I’m an anarchist and I oppose initiating force. That closes to commonly use strategies for enacting political change to me: violent revolution and politics. In my quest to destroy the state I have opted instead to utilize counter-economics, which is a strategy that attempts to starve the state of resources and replace it by creating alternatives to the services is currently claims dominion over. But there is something I like about agorism even more than its rejection of initiating force. Agorism allows me to do what I want without having to give any fucks about what statists say.
This realization dawned on me during a discussion I had with a statist on Facebook. He, as is common amongst statists, was busy misrepresenting anarchy by claiming it is synonymous with chaos. During his continuous stream of ignorance he kept claiming that collective political action was the only way to achieve change (because it has worked so well over the last century) and that anarchists have undermined the liberty movement by stealing people from effective political activities and having them waste their time with strategies that will never work. It was then that I realized something: I don’t actually have to care what he says, thinks, or does.
Politics, which is a form of collective action, requires you to obtain the approval of your peers. If you are unable to gain favor with your peers your chances of achieving victory are nil. Imagine being a politician who wanted to really change things. Your strategy relies on taking away every ounce of power possible from the state and its cronies. You can’t promise anybody free shit because your strategy relies on taking away everybody’s free shit. What would you accomplish? The answer, as Ron Paul knows all too well, is nothing. Politics necessary requires you to give people free shit in exchange for their support. Therefore it requires you to use the power of the state to benefit your cronies in order to obtain the power necessary to accomplish your political goals. If you want to end the Federal Reserve, for example, you must promise to bomb a few foreign countries in return.
This is why politics is ineffective at creating real change. Politics has to be a circlejerk, which means you have to care what others think of you. Agorism, on the other hand, requires individual action but not permission. I don’t have to fill out permits, seek political favor, or compromise any of my principles. The only thing agorism requires me to do is provide a good or service outside of the state’s control and hope others find it appealing enough to pay me for it instead of relying on the “legitimate” market. If my product or service is desirable I will be able to deprive the state of some resources. If my product or service isn’t desirable then I return to the drawing board.
I’ve never been one to seek permission. When I want to do something I do it. If the violent gang we call the state provides an easy way to pay it off so I don’t have to spend time in a cage I will sometimes do it but not always (and I’m becoming less and less inclined to do so). Agorism appeals to independently minded people like me who aren’t fans of begging masters for privileges. More and more I notice that politics primarily caters to thee kinds of people: those interested in maintaining the status quo (perhaps with some minor changes), those with little or no creativity, and those whose political circle and social circle are one in the same. I’m much more apt to tell somebody to fuck off than I am to beg them for permission or do whatever I can to appease them in the hopes they will reward me with some scraps from the table of liberty. The fact that I’m usually sickened by extremely politically active individuals probably colors my point of view as well (seriously, if you try to get me to do call banking for a political cause or politicians you’re automatically on my shit list).