Starting an Agorist Business On the Cheap

Last week I discussed my views on on wage slavery. In it I proposed a solution for those wanting to increase their independence from wages: start a business. Many people are fearful of starting a business because they think the initial costs are too high and the prospects of failure are too risky. To alleviate these concerns I’m going to dedicate this post to offering some advice for stating a business. Before I begin please note that this post is being written from the perspective of an agorist. That means I any advice given here will assume that the business you’re starting is “underground” and therefore I won’t waste a bunch of time writing about regulatory compliance. If you want to handicap yourself by starting a “legitimate” business then the costs and risks will be quite a bit higher because you need to pay off the middle man, the state.

The biggest hurdle to overcome when starting a business is the concern about start up costs. Most people believe that starting a business requires a great deal of initial capital. While that is true of some businesses you aren’t required to start one of those businesses. In fact many businesses can be started with the equipment you have on hand already. Look at your hobbies. Can you think of a way to monetize any of them? I reload ammunition to lower my ammunition costs when shooting. That means I already have all of the equipment and some of the knowledge required to reload ammunition. There’s no reason I cannot sell some of the ammunition I load to fellow agorists who are looking for cheaper ammunition that is also free of taxes.

I’m a programmer by trade. That means I have all of the tools and some of the knowledge necessary to write software. I can even write websites if I’m really motivated to do so. Programming is a skill many people already know and most people are able to learn. It’s a skill that only requires the equipment most of us already have, a computer. Resources to learn programming are available for free online. Used programming books are a dime a dozen. Everybody seems to want a website or an iOS or Android app. Becoming an agorist programmer is a business one can start will minimal investment capital.

Are you a practical person? Can you do plumbing, automobile repair, or electrical wiring? Do you already have the tools for these activities? Good news, somebody is willing to pay you for such work! Are you a person who enjoys baking? I guarantee that there are people who would be willing to buy fresh baked bread, pastries, and treats from you. Have you learned any skills that you would like to teach others? Consider giving lessons. Perhaps you’ve been working on a novel for the last 10 years. Think about finishing it up and selling it or building a reputation as an author so you can crowd source funding for a later novel. Many municipalities now allow individuals to own chickens and there are a lot of people willing to pay decent money for organic eggs. Speaking of organic, did you know people will pay good money for organic vegetables? Maybe it’s time to start that garden you’ve been talking about.

Admittedly the ideas I’ve given here won’t make you rich (unless you’re super luck). But that’s not the point when starting out. The point is trying to find a marketable product or skill that you can provide without needing a large amount of investment capital. Even if you fail to make money at the endeavor you will learn something from the experience. Whether you succeed or fail you will come away with knowledge that will improve your possibility of success in your next enterprise. If you do succeed you will enjoy a little piece of mind knowing you have some income source that is independent of an employer, which will make you a freer person.

If you start by trying to monetize one of your hobbies you will have most of the equipment needed and therefore keep your risks low. Failure simply means continuing to use the equipment you already had as a hobby. Success means more independence.

Beware of Ghost Ships Carrying Cannibal Rats

This is not a story you expect to read every day:

A ghost ship carrying nothing but disease-ridden rats could be about to make land on Britain’s shore, experts have warned.

The Lyubov Orlova cruise liner has been drifting across the north Atlantic for the better part of a year, and salvage hunters say there is a strong chance it is heading this way.

Built in Yugoslavia in 1976, the unlucky vessel was abandoned in a Canadian harbour after its owners were embroiled in a debt scandal and failed to pay the crew.

The authorities in Newfoundland tried to sell the hull for scrap – valued at £600,000 – to the Dominican Republic, but cut their losses when it came loose in a storm on the way.

Sending the ship off into international waters, Transport Canada said it was satisfied the Lyubov Orlova “no longer poses a threat to the safety of [Canadian] offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment”.

I’m mostly posting this because of the sheer weirdness of the story and the creep factor. It is also kind of fun to think of scenarios involving ghost ships filled with cannibal rats beaching itself on an inhabited island. I wonder if rats that turn to cannibalism continue the practice after they’ve found an alternate food source. If so they could be an effective method of reducing rat populations in human settlements.

Without Cops Who Would Run the Prostitution Rings

Time and time again we see the supposed upholders of the law breaking the law. Oftentimes these violations of law are merely acts of violence against innocent people. Other times they involved an officer operating a prostitution ring from his home:

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – A D.C. police officer is alleged to have been pimping a number of teenage girls from his Southeast D.C. apartment, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday.

The unnamed officer is the one whose apartment was searched throughout Wednesday, a search during which sources say police were able to locate a teenage girl who had been reported missing by her family.

According to documents, the girl who was discovered was part of a prostitution ring being run by the cop, who sources say works Washington’s 7th District.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. After all, it’s not like a member of Washington DC’s finest would be renting teenage girls to older men and pocketing the profit:

During the early morning search of the officer’s home, MPD officers discovered the girl in a back bedroom. She told officers that she had met the suspect about two weeks ago, and after several meetings, the suspect told her that he had made a “date” for her with an older man.

That “date” was of to be a sexual nature, documents say. The teenage girl, whom the suspect told the victim that her prostitution name was to be “Juicy” – was told she’d be paid $80 for performing sexual acts on the man and that she was supposed to give $20 of that to the suspect.

Never mind. At least the officer in question has been arrested by his less corrupt upholders of the law:

On Friday, community leaders in Southeast D.C. told us there is outrage in the area over why the D.C. police officer has yet to be charged with misconduct.

“They may be protecting one another,” said Sandra Seegars. “I’ve heard people say that if it was an ordinary citizen, they would have been arrested by now.”

In response, Police Chief Lanier said: “We are actively trying to determine if there is anything criminal in nature that we can charge the officer with.”


It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of this. The police seem to have a you-watch-my-back-I’ll-watch-yours attitude. If one of their own commits a heinous crime other officers seem to either be unwilling to arrest and prosecute them or move to actively assist them is weaseling out of any possible consequences. What’s even more worrisome is that this attitude seems to be getting more prevalent every day.

If charges are filed, which I’m doubtful they will be, it will be interesting to hear the officer’s defense. I’m certain he will come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation of why a teenage girl was in his back bedroom.

Smith and Wesson Pulled Out

Of California that is:

Smith & Wesson announced late Wednesday that they will no longer market new semi-automatic pistols in California due to the state’s microstamping law.

California currently requires that all handguns sold in the state be approved to meet all current laws and added to a roster. Once approved, the manufacturer has to pay $200 per model, per year to remain on the list. However, if the laws change, such as the state’s recent implementation of microstamping, the guns on the list would have to be reexamined.

There are currently 1,152 approved models in the state’s database. In an alert sent out by the Calguns foundation last week, this is expected to nosedive dramatically in the coming years.

In a statement released from Smith yesterday, “Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms. A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes.

I think California’s microstamping law is going to raise some interesting questions regarding gun bans. Although outright gun bans are supposed to be illegal, unless the state is basing its decision on aesthetically offensive characteristics, it may be legal for a state to require nonexistent technology before a firearm will be approved for sale. That is effectively what California has done with its microstamping law.

Wage Slavery

I pride myself on the fact that those who self-identify as leftists accused me of being a rightist and those who self-identify as rightists accuse me of being a leftist. Failing to fit into the preconceived notions of others is a good indicator that you are on the right track.

As an advocate of non-aggression and truly free markets I believe my philosophy fits under the libertarian umbrella. But, for reasons I’ve describe previously, I believe that my philosophy is leftist in nature. This not only means a tendency towards radicalism but also a willingness to question ideas that have traditionally been thought of as libertarian.

Today I want to spend some time discussing a term often used by socialists and communists. That term is wage slavery.

Traditional libertarian thinking opposes the concept of wage slavery. The reason for this is that employer-employee relationships are seen as voluntary arrangements, which I agree with. Socialists counter this statement by noting that employees are reliant on their employers for their very survival so the relationship isn’t really voluntary, which I also agree with. Thus I come to my favorite point regarding wage slavery. Both sides have valid points.

For a relationship to be voluntary one must be free to termination that relationship at will. A person’s relationship with the state isn’t voluntary because attempting to break off that relationship tends to end with the person being kidnapped and caged by agents of the state (or outright murdered). But a person can leave their job at will — unless they can’t. Something libertarians often forget to consider is how dependent an employee generally is on their employer.

Why do people work for an employer? Because they need money to buy goods and services. Everything from food to water to healthcare are reliant on acquiring money. Here in the United States an individuals healthcare accessibility is also dependent on their employer’s provided health insurance policy. In other words there are sizable barriers preventing an employee from simply up and leaving his or her job.

Now that I’ve covered why I think wage slavery is a valid condition I think it’s time to address solutions to it. Socialists tend to favor ideas such as a universal basic income (UBI). The idea behind a UBI is that each person receives an income necessary for survival regardless of employment status. While the idea sounds good on paper any descent economists will rightly point out that such a program is necessarily inflationary and libertarians will point out that such a program requires the use of force to implement.

No, a UBI isn’t a working solution in my opinion. Instead I find the solution to wage slavery to be similar to solutions for most relationship-based problems. You don’t need a job, you need a business. This is a common saying amongst Minnesota’s agorist community and it rings true. So long as you’re dependent on an employer you’re not really free. If your survival is made possible by your work alone then you are much freer. Granted, you are still dependent on your customers but at some point anybody unwilling to subsistence farm is dependent on other human beings. With that in mind I still believe starting a business is the best option for achieving as much independence as possible.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be an employee. Many agorists work for an employer and operate a side business. If they lose their main employment they are able to fall back on their side business to make ends meet, at least until they find employment again. Sometimes a side business becomes successful enough to become an agorists primary source of income. It also doesn’t mean that you have to start a business. Many people are content working for an employer and they should be free to continue doing so if that is what they want. All that I’m saying is that having your own businesses makes you more independent and therefore freer.

So I believe wage slavery is a valid condition, which makes me a dirty leftists, but I also believe a libertarian solution exists, which makes me a dirty rightist (by United States standards anyways). Wage slavery is something that both sides of the aisle could find common ground with. Sadly the self-proclaimed leftists seem unwilling to accept a libertarian solution and the self-proclaimed rightists seem unwilling to acknowledge wage slavery as a legitimate condition. Thus two radical philosophies will continue to find themselves locked in an eternal death spiral while the statists continue to rule over everybody.

A Slow Death

This a story that’s sure to give the most bloodthirsty fans of law and order a hard on. As many people know there has been a shortage of the chemicals used in lethal injection. The that has been frantically looking for an alternative poison to inject into those it deems worth of death. An initial trial was run using a new concoction on a Ohio man condemned to death. Needless to say, things didn’t go well:

LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A condemned man appeared to gasp several times and took an unusually long time to die — more than 20 minutes — in an execution carried out Thursday with a combination of drugs never before tried in the U.S.

Dennis McGuire’s attorney Allen Bohnert called the convicted killer’s death “a failed, agonizing experiment” and added: “The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names.”

An attorney for McGuire’s family said it plans to sue the state over what happened.

McGuire’s lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution, arguing that the untried method could lead to a medical phenomenon known as “air hunger” and could cause him to suffer “agony and terror” while struggling to catch his breath.

McGuire, 53, made loud snorting noises during one of the longest executions since Ohio resumed capital punishment in 1999. Nearly 25 minutes passed between the time the lethal drugs began flowing and McGuire was pronounced dead at 10:53 a.m.

I oppose the death penalty but if a state is going to implement it then it should have the decency to offer a quick death. Unfortunately our society has a rather strange belief that death by convoluted method is morally superior than death by sudden violence. That means many of the ways you could quickly kill a man, such as a bullet to the brain, are off of the table. Instead our society demands the use of complex chemicals that most of them cannot even pronounce the names of. It’s beyond me how lethal injection is morally superior to a firing squad but nobody is asking me. If they were there wouldn’t be a death penalty, or prisons for that matter.

Meanwhile In Ukraine

If you pay attention to world affairs then you’ve probably heard about the protests going on in Ukraine. Things aren’t looking good. Take, for example, this picture:


According to the caption on the BBC picture depicts police responding “with stun grenades and rubber bullets to demonstrators hurling petrol bombs.” I’m saddened to hear that the protesters have been hurling petrol bombs at those poor police officers. Don’t the protesters know that the police are just trying to keep everybody safe?

Wait just a bloody minute. What the fuck is this:


Huh. Isn’t that something? It almost looks as if the police are lighting up a petrol bomb. I wonder what they’re doing with that? Obviously they’re not tossing petrol bombs to frame protesters and give themselves an excuse to thump some skulls.

Yes, that last paragraph was dripping with sarcasm. It appears as though the cops in the second picture are, in fact, lighting up petrol bombs with the intention of framing some protesters. Somebody cop apologist will likely point out that the authenticity of this picture is in question. As I’m not in Ukraine at the moment I cannot verify the authenticity of this particular image. But, at the same time, I have every reason to believe that this is something the police in Ukraine would do. After all, these are the same cops that have been using water cannons in the dead of winter.

The important thing to take away from this post is that the news we’re getting from official channels is likely biased towards the Ukrainian rulers. There is another side to this story as there are with most stories.

The Raid: Redemption

I’m usually a little slow when it comes to watching movies. This is mostly due to the fact that I don’t pay much attention to what movies are coming out so I only hear about them after they’ve been released for quite a while. Fortunately my group of friends give me recommendations so I usually end up seeing the cool movies, eventually.

I’m a big fan of martial arts movies. So when one of my friends recommended The Raid: Redemption as a good entry in this genre I decided to look into it. Holy shit, it was good.

Effectively Indonesia schooled every other nation in the art of making modern martial arts movies. The fight choreography was top notch. Rama, the protagonist, didn’t succumb to relying on the same set of moves for every fight, which helped make each fight feel fresh. Too often modern martial arts movies get stale as the later fights are merely replays of earlier fights with new opponents. The Raid also manages to have just enough story to make you care about the characters but not so much that it gets in the way of the balls to the walls action.

All in all I highly recommend this film if you’re a fan of martial arts or action movies.

Cutting Out the State’s Corporate Partners

Here in Minnesota several cities offer a program where receivers of speeding tickets can opt to take a driver safety class to ensure said ticket doesn’t appear on their record. It’s a wonderful scam because it gives drivers the option of paying a little bribe money, sitting through a boring class, and having their insurance record remain unaffected. Of course this is a problem for the state because this behavior cuts out their corporate insurance company partners who have paid big money for special favors from the state. Needless to say, this practice is now under the threat of state legislation:

ST. PAUL — Seven Minnesota counties and 10 cities continue to offer a program allowing motorists to take driving safety classes and keep minor traffic tickets from going on their records, even though the state auditor says the Legislature must first authorize the programs and a Wabasha County judge earlier this month ruled programs in his area are illegal.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, is offering legislation to penalize local governments that continue the programs.

“Make no mistake, the local units of government that profited from these illegal programs did so out of greed,” said Drazkowski, who lives in Wabasha County and has been embroiled in a political battle there surrounding the “traffic citation diversion” program.

Let me rephrase Mr. Drazkowski’s words so that they are more accurate. “Make no mistake, the local units of government that are cutting out our corporate partners did so out of greed. They thought that they could cut out the middle man and keep all of the profit for themselves. This is America and that type of behavior is not acceptable!”

We live in a messed up world. The simple act of driving faster than an arbitrarily chosen speed threshold provides so much profit for so many interests that it devolves into a heated political battle. This little fit by Mr. Drazkowski is little different than a gang turf war. One greedy gang is fighting with another greedy gang over the ability to extort money from the people.