Posts tagged Agorism

Friday Lazy Linking

<li><a href="">Floor Fees and Thick Libertarianism. Gary Chartier, <cite>link: - Google Blog Search</cite> (2010-02-21)</a>. <q>Readers of this blog, especially those who have long since concluded that partisan politics is useless or worse, can be pardoned if they've avoided reading about or participating in the ongoing dispute over the tentative decision to ...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Wednesday 2010-02-24.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">Anti-statism: What about the poor and disabled? Brad Spangler, <cite></cite> (2010-02-24)</a>. <q>A correspondent asks: Can you lead me to info on where Ron Paul stands on the disabled and the poor? No hurry. I’m at the embryonic end of my journey on learning about Anarchism and its branches. I don’t support electing Ron Paul or anybody else. There’s a similarity of...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">Quoted: Wired Magazine on How to Raise Racist Kids. Thea Lim, <cite>Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture</cite> (2010-02-24)</a>. <q>By Deputy Editor Thea Lim From How to Raise Racist Kids by Jonathan Liu: Step One: Don’t talk about race. Don’t point out skin color. Be “color blind.” Step Two: Actually, that’s it. There is no Step Two. Congratulations! Your children are well on their way to believing that &lt;insert...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">Looking Forward To Liberty. Darian Worden, <cite>Center for a Stateless Society</cite> (2010-02-18)</a>. <q>When people focus too much on icons of the past – like a famous Tea Party – the lessons that history contains become obscured. People who believe they are against government power can be led into supporting more power if they don’t look for alternatives to rulers. George Santayana warned...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">PeTA’s Worst Dressed for 2010: An Exercise In Shame. <cite>Womanist Musings</cite> (2010-02-25)</a>. Here we go again. PeTA moves on from their usual violent misogyny to demonstrate something about intersectionality -- by adding not only misogyny, but also some nasty racism into the mix. <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">How to Start Doing Agorism. George Donnelly, <cite>Anarchoblogs</cite> (2010-02-09)</a>. <q>The million-dollar question - how do we start doing agorism? We’re convinced the right way out of this tyrannous morass is to starve the bastards out by trading outside of their purview. We’re giving up on voting in their sham elections. We’re tired of begging them for relief from their...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">Don’t Call It a &#39;Defense&#39; Budget. <cite> Views</cite> (2010-02-25)</a>. "The new budget from the White House will push U.S. military spending well above $2 billion a day." Thank God we elected Obama to stop the wars and bring the troops home. <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>
<li><a href="">Why I&#39;ll Never Have Kids, Part MMMCCXVIII. <cite>Ravings of a Feral Genius</cite> (2010-02-25)</a>. In which a gang of Fertility Cult doctors use a court order to imprison a 26-year-old woman against her will and force her to undergo unwanted treatments to "preserve the life and health of [her] unborn child." <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Thursday 2010-02-25.)</em></li>

Welcome, FreeTalkers

For those of you who have been around here for a while, you may be interested to know that I recorded a brief interview this afternoon on agorism and electoral politics with Mark Edge from FreeTalkLive. The interview will be attached to the end of the podcast, which I’m told will be available late tonight. Due to time constraints on the interview, there’s a fair amount that I got the chance to mention but didn’t allow myself the time to follow up on; if there’s anything that you want to hash out at greater length, please do drop it in the comments and let’s talk.

Update 2009-10-09. [An MP3 of the 2009-10-07 show, with my interview included, is now available for download](

For those of you who found out about me, or about agorism, or about this website, through the interview, or the show notes, welcome! Let me take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Charles Johnson, also known as Rad Geek. I’m an individualist anarchist, originally from Alabama, now living and working in Las Vegas. I am a member of the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left, maintainer of several anti-statist web projects, and an occasional writer for The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. If you’re new to the blog, or to agorism and individualist anarchism as a set of ideas, here’s some things which might give you some idea of where I’m coming from, and what I care about.

For an extended treatment of agorism, counter-economics, and what it’s all about — including its positive aspects, above and beyond its critique of electoral politics, you may want to check out this interview I recorded with Jason Talley of the Motorhome Diaries back in May:

For an in-depth discussion of counter-economics and direct action, and of the inherent limitations of electoral politics, see:

Among agorists, I’m a bit unusual in the extent to which I stress counter-economic that are either already-existing projects of, or else inspired by the historical examples of, and tied to goals traditionally associated with, the anti-authoritarian Left — including, notably, anti-statist radical labor unions, grey-market mutual aid networks like Food Not Bombs or LETS and other localized trading networks, black-market mutual aid networks like the Jane abortion network, existing feminist projects like the battered women’s shelter and rape crisis center movement, and existing social anarchist projects like CopWatch and the Anarchist Black Cross Federation. For some discussions of why, see:

If you’re curious, I discuss my views on why I think that some more familiar forms of libertarian political strategy — such as voting for Ron Paul, or running nominally libertarian candidates for government office, or trying to lobby the state to act less statist, or trying to vindicate some less-statist reading of the United States Constitution in the courts, or indeed spending any considerable effort on teaming up in an ongoing, open-ended political party with minimal-statists — are at best futile, and often actively destructive of serious politics, at some length in:

And since the topic of Ron Paul, specifically, came up, and since, out of concern for time, I stated my views but did not spend long on elaborating them — and since, while we’re here, the miserable failure of Ron Paul’s single-digit primary showing is currently the show pony for the awesome potential of libertarian electoralism — it may be worth pointing to some more detailed discussion of what my problems with the Pauliticos are, or were:

I suppose I could also discuss the even more miserable miserable failure of the Libertarian Party, and particularly of its recent strategy of mercilessly pruning away anything resembling libertarianism from the platform in order to advance the prospects for failed candidacies by ridiculous conservative tools, as in the recent Barr/W.A.R. ticket. But really, I am at the point where I think that kind of thing is really beneath comment. The Pauliticos may be wrong, but they have the benefit of being comprehensible. Not so, at this late date, those who still believe that serious political transformation is going to come about by means of the supporting LP.

Rad Geek Speaks: Motorhome Diaries interviews me on agorism and counter-economics

It’s been a couple days since I was hepped to the fact that this video has gone online; but I’ve been delayed by travel and other considerations. Anyway, here is a video of Jason Talley’s interview with me in Las Vegas back in April, focusing on anarchism, agorism, and counter-economics. Judging from the closing title card, it looks like the MD3 have decided to break out the material from the interview on anarchism into a separate video, presumably forthcoming. But, in the meantime, this video has the segments of the interview where our discussion focuses on building the counter-economy as an alternative to electoral politics. Enjoy!

The one thing which I regret not having the time to discuss during the interview — which I would have done my best to break down, were I not already taxing Jason’s very generous allowance of time in what are typically very concise interview segments — is how my sympathies for mutualism and wildcat unionism influence my understanding of the agora, and of the sort of counter-economy that we should work to build: why, in short, I think that libertarians should be especially interested in building, so to speak, Black-and-Red markets. (Red as in workers-of-the-world-unite. Not, of course, as in Konkin’s notion of red market mafiosi.) Of course, Konkin’s original-flavor agorism is already very much in favor of the informal sector, and opposed to the state-collaborationist, state-supported corporate economy; but I think that agorists would do well to look at the kinds of counter-institutions that have historically been associated with the anti-statist and anti-authoritarian Left: fighting unions, direct action on the shopfloor, grassroots mutual aid networks, worker and consumer co-ops, neighborhood permaculture projects, community free clinics, participatory indymedia, CopWatch as a means of community self-defense, LETS trading networks, small-scale gift economies based on gleaning and homesteading (Food Not Bombs, Homes Not Jails, free stores, etc.). And so on, and so forth. To the degree that State privilege and State subsidy have artificially roided-up the rentier-centric, cash-lubricated, centralized, formalized bidniz economy, we can expect the counter-economy (which is the embryonic new society, being built within the shell of the old) to form up in opposite tendencies: egalitarian and decentalized exchange (which Konkin rightly predicted and emphasized), and also significantly more emphasis on informal connections, often based not on contracts or cash-on-the-barrelhead exchanges but rather on practicing solidarity, mutual aid, gleaning, homesteading, and other cashless forms of value-creation and social exchange (which I think Konkin underemphasized and overlooked in various ways). (I hardly expect cash, let alone simple quid-pro-quo exchange, to disappear; I’m certainly not interested in any dogmatic campaign to rub them out. But I do expect the counter-economy, and future fully-freed markets, to emphasize them much less intensely, and much less monomaniacally, than the current state-approved official economy does.) All of which underlines why I think it’s important for radical libertarians to see ourselves as part of the Left; and for that understanding to cash out in serious efforts to work together on countereconomic projects with the folks who ought to be our primary allies — that is, other anarchists — rather than working on the familiar set of conventional-delusional electoral projects together with conservatives and conventionally pro-capitalist minimal-statists, which all too many good radical libertarians have, due to a combination of cultural comfort zones, and statocentric models of political change, wasted their time and resources on in the past.

Anyway, like I said, there may be another interview segment forthcoming focusing on anarchism; if so, I’ll let you know when it drops.

Gogulski becomes stateless

From Mike Gogulski @ (2008-12-10) — Mike Gogulski has declared himself stateless. A new secessionist republic of one is born.


Bratislava resident renounces American citizenship, becomes stateless person

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA, 10 December 2008 –- Citing US war, human rights abuses, rapacious state capitalism and hypocrisy, Bratislava resident Michael Gogulski announced today that he has renounced his United States citizenship and become a stateless person as a means of political divorce.

Gogulski, 36, renounced his citizenship on 8 December 2008 at the American embassy in Bratislava, surrendering his US passport and culminating a two-week process and months of personal preparations. He currently awaits a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States confirming his loss of American citizenship. As Gogulski has no other citizenship, he is now a stateless person.

I was disgusted to be associated through citizenship with the most dangerous gang of criminals in the world, the United States government. Renouncing my citizenship is a means of achieving a political divorce with that vile institution, Gogulski said. American politicians extol their state in terms of liberty, human rights, free markets and the rule of law. Examination of the country’s history and present actions reveals nothing but lies and hypocrisy. The genocide of Native Americans, slavery, nuclear slaughter at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, support for brutal dictators, the torture of innocents at places like Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, the massive robberies for the benefit of big business in the name of rescuing the economy, the world’s biggest prison population, the growth of a domestic police state and the brutal wars of oppression underway in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia paint a rather different picture. America, via its government agents, is truly exceptional – exceptionally evil, he stated.

Gogulski says that when he receives the Certificate of Loss of Nationality he will apply to the Slovak Interior Ministry for a Travel Document — similar to a passport — under the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, which Slovakia signed in 2000. He says that he has no plans to leave Bratislava until then, and that he recognizes that his life without citizenship will be more difficult, especially with respect to travel. But, if the Schengen Zone is to be my cage, Gogulski states, I think it’s large enough for me. There’s enough to explore within Europe to last a lifetime.

On his personal blog, Gogulski indicates that he works as a freelance translator and editor. He also writes about anarchism and supports the revolutionary theory called agorism, which posits that free-market service providers will compete with and eventually supplant states, giving rise to a voluntary society. Governments pride themselves on notions of equality and rule of law, but fail to apply the same standards to themselves that their subjects must endure, he says, explaining his political philosophy. The foundation of state power, taxation, is robbery. That the robbers have fancy uniforms, impressive titles and the sanction of law does not in the slightest way change the basic formula for extortion: pay us, or we will kill you.

Michael Gogulski’s blog can be found at

— Mike Gogulski, (2008-12-10): Press release

I don’t know if the choice of dates was deliberate or accidental, but for what it’s worth, Mike’s new Independence Day — if you clock it by when he issued the declaration on the blog, rather than by when he announced it at the Embassy — happens to coincide with International Human Rights Day.