalty in Macau so there’s far less risk for the local mafia in terms of drugs and assorted crimes.

      There’s a godfather type who has connections into Cambodia but vis Adelson his efforts go back to when Tom Delay was speaker. Delay was instrumental in getting the gears greased for Adelson and the Beijing Olympics.

      The idea that the PRC wouldn’t use the Macau mafia to work on Trump through Adelson is laughable.

      The first and easiest questions should be to what extent does Trump’s connection to Adelson in the form of massive financial contributions connect to organized crime in Macau? Is Adelson vulnerable to blackmail? If so does that also implicate Trump and his family who of course do extensive business in China.

      As I mentioned it also highlights the shallow nature of the binary arguments about Trump/Putin.

      Once you start looking at Trump Inc the question isn’t who is blackmailing him but who isn’t?


      1. William S. Burroughs. I can’t see the word ‘tasty’ without hearing his voice.

        That’s a good point about blackmail and Trump Inc. Maybe not to the same extreme but I have similar thoughts about nearly all of the upper reaches of political and plutocratic power. Wealth represents power and, in that game, power is not just force as it is even more about manipulation.

        What excites me so much about the investigations going on is that it is far from only being about Trump and friends. It opens a can of worms. And the fallout could end up being immense, if the powers that be don’t keep it carefully contained. Those involved in the various shenanigans go across the partisan aisle or rather the partisan aisle is meaningless when it comes to games of power and profit.

        Tony Podesta is an example of someone high up in the Clinton establishment. He has been caught up in all of this, but I rarely hear it discussed. Though this week he fell back in the crosshairs of Mueller and the media took notice.


      2. rauldukeblog says:

        Ah Burroughs! Talk about oddly fascinating and connections. May have mentioned this previously but check out a blog called Reality Studio.

        And thanks for the Podesta link. The deal between Clinton, a Canadian firm and the Russians for the uranium reeks of weirdness. Though I’m not sure how much of it is a question of law breaking so much as it speaks to the sleazy truths of power politics but nothing would surprise me.

        Agree about the Mueller situation spilling over and into god knows what but look for the usually Lone Gunman motif here questions don’t get asked and the resulting concerns are defined as “conspiratorial” and thus illegitimate.

        The machine always protects itself.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A truth commission is what we need more than a legal investigation. The very problem is so many of the moral wrongdoings and democratic failures were mostly or entirely legal or else that they could be portrayed that way through carefully orchestrated plausible deniability.


      4. rauldukeblog says:

        My problem with such commissions is that as they lack the potential legal bite there’s even less reason for people to tell the truth. But I take your point. In my unrealistic ideal world there would be a Constitutional Convention which would be comprised of empowered committees that were not bought and paid for.

        I also have a bridge to sell;-)

        I just read the VF article you linked to. K Street is a cesspool that gets less attention than it should. If for no other reason they were generating “fake news” long before anyone had heard the phrase. Bush the first used them to create the Willy Horton Bs that helped wreck Dukakis – though he was helpful on his own.

        As to the uranium my guess has always been that following the collapse of the SU B. Clinton arranged to have the Canadian company (and the Canadian Gov) agree to purchase the uranium to keep it off the open/black market. By definition it’s not illegal though it is a form of bribery to Putin Inc. Thus the Clinton machine is as dirty as Trump Inc vis being in bed with the Russians.

        But keeping the uranium away from other people is a lesser evil – in theory.

        But even if true it doesn’t mean it’s still not a sin.

        Politics is often shuffling between bad and worse vs choosing between good and bad.

        None of which changes the greater truth – it’s all rotten.


      5. I like the idea of a truth commission that only gives immunity to those who speak the truth. All other guilty people would be punished to the fullest extent of national and international law.

        The offer of immunity would incentivize people turning on one another. And maybe offer further incentives for any evidence that leads to a conviction of another person.

        It wouldn’t just be about the truth, although important by itself. I’m not sure if it would work perfectly, but it would have to be better than what is presently being done or rather not done.

        We could always experiment with multiple methods. I’m all for experiments.

        That is also why I like revolutions, as they are experiments. Sometimes they lead to progress and sometimes not… either way, the old problems are changed, even if that just means creating new problems.

        Nothing is perfect.


  3. rauldukeblog says:

    “I like the idea of a truth commission that only gives immunity to those who speak the truth. All other guilty people would be punished to the fullest extent of national and international law. ”

    And important distinction and I’d support that.

    Re: Revolutions. I’m reminded of Jefferson’s idea about the need for “permanent” revolution – or one every x number of years.


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