Monday, December 13, 2010

Response to Free Talk Live Discussion

Saturday night, at about 9:15pm est, I was on freetalklive, discussing the recent tour with Liberty on Tour and agorism in general. After the call, Mark, Ian, and Smeg discussed agorism, regarding the need for growing tyranny to result in a large counter-economy and whether that means an agorist would support big government, with Mark quite insistent many do. Here is my reply to that discussion.

Phrasing it as “then we wouldn’t get no government and we gotta have no government because its important and um we’ve gotta do that” is rather disregarding the reasons why its important to anarchists. I understand you’re a minarchist, but to have an elucidating debate and improve oneself’s thoughts, one must take time to understand another’s perspective. Not to mention challenging another’s actual idea will gain a better chance of providing information that would lead to them changing their mind to your idea. I have no issue with government; I have an issue with the state. Many think they’re the same, but there is a nuanced difference. I would define the State as a government organization, but one that maintains a security monopoly over a given area of land, and its inhabitants. Basically, the State won’t let you opt out. If a government decided to be voluntary, I would have no objection to people voluntarily participating and associating. I think it doesn’t make sense and that it would fade away as a popular form of organization, but I’m not going to use force, for those subjective ideas of mine, upon another. I believe in voluntaryism, people associating voluntarily according to their individual subjective desires. And finally, and to the key point behind my objection, the reason it is important to anarchists is because we hold a very high subjective standard for tolerance of organized crime and cannot stand by and do nothing while such tragedy occurs to individuals all over the world daily. That one must act, in whichever way their individual subjective desires lead them to, to end the state.

Regarding other locations for agorism, I agree, and its one of the key reasons for my trip with Libertyon Tour. In the past I’ve thrown around the idea of a Slave State Project, where one finds the worst culturally-similar region and have agorists move there. It would likely help for them to have some wealth beforehand to invest into the region to rejuvenate it with Austrian business cycle knowledge. Then one would connect with the local counter-economy to build its wealth and expand its size, in addition helping destitute people, destitute due to tyrannical state actions, by providing goods and services as well as an income to them. And as the region’s statist occupiers go bankrupt, the wealthy agorists, and their supporters they’ve educated, can do their best to prevent the rebirth of another state. I would note that it depends on the structure of statism in an area whether statist control end, in that the highest sovereign authority must be thwarted to achieve anarchism. Focusing on Detroit  would be difficult (not saying I would oppose it, I like competitive agorist regions for comparative reasons) because while the municipal statists are incredibly tyrannical, there are provincial and national statists that have much more strength. The agora built in Detroit would need to be innovative and wealthy enough to deter those forces from propping up the municipal statists with their larger strength. It would be Detroit's resources against the resources of the entire United States. In the meanwhile before such a project could be built though, I like seeing agorism and the counter-economy grow in regions with different cultural values, crime level (whether private or public crime), economic industries etc. for comparative reasons, demonstrating the expression of subjective desires, and to increase the decentralism that is the strength of the agora.

I’m not “for” big government, I’m for no state. But because I don’t believe that a minarchist state will result in no state, due to the lack of history demonstrating it, I believe that a tyrannical state is the way to no state, which has been demonstrated by history, in addition to the philosophical arguments I find valid and sound. I don’t advocate for the tyrannical state, I do my best to build direct action solutions that resolve social problems and help people, whether through an income, charity work improving people's lives, or providing a good or service. I joke, and I'll honestly admit I’m half serious, that if someone *does* vote, they should vote for the greatest evil to help things move faster. I don't deny the concern that I wonder if there are enough networks built before the final days occur, which is why I’m doing this LoT  tour to help grow them. Despite that, I still believe that libertarians promoting a minarchist state are doing good. I think that not because I believe that their votes or work on legislation will make fundamental change, I think that because it’s a great educational way to promote the ideas of liberty to people and I would never challenge that educational effort. I would note that there are those I encounter who DO advocate for larger government, but they are not numerous at all and I still do think they serve a good point in at least bringing the end closer, I just won’t support their actions of indirect voting action, just as I won’t support minarchists action of indirect voting action. I support the results of their actions, education, and bringing the end closer; I wouldn’t speak against their efforts to promote liberty, just as I wouldn't speak against minarchists efforts to promote liberty. I don’t think I’ve met anyone amongst agorist circles that advocate a violent revolution, these are usually found amongst constitutionalists or far right ex-military types.

For those concerned about not caring about individuals hurt by tyranny, that is not it at all, for I wrote this recently: How One Agorist Cares. Basically, I believe that it should be pointed out that minarchism is often written of as "small" tyranny vs the "large" tyranny and its taken in a still snapshot of time. Obviously, at that very instant large tyranny  is worse than small tyranny. It should be opposed. Minarchists are focused on the now while anarchists are concerned with the end. However, if you look at the full timeline, the wealth and prosperity lost through minarchism in each time as it continues unabated, is incredibly great compared to the immediate short-framed losses when the state collapses. Consider that minarchist states have existed in various forms for hundreds of years. Because of the belief that tyranny must come to achieve anarchism, I support building organizations that provide solutions to problems, improving people’s situation, defending them from statist tyranny whether through hiding information about activities, ability to escape, or, probably not to be used until the state is severely weakened, the market will decide when practicality makes it useful, protection against the agents directly. Tor and Twitter are both examples of ways people have built organizations to be used in self-defense from state; I'm sure there are those amongst us brilliant enough to continue that innovation. Caring agorists, innovating solutions to improving people's lives through various forms of protection and providing goods, services, and income, are the solution to the state's tyrannical actions, not merely running to a lesser state.


  1. Ethan- I am not a writer. You can call in and discuss any of this if you wish. I am not a Minarchist. I would probably be best described as a Panarchist, but I don't use the term as it is obscure and confusing.

  2. I'm sorry, I haven't listened to FTL regularly in some time, but I'd mistakenly thought you were a minarchist. From what I read of panarchism on wikipedia, it sounds very similar to my conception of how anarchism would exist, with the exception that one could *not* join a government and could voluntarily associate with other forms of organization if they chose. I'll try and call in next Saturday night since thats when there are unlimited weekend minutes.