Here is a speech I gave at last year’s Porcfest, just recently published. Enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Agorism’ Category
Tonight I was pondering how we’d get started with a private defense agency. My train of thought usually goes something like this: somebody needs to start a company (agorist), hire some ex-military badasses like Adam Kokesh, then contract them out to local anarchist businesses, houses, clubs, or rent them out as escorts. Then I sigh a gasp of defeat over the fact that I’m too lazy and too busy and too inexperienced to start a business like that myself. Then I briefly ponder why the Kokesh’s of the anarchist community haven’t done that either. Not being able to come up with any satisfactory answer I switch to happier thoughts in order to stave off despair.
I just got back from a highly successful east coast tour which included both speaking at Bitcoin In The Beltway, and vending at the eleventh annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, both of which were highly lucrative. I’ve said many times that Bitcoin is a tool for personal freedom, and I’ve also said that freedom requires personal responsibility. So, when Bitcoin goes missing while I’m at the helm I have no one to blame but myself.
I am now on day fifteen of tax disobedience. This year I refused to file taxes on income earned as an independent contractor. In the past I had always had jobs that paid a wage, where taxes were withheld by my employer. Because my earnings in years past have always been so paltry, I filed paperwork only because I knew I would be getting some money back. But last year I worked as an independent contractor, and so the onus was on me this tax season to write a check to the federal government. I disobeyed. I’d like to explain why I’m telling the world and why you should too, if you’re a tax rebel like me.
Are Bitcoins money? It’s a tricky question that everyone in the freedom movement has to ask themselves. There are plenty of debates across the net as we speak, trying to determine this pertinent fact, and I believe both sides have merit. The problem though, is we all keep trying to pigeonhole Bitcoins into two specific categories. You either think it’s money or it’s not. Neither side of the debate will ever reach a consensus for the simple fact that they haven’t bothered to consider that there is a third choice. That perhaps, Bitcoin is a form of value completely unique in the human experience, and has no traditional category.
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.
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.
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.
The point of activism is to bring about a desired change in society. Before an activist, or a movement, can achieve anything several questions must be answered. Part of the answer is finding out what obstacles exist and they can be overcome. Good information is key for good decision making. If we are to be revolutionaries we need to be proactive, systematic and methodical in our intelligence gathering. If we are to be successful, it makes sense to emulate what works rather than reinventing the wheel. So, let’s take a look at a basic intelligence gathering technique used by the military, and see if we can adapt it to suit our needs.
If you are an Agorist, like me, you probably avoid the State whenever possible, including using FRN’s and being groped or irradiated when you fly. One of my goals is to create, find, and connect with as many alternative markets as possible. Well, there are apps for that. I love tapping something, and having the information I want at my fingertips, literally. If a new app is quicker and easier than an older app, I will switch. As my interests grow, so does my need for apps, but I’m also always looking to build the community offline, and there’s apps for that too.