Are people actually able to govern themselves? Well, the likely answer to that question from most people you ask would be a resounding no. After all, most would agree that humans are too blinded by their own self interests to be able to create a peaceful and just society without some form of regulation. As a result of this being the widely-held belief, throughout human history we have organized into institutions that transfer power away from individuals to a central institution in the hopes that it can regulate the problems that arise from self-interested human nature.
These institutions have taken the forms of tribes, monarchies, empires and now nation states, and have been the exclusive holders of sovereignty, or in other words, “supreme or ultimate power.” Often, in order to gain their sovereignty, the use of force or threat of force is necessary. This is not to say that individuals cannot enjoy individual rights and freedoms under institutions, rather, individual sovereignty transcends such rights as personal property. When an individual has property rights, they have the right to own their property, but when an individual has sovereignty, they have the power and responsibility to fully control their property.
Adopting the Bitcoin standard represents an individual’s first step toward achieving personal sovereignty. By making the difficult decision to take their finances into their own hands, they are making the choice of freedom over safety. This is no easy decision to make, since the favorite phrase among Bitcoiners that it allows you to “be your own bank” turns out to be pretty literal. You are the only one responsible for keeping your bitcoin safe. You are the one for whom, if you are off by a single letter/number when sending bitcoin to an address, those coins are lost forever. You are the one who, if you lose your seed phrase, know that there is no bitcoin customer service agent to help you retrieve it.