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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Seth King on June 09, 2010, 03:11:07 PM



Title: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on June 09, 2010, 03:11:07 PM
Can somebody tell me the difference between the two? If someone who considers themselves an agorist got labeled an anarchist by someone else, would they correct them on it and explain the difference?


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on June 09, 2010, 09:13:15 PM

According to Konkin:

"Agorism is a way of thinking about the world around you, a method of understanding why things work the way they do, how they do, and how they can be dealt with – how you can deal with them."

A good start would be to read "An Agorist Primer." http://www.kopubco.com/pdf/An_Agorist_Primer_by_SEK3.pdf (http://www.kopubco.com/pdf/An_Agorist_Primer_by_SEK3.pdf)

I have to admit... I have only been reading about agorism for a few months. Nevertheless, unlike the more simplistic usage of terms like anarchism and anarcho-capitalism, I think agorism is unique in that while it [contains] anarchism and anarcho-capitalism as part of its make-up... It likewise expands on the solution (specific means to achieve specific ends) in more of a systematic way (e.g. expanded emphasis on counter economics, etc.).

I would characterize agorism as fully developed & fully consistent anarchism. As such - there is no conflict in calling an anarchist an agorist (or visa versa); but doing so doesn't necessarily mean that the anarchist fully understands the broader tenets of agorism that basic anarchism does not really delve into as thoroughly.

The emphasis of consistency within agorism is a key element of its ideology. This is a VERY brief answer to your question, but rather than regurgitating what others have already stated very well... that's why I posted the link to An Agorist Primer, above.



Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on June 09, 2010, 11:22:01 PM
Wow! Thanks for posting that link. Is that the entire book? It looks like it was published in 2008. I am going to have to check out the Ludwig von Mises Institute and see if they have his book for sale. If not, I would be curious as to why.

I have a hard time reading books online. I prefer books in hand. But that was a nice link with clearly legible type and easy to navigate.

How did you first hear about Konkin and agorism? Did konkin pen the term? Were you already well steeped in free-market philosophy before reading him? Am I going to regret naming my sight the Daily Anarchist after I read it, wish instead, that I had named it The Daily Agorist? Haha.

It's definitely something I am going to have to look into as I know there are a healthy amount of compatriots who self-identify as agorist. Also, it doesn't have any negative connotations like anarchist.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on June 10, 2010, 01:23:59 PM

Yes that is the entire book but that's not saying much. It is only around 100 pages +/- and a very quick read. Each page only has about 2 or 3 paragraphs on it and it is very interesting stuff so it goes by quick. You can order the book online or, since it is relatively small, you can simply print it off. I read most of it on an iPhone without a problem at all.

It was published in 2008 although Konkin published New Libertarian Manifesto in 1983 (linked here: http://agorism.info/docs/NewLibertarianManifesto.pdf (http://agorism.info/docs/NewLibertarianManifesto.pdf)). NLM is much shorter and less detailed but also lays out the ground work for agorism.

More info on agorism (including audio readings of the NLM mentioned above) can be found at: http://agorism.info/ (http://agorism.info/)

There are other sources as well, but that one is a good starting point that can answer many of your questions. My personal opinion is that the linked videos ( at agorism.info) are off base though, and am not sure why they are linked.

Likewise I have spoken with other "agorist's" who embrace differing ideas. Some support socialist-anarchism, some anarcho-capitalism, and other various "'ism's." When learning about agorism it is important not to confuse what it actually IS vs. what others purport it to be. Konkin does a masterful job at pointing out the necessity of consistency from start to finish. That others may or may not mis-characterize what agorism actually is should not nullify the truisms that it actually espouses. The opening of An Agorist Primer does a very good job at laying this out in clear language.

Yes - Konkin did pen the term agorism.

I came to knowledge of agorism via independent studies. I continually search for various philosophical problems (usually studying all angles of every subject I research, for, against, and in-between). I do not know what I was onto at the time but whenever I stumbled upon agorism, I wasn't really looking for it. I think it just caught my eye somewhere and so I focused on it and found that after reading what it's all about (from its source - Konkin), I couldn't find ANY area of disagreement.

Even as you suggested previously, the term "anarchism" unfortunately carries a negative connotation because the rulers of the oligarchy want it that way. So, even while agorism incorporates anarchism, since it offers more of a solution oriented, methodical and coherent approach, I do think that it is more palatable for the lay-person who is encountering these ideas for the first time. Of course none of that negates the reality that anarchism (as a standalone) is not "bad" to begin with; albeit agorism attempts to complete an otherwise open-ended philosophy (or network of presuppositions, aka world-view).

You asked if I was already well steeped in the free-market philosophy before reading Konkin.

In all honestly, no. I had a very general understanding of free-market philosophy and anarcho-capitalism; but I cannot honestly say that I really understood "market anarchism" and how essential counter-economics is to its success. Moreover, even though I had already developed, within my own mind, how important it is to fully divorce oneself from ownership of the system (as described in another thread), I didn't know how to pull it altogether in such a way as to impact MY goals immediately. Of course, it is an entirely different thing to rid oneself of all the old baggage that we accumulate over the years prior to this sort of knowledge... but it absolutely lays out [a] proper (consistent) course to take. After all, as individuals we are free to choose what pace we will set in our individual endeavors.

Counter-Economics, as described by Konkin, is the means to a desired end (that end being, life in the Agora... hence agorism/agorist, etc.).

While I continue to learn how to liberate myself I am content in knowing that I analyze every new concept (new to me) that comes my way against reality. Since Agorism is: "Thought and action consistent with freedom..." It doesn't matter if tomorrow I come to knowledge of something that is found to be true, yet contradicts previously held presuppositions. What matters is that I recognize what truth is, and adjust my world-view accordingly.

That is what I endeavor to do.









Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on June 10, 2010, 02:10:37 PM
You mentioned socialist-anarchism as being consistent with agorism. I often try to tell people that under free-market anarchism, people can still be as socialistic as they want, and as long as they don't try to force their system on me, I have got no problems with that. Under our current paradigm of winner takes all, socialism and capitalism cannot co-exist. Would you consider yourself a socialist-anarchist, or more of a anarcho-capitalist, or is that question missing the point entirely?


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on June 10, 2010, 03:29:12 PM

Quote
You mentioned socialist-anarchism as being consistent with agorism.

Actually... I didn't.

I said:

"Some support socialist-anarchism, some anarcho-capitalism, and other various "'ism's." When learning about agorism it is important not to confuse what it actually IS vs. what others purport it to be."

I do agree though with what you said. In a truly voluntary society people would be free to associate themselves with whatever system they desire. I also agree that socialism and capitalism cannot co-exist.

I find the principles of anarcho-capitalism to be consistent with liberty. I cannot say as much about socialist-anarchism. I have read a lot about why people in that camp would suggest otherwise, but ultimately they seem to want to conduct "social engineering" in order to achieve their utopian view of their socialist-anarchist society. That just doesn't settle well with me. Social engineering seems to imply merely a different flavor of brainwashing rather than teaching people to question everything and let truth (as best as they can determine what that is) be the final arbiter.

The point in my original statement that you unintentionally misunderstood was only that agorism is NOT whatever any particular philosophical camp wants to declare it to be.

Konkin's "most comfortable definition of agorism" was stated as:

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

Again - The emphasis on consistency is paramount. As I mentioned earlier, as new idea's are discovered, they have to be weighed and measured against reality. If they pass muster, then they can be incorporated into the overall philosophy. Agorism simply says, whatever reality is, represents the Agora.

I guess the best way for me to describe what I think about socialist-anarchism is that I [fail] to see how it is morally defensible. Perhaps I just don't get it? But since I do not have the same perspective of anarcho-capitalistic principles, I can defend it (as far as I can tell), and I do find it to be consistent with all else that I accept as true. As such - I believe it works in harmony towards the goals of agorism.

Hope that helps....?

BTW - For whatever it's worth... I am not all about quoting whatever Konkin happened to say every time I comment. I am using the "Konkin" quotes because I think it most accurately represents what agorism actually is.

Afterall, he was the founding source of it. ;-)

Others can surely develop his ideas even further (if they/we are able), which obviously ought to be pursued.



Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on June 10, 2010, 03:37:53 PM
I fully intend to read the New Libertarian Manifesto some day. Have you read Murray Rothbard's Libertarian Manifesto AKA For A New Liberty?

Also, you've mentioned several times "counter-economics." What does that mean? Also, Konkin doesn't seem to be mentioned, or any of his books sold by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Can you explain that? How do you feel about LvMI?


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on June 14, 2010, 01:59:11 PM

No, haven't read Rothbard's Libertarian Manifesto. I did download it though based on your comment. That being said, I have read von Mises' Human Action. Not sure how much they differ but I do take exception to LvM's apparent subjectivist leanings in terms of how people ought to act. That is a loaded statement, I know.

Since I was travelling the last few days I am not sure if you read An Agorist Primer or New Libertarian Manifesto, so perhaps you already got the answer to the question about counter economics?

Why doesn't LvMI mention Konkin? I dunno? Maybe they think Rothbard's and Mises' philosophies were complete as they were?

In New Libertarian Manifesto, Konkin says:

Acknowledgments above all to
• Ludwig Von Mises,
• Murray N. Rothbard,
• Robert LeFevre,
• and their sources.

Also, of that work Rothbard said:

"Konkin's writings are to be welcomed. Because we need a lot more
polycentrism in the movement. Because he shakes up Partyarchs who tend
to fall into unthinking complacency. And especially because he cares deeply
about liberty and can read-and-write, qualities which seem to be going out
of style in the libertarian movement."

Nevertheless, as you read Konkin you will see (objectively) where he indeed does advance what LvM and Rothbard left us. I think he also does a scholarly job of respectfully pointing out flaws wherein they may be evident, as well.

As short as those 2 booklets are, they are very easy for folks like us (who have publicly stated an interest in studying these things) to go through them quickly as they are very interesting and hard to put down.

You asked what I think about LvMI. - I think it is an amazing resource. There is so much information there that a serious student could find joy in independent study any time they want to. Makes me think back to pre-Internet days and how inaccessible things were. Amazing now that when we are considered to be in the "age of information" (due to ease of accessibility) we are NOT in any sort of "age of knowledge." That's too bad... So much info available and most couldn't care less.

One thing worth pointing out... I don't care much for labels. Labels invoke all sorts of meanings, some true, some not true. While I agree with various view points in different areas of consideration, I make it a point to identify myself with me. I might very well promote certain schools of thought, and I don't condemn anyone for associating themselves with whatever they choose; but I myself claim the "title" of "individual" as my chief allegiance. When reality is the ultimate judge, and knowledge is incremental... our views are bound to change. Consistent appeal to the truth is the most rational approach we could endeavor to pursue (all labels aside).





Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on June 14, 2010, 02:49:17 PM
Well said. I haven't read those books yet, but I did do some wikipedia research on agorism and konkin over the weekend. I now know what counter-economics is. For an anarchist who finds no panacea in voting, the black market, the free-market, the disobedient individual who practices counter-economics is the only way to go. It is self-evident.

I'm probably not going to read those books until I get a copy in my hands. I don't like reading books on the internet and I don't care to print them out either. There is only one material good that I really collect, and that is books. I like to have a published copy of all of the books I read. So, I will buy those books and have them shipped to me. Then they will be read.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on June 14, 2010, 03:01:47 PM

I understand. I like having a copy in my hands too... but I am too impatient to wait, and too broke to buy everything I'd want to read. The other thing I like about online reading is that if I get a few chapters into it and it is not rubbing me the right way, I've only spent my time up to that point.

Looking forward to your input after reading them though.

Both can be purchased here: http://www.kopubco.com/ (http://www.kopubco.com/)

Also - Here is a link to a 2 page pamphlet to wet your appetite. - http://agorism.info/docs/Counter-Economics.pdf (http://agorism.info/docs/Counter-Economics.pdf)




Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on July 23, 2010, 12:04:17 AM
I just finished reading both the New Libertarian Manifesto as well as An Agorist Primer. They were both excellent books. They definitely rang much more true to me than the whole "get out the vote" garbage. Konkin was definitely ahead of his time. And it is amazing to read about how the agorist society gets created through different phases and tactics. It seems to me to be happening, most notably, in New Hampshire. Fascinating reads, and inspiring. Thank you for the recommendations! Any other books I should check out?


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 23, 2010, 12:12:23 PM


I fully intend to read the New Libertarian Manifesto some day. Have you read Murray Rothbard's Libertarian Manifesto AKA For A New Liberty?

Also, you've mentioned several times "counter-economics." What does that mean? Also, Konkin doesn't seem to be mentioned, or any of his books sold by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Can you explain that? How do you feel about LvMI?


I am half way through reading For A New Liberty - Very good read so far and I'd certainly encourage people to read it along with the others works listed on this thread as they certainly work in harmony with eachother.

A quote worth pointing out from An Agorist Primer (page 70):

Quote
Murray Rothbard, following Ludwig Von Mises's Human Action with his own economic treatise Man, Economy and State, added that insight onto Austrian economics in the final chapters. The demand for elucidation was so great that he wrote, in detail, an entire book on the subject: Power and Market.

It is amazing that, for a time, even Dr. Rothbard forgot his own lesson. The choice was power/politics vs. market/economics. Using political means to achieve free-market ends is self-destructive and self-defeating.

The recognition of the Libertarian incompatibility of statist means to anti-statist ends was the first agorist insight. Following that, the new agorists looked for the proper means to achieve a free society or at least a fully libertarian society. They sought market means only.

The author of this book and his companions found the Counter-Economy "staring them in the face" as soon as they thought of looking.

This simple quote is of vital importance (IMHO). Konkin is not here dogging-out Rothbard nor his very significant contribution to Libertarian thought. What he is pointing out though is the importance of moving ever closer towards the consistent application of means that are not contradictory, or, do not sanction compromise in order to achieve the desired end.

I have recently noticed an increase in the usage of a particular line of reasoning that I find to be a gross misrepresentation of true agorist theory, and quite frankly, a cop-out on the part of those who use it. That is, "don't let the good be the enemy of perfection."

All the min-archist half-hearted statist's out there that want to use that line of reasoning are certainly free to do so. The problem is, they are missing the point. Again, as quoted from Konkin above, "Using political means to achieve free-market ends is self-destructive and self-defeating."

He continues on the next page (page 71) with:

Quote
To understand agorism fully and to compare to competing ways of thinking, one needs know two things about it: its goal and its path to that goal. This knowledge is critical to evaluating all ideologies. The goal is living in the agora and the path is expanding Counter-Economics. Remember our constant, if not nagging, emphasis on consistency, both internally and with reality. Agorism must have a path consistent with its goal and a goal consistent with its path.

I would submit that the concept of pursuing continuity between paths and goals is not at all unique to agorism. Such a concept smacks of common sense... Nevertheless, too many "liberty activists" are content with trading in their neighbors' will (via the ballot box), a will they have no rightful claim over, for incrementalism even though such incrementalism is ultimately antithetical to their stated worldview (which is obviously quite confused).



Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on July 23, 2010, 01:26:36 PM
I don't think Konkin is the right person to read if you are still a libertarian minarchist. Konkin even says in the preface to NLM that he recommends one read For A New Liberty before any of his own stuff. For A New Liberty was the case against statism. Konkin made the case for practicing the agora to achieve that end, which is where Rothbard slipped up.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: NickyTheHeel on July 29, 2010, 04:06:38 AM
I have recently noticed an increase in the usage of a particular line of reasoning that I find to be a gross misrepresentation of true agorist theory, and quite frankly, a cop-out on the part of those who use it. That is, "don't let the good be the enemy of perfection."

Yeah, what's the deal with that?  I've seen and heard that line more in the last three months than I had in the other 38.5 years of my life.  By a factor of mucho.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Intuition on August 04, 2010, 02:55:41 AM
I have recently noticed an increase in the usage of a particular line of reasoning that I find to be a gross misrepresentation of true agorist theory, and quite frankly, a cop-out on the part of those who use it. That is, "don't let the good be the enemy of perfection."

Not only that, but those who use the quote in that context are also bastardizing and misapplying a solid quote. Nothing about their plan is good.

Quote
All the min-archist half-hearted statist's out there that want to use that line of reasoning are certainly free to do so. The problem is, they are missing the point. Again, as quoted from Konkin above, "Using political means to achieve free-market ends is self-destructive and self-defeating."

Exactly. It'd be like if I wanted to extinguish the mafia and decided the way to accomplish that was to join the mafia and then somehow convince them that their crimes are illegitimate and immoral. There is simply no logic in it.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: David Hollis on August 04, 2010, 06:36:56 AM
Hi I am new here!This is my first post.Your site is excellent.

An example of modern agorism that I participate in can be found here - http://bitcoin.org (http://bitcoin.org)
I consider myself a crypto-agorist. ;D

The first step in rolling back the state is to set up competing organisations that will replace its functions.Bitcoins are just the start of a new onslaught from the "dark" economy.Soon more will come.The crypto-agorists are legion ,the next revolution is anonymous. :)


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 05, 2010, 09:19:36 AM

Simply put: minarchism = the sanction of the use of force and/or coercion, even if on an allegedly smaller scale. Force is force... Period.




Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: NickyTheHeel on August 08, 2010, 04:26:31 PM
I just think that minarchism is one more step on the way to anarchism.  It's a lot easier to "convert" a minarchist than a nanny-statist so I try to be nice to them and nudge them along.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 10, 2010, 02:00:51 PM


I just think that minarchism is one more step on the way to anarchism.  It's a lot easier to "convert" a minarchist than a nanny-statist so I try to be nice to them and nudge them along.

Maybe so. I would submit though, that a so-called minarchist is more dangerous than the typical disconnected run of the mill dupe which constitutes most of the society. I say this because min's typically have enough knowledge to discern the truth from the lies that the statist oligarchs have perpetuated, yet they still participate in the destruction of others. At least the dupes have the ability to claim "dupe status" as their alibi.



Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on August 10, 2010, 02:31:40 PM
Complicity and guilt are different than potential for change. The fact that the Ron Paulites are minarchists means that they are still legitimizing a corrupt system, but they at least give a shit about the world they live in and are going to work to make it better. Once they get converted they will be a force to reckon with. I used to be a hardcore Paulite and now I'm a hardcore anarchist. I think Paulites will be the easiest to convert.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 10, 2010, 02:35:28 PM
...and are going to work to make it better.

An impossibility until they wake up and snap into a slim-Jim.

Until then, their incrementalism amounts to sanctioning of immoral means to achieve their stated goals.

A is still A.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Sima Qian on August 22, 2010, 08:50:34 AM
...and are going to work to make it better.

An impossibility until they wake up and snap into a slim-Jim.

Until then, their incrementalism amounts to sanctioning of immoral means to achieve their stated goals.

A is still A.


On the other hand, more freedom is more freedom, and less statism is less statism.  A+5-3 is closer to A than A+5.  The cost of have these discussions is much less today than during the middle ages partially because of the work minarchists did for liberty. (As in, for the most part we don't have to worry about the "king's" thugs breaking down our doors and killing us on the spot.) It will be much easier to create private banks and money systems once the minarchists are successful in repealing taxes and regulations concerning gold and silver.  If I understand you correctly, you mean to say that it's impossible for minarchists to make things better, but they already have.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 22, 2010, 09:12:03 AM
Quote
If I understand you correctly, you mean to say that it's impossible for minarchists to make things better

No - you do not understand me correctly.

Immorality is immorality. As long as minarchist's use an immoral method to strive towards their stated goals, their sanctioning (via direct participation in) of such immorality is contrary to the liberty that is alleged to be their aim.

All the incremental gains notwithstanding... It's still immoral! There's really no legitimacy in attempting to sugar coat that which cannot be morally justified.  



Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on August 22, 2010, 02:48:38 PM
Reducing the size of the state is definitely a double-edged sword. Where I live, in California, there is going to be a proposition on the ballot this November to decriminalize marijuana.

Now, clearly, I'd love to see a lot less aggression towards those growing, buying, selling, and consuming marijuana, so my inclination would be to vote yes on the proposition. However, if I do that, I am essentially legitimizing the state. If the proposition fails, are people going to all-of-a-sudden stop using their marijuana? No. If it passes, however, the marijuana crowd will have state legitimacy reinforced and feel that the best way to reform the system is to continue to win the vote.

I've come to view the state as a criminal organization and that I care neither way what they do. Would it be better if Ron Paul wins in 2012, or loses? I say, it's irrelevant. To me, it's not just a matter of weighing the pros vs. cons if he wins or loses. The state has no legitimacy either way and the pragmatic solution is to vote Ron Paul. But the principled, and libertarians are nothing if not principled, solution is to undermine the state and delegitimize it through non-participation, non-cooperation.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 22, 2010, 03:01:27 PM
And that is a good example of principled consistency; action consistent with thoughts, based in morality!


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Noaidi on August 27, 2010, 04:22:22 AM
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I would describe myself as a market anarchist with a theoretical interest in agorism - though I only discovered libertarian philosophy a few months ago and still have a lot to learn.  :)

Re. the post on bitcoin above, I was wondering what you guys make of the idea of creating tax-free internet currencies.

Virtual tax-free currencies already exist in online fantasy gaming worlds. But outside of games, people either give away stuff for free, or use PayPal etc. to buy stuff with ‘real’ money.

But let's say, you invent a new currency called ‘e-coins’ which could be used to purchase quality stuff that people would not willing give away for free, and other people would not willing pay for with real cash, but wouldn’t mind purchasing with virtual money.

You set up a forum whose members all agree to use ‘e-coins’ to trade goods and services. A member would pay e-coins to download an original music track or a game, or to access written material. You could earn e-coins by, say, reading an ad and answering a couple of questions on it, writing a review of a product, contributing a comment or article, ghostwriting, proofreading, translating, solving a maths problem, drafting a letter for someone … the list of possible jobs is endless. The e-coins you saved could be spent anywhere else on the forum.

E-coins would be unbacked currency. They could be loaned at interest and could accrue interest while they sat in your account, just like 'real' paper money.

Once e-coins became established within this forum, or within a group of forums, other sites might launch competing currencies that could be used only in certain domains. Trading blocs would develop. Before long, I think, we would have a free market in virtual currencies that could not be taxed by the government.

There would be no attempt (in the beginning) to link e-coins with actual money; they would simply operate as a parallel system in the virtual world – like gaming money which could be used outside of games. But if e-coins caught on, they could become an alternative mode of payment on Ebay and other sites. Then they would present a serious challenge to fiat paper money.

Does anyone know whether this has ever been tried? Or if there are good reasons why it would not work?


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on August 27, 2010, 12:06:14 PM
I don't see it working. Here's why: What separates good money from bad is that good money is a commodity. It's supply is scarce and the creation of new money requires labor and resources. Unbacked money could be multiplied infinitely without cost. Why would anyone sell a good for worthless e-money? They wouldn't. You can try that right now if you want. Tell people you just created a million e-coins and see how much goods and services you get for them. You won't get any. The only reason the government can get away with worthless money is because they use force.

On a side note, I've been hearing more and more people talk about how they just learned of the libertarian philosophy and within months became anarchists. That's a fantastically quick progress. I wonder if there is hope after all.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Noaidi on August 28, 2010, 06:25:45 AM
Thanks, Seth, it’s obvious now that you point it out. As I said, I still have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to markets and how they function. I have no background in economics whatsoever, but I’m hoping to come to a better understanding of why our western economies are in such a mess.

I found it easy to convert to anarchism once I understood the ethical argument. I mean, you can be pro-violence or anti-violence, but it’s very difficult to be pro-a-small-amount-of-violence. I tried arguing from a pragmatic (minarchist) position on a different forum for a while, but felt that what I was saying was logically inconsistent. I just had a natural fear of being absolutist. But when it comes to ethics it’s hard to be other than absolutist. I actually think the majority of people would be anarchists if they understood the ethical arguments.

Re. more people converting to anarchism after only a short while, I would say Stef Molyneux has been a major influence.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Seth King on August 28, 2010, 10:42:21 AM
That's good to hear. I think you're right, Stephan has done wonders for the anarcho-capitalist movement, although it was Murray that did it for me. If you want to learn more about sound economics the absolute most important first book to read, I believe, is Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. That book is wonderful even for seasoned libertarian veterans but easy enough for the newcomer. You can also help out this website if you purchase it from the bookstore. =)


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: Noaidi on August 28, 2010, 06:23:45 PM
Absolutely! Rothbard made me see it too, though I wouldn’t have seen it nearly as quickly if I hadn’t been arguing with people on the forum whom (I realize now) had been heavily influenced by Molyneux, or others like him.

I read Rothbard alongside Hayek over the summer, and I came down firmly on Rothbard’s side every time. That was what convinced me I was an anarchist at heart (though I have to say, I find some of Rothbard’s views on children’s rights a little odd!).

I also found Rothbard’s initial chapters on ‘natural rights’ rather offputting. I could see why he wanted to root his case in ethics rather than in utilitarian arguments, but the language seemed a little foreign to me. I live in the UK – we don’t have a written constitution and we don’t talk much about inalienable rights, whereas for educated Americans, I guess, the language must strike an emotional chord. Molyneux, on the other hand, goes straight to the heart of the ethical argument, and perhaps for that reason he reaches out well to a popular international audience.

Thanks for the tip on Henry Hazlitt – I downloaded it a while ago but will make a fresh effort to finish it. I’ve also started Mises’s ‘Human Action’, which is really excellent.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on September 04, 2010, 07:52:31 PM
After reading the thread I thought I'd recommend Tom Woods.

"Meltdown" is great for understanding our economic crisis. Dr. Woods is one of the smartest living members of the freedom movement. He can write in a way that common people can understand and its very uplifting to think that someone can damage people's confidence in the state in around 200 pages. Also consider reading "Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." His new one "Nullification" might be tough for someone who's already committed themselves to the destruction of the state, but I found it very interesting nonetheless. Understanding the federal compact theory is great knowledge for when it comes to arguing with both statists and political libertarians. Also, in PIG he throws in comments near the end of certain chapters suggesting that the american experience indicates that it might be impossible for a constitution to ever control a government. He's sowing the seeds of anarchy without openly saying "I'm an anarchist" and potentially turning people off.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: helio on September 09, 2010, 01:02:10 PM
Stefan really helped me along once I had been 'bitten' by the gov is ineffective bug. 
My conversion really went like this:

Was a godawful pro warmongering Bush fanboi. 
Gave lipservice to Freedom and Democracy.
Worshiped the Nation.
Witness the financial collapse of 2008.
Discovered Ludwig Von Mises and Hayek, LWR .
Joined the 'Better Days Bandwagon' of the Constitutionalist Minarchism of Ron Paul.
Discovered Rothbard as as an extension of Mises.
Discovered Stefan M. and rational ethics.
Realized No matter how you cut it, minarchism is a difference of degree to statism, not of kind.
Gave up on minarchism, nationalism, patriotism, the constitution, and found my soul.

The whole experience was like giving up Christianity.  Terribly confusing, fearful, exhilerating, and then fulfilling.


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: helio on September 09, 2010, 01:54:09 PM
More on topic though...

Agorism seems to me to be Anarchist Theory in practice.  Discovering Agorism and Konkin really gave me a kick in the seat of my pants to do something.  I never had much inclination for civil disobedience as the opportunity cost of paying fines, jail terms, and social pariah is greater than finding more productive methods.  When I found rational ethics, I set out to convince everyone with reason and found out what a waste of time that was.

So I gave up on it for awhile because people seemed immune to argumentation. Just can't get past their emotional defense mechanisms that the state drills into them as children. 

I was really depressed for awhile as it seemed there was no hope.  Till I found Konkin.  Reading his primer really opened my eyes to how big the counter-economy really is.  I knew after reading that pdf that my methods must focus on withdrawing.

This article over at Strike the Root really opened my eyes as well. http://www.strike-the-root.com/path-is-destination-is-path




Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on September 09, 2010, 02:21:25 PM
Excellent post. Logically consistent!



Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on September 09, 2010, 05:25:20 PM
@helio

could you provide a link to said primer?


Title: Re: The difference between agorism and anarchism
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on September 09, 2010, 05:27:38 PM
@ JustSayYesToStatism

It's listed early on in this thread as well as at agorism.info