The current century has the world connected but not centered. This is good and bad. Connections link people, ideas and cultures, and the biggest advances in history have required connections. Connecting with each other drives progress.
In contrast, centralizing power is linked with disaster and human suffering. Oligarchy is damaging. The current economic incentives in most nations make oligarchy a near-certainty. The world is at a technological crossroads. We can choose to keep the power in the hands of the people. Blockchain could help.
Blockchain promotes decentralization. It could prevent the strengthening or formation of blocs. Blockchain also provides a means to an idealistic result. Control of the internet by the government reduces freedom. All over the world, governments are putting more restrictions in place about services on the internet. They add firewalls, monitor internet activity and gather data about what people do online. Governments also disseminate mass lies.
Blockchain offers an alternative to authoritarianism. It enables more peer-to-peer connections. It helps distribute power on a more equal basis. Citizens should also know that some of the biggest blocs are tech companies and other huge corporations. They rival some governments in terms of influence and power. That power comes from the data they collect and analyze.
Large companies know more about people than ever. Google collects personal data on all users. After it bought out FitBit, it will have even more. Netflix gathers data. Facebook has been called into Congress about how it abuses the public's trust by gathering data.
Decentralized blockchain will require a change in how things are done today. Centralization makes it more difficult for the average Joe to mine Bitcoin. Miners have to use special machines in anonymous server farms located close to cheap power. As technology got stronger, decentralization failed.
Blockchain and decentralizing of power can act as critical countermeasures to both corporate and political authoritarianism. These tools allow people to opt out of systems that they think are inconvenient or unfair. Blockchain offers a way to organize against injustice. With blockchain, people could get back some of their freedoms they have lost to corporations.