“How do you abandon deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy, and the national debt in a matter of months?
~Stuart Stevens, It Was All A Lie
In his book It Was All A Lie, long-time GOP political campaigner Stuart Stevens poses the question: how can the conservative right abandon “deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy, and the national debt in a matter of months” to follow Donald Trump?
And his conclusion is that it didn’t abandon these beliefs because they were never real in the first place; they were merely messaging tools for opportunistic gain, shielding a bald quest for power. In short, It Was All A Lie.
Outside politics, “Silicon Valley” was born and bred in the US West with a Manifest Destiny-like optimism. The moonshots, expansive mission statements and promises of exponential impact border on the religious, jarring for their places at the top of Maslow’s infamous pyramid.
Amidst all the techno-utopianism, then, it seemed that this whole thing from Coinbase was a bit, well, off industry-brand?
That expansive-sounding tweet doesn’t really convey the actual post’s message. While putting forth some lofty goals (including enabling “belonging for everyone”), the linked post was actually written in order to define what Coinbase won’t do.
The post asks us to consider Coinbase’s mission “to create an open financial system for the world. An open financial system is one that is not controlled by any one country or company (just like the internet did for distributing information).” (source).
Well that is certainly lofty, too! In fact, their website goes on to say, “We think this is the highest leverage way to bring about more economic freedom, innovation, efficiency, and equality of opportunity in the world.”
And doing this massively significant, important work requires them to avoid certain things.
So Brian’s saying that, in order to bring about economic freedom, innovation, efficiency, and equality of opportunity in the world, it’s best to avoid broader societal issues and political causes.
Let’s set aside the myriad of issues with this and just say we think that Laszlo got it right. The world is different. It’s 2020 (and not 1970), people.
And shouldn’t that present those Silicon Valley Big Dreamer types with an exciting opportunity?
Absolutely. Unless, of course, it was all a lie.
p.s. here’s how Brian’s approach is working out.