How to Make a Living Outside of the System?

“The First Realm is ruled by politicians, personal freedoms are inhibited and restrained. Rather than advocating a revolution, they want to build a ‘Second Realm,’ one that is free from the rulers of the First Realm. More and more parts of our lives can be transferred to the Second Realm, until an individual lives mostly free in the Second Realm, while technically being ruled over in the First Realm. One day, the First Realm rulers may lose their power, due to everyone joining the Second Realm. Technically, the Second Realm is described as encrypted communication, encrypted currencies, anonymous and pseudonymous identities and untraceable action. Like Neo in the Matrix: by day, he’s just a computer programmer. By night, he’s an expert hacker. Only in the Second Realm, nobody will find the connection between the two. Or so they say. I could be my usual self in the First Realm, pay some taxes, pretend to have a normal job and be an ordinary citizen. In the Second Realm, I could be free. Do whatever I want. This not only sounds like freedom, it sounds like an adventure.”

– Daniel LaRusso (the protagonist of #agora)

 

 

 

Understanding agorist class theory necessitates the practice of black market trading, sooner or later. One explanation argues there are two ways of doing this – underground and aboveground. As the author says:

 

“So where do we start? The traditional and old way of doing a black market business was to stay invisible. This is not the approach I really recommend…I don’t want to have to live in fear…[a]re you going to come down where you’re completely open, as I am?”

 

Wait a minute…is he seriously claiming that there is such a thing as an aboveboard black marketeer? Continue reading

The Second Realm!

“In an agorist society, division of labor and self-respect of each worker-capitalist-entrepreneur will probably eliminate the traditional business organization – especially the corporate hierarchy, an imitation of the State and not the Market. Most companies will be associations of independent contractors, consultants, and other companies…[t]hus an association of entrepreneurs of liberty for the purpose of specializing, coordinating and delivering libertarian activities is no violation of the market and be optimal…[such an association] is simple and should avoid turning into a political organ or even an authoritarian organization. Rather than officers, what are needed are tacticians (local coordinators with competency in tactical planning) and strategists (regional coordinators with competency in strategic thinking). A New Libertarian Ally does not follow a tactician or strategist but rather ‘buys’ their argument and expertise. Anyone offering a better plan can replace the previous planner. Tactics and strategy should be ‘bought and sold’ by the Allies like any other commodity in consistent agorist fashion.”

Sam Konkin

 

 

As the very first agorist novella, #agora was also an original piece of libertarian fiction to uniquely showcase the idea of a second realm that existed outside the grasp of the State; in fact, there’s a brief yet memorable scene where one of the cryptoagorists whips out his cell phone in order to gain access to a room that is electronically locked. Needless to say, the notion of a Second Realm captivated my imagination like little else has given the opportunities and possibilities enabled by such a concept. When I discovered that there was a non-fiction treatise on the Second Realm itself, it would be an understatement to say that I was intrigued by what its authors had to offer. Continue reading

Agorist Class Theory

“A libertarian is someone who believes in the non-aggression principle. An anarchist is someone who understands it. An agorist is someone who practices it.”

Mike Zentz

 

 

Considering Sam Konkin’s previous work in the New Libertarian Manifesto, An Agorist Primer, and The Last, Whole Introduction to Agorism, you’d think that there’d be plenty enough literature establishing the basics of agorism, and for the most part, you’d be correct. However, further revisions and expansions upon agorism, such as Kyle Bennett’s An Agorist Manifesto in 95 Theses, greatly simplified many of the nuances and minutiae Konkin tried to communicate yet which Bennett actually succeeded in doing. Whether it be the Agorist Theory of the 5 Markets, or “black is beautiful,” the fact of the matter is that SEK3 didn’t have everything figured out, and what he was objectively correct about, he wasn’t always the best individual to convey those original ideas, hence the contributions of others who came later who were able to more effectively promote agorism. Continue reading

The Last, Whole Introduction to Agorism?

“It is the policy of the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre to deal with foreigners. Assuming they also wish to deal with us. Your other questions assume we are – or intend to become – a government. But we are agorists: propertarian anarchists. Our prosperity to date has come from following agoric principles we generally adopted. Why would we abandon market principles we have found efficacious in favor of hegemonic ones that have led society after society into ruin?”

Dr. Merce Rampart

 


As beautiful as a proposed libertarian strategy as it is, agorism is not without its faults. Seldom is there any genuine criticism of agorist theory or practice that is not just some regurgitation of political crusading by controlled schizophrenics who are emotionally invested in some sort of collective-movementism. Unfortunately, it would be a disservice to agorists not to offer a critique in good faith regarding their chosen approach to the problem of statism. Continue reading

An Agorist Primer

“You can be convicted of violating laws that don’t exist – as plenty of ‘tax criminals’ have been. Ask the IRS for copies of the laws you’re allegedly breaking and they’ll respond with legalistic gobbledegook. I have a friend who once testified as an expert witness in a tax case. Her expertise? Grammar. On the stand, she diagrammed a mega-monster sentence from the tax code and proved the alleged regulation couldn’t be obeyed – because it literally had no meaning in the English language. Still, people get arrested for disobeying it…[b]ottom line, you’re no longer a law-abiding citizen. There are too many laws to abide. And it doesn’t matter whether they call’em laws, rules, regulations, or something else altogether. You break them altogether. With laws like these, who even wants to be a law-abiding citizen?”

Claire Wolfe

 

 

Following up on the New Libertarian Manifesto, SEK3 elaborates upon agorism as a libertarian strategy, which hinges upon letting the black market choke the State into a well-deserved abolition. Setting the tone for the rest of this primer, Konkin defines agorism thusly:

 

“Agorism is the consistent integration of libertarian theory with counter-economic practice; an agorist is one who acts consistently for freedom and in freedom.”

 

By firmly insisting upon ends-means consistency (aka, integrity), SEK3 advocates for grey & black market trading as the means for achieving personal liberty. Unfortunately, if people aren’t willing to abstain from political crusading (as the voluntaryists demand is the minimum baseline for anti-political activity), then they sure as hell ain’t ready for agorism. Continue reading

[A] New Libertarian Manifesto

“Liberty depends on laws and their interpretations, and so is easily destroyed…laws and their interpretations often change…Big Brother already has 60 million laws and regulations or so. If all laws were consistently enforced, almost every man, woman and child would be in prison for one or more violations. But Big Brother can only extort so much taxes to hire bludg and build spy devices. And taxes are already to – or beyond – the point of diminishing return. Each additional rule to be enforced means existing rules get enforced less.”

Rayo (1983)

 

 

Agorism, simply defined, is a libertarian strategy that seeks to abolish the State through grey and black market trading. Etymologically, the very word “agora” means an open marketplace; in other words, an unlicensed, unregulated, untaxed, laissez-faire freed market. Samuel Edward Konkin III (aka, SEK3) birthed agorism in 1980 with the publication of the shortest manifesto I’ve ever read to date. Continue reading

Human Action!

“The origin of money is…entirely natural and thus displays legislative influence only in the rarest instances. Money is not an invention of the state. It is not the product of a legislative act. Even the sanction of political authority is not necessary for its existence. Certain commodities come to be money quite naturally, as the result of economic relationships that were independent of the power of the state.”

Carl Menger

 

 

Four and a half years ago, a reader of mine commented that I should study praxeology, which is the science of human action. As a skeptical empiricist, facts and evidence are important to me, yet, they cannot tell the entirety of the truth about a particular topic. Sometimes, logical deductions are more valuable than spending large and inordinate amounts of time and effort conducting never-ending research and studies that mostly tell you what is already knowable about the world, not just through hard-won personal experience, but also an extrapolated understanding of humanity through a truthful evaluation of one’s own values and actions.

Much like Ayn Rand’s fictional magnum opus, examining Ludwig von Mises’ non-fiction magnum opus could go in a lot of different directions, and it’s not just due to the sheer length of it. For my purposes of this report, I will focus on those highlights that really illuminated my understanding of economics more so than it already has been. Much like his other work Liberty & Property, Mises never fails to impart to me the dangers of economic illiteracy insofar as it impacts the human condition (such as it is). Continue reading

How Nonviolent Struggle Works?

“People who have held public positions during peace time should not be recruited for the [civilian] resistance movement. It is likely that these individuals will be arrested and subjected to brain washing. They should have no knowledge of the resistance movement, so your organization will not be compromised, nor lose members. Make sure this ‘basic rule of recruitment’ is well known, even to the enemy. Thus you can protect these valuable and courageous people to some degree since the enemy is aware of this policy, his interest in them will diminish. Examples of members unsuitable for the resistance movement are: prominent politicians both active or retired; leading economists, editors, professors, important administration officials. All these persons are too well known to participate in the ‘underground movement.’ They certainly will be shadowed, will be arrested sooner or later, or even executed. For them it is best to join guerrilla units.”

Major H. von Dach Bern

 

 

Satyagraha, simply defined, is using the force of truth alone in convincing opponents the righteousness of one’s cause. Often, suffering is inflicted upon practitioners of satyagraha by their enemies, yet their modus operandi is to stand firm until a mutually agreeable solution is negotiated. There is an assumption at work here that by reaching the conscience of one’s oppressors, satyagrahans are able to persuade them to remedy their grievances because there is, presumably, a limit to how many times, and how severely, each individual has within himself to hurt another man, face-to-face (of course, satyagraha assumes that oppressors have consciences worth appealing to in the first place).

A political scientist known as Gene Sharp has studied so-called “nonviolent struggle” in the attempt to not only comprehend it, but also to gauge its efficacy. Unfortunately, I’m left with the impression that satyagraha has a mean time to harassment (MTH) of exactly zero, because the whole idea of nonviolent struggle is to confront the State directly, as if nonviolent struggle were nothing more than a suicide pact. It’s almost as if satyagrahans throw themselves upon the gears of the State just to end up as nothing more than a pasty mush.

Sharp’s entire book appears to be collective-movementism on steroids, frankly. Considering the very existentiality of disingenuous activists and their fake grievances, it is merited to ask the quite uncomfortable question of, is there more to politics that pure spectacle? Generally speaking, I don’t mindlessly trust so-called “activists” farther than I can throw them, yet much like the politicians they appear to emulate, activists themselves are reminiscent of broken clocks, which by nature are correct twice a day. Continue reading

Only by Blood and Suffering?

“What will happen when the Big Machine is missing pieces? Orders won’t get processed at the Walmart distribution center. The 18-wheelers won’t make deliveries to [grocery] stores. Gas stations will run out of fuel. Some policemen and firemen won’t show up for work, having decided that protecting their own families is their top priority. Power lines will get knocked down in windstorms, and there will be nobody to repair them. Crops will rot in the fields and orchards because there will be nobody to pick them, or transport them, or magically bake them into Pop-Tarts, or stock them on your supermarket shelf. The Big Machine will be broken. Does this sound scary? Sure it does, and it should. The implications are huge.”

James Rawles

 

 

Remember LaVoy Finicum? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t, most people have forgotten about him by now given that it’s been over a year since he died, so it’s an understatement to say that he’s been absent from the news cycle, despite his historic role during the Statist Turf War of 2016 as a member of Citizens for Constitutional Freedom (C4CF), perhaps most infamously as the #TarpMan. Apparently, Finicum wrote a novel so he could earn passive income in order to finance his legal contentions with the Bureau of Land Management, who had already fined him $1,458 before eventually tacking on an additional $5,000.

In many ways, Finicum’s fiction reminds me of James Rawles’ Patriots novel, in that both of them dealt with TEOTWAWKI doom porn scenarios. Unfortunately, it’s almost as if Finicum wrote two different novellas and then squished them together in order to have a single novel; the first half focused on the Bonham siblings (Cat, Dan, HayLee-H, and KayLee-K) bugging out from the cities and getting to the retreat stronghold of their family ranch, whereas the second half was all about how their father, Jake, virtually defeated single-handedly the swarms of government forces during the Long Valley War. By the time Jake is laying waste to public servants attempting to overrun his ranch, the character development invested in the four siblings appears to have been, well, forgotten. Continue reading

The American Income Tax

“The effect of the ability-to-pay doctrine in practice is to discourage production. If an increasing portion of what I earn is taken from me – and that is the intent of the graduated income tax – then my inclination will be to cut down on my earnings. Men work to satisfy their desires, not to pay taxes. There is no sense in keeping my barn full if the highwayman empties it regularly and I have no means of preventing him from so doing…that is the effect of the ability-to-pay doctrine. If we examine the income tax carefully we find that it is not a tax on income so much as it is a tax on capital. When the government takes from me is not what I consume but what I might have saved.”

Frank Chodorov (1954)

 

 

Right from the very beginning, I was pleased to see the following copyleft notice:

 

“Published by Darrell Anderson. Written by Darrell Anderson. All rights reserved. First Edition 2006. ISBN: None. Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: None. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. This means you are free: To share: to copy, distribute, and transmit the work. Under the following conditions: Attribution: you must attribute the work in the manner specific by the author or licensor (but not in any way suggesting the author or licensor endorses you or your use of the work). Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes. No Derivative Works: You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. Thank you for cooperating and understanding.”

 

This is so awesome that I honestly think that the late Aaron Swartz would be proud. I honestly wish that more content producers within the alternative media would choose from among the market selection of copyleft options available in whatever they think is appropriate for their original works. Continue reading