Guide to Agorism & Counter Economics

in philosophy •  9 months ago

Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging in a manner with aspects of peaceful revolution. It was first proposed by libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III in 1975, with contributions partly by J. Neil Schulman.

Konkin characterized agorism as a form of left-libertarianism (specifically, left-wing market anarchism), and generally, agorism is considered to be a strategic branch of market anarchism.

The goal of agorism is the agora. The society of the open marketplace as near to untainted by theft, assault, and fraud as can be humanly attained is as close to a free society as can be achieved. And a free society is the only one in which each and every one of us can satisfy his or her subjective values without crushing others’ values by violence and coercion.

—Samuel Edward Konkin III


The concept of Counter-Economics is the most critical element of Agorism. It can be described as:

The Counter-Economy is the sum of all non-aggressive Human Action which is forbidden by the State. Counter-economics is the study of the Counter-Economy and its practices. The Counter-Economy includes the free market, the Black Market, the underground economy, all acts of civil and social disobedience, all acts of forbidden association (sexual, racial, cross-religious), and anything else the State, at any place or time, chooses to prohibit, control, regulate, tax, or tariff. The Counter-Economy excludes all State-approved action (the “White Market”) and the Red Market (violence and theft not approved by the State).

Keywords: libertarian agorism anarchist libertarianism agora revolution sek3 anarchy agorist

A Left Libertarian Approach to Class Conflict Analysis
The New Libertarian Manifesto by Samuel Edward Konkin III. (Published 1983)

Konkin is an Agorist. Agorists derive their name in part from the Greek word agora or open marketplace; or perhaps even agoradzo, the verb to buy; and partly from the book Human Action by Ludwig von Mises in which he explains how value is not tied to the amount of labor, but rather is determined by voluntary transactions between individuals.

I. Statism: Our Condition
Libertarianism v coercion. The nature of the State. Constituents of libertarianism and
diversity of Movement. The State strikes back: anti-principles. Ways and not-ways to Liberty.
Betrayal and response, action over all.

II. Agorism: Our Goal
Consistency of ends, of means, of ends and means. Portrayal of agorist society. Restoration
theory: restitution, time loss and apprehension cost; inherent advantages. Agorism defined.
Objections countered.

III. Counter-Economics: Our Means
Micro activity and macro consequences. Agorists: counter-economists with libertarian
consciousness. The purpose of "Establishment" economics. Step by step backward from
agorism to statism (for theoretical purposes). Black and grey markets: the unconscious agora.
Third, Second, and First World Counter-Economic status and grossest examples.
Counter-Economics in all fields of commerce even in North America, some exclusively
counter-economic. Universality of Counter-Economics and reasons for it. Limitation of
counter- economics and reasons. The role of the intelligentsia and Establishment media.
Failure of counter-cultures and the key to success. Steps from statism to agorism and the risk
of market protection. The fundamental principle of counter-economics. The reason for
inevitable growth of agorist counter- economic sub-society.

IV. Revolution: Our Strategy
Self-aware counter-economics enough but some burn to do more - fight or support struggle.
Combativity inadequate without strategy. Phases of agorist growth decide appropriate
strategy. Tactics that are always appropriate. New Libertarian Alliance as association for
entrepreneuring Liberty. Libertarian creed is constraint of New Libertarian tactics. Phase 0:
Zero-Density Agorist Society. Raise consciousness. Phase 1: Low-Density Agorist Society.
Radical caucuses and Libertarian Left. Combat anti-principles. Anticipate crises of statism.
Phase 2: Mid-Density, Small Condensation Agorist Society. The State to strike back but
restrained by agorist contamination. NLA appears as its sustenance arrives. Accelerating
revolutionary conditions. Phase 3: High- Density, Large Condensation Agorist Society.
Permanent crisis of statism. Need to crush counter-economy grows as ability wanes. Antiprinciples
greatest threat. The State\'s final strike: Revolution. Strategy includes delaying
tactics and counter-intelligence. Correct definition of (violent) Revolution. Phase 4: Agorist
Society with Statist Impurities. Collapse of the State and simultaneous dissolution of NLA.

V. Action: Our Tactics
Some tactics listed. Tactics must be discovered and applied in context. Activist =
entrepreneur. Where we are not (then). Opportunity from collapse of statist Left. Opportunity
from premature party sell-out. The concluding challenge. New Libertarian pledge and
rousing finish: Agora, Anarchy, Action!

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