Why Prague is the crypto-anarchist capital of the 21st century – The Calvert Journal

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“Due to the scarcity we experienced under the previous regime, we had to invent innovative ways to get what we needed,” says Alena Vranova, Prague cryptocurrency security expert and successful figure at the blockchain industry, born under Czechoslovakia. Communist regime. “When you know that no one is there to help you, you have to take care of what you need. During the Communist regime, printers and typewriters were monopolized, inventoried and monitored by the government, so the methods of publishing documents had to be improvised with methods such as carbon printing.

Likewise, the Czechs overcame obstacles posed by the government’s monopoly on masks during the pandemic. When the coronavirus epidemic spread to Europe in March 2020, the Prime Minister confiscated masks and cleaning supplies from private companies, in order to distribute them to hospitals – a decision that left others members of the public without access to supplies. “During the first lockdown, people gathered to collect materials and sew masks overnight. Then they hung the masks outside on the trees for people to take. Our government had let us down again, ”says Vranova. “Not me, since I wasn’t expecting anything, but some people were expecting support. We all had to wear the masks, but they were nowhere to be found! I would say we handled the pandemic despite The politicians.”

In 1976, a group of anti-Communist dissidents was formed, which was known the following year as Charter 77. A notable member, the mathematician and intellectual Vaclav Benda, wrote an essay in a samizdat title Paralelni Polis. In it, he called on his dissident colleagues to give up hope that the protest could change the existing government, and instead focus on creating parallel institutions to meet their basic needs. To preserve their freedom, they established parallel structures for education (teaching critical thinking to counter ideological indoctrination), economics (based on the exchange of goods between peers), information systems (samizdat and unofficial periodicals) and culture (an illegal underground scene).

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