Renaissance with NFT: From Dystopian Art to New Primitive
Updated: Apr 21
When both China and US are confronting the tech giants’ monopolies, such as trapping their armies of employees in algorithms, China turns to the state as Engels would suggest while American and European techies are trying to revitalize Bakunin with decentralized networks. The dispute between Engels and Bakunin was whether we should have a powerful state to constraint capital or use a network of self-governing organizations to replace state and capital, with the former being socialism while the latter being anarchism and later as liberal socialism.
The reason why I believe such crypto non-alignment movement would take roots in the Global South is most countries are essentially semi-states as a result of foreign state-building. And a great many of them came into existence only after WW2 amid the wave of decolonization. In a broader sense, any state formed through the bandwagon of decolonization can be categorized as a “semi-state,” and can hardly do national mobilization with its inherited weaknesses of incomplete state-building. Such weakness has been and will keep being exploited by the COVID pandemic, driving deeper wedges into the generational and ideological differences, which are unlikely to be solved peacefully.
The desperate millennials and zoomers in these semi-states have nothing else to turn to but drugs and P2E since time would be the only thing left. There is less despair in G7, but the youth's frustration is as contagious due to the continuous government incompetence since their birth. Popular artwork reflects the sentiment of that period. Amid such frustration and even despair, the popular artwork would certainly be the ones dyed with deterministic pessimism. Then come CryptoPunks/ Tpunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club Tron, with the latter being particularly dystopian. But all we can do in some virtual yacht is just be bored, like some disillusioned monks in the Middle Age. True salvation, as history would indicate, has to come in the form of the Renaissance. It would be the Renaissance of cooperatives. Then Loot.
Although Loot and its allies are still primitive, they shed light on what a true Renaissance with NFT might be. It may not be able to drag people out of the deterministic pessimism yet, but it has sown the seeds for cautious optimism, regardless of how indeterministic it is.