TPB64 – Toward a Science of the Political with Natalie Smolenski

“Regardless of what is happening in the wider world, what is it that you can build right where you are today that others can inherit from you that leaves the world better?” 

My guest today is Natalie Smolenski. Natalie is a political and economic anthropologist, Founder and Executive Director of the Texas Bitcoin Foundation and Fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute.

In this episode we discuss the philosophy, theory, and political implications of Bitcoin and beyond. We discuss the flaws in left vs right political framing, scientific political theory, global affairs, charismatic leaders, freedom vs surveillance, the Israel-Palestine conflict, finding hope and purpose, and more. Natalie provides unique insights on political vibes vs political science, the role of the state, economic policy, and how Bitcoin offers an opportunity to rethink money and power. Natalie is one of the most intelligent thinkers and authors on social and political anthropology, and my hope is that this episode can provide everyone, especially progressives, some food for thought in terms of the state, typical political polarization, and what our world could look like if we were to move beyond our current social and political hinderances. Natalie invites us to ask, what could a science of the political look like v. just political vibes? What could an anthropological theory of money look like? Where can hope be found as a society and people in the face of dystopian challenges? 

Please support Natalie’s work if you can by donating to the Texas Bitcoin Foundation, and following along at the handles below:

Texas Bitcoin Foundation: 

Natalie Smolenski: 

Trey Walsh:  


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00:00:00 Start 00:04:10 Interview Begins 00:09:00 Disciplinary Approach  00:15:30 Left vs Right Politics 00:21:50 Social Media & Politics 00:27:00 State Power & Money   00:33:00 Small Government 00:39:30 Cultural Empathy 00:45:00 Left Theory of Money 00:52:00 Deficits & Inflation 00:59:30 Local Political Action 01:06:30 Surveillance State  01:12:00 Academia & Indoctrination 01:19:00 Israel-Palestine Conflict 01:25:00 Hope & Purpose

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The Team: Producer/Editor: @DamienSomersetBranding/Art: @DanielWebsite: @EvanPrim