Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Agorist Revolution

One of the things that makes agorism a superation upon Rothbard's anarcho-capitalism is the theory of revolution that was added. It is outlined in New Libertarian Manifesto by Samuel Edward Konkin III (SEK3).

As I see it the agorist revolution is not just one revolution. There are multiple revolutions involved. Let me try to explain it.

The agorist revolution in the first sense is an event which will happen a billion times. Libertarianism being individualistic, and agorism being libertarian, the agorist revolution is necessarily an individualistic revolution. In accordance with the proverb that before changing the world, you must change yourself, the first agorist revolution is when you change yourself, when you become a libertarian, when you choose to live free from state control, to disobey, to accept responsibility for your own acts and disreguard authority from above, that is the first agorist revolution. It's a thought.

The revolution in the second sense is not an event as the first was, but a process. It's just the conversion of that thought into action. Not just saying "Live free or die" but actually living free. On an individual basis, it's a matter of practicing what you preach, because what you preach is practical, and what you preach is true. It's an action. It's non-aggressive human action which is forbidden by the State.

There exist four sectors of the market: Red, white, gray, and black. The red and white markets constitute the economy. The red market is the market of overt violence, the white market is the market of implicit violence. The gray and black markets constitute the counter-economy. The gray market is the voluntary market of legal goods and services provided illegally (in violation of regulations or taxation), the black market is the voluntary market of illegal goods and services. The counter economy is "the sum of all non-aggressive Human Action which is forbidden by the State", to use a definition from agorist literature. It's all the people practicing what you preach, living free.

The state refuses to provide justice or protection, which it has a virtual monopoly of, in the gray and black markets. However the counter-economy will not be without conflict, so justice and protection will be needed by the counter-economy. The counter-economy is not yet big or obvious enough for non-state justice or protection to be a very profitable enterprise, because of the economy-of-scale effect. The non-state justice system will not form until the counter-economy it gets it's income almost exclusively from grows large enough that it can be provided on a mass-scale broad enough to support it.

It is interesting to note that a number of other proposed roads from here to there, from statism to anarchy, can all fall under counter-economics. Mass civil disobedience, education, protection agencies, et cetera, are all just parts of the more complete concept of the counter-economy.

Once non-state protection appears, non-state protection will drive out state protection. It will protect the counter-economy from the state in what will likely be a relatively small geographical region. Konkin called it "small condensation" With this protection, the growth of the counter-economy will accelerate, into larger condensation and higher densities.

The immediate goal of the agorist is to grow the counter-economy, so that the protection agencies, who will be opposing the state (and profitably doing so at that) will grow to the point that they can protect people best by destroying the state.

The second agorist revolution, the process outlined above, eventually leads to the third sense of the agorist revolution: The end of the State.

This is the plan for revolution outlined in New Libertarian Manifesto by SEK3. But I'm seeing that it might not happen like that. The above plan assumes an extremely stable society; so stable that it would likely only be that stable for long enough for the counter-economy to grow that it's only in theory that it happens as written.

There are two events that I see coming in the next 30-50 years that might offer the possibility of a slightly different agorist revolution.

The first is a political revolution.

During a political revolution the State has essentially lost it's ability to enforce the law well. This should be obvious; if it could, then how is an illegal resistance force present? It's resources are diverted away from law enforcement and into rebellion subversion. As this would likely be sustained, agorist entrepreneurs have much to gain from providing the market protection that will no doubt be in great demand. This will allow the Agora to establish itself. The agorists would be able to take advantage of the situation created by the angry revolutionaries; the revolutionaries need not be working with the agorists for the agorists to benefit. It will make the protection agencies cheaper to form. There will likely be two classes of revolutionaries; attackers and defenders. Attackers would take the fight to the state, defenders would be those willing to defend their homes, families, and communities. An oversupply of defenders will make finding people willing to do the job for the agorists much cheaper, and thus tend to increase profitability during the political revolution.

After the political revolution, but before the final agorist revolution, if the politicals attempt to set up a new state, this new state will be the weakest the state will ever be, as from this point it will only grow, as states do. If the agora's protection agencies are powerful enough to defend the agora against the new state, then the state will eventually lose due to it's inability to compete. The agora will grow in population as outsiders desert the state in favor of the superior economic and legal conditions made possible by the agora. It will grow in territory, as residents on the border of the agora and the state will tend to prefer the agora as better for their bank account, and will defect. The new state will slowly lose it's host population if it does not do something about it, and if it does something about it, it will lose it even faster.

And so the third agorist revolution takes place. The state either is crushed by the agora, or crushes itself.

The second possibility an economic revolution; I'm talking about the technological singularity.

I believe it to be most likely that the state attempts to prevent the singularity. I believe this more likely because the singularity would be a disaster for the state. Empowering all the rest of humanity as such an event as that would doubtless do, it weakens the state relative to it's host population and thus makes the host population simultaneously less dependant and more able to resist. The state does not want this to happen. Politicans who understand this will find any excuse to hold it back. They already restrict industry in general in the name of Global Warming. They are looking for any excuse to ban stem cell research. They would shut down cryogenics labs by crying fraud. They would suppress the knowledge that this event is even taking place to the best of their ability. Failing that, state puppets in university posts and PBS documentaries would talk about how this must be regulated so that all of society can benefit equally from it, rather than the few greedy capitalists getting all the benefit from it. So I believe it likely that the state will attempt to prevent it.

And you libertarians know what that means! Black-market singularity! The singularity will be confined to the counter-economy. It's benefits will be largely confined to it, the limitless growth afforded by it will be confined to it, the counter-economy will expand rapidly, bringing forth the counter-economic protection and abitration that will eventually suppress the state. And with the rapid advances in defense technology that the counter-economy will get, the protection agencies will tend to be better armed in case of direct confrontation. The agorists would have every advantage.

And then there's the possibility of the two happening at the same time. A weakened, post-revolution state attempting to impose it's will upon a technologically superior agora?

Or perhaps the reverse. If the state could divert most of the singularity toward itself, the mass of the people would have even more reason to attempt a revolution, as the state would use that technology as states do, that is, to oppress the people. More people would be more vehemently on board with the revolution effort. As the state would have revolutionaries within it's ranks as well as in the general population, the state will not stand much of a chance. The revolution will release the rest of the singularity into the market, as the agorists attempted condensation. With the new state, it would then be a more balanced fight between the two, to the maximum degree that a profit competition between Fedex and the Post Office can be considered balanced.

I hope I am right, and that I may actually see absolute liberty in my lifetime.


Blogger Sapphire Eyes said...

Black market technological singualarity? I'm on board!

Plus, think of all the Canadians we could pass the benefit along to (like we do with our private health care system.) :)

-S.E. (Hologram)

1:40 PM  

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