My political beliefs lead me to desire to live in a society where people have the maximum possible freedom to act to improve their own lives, and where no one prevents them from making the choices to do what they believe is the right thing.

Agorism is a strategy and a tactic for bringing about such a society.

It comes from the greek word Agora, which means “open marketplace.”

Many freedom-lovers believe there is sufficient evidence to show us that a society that values freedom will not ever be handed down to us by our political leaders.  It seems as though the longer governments stick around, the more laws there are, and the more restrictions they impose.  Starting a new government, like the founders of America did, can alleviate some of this oppression, but it only creeps back in time.

This amoral oppression must be pushed back, but not through violence, elections, or revolutions, since all of these things only perpetuate the cycle.  Agorists believe the marketplace is the proper tool to use to end this oppression.  Individuals must work together (or form cooperatives) to provide better service than the government at all tasks essential to the continuance of civilization, and to ignore the government when it gets in the way of the free market.

For instance, one could create a private mint or a private court system that people choose to use to mediate disputes.  If private (hopefully competitive) agencies spring up to take care of these essential functions,  they can do a better job than the government for less cost.  Why would people want to continue to pay taxes and listen to politician blowhards if they are getting what they need more efficiently elsewhere?

Agorism also requires some level of civil disobedience: asking those around us to ignore governmental decrees that are unjust.  For example, one could hire an undocumented immigrant, engage in barter or use an alternative currency to avoid taxes, or engage in online file sharing.

Agorists call this system of undocumented transactions the counter-economy.  The idea is to engage in mutually beneficial trade even when the government (falsely) tells you it is wrong to do so.  The simple and often hidden truth of trade is that it benefits both parties, and so harms none.

Hence, a call for all to participate in black and grey markets.  If the trades you are engaging in in these markets are mutually beneficial, then they are moral.  Make as many trades like this as often as you can.  Make this point to others who question you, and get them involved.  Working together we may be able to create a market, and a society, that is truly free.

I didn’t go into nearly enough detail here, but hopefully I will be able to expand on these ideas in small chunks.

The idea of agorism has been around for nearly 30 years, but the internet has created a boomlet of interest more recently.  Learn more about the history of agorism, including its inventor, Samuel Konkin III,  at Wikipedia.


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