The surveillance state
Since its dawn in the fertile land of Mesopotamia, the entity known as state has defined itself through the power of control it held over its own society and its offensive power (aka ability to conquer) other entities, states and people surrounding it. It is in the intrinsic nature of the state to submit and control people – their everyday life, their believes, their loyalty. Through enforced power structures, state entities monopolize certain dimensions of society, like self-defense and economy, and weaponize them against society itself for the sake (and profit) of the ruling elite. This way, self-defense (or the ability to protect one’s existence against potential attacks) becomes military and police, to conquer others and repress domestic uprisings. Similarly, economy (or the ability to manage society’s wealth in order to guarantee everyone’s survival) turns into private property, liberal markets and labor as a servitude. The dimensions of natural life are emptied of their meaning and become anti-social dimensions of oppression. Ideas like democracy and freedom are transformed into a mockery of themselves.
As millennia went on, the shape of power has adapted. From the god kings of the first cities to the emperors of Christianity, from the dictators of the twentieth century to the leaders in fashionable suits of modern nation states, the ruling elite has kept its grip on society and adjusted its strategy to changing times. Technology, one of the spearheads of humanity, has been developed in order to provide new tools that could guarantee the survival of the oppressors. And since control over people is the essence of state oppression, surveillance technology has made its entrance in the scene. Mass surveillance has become the number one tool of intelligence services to control the activities, movements and communications of its (and others’) citizens, while explicit violence, prison and torture serve the purpose to prevent eventual uprisings.
The surveillance state has discreetly made its way into the house and pockets of everyone, keeping a low enough profile not to frighten citizens when possible. The narrative of ‘necessary surveillance to prevent crime and terrorism’ has been the cherry on top, with which digital control has been rendered tolerable – and sometimes even desirable.
It is now known to the vast majority of population that governments monitor and track the actions, communications, and movements of their citizens.
What is less evident is what states and big companies do behind closed doors to enlarge their profit and increase their power. Those who peek behind the curtain are prosecuted and unjustly accused of crimes the governments themselves commit.
The so-called democratic Italian State, for example, entertains an intense economic relation with Turkish regime, especially when it comes to weapons manufacturing industry. This profitable exchange guaranteed Turkey authorizations and licenses for 362,3 million USD in 2018 and armaments for 338 million USD in 2019. Most deals were carried out by Italian Ministry of Economy through the companies Leonardo and Beretta. Italian government discreetly makes millions of dollars by selling weapons to Erdogan’s bloody regime contradicting its own law (185/90), which forbids selling armaments to countries at war. A country, the Turkish State, knowingly guilty of paying, arming and training jihadists of the Islamic State and of using chemical weapons in Iraqi Kurdistan – chemical weapons made illegal by international conventions signed by the country itself.
Countless scandals prove so, like the recent downfall of Danske Bank (involved in what has been defined the largest money laundering operation in Europe). Over the course of 2020 banks around the world have been fined for 14 billion USD for money laundering, and religious institutions and figures like the Church are often in the centre of financial scandals as well.
In other words, while regulating cryptocurrencies for tax avoidance and money launder, the states launder money themselves through national and private banks.
While shutting down anonymous marketplaces for selling weapons, they produce armaments and sell them to regimes around the world. While accusing activists of terrorism, they carry out state massacres, destabilize other governments and stage attacks. While banning privacy to fight human trafficking, they traffic refugees with dictators and kill innocents who try to cross a border.
While staging the suicide of pioneers who built the possibility of alternative, autonomous economy, they empoverish people, exploit them to death and destabilize other countries’ economies to keep them under control.
Many have been targeted by such filthy lies. Among them, we mention our comrade Ross Ulbricht, who has been resisting in prison for the past 10 years. Like us, Ross believes privacy and anonymity are frontiers in the struggle for a free life, and has invested his skills in the creation of an anonymous online marketplace called Silk Road.
In the name of the war against privacy, the surveillance state has sentenced him to life in prison.
Under the eye of the sun-god
Anonymity as a self-defense mechanism against the surveillance state is unavoidable. The state entities’ violent mentality makes them commit a fatal mistake: they are convinced they can enforce any decision with brutality. In their vision, mass surveillance as a mean of control and prosecution as a deterrent produce the desired output of a gullible, meek society. This is true only to a certain extent, as they dramatically fail to consider the complexity of society and its innate resilience. Instead of pacifying people into accepting omnipresent tracking through KYC policies, the increasing regulation on cryptocurrencies and deploy of mass control technology are causing more and more users to go dark, confirming the lunarpunk positive feedback loop: more surveillance provokes more anonymity, and more anonymity causes more surveillance.
This way, the lunarpunk vision comes to life: as the tyrannic sun-god reaps victims among his subjects in the scorching desert of his domain, where the omnipresent divine eye sees everything, people seek refuge in the darkness of encrypted forests, dimmed with the gentle light of the moon. In these sanctuaries of humanity, tribes of freedom fighters are formed, under the oath to defend life. Away from the surveilling eye of the sun-god, societies are free to rediscover their traditions and regain their moral and political agency, as new tools of self-defense are developed to prevent the reprisals of the dictator.
Moonlight, or the sanctuary of free life
In order to exist, the state needs a society to control and exploit. But the opposite cannot be said: societies don’t need a state to exist. Actually, they thrive once liberated. As privacy is being banned everywhere, cryptocurrencies are being more and more regulated to limit their power, developers and crypto-users are being murdered and prosecuted, we, the lunarpunks, know how to defend our societies. Our skills and knowledge are ready to serve our community. We are ready to form squads and teams to create dark, safe sanctuaries where new frontiers of privacy and anonymity can be developed. LunarDAO is the place to do so.
In the forest, our community is at work. In LunarDAO you can invest in privacy-oriented projects you consider valuable, and you can propose your own projects for others to evaluate. In the forum you can join and open discussions about tech, lunarpunk narrative and aesthetics, economy and crypto. Your knowledge and experience are welcome, no matter their level. More expert users are ready to support new ones, as our aim is to learn from each other and educate in free software, economy and philosophy. This is a place for anyone ready to join the squad to create the new paradigm of free life, away from the tyrannical eye of governments and Big Tech.
Together we can imagine and develop the necessary infrastructure to create economy and politics beyond the state; we can be uncensorable, sovereign and anonymous.
Society is under attack; lunarpunks are ready to strike back.
Join the squad.
Let the moonlit night begin.