Monday, October 17, 2005

Agorism Contra Marxism, part 6

[This continues a multi-part summary of known existing portions of Samuel Edward Konkin III’s unfinished book Agorism Contra Marxism, which began, and ended, its serialization in Strategy of the New Libertarian Alliance #2, 1982-83.]

Libertarian Class Analysis

Marx’s class analysis, with its recurring problem of the cross-class nature of statists and anti-statists, lies in shreds. Clearly, oppression exists, but another class model is needed to explain how it works.

The Libertarian Class Model advanced by Murray N. Rothbard is based on the relation of the individual to the State, which springs from Franz Oppenheimer’s paradigm of the evolution of the State. The sweep of history, Oppenheimer wrote, was a long account of the parasitic class continually transforming itself with new religions and ideologies to justify its existence and repeatedly hoodwink the productive class into serving it. As SEK3 explained:

“Today the State uses democracy (victim participation in his own plunder), liberalism (leash the State to make it more palatable), conservatism (unleash the State against ‘enemies’ — commies or capitalists, perverts or straights, heretics or orthodox believers, difference 1 or difference 2), and other nostrums, snake-oil or anti-concepts to beguile its victims into accepting continued plunder (taxation), murder (war and execution), and slavery (conscription and taxation again).”

Socialism, including Marxist variants, is just another dogma used to justify the State’s existence, and it is one of the most appealing.

Almost all libertarians accept that the State divides society into two classes: those who gain by the existence of the State and those who lose. Most libertarians also agree that society would be better off if the State were eliminated or at least shrunk significantly. But despite efforts of the late Rothbard and others to raise libertarian class consciousness, most American libertarians seem to find discussion of class theory offensive, “impolite,” and “not respectable.” They appear to believe that only right-wing kooks and commies talk about ruling classes and class structures. Nevertheless, efforts to expand Libertarian Class Theory into a comprehensive model have continued.

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At 6:23 AM, Blogger Vache Folle said...

Dividing the world into parasites and hosts may be useful for some purposes, but it may also obscure important differences. The GS-1 that cleans up at the Dept of Labor benefits from the State but not nearly as much as or in the same way as the well heeled industrialist that reaps big government contracts. A public school teacher lives on the state, but he is very different from a careeer politician or a K street lobbyist.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Wally Conger said...

Patience, Vache. There are important differences within both the parasitic and productive classes, which will be discussed shortly, when SEK3 details the much more comprehensive Agorist Class Theory.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post-Modern Society contains two politically potent classes: 1) The Credentialed Magnates and 2) The Productive Contributors. Some of the Magnates may be, from time to time, productive, as a means of self-fulfillment. Many of the Contributors would become Magnates, if only circumstances were different. The Magnates may usually be recognized as members of prestige organizations, who attend formal dinners where they give each other prizes. The Tax Collector maintains the all-important lists of the Contributors. Magnates seldom find themselves demoted to the permanent status of Contributors, but, when it happens, the rending of garments and the weeping are disturbing to the charitable and delightful to the envious. (It is better to die a baby!)


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