Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary.
Others add to that philosophy by further advocating that exchanges can only be made by means of counter-economics, thus engaging with aspects of peaceful revolution.
Counter-economics is supposed to be "the study or practice of all peaceful human action which is forbidden by the State", the term is short for "counter-establishment economics".
By its nature "counter-establishment economics" commonly does not allow the "establishment" to be free of its counter establishment activities. Its opposition to what "the state" and the establishment created by the presence of the state seems to be the driving force of an agorism culture. That may be insufficient drive to provide the cohesion required to maintain a free society.
Derrick Broze writes in the article "What is Agorism? A History of Agorist Theory and Practice" in regard to the rise of a Peruvian subculture:
Faced with ongoing violence and the Maoist rhetoric of The Shining Path on one side, and statist regulation and theft on the other, the people of Peru chose to travel to the countryside and create informal marketplaces for trading, ridesharing, and housing. This is what free thinking people will do when faced with the constant threat of theft and bureaucracy. Eventually, the people tire of having every aspect of their lives invaded by the state, so they will seek outside solutions. This may include reformist schemes like electoral politics and voting, or possibly violent revolt. Counter-economics and agorism offer a third path towards liberty. A path that is peaceful, consistent and reflects the realities we see unfolding in the world today.
Agorism is the ideology of a society that supposedly promotes the open "marketplace untainted by theft, assault, or fraud". Yet, many begin that society with the intent to defraud the established society.
Even though Agorism professes the hope for a humanly attained free society, the common agorist seems far to ready to deny natural debt that establishes a social compact through common practices of society under natural law, and even deny generational inheritance of debt.
It has been said that 'A free society is the only one in which each and everyone of its participants can satisfy his or her subjective values without crushing others' values by violence and coercion.' That approach should beg the question as to where subjective values begin and common or appropriate natural values begin?
What is conducive to the life of the individual is conducive to the life of a free society.
Samuel Edward Konkin III characterized agorism as a form of left-libertarianism (specifically, left-wing market anarchism) and generally that agorism is imagined to be a strategic branch of market anarchism.
Free-market anarchism, or market anarchism, is an economic system based on voluntary, free-market interactions without the involvement of the state.
Mutualists such as Kevin Carson and Gary Chartier consider themselves anti-capitalists and identify as part of the socialist movement. Socialism is not a voluntary society. It compels the actions of the individual through the collective political power. By definition Socialism has never, and never will, produce a society in which all relations between people are voluntary.
Socialism is is an economic and political system. The political power to produce and redistribute wealth and enforce economic policies will be in the hands of the collective or its elected representatives.
Capitalism is not a political system and therefore is the only way in which a truly voluntary society can function. In a capitalist society the means of production is in the hands of the individual not the collective nor corporate State.
Konkin and J. Neil Schulman opposed each other concerning the concept of intellectual property. Konkin wrote in an article entitled "Copywrongs" in support of such a thesis. Schulman criticized his ideas in "Informational Property: Logorights". They are both opposed to the laws of the State that produced monopolies.
Few seem to grasp the idea that only a moral society of people who care about their neighbor as much as themselves can produce a truly free society.
Many advocates of agorism seem to lack an understanding of where the power of the state existed before it became corporate body politic. The power of the state, the potestas and the imperium, existed in the natural man before the State.
Hobbes, imagined that the lives of individuals in the state of nature were "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short", a state in which self-interest and the absence of rights and contracts prevented society.
John Locke, saw the State of Nature as the natural condition of mankind. To him, it was a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one's life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others. Again the morality of society is dependent upon the morality in the heart of its participants.
The State of Nature is only "completely intolerable" when men are brutal and intolerable. The moral man does not need the politics of Cain, Nimrod, nor Caesar to subdue his brute nature.
According to Pufendorf, “The lex fundamentalis of natural law is the duty of every man, so far as in him lies, to strive that the welfare of human society in general be secured and maintained”
The definition of religion used to be the performance of these natural duties to our families, neighbor and fundamental duties to society and neighboring societies.
Rousseau had more than one distinct theory of a social contract. One was the naturalized account of the social contract and the other was his normative, or idealized theory. Rousseau also thought the State of Nature was a peaceful and quixotic time. Hobbes, Locke, or Rousseau may all be correct about the State of Nature and the natural law depending on whose society they ponder in their examination, Abel and Seth or Cain.
Derrick Broze gives only three other examples of "stateless societies" in his article quoted above saying, "medieval Iceland, James Scott’s The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, and Pierre Clastres’ Society Against the State."
Agorists seldom mention early Israel where "there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes." There was no property tax, sales tax, income tax. There was a voluntary tithe given to someone who volunteered to serve the households of the people as a Levite. Every individual family decided to give to the minister of their choice but was only to give to him "according to his service".
Israel was actually a republican form of self government that was operating according to "perfect law of liberty" through a voluntary network of free assemblies supported by freewill offerings. It had no legislature, no king, and no standing army and, of course, no taxation.
Part of this neglect of one of the freest and most successful systems of self government in history is due to the false notions about what they were doing and not doing.
This is probably a good place to find out what was really going on back then. We present some questions and answers below that may be eye opening.
Nor do the modern agorists mention, or even understand, the early Church and the christian community it served which changed to course of the Roman Empire and allowed millions of people survive and thrive during its decline and fall. When the early Church was established by the appointment of Jesus Christ, it was forbidden to be like the government and rulers of the world's political states which "exercise authority one over the other." There were no lawmakers, taxes, nor coercion in the early Church but there was voluntarism identified as charity, hope in The Way, and common culture of faith that produced a "union and discipline" of that christian society through the communion of that defined Church.
Society and State are not the same thing. All States may include society or societies but not all societies form a State. The power of the State originates in the individuals that form it and it cannot have more powers than the individuals who created it had.
What is conducive to the growth and well being of the gregarious individual is conducive to the growth and well being of a free society. Whatever weakens that individual weakens society.
In any group of agorists both ideology and intent will matter. Black markets that may become the seed of a “counter-economy” but simply rebelling or desiring to undermine the state authority or even just dishonoring the existence of preexisting dependence is a negative goal. A black market may be a way to survive but it is basically a capitalist market. While surviving is a legitimate goal in hard times, a more heroic morality of sacrifice for others will produce more viable results.
If agorism is to be composed of politically conscious individuals, that consciousness needs to have the noblest of goals with ideologies rooted in justice and mercy, honor and fellowship, service and not just survival.
In Thaddeus Russell’s book, A Renegade History of the United States, where the mafia provided an escape from government overreach might suggest that the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. Any reliance on immoral or amoral allies may leave the door open to corruption and future tyrants.
It is not enough to desire a non-aggressive position of "do no harm" since most harm is the result of vast numbers of people who are so apathetic or ego-centered that they never engage in the sacrifice to undo harm through love of others.
All taxation is not unjust by its nature. But all socialism and communism engages in red markets because they inevitably rely on forced redistribution of the labor of the individual. Men have been establishing civil systems since Cain's first city-state. God allows men to establish governments of many types and forms by consent. Some of those systems may weaken and bind the people but also tempt their leaders to become despots. Nimrod's Babylon, Pharaoh's Egypt or Caesar's Rome... all have their own temptations.
Slavery begins in the mind through envy and jealousy, sloth and avarice and leads to force and betrayal. Freedom begins in the heart with love and forgiveness, charity and hope. To be free you must free others, care about their freedom, their rights, and their lives as much as you do your own.
Any attempt to establish an agorist society that depends upon dishonor, subterfuge, to limit the rights of others or even undermine the choices of others, including members of the State, reduces the moral integrity of the ideology with which happiness and freedom is pursued. The outcome will be modified accordingly.
We should not make the State, its members, or its officers our enemy. Freedom's ally is righteousness for all in love. That love cannot just be for those who love us and even for our enemies, whether real or perceived. Such love must be the foundation of your community and requires humility and forgiveness. You cannot produce a virtuous society of liberty without the cultivation of social Virtues. We are to be friends with the unrighteous mammon because we know it will fail and we need to prepare ourselves individually and in intentional communities for more righteous habitations.
Many agorists like Carson and Chartier, Konkin and Schulman must resort to coercion and usurpation of the individual's rights to establish their agorist utopian society.
If they do they are not true agorists.
They often imagine that all the rich must be thieves and all the actions of the organized State are criminal.
When anyone establishes a socialist or even capitalist society, they imagine that things that are taken are stolen. They blame their poverty on others and fail to realize that the rise of the Welfare State draws the power from the people by its nature and the participation of the people.
Things or even taxes are seldom stolen.
Generations of people sign up through application. They become members numbered by the socialist Collective or the corporate State. They use their number as a member, take the benefits often at other people's expense and then ignore any moral rules of the system they signed up for.
Neither the socialist Collective or the corporate State is very forgiving of the rule-breakers but it will often be too late when the subject citizens realize they waived their rights and became human resources when they first begin to disregard or failed to protect the right of their neighbor or desired benefits at the expense of others.
Social security systems of socialist Collective or the corporate State perpetually end up in debt. The Social Security system in America was in debt from the beginning because the government has been in debt since its beginning. No one has gotten a benefit in the United States except by stealing from their children and their neighbor's children's future.
- What was the bondage of Egypt and why were we to never go back there again?
- Have people given consent to a social compact that might enslave them like in the days of Egypt?
- Why would the slothful be under tribute?
- Why did the Corban of the Pharisees make the word of God to none effect?
- Why did Jesus say "Call no man Father upon the earth"?
- Why did Jesus say not to be like the rulers who called themselves Benefactors?
- Why did Peter say covetous practices would make us Merchandise and curse children?
- What did Jesus list off as the Weightier matters?
- Why did Jesus command that the people sit down in Tens?
- What is Religion and what is Pure Religion?
- What was Public religionand the imperial Cult of Rome how did it differ from Pure Religion practiced by early Christians?
- Why did the Church have a Daily ministration?
- How do the Modern Christians differ from the early Church who followed The Way of Christ?
- What were the deeds of the Nicolaitan and why did God hate those deeds?
- What was the Christian conflict with Rome?
- Are modern Christians actually workers of iniquity?
- Do people today make covenants with the gods of this world because they love the wages of unrighteousness?
- What is the difference between the Baptism of John the Baptist and the Baptism of Herod or Constantine or Rabbinical Baptism?
- Israel was not to have a golden calf but what did that mean?
- What were the altars of earth and stone?
- What are lively stones?
- Was the Sabbath a way or a day?
- Were those rituals of ancient societies merely mindless acts of superstition or were they metaphors?
- What are the rituals of the Church and do they point to The Way of Christ and God?
- Could Welfare systems of the world be Snares and Traps?
- And what does this all have to do with Nimrod, Cain and Caesar who called themselves Benefactors but exercise authority one over the other?
- What was the Mark of Cain and the Mark of God and even the Mark of the Beast?
- Did Constantinestart a different Church not of Christ?
- Why did the people have to sew Breeches for the Levites?
- What was early Israel like before the Voice of the people rejected God?
- Why were they organized by Tens?
- How was the Early Church funded and what did they use the funds for?
- Did it operate by force or Freewill offerings?
- Do all governments of the world operate according to the ways of God?
- Or do they operate according the ways of Cain and Nimrod?
- Who were the Nicolaitans and what did they do that included the error of Baalam and why does God hate their deeds?
- What was Christ trying to tell us about the Fathers of the earth and who are they?
- And who is The Beloved Anarchist?
- What do you want to do about all this?
To find the answers, we must seek and strive to do what Jesus said the way He said to do it... Including attending to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors and the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to provide for the needy of society through the Covetous Practices and the men who call themselves benefactorsbut who exercise authority one over the other like the socialists do.
The Way of Christ was like neither the way of the world of Rome nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on those fathers of the earth through force, fear and fealty who deliver the people back in bondage again like they were in Egypt. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ and have become workers of iniquity.
The Christian conflict with Rome in the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for their free bread but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens as He commanded.
"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.
- One of the most important things to do is to become involved in a network of Charitable Practices. Everyone should want to join a Living Network of Love and Charity.
- If you think you have a calling to be a Minister of God or you might want to dedicate your life to Christ as an Ordained Minister of His Holy Church, contact us to start the process of discipleship and become the benefactors who exercise only love, NOT authority.
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- essay is taken from the book Manifesto of the Free Humans by Derrick Broze and John Vibes
- Thomas Hobbes (1588 –1679), was an English philosopher. See Social compact.
- Pufendorf: On the Duty of Man and Citizen: Introduction By Walther Schucking and translated by Herbert F. Wright.
- Their "union and discipline" was praised by historians like Edward Gibbons who wrote "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".
- “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)”
- The white market is the legal, official, authorized, or intended market for goods and services.
- Red Markets: (noun) any economic system or economy that trades primarily in human flesh or human beings. Buying and selling human bodies is fundamentally different than any other sort of commerce.
- Syndicalism: a movement for transferring the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution to workers' unions. Influenced by Proudhon and by the French social philosopher Georges Sorel (1847–1922), syndicalism developed in French labor unions during the late 19th century and was at its most vigorous between 1900 and 1914, particularly in France, Italy, Spain, and the US.
- Libertarianism: an extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens.
- Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.