Sunday, January 08, 2006

Agorism Contra Marxism, part 10

[This concludes 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. To catch up, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9.]

“Towards the other end of the spectrum [from statists] are full-time counter-economists,” SEK3 explained. “They reject government offerings and disregard State regulations. If they report an income, it is a tiny proportion of what they actually earn; if they file a report, it’s highly misleading but plausible. Their occupations are fulfilling demand that the State strives to suppress or exterminate. They not only act freely, but often heroically.”

Just as the superstatists understand the State’s workings and use it consciously, there exist those at the counter-economic end of the spectrum who understand the pure libertarian consistency and morality of their acts; these are the agorists. “Against the Power Elite is the anti-power elite — the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre (or New Libertarian Alliance),” Konkin wrote.

But what of the “middle class” on the spectrum? What of those who mix commission of some counter-economic acts (black spots) with some statist acts (white spots), their lives summed up by grayness? Konkin described the middle-class this way:

“To the statists, they are the victims, the herds of cattle to be slaughtered and sheep to be sheared. To the Agorists, they are the external marketplace, to receive nearly everything in trade — but trust.

“And some day they shall either take control of their lives and polarize one way or the other, or fail to do so and shall stagnate in the statist swamp or be borne away on the winds of revolutionary change.”

Konkin offered a scenario, using agorist class theory, to illustrate the difference between a limited-government libertarian and an agorist:

“Consider the individual standing at the corner of the street. He can see two sides of the building behind him as he prepares to cross the street. He is hailed and turns around to see an acquaintance from the local libertarian club approaching in one direction. The latter advocates ‘working through the system’ and is an armed government agent. Walking along the other side of the building is another acquaintance, same age, gender, degree of closeness and so on, who is a practicing counter-economist. She also may be armed and is undoubtedly carrying the very kind of contraband the State’s agent is empowered to act on. Seeing you, the first individual waves and confirms she indeed has the illegal product — and is about to run into the ‘libertarian statist’ at the corner. Both are slightly distracted, looking at you.

“The situation is not likely to happen too often but it’s quite possible. Only the removal of ‘complicating factors’ is contrived. If you fail to act, the counter-economist will be taken by surprise and arrested or killed. If she is warned, she may — at this last-minute — elect to defend herself before flight and thus injure the agent. You are aware of this and must act now — or fail to act.

“The agorist may take some pains to cover his warning so that he will not get involved in a crossfire, but he will act. The socialist has a problem if the State agent works for a socialist state. Even the ‘libertarian’ has a problem. Let’s make it really rough: the State agent contributes heavily to the local ‘libertarian’ club or party (for whatever reasons; many such people are known to this author). The counter-economist refuses to participate except socially to the group. For whose benefit would the ‘political libertarian’ act?

“Such choices will increase in frequency when the State increases repression or the agorists increase their resistance. Both are likely in the near future.

“Agorist class theory is quite practical.”

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