Monday, March 27, 2006

What is Agorism?

Wrote Samuel Edward Konkin III...

Economics is the study of Human Action in the Marketplace; thus, the economy is the sum of all human interaction — or it should be. In fact, the “Economy” is what is actually studied, that which is defined and allowed by the State. Thus, that which is to be studied as “Economics” is limited by pro-Establishment “Economists” to this legal realm of permissible trade.

In the days of Adam Smith, much was still simply permitted without further controls. But the twentieth century has turned so statist that what is not outlawed by legislation is mandatory. In short, “aboveground,” all human action is monitored, regulated, controlled, tariffed and taxed.

So the rest of human action is underground or counter-economic. The Counter-Economy is the sum of all human action that is forbidden by the State, in whole or part. Counter-Economics is the study of the Counter-Economy. Those who study Counter-Economics are Counter-Economists. (Those who practice it are often also called counter-economists.)

Just as there are schools of thought and ideologies to explain and defend statism, there evolved such to oppose it. That libertarian philosophy which rejects aboveground political activity as inescapably statist and defends the Counter-Economy is agorism.

Agorists see most economic transactions moving underground and ultimately replacing the Economy. That outcome would yield a society composed of a completely open, free marketplace (or agora) in which all human action is voluntary.

(The Agorist Institute Report to Supporters, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 1996)


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