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Archive for December, 2010

Agorism

I recently had a chance to chat, in person, with one of the bloggers from http://www.LibertyOnTour.com, Ethan Lee Vita. Ethan is currently hitch-hiking across the US in search of agorist businesses, community-led problem solving and otherwise non-government funded counter economic activity. He started out in New Hampshire which is home of the Free State Project and of Free Keene. Ethan is currently traveling through Texas, toward Florida and up the East coast back toward New Hampshire.

Let me explain a bit about Agorism. Agorism is a political philosophy that holds as its ultimate goal bringing about a society in which all “relations between people are voluntary exchanges – a truly free market.” The term comes from the Greek word agora, referring to an open place for assembly and market in ancient Greek city-states.

Agorists hold that the evils attributed to capitalism are not caused by laissez-faire but by government working together with private industry. By preferring the term “free market,” Agorists feel they are not bound by the implications of the current use of the term “capitalism”.

Generally, self-identified “Agorists” oppose voting for political candidates and oppose political reform. Instead, Agorists stress the importance of alternative strategies rather than politics to achieve a free society. Agorists claim that we can achieve a free society more easily and sooner by employing such alternative methods. Alternative strategies consist of a mixture of education, direct action — and especially entrepreneurship and counter-economics.

Agorists especially focus on counter-economics, in which they seek to build and establish business structures without complying with regulations, government licenses, or paying taxes.

There are many examples of counter economics you may already be familiar with. Food Not Bombs groups will collect donations of food that is still good but about to be thrown out from grocery stores. They then take this food and cook it into free vegetarian meals to distribute to the homeless and needy, usually in public parks. A well-known source of counter economy is simple yard sales, Craigslist transactions and Ebay/Etsy stores. People all over the world are selling things and making money without government permission through these channels. The Last Biscuit is an agorist home-cooked meal delivery service, which up until recently was delivering hot, wholesome, home-cooked food straight to its customers, 24/7. Lastly, all over the country groups of health conscious people form food buying groups to procure healthy items that many stores do not carry, such as grass-fed beef or raw milk. Many food buying clubs are run by a member who makes a small profit for their time and efforts. Ethan has already covered a small portion of the raw milk story as seen here.

Please check out all the links above and contact Ethan about agorist and counter economic activity in your area.

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