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Author Topic: The Tireless Agorist: Phoenix Society Series  (Read 7817 times)
AgoristDon
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« on: April 15, 2012, 09:40:08 AM »

Since I've seen some of my columns show up here and gotten some good feedback, I figured I should introduce myself. At my blog, I'm exploring topics including the growing underground economy, local and urban farming, the coming Homebrew Industrial Revolution, political activism, agorism, and a whole slew of related items in an attempt to draw a vision of how some people are escaping from the ever-growing corporate state and how that might grow in the future.

Or as the author of the Homebrew Industrial Revolution put it: "Rats are breeding in the nests of the corporate dinosaurs."

There. Is. Hope.

And you don't have to move. (Although supporting the Free State Project is a great idea, and this idea probably applies double in New Hampshire.)

Half of the world's workers are already in the unregulated, untaxed underground economy. That number's expected to reach two-thirds in 2020, only eight short years away. This according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, an international group composed of representatives from 34 countries.

Almost 10% of the US economy is underground already. And that doesn't include illegal traffic like drugs and prostitution. Add that in, and it's an even bigger piece of the pie.

The $10 trillion underground economy is the second-largest in the world after the US, and it's growing like a weed.

This is NOT something they like to talk about. If you can't beat 'em and you don't want to join them you have a third option: Ignore Them!

Although most of my posts touch on one or more of these topics, I've been writing a series of blog posts about this and what it means for the next decade or two. The first five columns are up, as well as more than 75 other columns on related issues.

The Apolitical Economic Superpower

http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/2012/02/apolitical-economic-superpower.html

A quite-likely surprising look at the massive economic powerhouse represented by the underground economy, and why it offers hope for increased freedom in our lifetime.


The Rise of the Phoenix Society

http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/2012/03/rising-phoenix-society.html

Even in the most-regulated economy on the planet, people are finding ways to slip away from the reins of the taxman and the regulator. The future's coming, ready or not.


Homebrew Production is Coming

http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/2012/03/homebrew-goods-production.html

Just as home PCs transformed society, the coming RepRap machines are going to have a huge impact in the not-too-distant future.


Open-Source Freedom

http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/2012/03/open-source-freedom.html

The open-source movement has gone beyond software to physical goods of all kinds, offering the possibility of escape from the centralized, corporate, mass-production model of society.


The Homebrew Production Model

http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/2012/04/homebrew-production-model.html

Chinese shanzhai, open-source integration, hackerspaces, maker faires and crowdfunding sites all point the way to decentralized industry.

Future columns in the series will address alternative currencies, defense and justice, how megacorps came to rule the world, and the ongoing race between the dinosaurs and the rats. You won't be surprised to find I believe we rats will win in the end.  Wink

In addition to the series, I've got numerous columns on agorism, government malfeasance, history, economics, and other topics, all from my weird libertarian/agorist perspective.

I hope you all find some interesting and hopeful news in the series and other articles at the blog, and even more in the future.

And I'm always looking for news bits to interpret from that perspective, as well as ideas for other articles, so please feel free to chime in.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 09:50:17 AM by AgoristDon » Logged

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Seth King
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 09:52:40 AM »

Welcome to the forum! Glad you're here!  Smiley
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SinCityVoluntaryist
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 02:54:04 PM »

 Big fan of your work, Don. I loved your article on the accidental agorists that fixed the road in Hawaii.
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SinCityVoluntaryist
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 06:07:50 PM »

OK. I have what may sound like an odd question. How, exactly, does one join the underground economy? Do you have to meet with a specific group of people, or set up your business in a certain way?
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AgoristDon
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 06:24:48 PM »

OK. I have what may sound like an odd question. How, exactly, does one join the underground economy? Do you have to meet with a specific group of people, or set up your business in a certain way?
Nobody's showed you the secret handshake yet?  Grin

Until the last few months, my wife and I were travelling the US in a fifth-wheel. We'll be back on the road next spring sometime, I hope. I never met any "official" underground in all that time. However, "Do you offer a discount for cash?" was an easy way to spot a potential ally, and a few minutes conversation would generally tell me how they felt about circumventing the state. Cash payments almost invariably ended up in a pocket rather than in the register, and that was always a dead giveaway. Don't try this at a KOA Kampground, McDonalds or Wal-Mart, though. Wink It works much better at flea markets and farmer markets, small unaffiliated campgrounds, bbq shacks and the like.

I traded goods or labor a few times, got discounts for paying cash more often, and usually got an earful about what the gov was doing to screw things up in the bargain.  Cool I saw a few Gadsden flags, and they were always nice people to talk to. The area I'm in now is pretty much above-board, but we have friends with a construction firm and they're always glad to take cash or barter.

It's not something you can really advertise these days; it takes building trust and community more than anything else.

I don't think you'll get far asking people if they're underground, because you might be a "revenuer," and most people have no idea what the term "agorist" means. But if you talk about doing something that needs to be done without getting permission from some state agency, it's surprising how often that thing gets done with a little help from some friends.

The folks I wrote about in Hawaii that repaired the road had no idea they were agorists; it doesn't really matter in the long run.

http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/2012/04/accidental-agorists-rebuild-road.html
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kunkmiester
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 08:51:11 PM »

I enjoy your blog, but blogspot doesn't like letting me post for some reason.
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AgoristDon
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 09:00:00 PM »

I enjoy your blog, but blogspot doesn't like letting me post for some reason.
I posted this elsewhere, but in case you didn't see it, make sure when you comment on a post that you get the spambot prevention code entered EXACTLY as they show it. Capitalization and a space between words is important. If you can't read the code they give you, there's an icon to get a different code. Also, if you "preview" your post, be sure to "post" it as well. I don't remember if they ask you for a code a second time or not after that.

If that's not working, you might try clearing your cookies, or drop the help team at blogger a note. They may have other suggestions.
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The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today.
 
The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest.
SinCityVoluntaryist
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2012, 10:32:25 PM »

 If anyone needs help finding local bartering communities, there's a site called alt-market.com. It has a map that lists the locations of barter areas in the fifty states.

http://alt-market.com/
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kunkmiester
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2012, 11:37:24 PM »

That's part of the problem then, I"m not seeing a spam filter image or anything anywhere, even when I tell noscript to let everything through.
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 01:07:26 AM »

If my memory serves me correctly a few of my facebook friends were complaining about how buggy blogspot has been lately.
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 12:32:44 PM »

@Agorist Don,

I am a huge sideline fan of homebrew, but the principal questions I have concern material feedstocks. It looks to me that the majority of feedstock materials like plastics, chemicals, and metals are solely the domain of the 'dinosaurs' as you eloquently put it.  With governments' war on cash, it will become increasingly difficult to purchase the capital inputs needed to fuel these garage industries as purchasing industrial materials through electronic payments will raise red flags.

Is any focus being given to homebrew'd steel, or chemicals?  Could we see 'backyard' oil refineries and cracking towers for those who have access to crude (There are wells everywhere here in North Dakota)

For example, I would love to see a handful of people set up a chip manufactury (silicon semi-conductors) in their basement, but where would they get the acids that are vital for the cleaning processes?

I'm sure others have asked these questions before. 
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kunkmiester
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2012, 06:22:51 PM »

Microchips are made with lithography.  Why should this be the method used for a small shop producer?  Surely there are other ways to do it that require fewer chemicals.

As the "white market" continues to degrade, other sources of materials will develop.  Something I do think someone should develop is desktop scale plastic grinders and extruders.  This would also involve sorting out undesired plastics like the thermoset plastics some toys are made of.  Eventually, you'll want a source for the chemicals to reuse those plastics as well.
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AgoristDon
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2012, 08:11:37 PM »

@helio I think kunkmiester called it. The market for 3D printers is still in its infancy. I expect processes for reclaiming materials and creating feedstock will show up not far down the line. For example, the Global Village Construction Set folks, who are aiming at much bigger machines, have added aluminum production to their plans now. I think the same will happen in the 3D world. Desktop grinders would have a lot in common with household grain mills, which are common devices among preppers and homesteaders, both hand-cranked and powered.

As for chip manufacturing, electronics aren't my strong suit, but don't arduino and similar projects use common chips? What are the possibilities of reprogramming the processors in various retired electronic gadgets, toys, old PCs, and the like? I haven't gone exploring the electronic side very deeply, but I bet there are people working on those ideas.
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The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today.
 
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 10:28:18 PM »

I was only using electronics as an example even though I think it would be really awesome if backyard tech started showing up.   I was just wondering if the topic has received much thought and attention.  I can see recycling being a big part of it.  Chemistry is probably the most important piece of the homebrew pie and probably the knowledge the statists fear the most in the hands of agorists. 
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 08:14:16 PM »

If anyone needs help finding local bartering communities, there's a site called alt-market.com. It has a map that lists the locations of barter areas in the fifty states.

http://alt-market.com/

http://www.tradebitcoin.com/ is another one if you want to trade bitcoins for cash gold silver etc. locally face to face. Also I have found things like grass fed beef still alive on the hoof and whole milk, fresh eggs on www.Craigslist.org and usually no sales tax and "discounts for cash" and the opportunity to barter abound. Someone else said farmers markets, swap meets...also good. Last but not least is The Silk Road if you are into Tor and are willing to pay with bitcoins. That one you have to find yourself. Wink
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