Agorism is Counter-economics, it is anti-politics. It means not participating in any activity proposed by the state, in any of its forms.
Samuel Edward Konkin III, known as SEK3, (July 8, 1947 — February 23, 2004) was an American libertarian philosopher, author of the “New Libertarian Manifesto”, proponent of the political philosophy he called Agorism, a revolutionary form of Anarchism, not founded on political actions but on Counter-economics. He was influenced by Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, and Ludwig von Mises.
From the Greek agora, meaning market.
Austrian economics has as its main concept the valuation of goods and services, therefore demand is inherent to each person, who does it subjectively.
Subjectively we value some goods or services more than others, while others value in the opposite sense. When we trade we do not give up a value, but acquire a higher value. The utility we obtain is marginal, i.e. we value each new acquisition differently.
Value is subjective. This simple revelation, formulated by Carl Menger (Von Mises’ teacher), revolutionized primitive economics and solved most of the problems that had plagued the science since Adam Smith. If Marx had paid attention to Menger, communism would have been abandoned.
Subjective value leads to individualism.
Government is force, however legitimate and accepted it may be. All force prevents the voluntary satisfaction of subjective values. Any violence that deters or forces exchanges is counter-productive to an organic, healthy development of the economy.
The voluntary free market is the pursuit of Agorism.
Coercion is immoral, inefficient, and unnecessary for leading a satisfying life.
To combat coercion, one must understand it. Although the market can develop a defense to the state’s attack, it is slower. The optimal way to control coercion is through immediate, individual self-defense, Agorism.
The State Is Our Enemy
All actions of the State are incremental over time. The centralized government structure never tends to shrink, on the contrary, it tends to increase in size, with greater interference over individuals.
The State with its coercive regulations acts on the economy, making predictions about the consequences of this or that measure implemented in order to estimate with precision, something that is more typical of soothsayers than of scientists, knowing that there are always unpredictable collateral effects, which will require more regulations. As I said, the State tends to increase its interference in the market.
This is free market competition or state monopoly.
The centralized planning of this monopoly authority is another farce. The statists would have us believe that without social and economic organization and engineering, the world would be in chaos. The world is already chaos thanks to such central planning, you can see that. You might think that without the rulers it would be worse, but how do you know?
Counter-economics is that immediate and individual defense, of which you can predict with certainty, since individual actions have direct impact between the action and its consequences. Counter-economics offers immediate gratification to those who abandon state restraint.
The term Counter-economics was formed in the same way as the term “Counter-culture,” the practice of human acts that seek to evade and challenge the impositions of the State.
The equation is more State, more collectivism and less individual. By practical definition, the State is socialist, it cannot be individualist.
There are different degrees of statist models of government, but at its core is the tendency to populism as the central axis for retaining power. If it fails to concentrate enough power, the next phase is dictatorship, the highest degree of statism.
The narrative of the politicians who manage the state apparatus is that they seek the common welfare, beyond individuals, i.e. the collective over the individual.
Since each person has his or her own scheme of satisfaction, it is impossible for central policies to satisfy everyone, either because they do not know what the needs of each one are, or because they override them for some and give them to others.
Agorism is action and Counter-economics is the way to act individually.
Agorism seeks to protect private property and individual freedom.
Its fundamental principle is to exchange risk for benefit; the risk of being fined or imprisoned by the central authority, and the benefit of evading taxation.
Both risk and benefit have economic implications, but also social implications in some cases. The greater the expected benefit, the greater the risk that can be assumed.
The second principle is that of non-aggression, where all action is exercised without violence, (so as not to act like the statists), unless it is used in self-defense. The Agorist does not initiate violence, but continues it to avoid being harmed.
In an Agorist society, the division of labor and the self-respect of each worker and each capitalist-entrepreneur would probably eliminate the traditional business organization, especially the business hierarchy, an imitation of the State and not the market. Most companies will be associations of independent contractors, consultants, and other businesses.
In that sense decentralization, which is another guiding principle, goes very well with crypto-economics, an innovative technological development.
Reality is our standard. Nature is our legislator. Agorism is an ideology, but it is also a scientific and definitely materialistic way of thinking.
Thus, Agorism is founded on the study of the logical and conscious structure of human action, praxeology, which produced some respectable observations that deserve the title of scientific law.
In fact, human action produces rules, which emerge as necessary for social and economic relations, but emanate from a consensus of parties and not from an authoritarian and centralized imposition, like regulations.
The Road To The Agora
The State now has its power dome, to a greater or lesser degree, but in all countries it is like that.
The more people reject the mystifications of the State — nationalism, economic planning, political promises of general welfare — the more the Counter-economy will grow both vertically (new structures such as companies and services) and horizontally, more people diverting more and more of their activity towards the Counter-economy.
a³ : action, agora, anarchy
State-controlled fiat money is a crucial tool in the manipulative economic design. Based on debt and not on wealth, the uncontrolled issuance, the increase or reduction of the cost of money (interest rates) and the distribution of the discretionary monetary base via commercial banks, constitute the financial power of the statists.
Thus the separation of money from the clutches of the State becomes necessary, and today we have the possibility of making it a reality with cryptocurrencies, which are based on blockchain technology, with monetary designs for all tastes and market needs, thus forming a free supply of money with voluntary demand.
Agorism is an individual decision that is intertwined “subway”, subtle and voluntary, and spreads in society organically, as a natural force, sought to preserve private property and freedom.
Most (if not all) people practice Agorism to varying degrees, even statists who claim to advocate planned economics.
It is natural for people, in their instinct of defense, to want to preserve their property from state-imposed plunder.
It is impossible to comply with all the impositions of the State at all times and in all its forms, since there are so many laws and so perverse that it is unfeasible, even masochistic.
We are all Agorists, to some extent and at some point in life, only some do not know it.