Life is a giant competition. Opportunities and threats constantly present themselves and the people with the most efficient, and decisive strategy are rewarded with success. Though many people are attached to the notion of “fairness,” the reality is that life isn’t fair, and it pays to be a winner. Strategy is used in all aspects of life, but for some reason strategy is seldom taught. I’d like to rectify that situation by introducing formal strategic thinking to activists, hopefully increasing their understanding of how to effectively accomplish their goals.
Privilege exists. There are people in fancy suits and black dresses who are given immunity for their heinous crimes. Their friends in the financial industry regularly launder money and get away with it while kids in Florida get arrested for some measly Bitcoin transactions. The government comprises the most privileged class in the US, but lately the topic of “privilege checking” doesn’t focus on the obviously privileged class, it focuses on those crushed under its thumb. The profits earned by Bitcoin investors are laughable compared to those made by any major bank or any government agency. It is as hard to take claims that the Bitcoin space is one of privilege seriously as it is to suggest that there is a place for this theory of privilege in libertarian thought.
This article is not for pacifists. I do have great respect for pacifists and would enjoy reading articles similar to this one outlining strategies and tactics for anarchist pacifist defense agencies. Sadly, I’ve come across very few, if any, that employed outside of the cage thinking. Maybe I’ll write one myself one of these days. Also, this article is not concerned about the basics of why private defense agencies are needed or why they would not turn into governments themselves. This article is strictly about the nuts and bolts and assumes that the reader is already on board with the philosophy. Furthermore, it must be understood that the economics I present below absolutely require Bitcoin as the medium of exchange. The elaborate nature of underground defense agencies precludes the use of corporate bank accounts or easily seizable stockpiles of precious metals or cash. Let’s get started.
Last August, I met former Belarusian Presidential candidate Yaroslav Romanchuk at a libertarian conference near Lviv, Ukraine. He was somewhat of a Ron Paul figure, a businessman-turned-politician advocating radical free market reforms in Belarus. The consequences for being a libertarian in or near Russia are much more severe than in the United States. In 1994 he faced pressure: to stay in business he’d have to either join the mafia or join the government. He ended up abandoning the import-export business he had spent years building.
We joked about America’s RT (Russia Today) news service — that the United States government should sponsor a Russian language libertarian channel in Russia and Eastern Europe. The joke, which for us needed no explanation, was that governments can invoke principles of freedom when they undermine a rival government, while simultaneously behaving like a savage tyrant at home. This should not be difficult to understand. Read the rest of this entry »
I have been a full time Agorist since October 2012. That means I set my own hours, I don’t answer to an employer, and I have no one to blame for my failure but myself. I have jokingly called it, “bootstrapping through life.” Agorism is a species of market activism where people trade voluntarily in an untaxed, unregulated barter economy to avoid faceless corporations and intrusive bureaucracies. Agorism holds all coercion and fraud as moral evils, and aims at manifesting a society where all coercive systems are replaced by consensual competitors. Being an Agorist combines the skill set of an entrepreneur with the sensibilities of a radically anti-establishment political activist.
“We live in a world that has been brainwashed into believing that law can be found in the hands of legislators instead of discovered in the science of justice.” ~ Chris Snyder
“Science of justice” may seem like a vague term when one is not familiar with its application. Discussing this terminology with Chris is what brought me to the decision to spend a great deal of my time reading and contemplating the wisdom of Lysander Spooner. I had known and loved Spooner before this, but the lightbulb really flashed this time. It is Spooner’s definition of the ‘science of justice’ that I will use hereafter.
Nestled between two golf courses in the Hampstead area of North London lies a row of colonnaded mansion houses, each looming from behind stern borders of black iron fencing. Lush vegetation, old trees and rhododendron bushes subtly screen the opulence from full view of the street. Estate agents advertise them for sale with features such as a car lifts, indoor pools and libraries. Many remain dark, and lifeless as they await the return of owners who seem to have forgotten them.
One of the advantages of being a teetotaler is that when liberty-minded people get together and have brilliant ideas, I’m often the one who remembers them. The idea of a Keynote Robot is not my own. It was borne out of the frustrations among some of the attendees of PorcFest X that keynote speakers like Gary Johnson didn’t really reflect their ideas. Similar frustrations surrounded the selection of Naomi Wolfe as a keynote at this year’s Liberty Forum. The problem is it’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure more like-minded speakers like Larken Rose, or Ben Stone, because more principled speakers are refusing to fly. The liberty movement in general is losing a lot of great speakers to the TSA. Plus, a number of international speakers won’t set foot in the US. So, it’s time to take the idea of a Keynote Robot more seriously. And you know this is a viable idea because it recently made it possible for whistleblower-in-chief, Edward Snowden to speak at TED2014.
I’ve been studying anarchist and libertarian thought for about six years now. In that time I’ve found that learning to compare the state to a gang in a very detailed and factual manner is crucial to the growth of anarchist thought. It’s often the one thing that brings folks from small government to stateless thinking. It’s no easy task to change someone’s beliefs about government. Sometimes the only thing you can do is simply lay out the facts, and the fact of the matter is that the state is a gang, not unlike any street gang or mafia. The evidence is obvious and abundant, if only most people had the courage to draw that conclusion. Nobody arrives at any stateless ideology without that final paradigm shattering realization.