Agorism as an option?

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Agorism as an option?

This topic was initially raised by TheRemnant on The Official Rowe Thread in post #32.

Since it is a topic that many on this site may wish to discuss, I have created this thread for that specific purpose.

Just out of curiosity, I did a google search and came up with the apparently official Agorism site: http://www.agorism.info/

The following link to some terms and definitions may also be of interest: http://www.agorism.info/konkinite_terms

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Freedom: The absence of the condition of coercion or slavery within a given group of people who choose to interact with each other.

Hello Folks,

Thanks to Sam for creating this thread!  I really did not mean to hijack the official Rowe thread with a talk about agorism Wink but I believe it is the only option I have (so far) run into that stands a non-zero chance of success w.r.t us being prepared for what I see as the inevitable collapse of the State - somewhere between now and 20 years from now, a timeframe that overlays Chris's oft repeated statement: "The next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years."

Since posts tend to fade over time, I am going to do a copy and paste of my post from that thread (with some improvements) here:

The Problem: The State.  Always.

I think you all know what the problems are.  If you didn't, you wouldn't be on this site. 

What is the State?  Here's a definition that you will NOT find in Webster's:

The State is nothing more than a group of people who enforce a monopoly of violence over a geographic area, declaring themselves "government". Be it a democracy, a republic, a dictatorship, a plutocracy, communist, fascist, or whatever.  How that government is selected is simply an academic process, but the exercising of violence or the threat of violence (coercion) control of one group of people over another is basic.

In some areas around the world, the media (falsely) portrays warring factions as "anarchists" in a given area (Somalia springs to mind) running around with guns, blowing up things, and killing people.  What it really is are groups of people competing to be the NEW government.  Anarchy gets a bad rap here, as all an anarchist is really somebody who believes in less government than you do. Wink

Why do these groups of men want to take control?  The spoils are huge for them and their connected insiders!  They can loot and plunder the citizenry directly via taxation or enforce paper tickets (dollars, francs, pesos, marks etc) on the market within their area of control and devalue that money for their benefit via indirect taxation we call inflation.  More on that later.

I know that this comes as a great surprise for some, for others that definition is met with outright hostility, however from the cradle to the grave we are indoctrinated overtly and covertly into subjugating our lives, freedom, the fruits of our labour, and all forms property either partly or wholly to the State.

We cannot vote our
way out of this mess - any politician who gets into true circles of
power who wants to affect change for the benefit of his/her
constituents would be long vetted out of the political system by the
incumbents or by the dumbed-down voter. 

Tax resistance is futile for
the State has amassed superior firepower to protect itself from its
citizens in the name of "national defense".  Any partial, let alone full,
tax resistance will result in the State deploying the bad guys in clown
suits brandishing guns and badges to your home to terrorize you and
your family.  Your employer acts as an uncompensated tax collection
agent by collecting your tribute to the State on its behalf.  There are
50+ taxes on a loaf of bread from the field to the table. Your taxes
are used to kill people.  We are all directly contributing to this and
from what I have read on this site, we want out.  I could create the
world's longest post listing all of the State's endless scandals,
boondoggles, expansion of power, wars, mass murder, and citizen
brutality, but that is beyond the scope of this post, and a reader on
this site already has their own personal list.

One of the major fallacy traps that "awakened" people fall into is that
they seek to limit the State's power enabled by the taxation/inflation
system we are enslaved to, leeching off our productivity to support
nefarious and incompetent agendas.  This is goodness.  However, in a democracy, we keep frantically scratching a pencil mark on a ballot to plead with our masters to beat us less or try to coerce each other into accepting the shade of lipstick we paint on the pig of the State.  This is silly. The fallacy is that we are pleading with the State to help with the implementation of limiting or removing the State!

After the election, the lipstick fades and it goes right on fleecing us. I refuse to participate in a process where I coerce you into agreeing
with my choice of changing the hood ornament of the dump truck of
the State bearing down on us.  I refuse to participate in a process where we make a personnel change in the Mafia. I
don't think I have the right to coerce you into anything. I don't want
my conscience to be stained of making a choice where all of us have to
deal with the consequences of my choice, based on my knowledge (or lack
of it). 

I wish others would extend the same courtesy to others and respect the other's freedom.  However, the State has intercepted the intellectual proliferation and expansion of liberty, property, monetary theory, and free markets and thwarted the development of the young mind for 12-13 years via indoctrination camps we know as "public education", right when the young minds are argueably at their peak reception of ideas.

There is a way out.

The only non-violent mechanism that I can think of that stands a
non-zero chance of success is to bring together like minded people and
create a counter-economy where trustworthy trading partners would buy
and sell their products and services using whatever sound money trading
parties agree on (most likely gold and silver coin/rounds).  The
counter-economy enables people to fully enjoy the fruits of their
labours without having it directly stolen via taxation.  Using gold and
silver coin prevents theft via inflation.  This is called "agorism"  - a term coined by Samuel Konkin III (SEK3 in webspeak).

For those of you who are familiar with Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", you
will be well versed in "Galt's Gulch".  For those of you who aren't, 
essentially the producers of the world rejected the notion they should
labour for the benefit of the looters (the State and connected
insiders) who held the gun at their heads.  The would leave the world
and go to a secret location where they could voluntarily associate and
trade with each other.  They would come back when the State collapsed
and people were ready to deal with each other as humans.  

Sometimes, I wonder if "Atlas Shrugged" was fiction. However, the
beauty of agorism is that you do not have to physically relocate.  You
can hide in plain sight!

Initially, we could only work part-time in this counter-economy as not
all of the products/services we require would be readily available in
the network in addition to whatever extortion money (i.e. property
taxes etc) the State demands from us.  However, as the counter-economy
grows with more and more people participating in it, the number of
goods/services increases.  Perhaps your local beer/wine brick and
mortar store would be willing to participate part time in the network. 
Then a independently owned gas-station.  People who bake, and make
clothes and so forth. A shoemaker might spring up.  Is it becoming
clearer?

The collapse of the State is When, not If.

Or we wouldn't be interested in Crash Course, would we?  Should we sit
idly by and get dragged down with it? OK, even if I am wrong in that
prediction, how much value to your productivity would be retained by
creating your agorist network?  If the State does collapse,
you will be better prepared for it as you will have your established
network of trading partners.  How much value is there in that?

The will and the way

This post is getting a bit long, but I could certainly contribute
more information if posters are interested and willing to do more. 
Let's see what reception it gets.

It's time to posit a workable solution.  Agorism is the only one I have
run into that has not been torn to shreds by my own critical thinking. 
I am not being an egoist, snooty, or preachy.  Like all of you, I am
deeply concerned, we all know what is wrong.  It is a matter of what to
DO about it.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

In agorism, if some people demand security and fairness from the market, but some people demand unfairness in their advantage, if the second group has more money, everything will be slanted toward that group.  A specific example: property rights.  I believe that property should be ownable, and that the person who owns something should have their rights protected.  As it currently stands, since the gov't fills this roll, if I own some land, and it turns out there is a lot of oil under my land, oil companies must either buy it from me or force me off it via the court system.  If security is something provided by the market, the oil company would hire security forces to show up at my door saying "this is our land now. Leave right now."  The only thing I can think of that could prevent that in an agoristic system is the general population choosing to not purchase gas from a company that doesn't respect property rights.  What is the chance that Joe Six-pack will buy more expensive gas just because of some rumor about some guy in a different state that may or may not have had his property taken away?

What (if anything) am i missing?

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Re: Agorism as an option?

good post remnant

we are living hamilton's curse ah the title of a new book btw by thomas j di lorenzo it is endorsed by ron paul.

i highly recommend it.

the state imho will collapse. the choir will now shout amen

unfortunately the money masters who have been playing this game for centuries are much better prepared than we are.

there will be no vacuum something else will take its place. we will be allowed t play any game we wish as long as it does not interfere with the plans of the folks behind the curtain ie. we work and they profit.

just another conspiracy theorist

joe

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Re: Agorism as an option?
affert wrote:

In agorism, if some people demand security and fairness from the market, but some people demand unfairness in their advantage, if the second group has more money, everything will be slanted toward that group.

Bear with me.

In an agorist market, there is no central monopoly on money issuance.  The market selected gold and silver over time for various reasons I will outline later.  There is no central mint.  Seigniorage - the act of minting coin - used to be a free market activity where several businesses were minting gold into convenient tokens for trade.  Payment was made to the minter in the form of the coin he rendered.  If a minter was dishonest, he was eventually lynched.   Sometimes minters were dishonest as they debased (the act of passing off a coin that was less than what it was supposed to weigh or alloying with another cheaper metal) but they were caught (i.e. as scales improved, assay tests etc).  Some minters "reeded" the coins in order to detect "clipping" - a process where people shaved off the sides of the coins ever so slightly and passed that off to others or shaking the coins in a bag and collecting the dust.  They declared that only the State should mint coin as we can protect the Serfs from nefarious counterfeiting.  Due to State violence, the people ceded private money production to the State.  Once that happened, it was GUARANTEED the State would debase the coins to suit their own purposes.

The State usurped and monopolized free market money by violence. Since gold and silver were difficult to acquire as they had to (a) expend labour on it to mine it, (b) State workers would often steal it, and (c) big egos to conquer other lands and small treasuries to pay for the empire continuously emptied the Treasury.

What gives the Federal Reserve Point value?  The State demanding it in the form of taxes.  Do you think a true free market would give value to paper money?  If I opened "The Remnants Money Printing Shop" and printed off pretty pieces of paper, do you think actors would accept that money?  I'd be laughed out of town.  But the State can do it, because they have a gun to your head.

So the State replaced free market money with paper tickets that were easy for the State to produce but woe to anyone else who tried to counterfeit money.  Only a monopoly on violence may counterfeit money.

I'm getting there.

In an agorist market, it is unlikely that a monopoly or oligopoly will form.  Currently, the State shields the incumbents within the market where regulations - enforced by State violence - written by industry insiders are designed to hurt competitors who want to enter the business.  Thus the enormous profits enjoyed by large corporations is protected by the State, resulting in higher prices.  Higher prices leads to greater profits for the parasite class to leech off the corporation in the form of taxation and other favours such as a high level "advisory" position on the Board.  It is a very cozy relationship.

In an agorist market, there wouldn't be much point in accumulating massive amounts of money as it would expensive to obtain - there is no printing press to go to and borrow at artificially low rates.  Commodity based money has no intrinsic value except for its weight and purity.  It is used to facilitate a voluntary claim on human labour - past, present, and future.  In otherwords, in order to be wealthy, you need to spend the money on things that will make you appear wealthy.

In an agorist market, there isn't much point in owning large amounts of land.  It isn't profitable.

affert wrote:

A specific example: property rights.  I believe that property should be ownable, and that the person who owns something should have their rights protected.  As it currently stands, since the gov't fills this roll, if I own some land, and it turns out there is a lot of oil under my land, oil companies must either buy it from me or force me off it via the court system

You'll find the State facilitating your eviction, if that were to happen. What you really are asking is, "How am I protected if there isn't monopoly on violence established?".  That's a pretty provocative question.  So is this one: "How am I protected if there is a monopoly on violence established?"

affert wrote:

If security is something provided by the market, the oil company would hire security forces to show up at my door saying "this is our land now. Leave right now."  The only thing I can think of that could prevent that in an agoristic system is the general population choosing to not purchase gas from a company that doesn't respect property rights.

You need to understand how competing Dispute Resolution Organization's (DROs) work.  That is a large topic worthy of attention in another post.

affert wrote:

What is the chance that Joe Six-pack will buy more expensive gas just because of some rumor about some guy in a different state that may or may not have had his property taken away?

Well for one thing, thanks to the abolition of public school, Joe Six pack might be better educated and would likely hold property ownership sacred.  If he doesn', thousands of other Customers will.  I know that answer isn't good enough, but again DRO's would come into play.

affert wrote:

What (if anything) am i missing?

The ability to visualize how a true free market (agorist) market works, as (a) there aren't any as they have been usurped by the State years ago and (b) a lifetime of brainwashing by the State that productive workers need the parasitic class to rule them.  I do not mean that as insulting.  It was very traumatic for me to unlearn and rebuild my value system.  It is a constant process where I fall into pro-State traps.

You asked good questions. I'll be back.

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Re: Agorism as an option?
joe2baba wrote:

good post remnant

we are living hamilton's curse ah the title of a new book btw by thomas j di lorenzo it is endorsed by ron paul.

i highly recommend it.

I followed Ron Paul's campaign quite intensely last year.  The single greatest benefit of his campaign that it allowed "awakened" people - members of The Remnant - to find each other on the web.    Other intellects converged on forums, meetups, rallies etc etc - it was quite exciting for me to meet some great minds online.   It is how I discovered Agorism.

joe2baba wrote:

the state imho will collapse. the choir will now shout amen

unfortunately the money masters who have been playing this game for centuries are much better prepared than we are

And that is the whole point of Crash Course, isn't it?  To better prepare?  Agorism is an extension of CC.

joe2baba wrote:

there will be no vacuum something else will take its place. we will be allowed t play any game we wish as long as it does not interfere with the plans of the folks behind the curtain ie. we work and they profit.

just another conspiracy theorist

joe

Thanks to successful State brainwashing, you need to kill the State in your head.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Geez remnant....  has the FBI knocked on your door yet!?

Top post though.  Damn the Matrix!

Mike 

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Re: Agorism as an option?
Damnthematrix wrote:

Geez remnant....  has the FBI knocked on your door yet!?

Top post though.  Damn the Matrix!

Mike 

Only if they decide an idea is dangerous...which might be in the near future.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Hi Remnant,

This is an excellent post!!

I placed a thread together quite recently that began incredibly slowly (!), moved onward toward ridicule by an incumbant Kiwi (!) and came out the other side with some very enlightening posts from GregSchleich complete with a personal reference to Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. Bringing the word 'Agorism' into the mix has filled in a gap to my thinking that has been searching the puzzle for literally years. I think I'm on the right track with connecting the two threads, but shoot me down in flames if I'm steering you away from your valid point of view :-

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/statism-dead/12560

Kind Regards,

Paul

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Re: Agorism as an option?
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Hi Remnant,

This is an excellent post!!

I placed a thread together quite recently that began incredibly slowly (!), moved onward toward ridicule by an incumbant Kiwi (!) and came out the other side with some very enlightening posts from GregSchleich complete with a personal reference to Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. Bringing the word 'Agorism' into the mix has filled in a gap to my thinking that has been searching the puzzle for literally years. I think I'm on the right track with connecting the two threads, but shoot me down in flames if I'm steering you away from your valid point of view :-

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/statism-dead/12560

Kind Regards,

Paul

Thanks Paul,

I have moved past "The State is Immoral!" and "Taxation is Theft!" statements.  I personally consider them true. Am I 100% correct in those statements?  I use Bayesian reasoning where I assign a value between 0 and 1 and multiply it against the preceding statements to get "truthiness".  For example, I assign the value of 0.999999 to the statement "2+2=4".  Does it hold absolutely true?  Well, maybe not in some space-time continuum warping in a remote area of the universe, but it holds true here.  I assign the same value of 0.999999 of truthiness to "Taxation is theft!" and since a State is a coercive force and molests others, it is immoral.

What kind of society do we want to live in?  There are three choices:

  1. Everybody plunders everybody. <-- Not good, who would produce?
  2. The few plunder the many. <-- What we have today - the State.
  3. Nobody plunders anybody. <-- Not discussed in the mainstream sphere at all.

In order to maximize human well-being (I dislike using the word "welfare" as it conjures up other meanings), which one of the above philosophical POV's would you adopt?

Definition of Anarchy: Someone who believes in less government than you do.

Consider this.  If 0.01% - I picked that number out of a hat - of people in society want to control others (there are various degrees of control they want to exercise over others and some even have psychological labels applied to them), where would they gravitate towards to excerise that control?  Institutions that provide them the means.  Who are they?  In the private sector, they might reach the upper echelons of management if they were not clearly insane, but in the public sector, they gravitate towards the beacon of coercion.  Now, if you were to walk into a room filled with high level politicians, what percentage of those people want to control others?  50%? 75%? 100%?  You can easily see that it is a massive distortion of  the personality make-up in a given society.

If men are inherently good, we don't need government.  If men are inherently bad or apathetic, we
dare not form one.

The State is very, very good at distorting clarity of thinking.  It gets a hold of your mind through your parents, as they have been conditioned, through public education, via media, via your colleagues and friends as they have been all conditioned.  There are very, very few who have broken through to the other side.  The process of doing so, as I indicated previously, is very traumatic.

One of the standard fallacies brought up is, "If we don't have government, how will people be protected?" or "If we don't have government, who wil build our roads, schools, healthcare, public works systems etc etc?"  I'll come to these when I have more time.

 

 

 

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Re: B F Skinner (etal)

Hi Remnant,

in consideration of the other thread and the cause and effect the influence of our conversation would have there, I chose to continue here. 

Life is going on all around us with the input of ideals based on the imaginings and formulations of B F Skinner, all be it as a metaphor - incidentally, why does Bertrand Russell always appear in many an equation? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._F._Skinner

Skinner argued that denial of the fact that we are controlled by our environment leaves us vulnerable to control by subtle and malignant circumstances and by malicious people. Governments and political leaders, he contended, may seek to control us for their own benefit rather than serve our best interest. Recognizing that behavior is shaped by its consequences is the first step in taking control of the environment and ensuring that it delivers consequences promoting desirable behavior. When we demand freedom, argued Skinner, what we really mean is freedom from aversive consequences and not freedom to make choices. In the final analysis, we can have "freedom" but only by arranging our own consequences and not by leaving it to "fate" or the "government. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning_chamber

The structure forming the shell of a chamber is a box large enough to easily accommodate the organism being used as a subject. (Common model organisms used include rodents—usually lab rats—pigeons, and primates). It is often sound-proof and light-proof to avoid distracting stimuli.

Operant chambers have at least one operandum (or "manipulandum"), and often two or more, that can automatically detect the occurrence of a behavioral response or action. Typical operanda for primates and rats are response levers; if the subject presses the lever, the opposite end moves and closes a switch that is monitored by a computer or other programmed device. Typical operanda for pigeons and other birds are response keys with a switch that closes if the bird pecks at the key with sufficient force. The other minimal requirement of a conditioning chamber is that it has a means of delivering a primary reinforcer or unconditioned stimulus like food (usually pellets) or water. It can also register the delivery of a conditioned reinforcer, such as an LED (see Jackson & Hackenberg 1996 in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior for example) as a "token".

..............................

I've been studying and reading about the habits of our species running about in just such a box, much of the time in anticipation of finding the edges of my own much more elevated and undocumented existence that I've built over time with writers and philosophers abound, even in mainstream media if you dig :-

Derek Jensen

Don't Work For The NSA

...yet the tentacles of government are crucially invasive and it is almost as though I'm being toyed with. Left to argue with yourself on such matters is purely paranoia, while listeners to your reasoning on such things as freedom assume they are already free.

A lot of people are wandering the threads of this site looking for the brightness of enlightenment, ideas, encouragement, confirmation, clarity; I wonder if many need to live in a fully broken societal model before a new one can take its place? How, therefore, can this idea be spliced into place with bearly a daylight gap? Also a great deal would have to be achieved to get beyond the grubbyness of the 'dirt under the fingernails' just to make it sustainable.

There is also the void I have concern about that will be filled into the empty space of the old system, and the idea of Agorism competing with fascism or comunism is going to need a championed voice to be heard over the heads of many that are going to be turned in the wrong direction by greed, corruption and ulteria motive - not that I wish to remain in this present one; I've seen too much of the space inside that I'm not supposed to know of already!!

I can clutch at straws with the idea of a new societal model, or stay put where I am and bring my children up in the fresh air, completely oblivious (for the foreseeable future) that what they do is different from todays 'norm'.

Questions - Questions,

Over to you...

Paul 

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Agorism and Sound Money as Payment

Hi Paul,

The beauty of agorism is its simplicity.   What you need to do is find 4 to 5 trustworthy trading partners willing to buy and sell services from each other off the books - to prevent theft via taxation - ideally using gold or silver bars/coins/rounds.  You can even use Federal Reserve Points for settling payment,  provided that you convert them immediately into gold or silver coin to prevent theft from inflation.  It is as simple as that, other than trying to figure out how to store your money.

Are there examples of working agorism? Yes.

1) You may be familar with the story of FDR confiscating gold from American people in 1933.  Why all the fuss for a shiny piece of yellow metal?  Well, the story you don't hear as it is suppressd is people got disgusted with Federal Reserve Points (inflation) and were trading off the books using sound money like gold or silver.

As Alan Greenspan (yes, that Alan Greenspan) put it:

In the absence of the gold
standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation
through inflation. There is no safe store of value.
If there
were, the government would have to make its holding illegal,
as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example,
to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other
good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for
goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created
bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial
policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for
the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of
the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending
is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands
in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector
of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty
in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.

2) With the advent of the Internet (an example of working anarchy), digital gold currency sites (DGCs) sprang up, most notably e-gold.com and goldmoney.com.  These sites allowed people to open accounts and buy gold or silver online and fund their accounts with real physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.   The VAST lion's share precious metals used was gold and silver, for it has a long history of money.  These sites claim that every gram or ounce you buy is backed by REAL gold and silver held in a vault somewhere and they tell you about the auditing process or whatever.  Assuming they were honest, people started buying and selling from each other using gold and silver.  Did these people know they were practicing agorism?  I don't know.  But I'll bet you it wasn't long before they realized the benefits of trading off the books and using a form of money pretty much immune to inflation.

I obtained the following stats from e-gold.com that illustrates how many new accounts were opened year over year.  What I don't know is (a) if all people used these accounts or (b) how much gold and silver was traded between people or (c) the velocity of the trades, but it is a crude indicator of interest level:

  • 1997    525
  • 1998    956
  • 1999    9,771
  • 2000    122,869
  • 2001    206,482
  • 2002    261,804
  • 2003    458,762
  • 2004    652,657
  • 2005    891,974
  • 2006    1,212,778
  • 2007    1,135,850 

Quite the growth, no?  I even remember when E-bay used to allow people to settle payment through through DGCs, before they bought and had a vested interest in promoting Paypal.  The State became increasingly concerned that people were trading off the books thus avoiding taxation, thus violently cracked down on E-bay requiring them to report people who traded more than $1000.00 / month to the terrorist taxation agencies.   E-bay knows no political borders, and it complies with the taxation rules whereever buyers and sellers are located.  Mainstream media reported the taxation compliance, but what they DIDN'T report on was the massive hoopla it caused i.e. people threatening to boycott E-bay etc.

E-gold was violently raided by the State as well.  They did so under the red-herring of "criminal" or "terrorist" activity occuring on these sites.  Too be sure there might have been some criminal - criminal is another word for someone failing to follow the arbitrary rules set out by a group of people with a monopoly on violence...were their victims? - activity occuring on the site, but I think most were "fair" as they did not want to get kicked out of the DGCs or receive a bad rating - the value of trading outside of the taxation/inflation system is too high to do stupid things to other participants.

The problem with these payment systems is that they are centralized.  As such, they are a big target for the State.  They raid the offices, arrest the owners, sieze the computers, freeze the accounts, and go through the list of account holders and terrorize them.  The media excessively hypes this so others quiver in fear of the State.

The key to agorism working is that the system is decentralized.  Your network of 4-5 trustworthy trading partners is not likely to include IRS employees.Surprised Your partners might get 4-5 trustworthy trading partners, and you now have 16-25 trading partners, and so forth.  You don't need software to conjure up a payment system, although there is a promising site (ripplepay.com) that might be a potential P2P solution (like file-sharing bit torrent sites) that would facilitate payment over wide areas, but it depends on the web being available.

Agorism can be implemented anywhere there is understanding and the will.

Did this help clarify?

 

 

 

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Re: An Interview with Bernard Lietaer

Remnant,

I'm reading a great deal around and upon the subject of Agorism. One area I was looking through can be explained with this transcripted interview :-

http://www.nexuspub.com/articles/2003/july2003/interview.htm

...I'm fine tuning!!

My Best Paul

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Re: Agorism as an option?

I wonder if and when Chris is going to integrate agorism into his presentations...it is certainly the logical thing to do.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Remnant,

Then why not send him an email.

Is that logical, or am I being nieve...

Paul

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Re: Agorism as an option?
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Remnant,

Then why not send him an email.

Is that logical, or am I being nieve...

Paul

LOL!  Too true.  I'll do that and see what happens. BTW, Paul, have you seen the "new" fad, "Going Galt"?

http://washingtonindependent.com/32772/battling-obama-by-going-galt

It's like agorism, with the exception that people are physically relocating.  With agorism, you don't have to do that.  You can hide in plain sight.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Remnant,

I've read and I've read and I've read - everything I could grasp on the subject of Agorism . I've run through the link to 'John Galt' with many of 'its' links hit, so as to provide me with video's of live action groups and their 'Tea Parties'. I just want you to know that I'm richer for the knowledge and, hopefully others 'are or will be' on this site, provided that you keep working on the topic where-ever and with whom-ever will listen. I found this dialogue for you and painstakingly transcripted it. I hope it more than raises a smileSmile :-

" When I first started getting involved with Radical-Direct-action-Non-hiarchical-Eco-autonomous-Grass-roots-organisations, I didn't understand the concept of no leaders. I thought I did; but I didn't. And I'd go upto the nearest alpha male or alpha female and say, "Here's what you should do - Why don't you do this - It'd be great if you all did this - And when are you going to do this?" And they'd give you this look, that I never understood, which was kind of ...

I think, "Weird". And I'd go up to the next alpha, "When are you going to do this - It'd be great if you did this - Why haven't you done this yet - Why don't you do this - It'd be wonderful if you did this?" And again, they'd give me this look, like ...

And after a year, the penny dropped, and I finally realised what that look meant, because they won't tell you, because that would be hiarchical, right? What this look meant was, "Yes, good Idea, why don't you do it yourself? You print the leaflets, I'll distribute them; you call a meeting, I'll attend; you organise an action, we'll come along".

And from that moment, I realised that, my whole philosophical outlook changed. And from then on, instead of suggesting things other people could do, I stopped suggesting things all-together, in-case they expected me to do them..." - Robert Newman

Robert Newman's History Of Oil

Keep feeding this thread and I'll keep replying...

Best,

Paul

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My Mango Economy

Wow Remnant!  This is fantasic!

Thanks for posting and taking the time to define and explain Agorism. I will be very interested in reading more about this.

Anectotally, my family and I just bought a small farm far out of the city, specifically to have an "insurance policy" for when TSHTF.  Currently, the farm has mostly producing mango trees (among other things). 

I came to realize, with great satisfaction, that I already have neighbors who will cut grass and do other work for me in exchange for mangos - which they themselves pick!  OK, the mangos don't pay anywhere near all the expenses with maintaining the place, but the important thing is the State doesn't get one mango-peel portion of the exchange!  And, we will definitely be making the place more productive.  I just got chickens, will start Tilapia pools, a greenhouse, and plan to replace many of the mango trees (there are over 100) with other kinds of fruit trees.  I plan to produce much more than we need so that we can trade for things we don't produce. 

Anyway, thanks again.  The only thing I don't like about the term "Agorism" is that it sounds way too much like one of the great statists, "Al Gore", but I will try to get over that!

Cheers,

Patrick

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Thanks Remnant for the Agorism link. I downloaded a few audiobooks on it and look forward to learning more about it. There is nothing like learning something new to get you through the day.

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Agorism

sorry...posted in the wrong thread.

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Re: My Mango Economy
Patrick Brown wrote:

Wow Remnant!  This is fantasic!

Thanks for posting and taking the time to define and explain Agorism. I will be very interested in reading more about this.

Anectotally, my family and I just bought a small farm far out of the city, specifically to have an "insurance policy" for when TSHTF.  Currently, the farm has mostly producing mango trees (among other things). 

I came to realize, with great satisfaction, that I already have neighbors who will cut grass and do other work for me in exchange for mangos - which they themselves pick!  OK, the mangos don't pay anywhere near all the expenses with maintaining the place, but the important thing is the State doesn't get one mango-peel portion of the exchange!  And, we will definitely be making the place more productive.  I just got chickens, will start Tilapia pools, a greenhouse, and plan to replace many of the mango trees (there are over 100) with other kinds of fruit trees.  I plan to produce much more than we need so that we can trade for things we don't produce. 

Anyway, thanks again.  The only thing I don't like about the term "Agorism" is that it sounds way too much like one of the great statists, "Al Gore", but I will try to get over that!

Cheers,

Patrick

Thanks Patrick,

Agorism = from the Greek word, "agora", meaning open.  Coined by Samuel Konkin III (SEK3 in webspeak).  Open markets.  Honest exchange.  Exchange need not be monetary in nature.  May be barter.  May be charitable.  Whatever market actors decide.

Previously, I never said, "People should be forced at gunpoint to use gold or silver as money!".  What I said was, "People should be free to decide what they want to use money!".  Barter is too inefficient as it is a "coincidence of wants" and that you cannot make change for a GREAT number of items being bartered.  Market demand would need to create a medium of exchange. In practice, this would mean a return to the gold standard.  I am not in favour of ANY community currency as those who are in charge of the monetary printing presses wield enormous power.  Sooner or later, they will find a way to print up a bunch of new money and give it to themselves to steal your economic labour and/or savings.  Think of the monetary printing press as Sauron's Ring (from the Lord of the Rings).  Many desired it, none could control/use it even with the best intentions without being corrupted completely.  

In a true free market a.k.a. voluntary associative society, no government issued fiat would bear any value.  Fiat is *ALWAYS* backed by debt and violence.  Taxes prevent you from boycotting Federal Reserve / Bank of Canada Permission to Live Points (we sometimes call them dollars) thus creating artificial demand for them as we must work in the taxation/inflation system "the red market" which is the Matrix to earn them to pay taxes.

You cannot vote your way out of it.  You cannot protest your way out of it.   Unfortunately, from the cradle to the grave, the State has planted its outpost firmly in our minds.  I personally believe we are on the cusp of a great revolution.

A thousand years ago or so, we had the Agrarian revolution.  Humans stopped following the game trail to survive and built farms to produce what they needed with the help of animal labour.  Next we had the Industrial revolution where we figured how to transfer animal labour to machines.  The battle of our time here is the productive class vs. the parasitic class.  We are beginning to realize that we have to throw the yolk of the State off our backs and replace it with....nothing.

The State would have you worry about what others do with their freedoms and builds strawmen for us to fear.  We have lost our way to connect, work, respect, and rejoice in the diversity, skills, and help each other out.  For example, this is how we use to provide each other healthcare.

Sites like Chris's provide us a place to coalesce.  The revolution will not be televised.  The status quo will seek to preserve the status quo.

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Re: Agorism as an option?
JAG wrote:

Thanks Remnant for the Agorism link. I downloaded a few audiobooks on it and look forward to learning more about it. There is nothing like learning something new to get you through the day.

Where did you get the audiobooks?  Perhaps others would like to share the knowledge with you?

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Re: Agorism as an option?

Finally one more thing to keep in mind.

Mike Gogulski, over at nostate.com, wrote the following declaration.  Read it once slowly.  Then read it again.

  • I wish no power* over you.
  • I wish that you have no power over me.
  • Where I have power over you, I shall seek to renounce it.
  • Where you have power over me, I shall pray that you renounce it, and so long as it be extant, I shall condemn it.
  • Where there are those who would try to give me power over you, I shall denounce them and condemn them.
  • Where there are those who would try to give you power over me, I shall laugh at them and condemn them.
  • Where you would use force to sustain any putative power relationship over me, I shall condemn you and resist you, and call to my brethren in our struggle against you.
  • Where a tyrant, a majority, a plurality, or a minority presume to grant you power over me, or over anyone else, I shall condemn it, resist it, renounce it and denounce it.
  • Where there are those who are subjugated beneath the boot heel of power, by “democratic” means or otherwise, I shall support their resistance, their condemnation, their denunciation and their renunciation.
  • I shall make no compromise with evil.

 

* Replace the word “power” here with “privilege” if that vocabulary better suits your understanding.

I personally find it INCREDIBLY compelling.  Do you agree?  Like it?  Guess what the declaration is entitled?

An Anarchist's Declaration.

If THAT IS anarchy (I hate to use words like that as everyone has their own internal image of what it means), then I am an anarchist.  LOL.  What do I tell my family and friends? Do anarchists run for office? 

I prefer agorist as that has not been tainted yet by the State/Media cartel.

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Re: My Mango Economy
Patrick Brown wrote:

 

I came to realize, with great satisfaction, that I already have neighbors who will cut grass and do other work for me in exchange for mangos - which they themselves pick!  OK, the mangos don't pay anywhere near all the expenses with maintaining the place, but the important thing is the State doesn't get one mango-peel portion of the exchange!  And, we will definitely be making the place more productive.  I just got chickens, will start Tilapia pools, a greenhouse, and plan to replace many of the mango trees (there are over 100) with other kinds of fruit trees.  I plan to produce much more than we need so that we can trade for things we don't produce. 

Cheers,

Patrick

I am so envious.  Well done.  I find agorism is more likely  to take off in rural communities, but we do it in the city as well.  In fact, the CRA (the Canadian equivalent of the IRS) is so worried about the grey (underground) economy, they started a propaganda contest.  Have a look here:

I consider this good news!  Agorism must be more rampant than I thought!

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Re: Agorism as an option?

 

TheRemnant wrote:

The Problem: The State.  Always.

This is just propaganda. The very reason why we are in this predicament.

The Problem: Private interest over public interest.  Always.

TheRemnant wrote:

What is the State?  Here's a definition that you will NOT find in Webster's:

The State is nothing more than a group of people who enforce a monopoly of violence over a geographic area, declaring themselves "government". Be it a democracy, a republic, a dictatorship, a plutocracy, communist, fascist, or whatever.  How that government is selected is simply an academic process, but the exercising of violence or the threat of violence (coercion) control of one group of people over another is basic.

Replace "the state" and "government" by "big money" or "big corporations" and you would be correct.

The State is indeed the only possible guard against abuse by powerful dishonest oligarchy over the weak individuals and honest businesses.

The very reason why we are in this predicament is because the State failed to effectivly protect against such abuse. Because of lack of effective regulation. Although it is legal, lobbying and politician funding is nothing but corruption, buying privileges, laws and votes at the Congress. Revolving doors are nothing but conflicts of interest...

TheRemnant wrote:

Why do these groups of men want to take control?  The spoils are huge for them and their connected insiders!  They can loot and plunder the citizenry directly via taxation or enforce paper tickets (dollars, francs, pesos, marks etc) on the market within their area of control and devalue that money for their benefit via indirect taxation we call inflation.  More on that later.

I know that this comes as a great surprise for some, for others that definition is met with outright hostility, however from the cradle to the grave we are indoctrinated overtly and covertly into subjugating our lives, freedom, the fruits of our labour, and all forms property either partly or wholly to the State.

Why do these groups of men [oligarchy] want to take control? The spoils are huge for them and their connected insiders!  They can loot and plunder the citizenry directly via usury, enforce and abuse their monopoly for their own benefit at the cost of the citizens and honest businesses.

I know that this comes as a great surprise for some, for others that definition is met with outright hostility, however from the cradle to the grave we are indoctrinated overtly and covertly by the neoliberal hocus-pocus, the so-called efficient-free-market propaganda, the so-called self-interest leading to  public-interest gibberish... There is just fallacy: self-interest never leads to public-interest. There is no such thing as a free society: information is power, so insiders always know better and before anyone else and will always abuse and win. No one would believe an alcoohlic or junkie to volontary restrain himself, so would you expect a money-junkie or power-junkie to volontary restrain from usury and/or abuse of power?

I'll stop here, because this is just nauseating propaganda. 

 

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Re: Agorism as an option?

fujisan,

5 years ago, I would have responded to my own posts with the one you put up.  It's was a long, traumatic trip.  Still is, in some ways.
The biggest issue I have when positing my observations is that I encounter, by far and away, people (a) who have no idea what a true free market is, (b) don't care, (c) have no understanding of monetary theory and mechanics, and (d) I can't cite any examples of a free market operating in the mainstream sphere, unless that person participates in the underground economy.  I can't build a house without the proper foundation.  Our foundation is at best very shaky as a result of cradle to grave pro-State brainwashing.  Few break free.  A journalist or mainstream personality who wanted to report on the truth would be roundly criticized by their peers.  In this manner, they are censored for fear of ridicule or worse, blacklisted from the industry.  Is it a conspiracy?  Is it a coincidence?  Doesn't matter to me anymore.  Either way, it is wrong and has to stop.

The Problem: Private interest over public interest.  Always.

 

Existence compels action.  How do most of us act?  I have a private interest in obtaining plus factors (or profit - but that word seems to be tabooed these days as evil) for myself and my family via honest trade.  I don't trade with people under direct threat of force or fraud, but the government does.   I am forced to pay tribute to government via taxation, regardless of what it does.  Oh sure, we have elections, where false choices - the debate spectrum is very limited - are presented to us and we try and coerce each other into accepting our candidates or prevent others from trying to foist one on us.  If I have a private interest in buying organic food, is that a bad thing?   No.  Why?  Because I don't prevent anyone from buying non-organic food.  I don't use force/fraud to obtain it.

What is the public interest in a society of cannibals?  The fattest member must serve the tribe's interest over protecting his property?  In this case his life?  If he fails to get into the pot, is it right others directly force him in?  Indirectly force him in by appealing/advocating to the Chief and his army to force him in?  Is he derided for failing to serve the "public interest"?  The smallest minority on earth is the individual.  If you don't protect individual rights, then you don't support protecting minority rights.

What you are talking about is private interests operating at the expense of public interests.  You are talking about exchanges being made involuntarily.  The little guy loses at the expense of the big guy.   Can the big guy *FORCE* me to trade with them?  Yes - at the point of a gun.  If the big guy presents me with something I wish to trade for I might.   Can the big guy punish me for *NOT* trading with them?  No. Does it happen anyway?  Of course.  How?  Big question.

You see, if you understand what a true free market is, government fiat money, Federal Reserve Permission to Live points, sometimes called dollars, would have NO value at all.  What gives paper money value?  On the surface, it appears to be mutual confidence, but there is a much more evil reason: government violence.  Why?  Because you cannot boycott their form of money due to legal tender laws and more importantly, taxation.  You *HAVE* to trade the fruits of your labour for fiat money.   In a true free market, only commodity backed money could operate.  What is that?  Well, the history of money tells us many things were used, but as markets expanded via better transportation, the last remaining free market money was gold and silver.    If government had to go to us each time it wanted to run a program, start a war, bailout a company, and extract direct taxation from us, what do you think support levels for the war, bailouts, and silly programs would be?  They have a much more insidious way to take money from us - a central bank and the monopolization of money production.   A central bank is one tool that breaks accountability of government to the people.

Do we need government to monopolize the production of money or can multiple mints competing in the free market do it?  In the context of fiat money, government imposes their form of money on the rest of us.   Anyone who possesses the monetary printing press wields enormous economic power.   Sooner or later, the bad guys will lobby and/or infiltrate government.  The US Consitiution was an end run-around on the Declaration of Independance.  Some say, "Return to limited government!  Return to the Constitution!".  They are missing the point.  If the Constitution was suppose to protect people from large government, how well did it do?  Some say, "Congress violated the Constitution by outsourcing money production/destruction to a central bank! We must return that function to Congress!".  How long before they give it away again, lobbied/bribed by private interests?  Even if they did manage to wrestle money production back from the Fed, do you think money production would be safely stewarded by politicians who have most likely been elected, thanks to private interests efforts to seek economic rent, backed by State violence?  Or is it better stewarded by an unelected group of banking interests?

fujisan, I really recommend that you read "What has Government done to our Money?" by Murray Rothbard, to get a better grasp of the subject.  There is much more literature out there to be read.  Hayek, Paul, Woods, Mises, Bastiat to name a few.

Once you do, you will begin to ask the questions I did.  We cannot rely on this notion of the State to protect us from private interests.  The State is simply a monopoly on violence consisting of a minority of people removed from the obligation of economic production as we pay them to rule us.  As such, the State is inherently corrupt.   Private interests who seek economic rent at the expense of the public interest immediately get to work to lobby/bribe/contribute to elected officials to do their bidding.  Elections can't prevent this but the abolition of the office they hold can.  Look at Obama.  Many are growing dissatisfied with him.  They are stuck with him for another 3.5 years or so.  Then the cycle will start up all over again where a whole range of establishment-selected candidates (except Ron Paul - he got in the race, but they ignored/suppressed his message as he posed a threat to the Establishment, in particular the IRS , Federal Reserve, Military industrial complex) giving the illusion of a race and presenting false choices to the public.
 

Replace "the state" and "government" by "big money" or "big corporations" and you would be correct.

The State is indeed the only possible guard against abuse by powerful dishonest oligarchy over the weak individuals and honest businesses.

The very reason why we are in this predicament is because the State failed to effectivly protect against such abuse. Because of lack of effective regulation. Although it is legal, lobbying and politician funding is nothing but corruption, buying privileges, laws and votes at the Congress. Revolving doors are nothing but conflicts of interest...

I'm confused.  First you say to replace the State with big money/big corporations and I would be correct, then you go on to acknowledge the State is the only "guard" against the powerful "dishonest oligarchy", then immediately say how that guard failed to protect us against it.  Do you see the obvious contradiction?

You correctly identify that we suffer the "Captured Regulators" problem where industry incumbents are plucked from the private sector to write regulations that protect industry incumbents and limit newcomers from entering the industry by way of shouldering them with expensive regulatory burdens/regulation/reporting requirements.  After doing a corrupt good job they leave their State post and go back into a posh position an industry incumbent has opened up for him/her.  This cycle goes on and on.   Lobbying the State is more effective than innovation and running a business honestly!

How do you propose ensuring the people running for office aren't or will not be corrupt?  What about the person who assumes office after their term is over?  Instead of fighting for a seat at the table of power, can't we understand that we have to find a way to abolish the table?  The only answer I can see that guarantees it is the abolition of the office itself.    Since I cannot do that as there is no reference point I can point to <insert move to Somalia argument here> that will sway 51% of the voting public my way, and if I did, I would either be assasinated physically or assassinated by character attacks, I advocate individual and local community practices i.e. Agorism.  If voting could really change things, it would be made illegal.

I share your concern, fujisan, however, and this is NOT bragging, I just happen to be further along the thought train than you in terms of cause and effect.  The other issues is that we have not seen how free market justice systems, roads, protection services et al will work, hence I get the, "OMFG!  You're an anarchist!  Move to Somalia to see how that all works out!".  Of course, when I ask them to tell me how the formerly strong central government FAILED to PREVENT the Somalia of today from happening, I get crickets chirping.  I ask them where the existing competing factions get their fiat money to purchase arms in return for advancing foreign State interests.  More crickets.

Let me leave you with some further quick reads:

The Stateless Society

Caging the Devils: The Stateless Society and Violent Crime

Regulation Didn't Save Canada's Banks - WSJ.com

Island DIY: Kauai residents don't wait for state to repair road - CNN.com

Good luck and thank you for your feedback.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

 I'm confused. First you say to replace the State with big money/big corporations and I would be correct, then you go on to acknowledge the State is the only "guard" against the powerful "dishonest oligarchy", then immediately say how that guard failed to protect us against it. Do you see the obvious contradiction?

No contradiction. This is indeed exactly what you advocate, what we already started to experience for decades at least since the Thatcher & Reagan era, what caused our current predicament in the first place! IOW An oligrachy, the concentration of power in the hands of the few individuals for their own benefits. call it "State", "Government", "regulators", "notations agencies" or whatever, this is indeed already private big money buying protection/coerction for their own benefits.

How do you propose ensuring the people running for office aren't or will not be corrupt? What about the person who assumes office after their term is over?

The only protection against such abuse are really independant State with effective regulation, notations agencies, justice... This requires banning any form of corruption: lobbying, private funding of politicians, notations agencies... And therefore public funding of political campains (like we have in Europe BTW) And fair justice, effective democratic control...

«In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.» President Dwight D. Eisenhower

«Democracy is not in the popular origin of power, it is in control. Democracy is the practice of control of the rulers by the governed. Not once every five years or every year, but every day.» Alain AKA Émile Chartier.

«Sovereignty cannot be represented for the same reason it cannot be alienated. Essentially, it consists of the general will, and a will cannot be represented: either it is the same, or it is the other; there is no middle ground. The people's deputies thus are not and cannot be its representatives, they are only the people's agents and can conclude nothing definitiely. Any law that the People has not ratified in person is void, it is not a law at all. The English people beleives itself to be free; it is only free during the election of Members of Parliament. Once they are elected, the people are slaves, it is nothing... In the brief moments of their liberation the use made of it fully deserves that it should be lost.» Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

«In the absence of Justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?» Saint Augustine

«Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.» John Maynard Keynes (As well as other fallacies like the so-called "invisible hand".)

The only answer I can see that guarantees it is the abolition of the office itself.

 

So you advocate these. Like the so-called anarcho-capitalists, minarchists and other similar gibberish.

«...somebody has to take governments' place, and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it.» - David Rockefeller - Newsweek International, Feb 1 1999.

«Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power» - Benito Mussolini

«What luck for rulers that men do not think» - Adolf Hitler

If voting could really change things, it would be made illegal

 

I agree. BTW this is a translation of a quote by Coluche, a french humorist.

However: «Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.» - Sir Winston Churchill

We've already tried a softer form of the neoliberal ideology you advocate which fallacy harshly failed and we have already seen enough damage. I just remind that Thatcher's "program" was Hayek's "The Constitution of Liberty". Hopefully, many other are not fooled by this failed propaganda.

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Re: Agorism as an option?

You are entirely pro-State trolling.  Hopefully you'lll come around.  You are deeply wedded to the notion that it is possible to reform the State.  I disagree.  Collapse is more likely.  If not today, soon.  It is inevitable in my opinion.  Could I be wrong?   Sure.   However, what I advocate is build a local community with people you know and trust, trading part-time with sound money outside the taxation/inflation system.  If the State does collapse, the operating network will be invaluable.  If the State does *NOT* collapse, you'll have a network where you can protect at least some of the fruits of your labour from being stolen from taxation/inflation.  I don't want to run the world with an ideology, all I want to do is build my agorist network.  The sense of community Chris talks about on this site, at his seminars, and as a potential solution to the problems outlined in Crash Course.

Throwing a bunch of quotes at me from dead people implies that I am supposed say. "Oh wow.  If <insert famous dead guy here> says it, it must be true!  I must accept <insert dead famous guy> as my superior!".  Sorry.  I don't do the appeal to authority thing well.    It's a form of censorship.   It restricts reflections on ideas. 

However: «Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.» - Sir Winston Churchill

 

Yes, yes.  An oft used quote.  He also said the something along the lines of "The strongest argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.".  Very funny.

Churchill didn't posit "Nobody should have a monopoly on anything, including the State!".  Do we need to be governed?  Absolutely.  Is the only method of governing via the State - a monopoly on violence?  Would we have civil war if there were market justice systems and multiple dispute resolution organizations (DRO) competing for customers in a market?  What I can tell you is that we have had many civil wars under the State model!  Another thing is if we return to free market money, none of the DRO's can print money out of thin air, like the State model does today.  I imagine if one became corrupt or escalated , they would be blacklisted by other DRO's and IMMEDIATELY lose all of their customers!

Where in history did we get close to no State? The Declaration of Independance was the closest we got.  It was the idea of throwing of the old yolk of the British government and replacing it with...nothing.  Take a look at the DoI and the Consitution.  Note whose signatures who are on the DoI but not on the Constitution.  Jefferson.  Paine.  There's a reason for that.  The signings of both are only 11 years apart.

We've already tried a softer form of the neoliberal ideology you advocate which fallacy harshly failed and we have already seen enough damage. I just remind that Thatcher's "program" was Hayek's "The Constitution of Liberty".

 

Where?  What country?  What country ousted its central bank recently in favour of free market money?  What country realized that money, it's purchasing power, and its production should not be in the hands of private bankers or the State?  What country eliminated limited liability laws where the State protects insiders personal assets from being seized to make reparation or restore equity to those harmed by said insiders i.e. corporations...entities that would not exist in a true free market?  What country repealed legal tender laws and let the market decide the best form of money?    What country abolished income tax?  You cited Thatcher as some sort of experiment of free market ideology that miserably failed.  Did she do all of the above things I asked?  Did she accurately understand Hayek's "The Constitution of Liberty"? - I personally don't know this piece of work, nor do I know what Thatcher's "program" was, nor do I understand what criterion you mean by "harshly failed", nor do I understand who you mean by "we" having seen "enough damage".  Whose "we"?   What's "damage"?  But thanks, fujisan, I'll read that piece of work from Hayek.  I have only read "Road to Serfdom" and a smattering of essays so far.  I think of him highly.  I am sure Thatcher butchered his work with her interpretation of it, but I don't know for sure.

Hopefully, many other are not fooled by this failed propaganda.

 

What propaganda is that?  "You can control State power by voting!".  "You have a voice!".  That's one of my favourites.  You do have a voice and you are allowed to exercise it when our leaders let us.   For example, Obama's approval rating is sinking fast.   Unfortunately we are stuck with him for the next 3.5 years where he can continue to loot and pillage America for the benefit of himself, his "friends", insiders, and the dumbed-down electorate that installed him.  Ron Paul was a far superior candidate, but we all saw how the establishment shut him down.  "If you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain!" (I pay lots of taxes.  That gives me the right to complain!).  "Reform the State where you can vote honest politicians in and corrupt ones out!".  "If you don't like things, run yourself!".  Oh sure.  Let me think about how far I'd get.

Hopefully, people are coming around over time - thanks to the Internet breaking mainstream media's traditional monopoly on information disemination - not to be fooled by this propaganda.  You can spin and weave and hold onto the false hope/fantasy that we can contain and restrain a monopoly on violence - the State.  I wish we could.  All history shows otherwise.

I'll break my own rule and leave you with a quote I cite often to get others to think about.

  • I wish no power* over you.
  • I wish that you have no power over me.
  • Where I have power over you, I shall seek to renounce it.
  • Where you have power over me, I shall pray that you renounce it, and so long as it be extant, I shall condemn it.
  • Where there are those who would try to give me power over you, I shall denounce them and condemn them.
  • Where there are those who would try to give you power over me, I shall laugh at them and condemn them.
  • Where you would use force to sustain any putative power relationship over me, I shall condemn you and resist you, and call to my brethren in our struggle against you.
  • Where a tyrant, a majority, a plurality, or a minority presume to grant you power over me, or over anyone else, I shall condemn it, resist it, renounce it and denounce it.
  • Where there are those who are subjugated beneath the boot heel of power, by “democratic” means or otherwise, I shall support their resistance, their condemnation, their denunciation and their renunciation.
  • I shall make no compromise with evil.

* Replace the word “power” here with “privilege” if that vocabulary better suits your understanding.

 

Don't think about about the "how" or the "implementation" of this declaration.  All I am asking, from a virtue/theoretical point of view is, "Do you morally agree with the above?". 

fujisan's picture
fujisan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 5 2008
Posts: 296
Re: Agorism as an option?

 I don't want to run the world with an ideology

Yes you do. It's the ideology that power and justice in private hands for the few rich that can pay for it is better than equal access power and justice for everyone wheter rich or poor, strong or weak. It's the ideology that there could be something like a "free market" whereas markets are governed by profits only for the benefits of the few rich that own/control the private entities, not for the greatest good of everyone. It's the ideology of "free markets" which means competition, hence violence. It's the ideology of "invisible hand" whereas not everyone has equal knowledge nor equal access to sensible information and therefore a so-called free market is inherantly unfair, unjust, distrorted. It's the ideology that it's legitimate for private ntities to own/control anything incl. any public goods & services. It's the ideology that it's legitimate for individuals to hoard money and therefore make it artificially scarce and therefore produce crisis. It's the ideology that liberty is over equality, whereas there can't be liberty without equality (as Athenians discovered long ago). And so on...

Would we have civil war if there were market justice systems and multiple dispute resolution organizations (DRO) competing for customers in a market?

There can't be any justice and security if not everyone has equal access to it. The rich will have access to justice for they own interest, and to security to protect their own goods. The poor won't have acces to any justice nor security since it can't pay for competing justice and security with equal power.

Where? What country? What country ousted its central bank recently in favour of free market money? What country realized that money, it's purchasing power, and its production should not be in the hands of private bankers or the State? What country eliminated limited liability laws where the State protects insiders personal assets from being seized to make reparation or restore equity to those harmed by said insiders i.e. corporations...entities that would not exist in a true free market? What country repealed legal tender laws and let the market decide the best form of money? What country abolished income tax?

Replace "country/state/gouvernement/police/army..." by "entities in a free market", replace "tax" with "cost of insurance/security/justice/DRO in a free market" and you get something even worse than what you describe, since only the rich can afford it.

[Churchill] also said the something along the lines of "The strongest argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.". Very funny

What propaganda is that?  "You can control State power by voting!".  "You have a voice!".  That's one of my favourites.  You do have a voice and you are allowed to exercise it when our leaders let us.

You're confusing democracy with representative-democracy. Democracy is not only about voting. It's essential to have constant control on the representatives, law, govt... and better yet direct-democracy. For instance the Swiss democratic system is a better democracy, where individuals may request a "votation" to abolish a law passed, or even to propose a new law. Or did you ever heard of the lottery system used by Athenians during one century? Yes, a lottery for part of the representatives to ensure the necessary rotation! Some even imagine a system where one would have a fixed number of votes/points for possibly several representatives, and even negative points against representatives!

In your agorist system, you have no vote at all, it is indeed plutocracy.

Don't think about about the "how" or the "implementation" of this declaration.

The only important thing is how the system works, so your question cannot be answered.

 

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Agorism as an option?

 This is the full set of three from a recent BBC documentary by Adam Curtis that, on a thread such as this one deserves both mention and viewing ...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085&ei=fymJSui0E5...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1087742888040457650&ei=yCuJSvzq...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8389886774314947871&ei=-iuJSrDUG...

Best,

Paul

TheRemnant's picture
TheRemnant
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 29 2009
Posts: 141
Re: Agorism as an option?

Let me be clearer.  I don't want to run the world with an ideology, backed by force.  I put the idea out there for consideration by others.  I wield no force or threat of force to ensure compliance.   Agorism is simply a voluntary associative society a.k.a. a true free market where others can choose to intiate/participate/reject of their own free will.  Don't put words in my mouth, please.

You talk about the "rich" as if they got "rich" because they exploited others.  Robber barons, right?   In today's distortion of a free market, I don't doubt that in some cases.  Certainly that can be said in the case of the parasitic financial industry today, in the context of fiat money, central banks, and fractional reserve banking as they artificially determine interest rates, and favoured insiders accessing the corrupt system others can't, thus they DO benefit at the expense of others.

But what of the rich man whose insight and innovation led to the production of a product everyone was *WILLING* to buy freely?  Is he a pariah?  Evil? Did he "game" people who were wiling to trade for what he offered?  Remember that a trade does NOT take place because two parties value what each other wants from the other equally.  A trade takes place because the two actors value what they have the other wants unequally, otherwise no trade can take place.  For example, if I have $300 in my pocket and I want to buy an iPod, the trade takes place because Best Buy values the $300 I have in my pocket *MORE* than they value the iPod on their shelf.  I value the iPod MORE than the $300 in my pocket.  The trade takes place.  Who got screwed?  No one.  There was no force/coercion present in this transaction.  My "profit" or "plus factor" is that my perceived standard of living went up and so did the shopkeepers'.

Now, suppose that rich man who developed the product seeks a patent on it.  He does so precisely because he wants to seek economic rent or prevent someone else from stealing his product.  Only the State can provide this.  By doing so, he gets richer by outsourcing the cost of protectionism to the rest of us via taxation, creating a monopoly, where the rest of us pay higher prices for lower quality.  Is that fair?   What if the rich man could not seek out a State to prevent someone else from entering the market to compete with him?    Do you know how Brazil ended slavery?  The State simply stopped catching slaves.  In otherwords, the expense of chasing, capturing, and returning the slaves to their "owners" was not outsourced to taxpayers, but the owner had to pay directly no longer making slavery financially appealing.

Some say, "The rich will eventually own all the gold!".  You are not rich/wealthy by having a lot of gold.  You are wealthy/rich by DISPOSING of your gold into the market in return for the goods/services that make you FEEL/APPEAR wealthy.  Others who are not rich who trade with the rich man, not under force or fraud, do so via voluntary action and mutual benefit, do they not?  Second, who says gold can be the ONLY form of money.  If gold becomes too scarce - BTW, I am not sure what scarce means.  If a particular form of money were plentiful to all, could it serve as money? - what would stop millions of economic actors from switching to silver or copper?  Hell, if they were close enough to each other, they could barter if they want.  Or give their goods to charity, if they were so inclined.  A true free market doesn't preclude those actions.

The other item to bear in mind when thinking of the rich "hoarding the wealth" is the assumption most make is that there is, at a given moment, a finite amount of wealth in the world.   The poorest factory worker lives a higher standard of living than King Henry lived 200 years ago.  Wealth is constantly being created - unless you think about wealth destruction schemes a la "Broken Window" fallacy posited by Bastiat in 1850.   The ongoing "Cash for Clunkers" program is where the State is literally paying people to destroy wealth.  Why stop there?  Why not burn your house down for a State provided grant funded by taxpayers - and their children and the unborn to rebuild it - with better insulation of course to "go green"?

It's the ideology that there could be something like a "free market" whereas markets are governed by profits only for the benefits of the few rich that own/control the private entities, not for the greatest good of everyone.

We'd better nationalize all the grocery stores then, shouldn't we?  Lord knows they failed provide for the "greatest good of everyone".  Maybe if we didn't have to pay 50+ taxes built in to a loaf of bread from field to table, it might be cheaper to buy a loaf of bread, providing for the "greatest good of everyone"?  How about the housing industry and real estate agencies that provide housing?  Textiles?  What minority of men - the State - determine the "greatest good of everyone"?  No one man can run the world, nor can a minority of men determine the needs, wants, and values of the millions of people interacting within an economy.

It's the ideology of "free markets" which means competition, hence violence.

Are you telling me market competition = violence?  If someone invents widget X, and later someone improves upon widget X or develops a new widget Y replacing now obsolete widget X, the two competitors fall out into full scale war?  I don't remember the buggy whip industry launching out a full scale warfare against the automotive industry.  Does Ford and GM lobby missiles at each other?  If they did, they'd lose most, if not all of their customers!  A free market does not preclude charity, compassion, and consideration.  In fact, you could argue that most people file their income tax, flip it back to the State, and figure their duty to humanity is done.  "I paid my taxes!  I don't have to give anymore!".  Such is the soul-killing logic of the welfare state.

There can't be any justice and security if not everyone has equal access to it. The rich will have access to justice for they own interest, and to security to protect their own goods. The poor won't have acces to any justice nor security since it can't pay for competing justice and security with equal power.

You mean like how the poor can't afford the egregious legal expenses of the current State provided system?  You mean how the "rich" can afford the armies of lawyers to crush the guy who cannot financially compete?  You mean how corporate insiders can harm others, yet the State provides legal fictions like corporations and more nefariously, limited liability laws, that shield these insiders from having their personal assets siezed and outsource the cost of their legal defense to the corporation in the unlikely event a suit is brought to trial (the plantiff would have to spend an ENORMOUS amount of time and dollars to get it even heard).  The corporation pays the expenses of the insiders out of its revenue streams, thus passing what would have been personal costs onto the company, shareholders, employees, and consumers in the form of higher product/service prices.  Only in the most egregious high profile cases will a just "pierce the corporate veil".   Jury nullification - the act where a jury can decide a law is unjust or frivolous and disregard it - cannot be mentioned by a lawyer, lest he be disbarred, so a jury cannot decide, "This law is stupid!".  The poor is at a MASSIVE disadvantage to access justice and security due to the lack of competing justice/security companies, driving prices up and quality of service down.

Even now, a greater and greater number of contracts are containing clauses as to which arbitration/mediation firms shall be used in the event of a dispute needing to be resolved, as neither party wishes to absorb the length of time and costs the State legal system mandates.  Lawyers associations act as price fixing cartels, ensuring costs stay high.

It's the ideology of "invisible hand" whereas not everyone has equal knowledge nor equal access to sensible information and therefore a so-called free market is inherantly unfair, unjust, distrorted.

You mean like how the Nasdaq can route trade information 30 milliseconds earlier to favoured insiders as opposes to all others who get that information late, where a computer can act on this information faster than other computers can?  I can't say, "F--k Nasdaq!  I am going to start my own stock exchange!"  Why?  As usual, State regulation/legislation written by incumbents prevents newcomers from competing by raising the barriers to access this market higher than most can afford.

Under a free market system, someone cannot prevent others from having equal knowledge nor equal access to information for long.  Arbitrage will take place sooner than later.

It's the ideology that liberty is over equality, whereas there can't be liberty without equality (as Athenians discovered long ago).

No it isn't.  This is an interesting point.  Liberty is concerned with maximizing the sphere of individual freedom so that all have equality.  Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "All are created equal.".  He's wrong.   All are not created equal.  All of have our strengths and weaknesses, talents and handicaps.   What he should have said is, "All are equal under the law.".  However, given what the current implementation of the law is under the State providing it, all aren't equal even in that respect.   Now socialism, on the other hand is the restriction of the the sphere of individual freedom so that all are equal.  Interesting how both classical liberalism and socialism both cite the same end goal - equality?

You're confusing democracy with representative-democracy......

Representative democracy?  I don't think this possible.  If I have constituent A and constituent B elect representative C into office, yet A lobbies representative C to do X and B lobbies C to do Y, and X and Y are in direct conflict with another, who gets trampled if compromise cannot be reached? 

In ancient Athens, those who admired the Stoic philosophy of individualism took as their motto: “Abstain from Beans.” The phrase had a precise reference. It meant: don’t vote. Balloting in Athens occurred by dropping various coloured beans into a receptacle.

To vote is to express a preference. There is nothing implicitly evil in choosing. All of us in the ordinary course of our daily lives vote for or against dozens of products and services. When we vote for (buy) any good or service, it follows that by salutary neglect we vote against the goods or services we do not choose to buy. The great merit of market place choosing is that no one is bound by any other persons selection. I may choose Brand X. But this cannot prevent you from choosing Brand Y.

When we place voting into the framework of politics, however, a major change occurs. When we express a preference politically, we do so precisely because we intend to bind others to our will. Political voting is the legal method we have adopted and extolled for obtaining monopolies of power. Political voting is nothing more than the assumption that might makes right. There is a presumption that any decision wanted by the majority of those expressing a preference must be desirable, and the inference even goes so far as to presume that anyone who differs from a majority view is wrong or possibly immoral.

But history shows repeatedly the madness of crowds and the irrationality of majorities. The only conceivable merit relating to majority rule lies in the fact that if we obtain monopoly decisions by this process, we will coerce fewer persons than if we permit the minority to coerce the majority. But implicit in all political voting is the necessity to coerce some so that all are controlled. The direction taken by the control is academic. Control as a monopoly in the hands of the state is basic.

In times such as these, it is incumbent upon free men to reexamine their most cherished, long-established beliefs. There is only one truly moral position for an honest person to take. He must refrain from coercing his fellows. This means that he should refuse to participate in the process by means of which some men obtain power over others. If you value your right to life, liberty, and property, then clearly there is every reason to refrain from participating in a process that is calculated to remove the life, liberty, or property from any other person. Voting is the method for obtaining legal power to coerce others.  - Robert Lefevre

In your agorist system, you have no vote at all, it is indeed plutocracy.

You're right.  I have no vote at all, if you mean "vote" in the traditional sense of ballots and politcal elections.  You forgot something though...neither does anyone else.  They can freely choose whom to associate with.

The only important thing is how the system works, so your question cannot be answered.

Are you telling me the ethical foundations of the system are unimportant compared to how the system works?  Some say the Nazi's "system" worked well.   I think stealing from you is morally wrong.  I hope you think stealing from me is wrong.  I think we all would not want to live in a society where it was OK to steal from each other.   How is it that we develop a moral short-circuit when we assign that "non-right" to a 3rd party to steal from all of us?  I.e. government?  Is stealing 15% of my labour fair?  20%?  50%?  75%? 100%?  What if 51% of the population decide they have the right to take 20% of my paycheck and 49% decide 15% is fair?  Whose right?  Neither.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Would you, under any circumstances, voluntarily purchase the services of a group of men whose jobs it would be to kill or kidnap you when you refuse to continue providing for their armaments and training?
  2. Would you, under any circumstances, voluntarily purchase the services of an organization which states in no uncertain terms that in the event you decide to stop buying from them, you will forfeit your house?
  3. What if an organization like one of the above tried to assert a claim against you? Would you submit your dispute for arbitration to an organization owned or operated by the very same individuals?

In case you’re not following, the organizations alluded to above are the police, the government-in-general (i.e., planners, lawmakers, figureheads, etc.) and the courts. Now ask yourself, which is the fallacy: “taxation is theft,” or “taxation is justified and necessary?”

No matter how much I write and refute, you won't change your mind I suspect.  You have invested too deeply into the idea that the State can be reformed.  I disagree.  However, if you wish to hug this idea and take it out for dinner, I don't mind.   I support your right to believe in what you do and I would never use force/agression/violence to prevent you from writing a check to the State.  I support your right to *ACT* on your belief.

Will you accord me the same respect?  Will you support my right to believe in what I do and *ACT* on that belief?  Would you yourself use violence or threat of violence against me to intimidate me from believing what I do?  Would you use violence or advocate violence against me if I *ACTED* on my belief?  In otherwords, if I was against the war and tallied up my share of what the war will cost me today and tomorrow and withheld a portion of my taxes as I did not want to fund the war, am I free to do so?  Or would you be the first to call a government snitch line and turn me in?

I have to run.  I want to take my kids outside on this beautiful day and enjoy being with them.

 

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