Posted: September 30th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
There’s a meme making the rounds that agorism, the idea that one best reforms society by building a new one in the shell of the old, is better or safer than civil disobedience, the idea that we should disobey unjust state decrees. Yet agorism is a form of civil disobedience. And this video clearly shows the risks inherent in practicing agorism. Mike Barskey, the gentleman at the grill, is selling products to people who want them (the transaction is voluntary) without going through the state. He deals with other individuals directly. They can choose to do business with him or not. But he won’t allow the state to come between him and his customers. The state wants him to get their approval before he can voluntarily trade with others. Mike rejects this. This is the essence of agorism. Agorists do business voluntarily and without reference to the state. We neither force ourselves upon others nor accept that others force themselves upon us.
Agorism is smart because it has the potential to advance human welfare and equality in ways that are currently made difficult or outright prohibited by the state. Instead of incurring the $10,585 per year average regulatory cost per employee of small businesses in the US, Mike outright ignores those arbitrary decrees and purchases only those services he needs. While the state offers special treatment to larger corporations, agorists like Mike can level the playing field by ignoring as many of the state’s arbitrary decrees as they like – as long as their customers continue to be happy with their choices, of course. The real regulation for agoristic enterprises is the market; i.e., the customers’ decision to buy or not. When state restrictions are limited, this inherent regulation gets its teeth back. People can form new, competing businesses at minimal cost if a current provider is not working out.
By favoring the large corporations over the independent producers, the state promotes inequality. It makes it difficult for the small guy to keep his business alive. It promotes wage slavery, by placing an excessive burden on small producers, and simultaneously lightening the burden for the large producers. The history of this practice can be traced back to, among other distinguished historical events, the Whiskey Rebellion. Poor westerners were effectively taxed at a higher rate than wealthy easterners due to the 1791 excise tax on whiskey. This led to one of many dark corners in the history of the American state.
Many modern-day rebellions have already started. Start yours today by practicing agorism. Find out how from this simple guide.