Often times as a voluntaryist, looking back on centuries of history with little progress, or the state of contemporary society, one can become discouraged. Struggling forward, for a new society, can seem daunting. This is one reason we need for solidarity and mutual aid amongst ourselves, not just for protection from the state, but for encouragement. And there are many forms of such encouragement, from reflecting on past successes, to music, to working on a new project. For, despite the lack of progress, change is gradual and step by step, individual. And each step forward is one step closer to our dream of a society without systemic violence.
Though there are many strategies, I promote one of living, as close as possible, to voluntaryist society. Within the market anarchist tradition, a man named Konkin coined a term, agorism, to define the consistent synthesis of non-aggression libertarian ethics with counter-economic action. Counter-economics is any action, including non-financial actions, which are done peacefully, yet are prohibited by the state. And it is this agorism, living a non-aggressive life off the records of the state, that I promote, as a strategy for living one’s voluntaryist ideals. Instead of ending the state directly, merely living under it, rerouting around it, and replacing it as it dies from its own internal inconsistencies.
With this in mind, many ask what they can do to participate in the agora. And it is this question that George Donnelly and I have sought to answer with a new unconference, the Agora I/O Unconference from March 25-27.
Due to being a web unconference, based on livestreaming technology, meaning location is not an issue for participation. And, if you’re unaware of how unconferences work, they’re decentralized, participant-driven conferences avoiding the problems of a central authority. Within such a structure, one can listen to, and financially support, those talks they deem valuable while not listening to or supporting those they deem unworthy. In this way, the individual has the control over their participation and their desires are more accurately reflected in future unconferences. And if you can’t attend a certain talk for some reason? Well, recordings are being made, in order to better supply you, the participant, with the information you desire. And while we encourage you to donate, its also free to participate! Whats a reason not to participate?
What can one learn from participating in the Agora I/O Unconference? Allow me to provide a sample of various talks, though I highly encourage you to visit the Speakers or Schedule pages to learn more.
First off, Liberty on Tour’s Pete Eyre is speaking on Effective Activism: Foundation to Impact on saturday, March 26 at 5pm est. He’ll be going over how to be a good ambassador, maintain a calm, reasonable tone, as well as various scenarios and what was beneficial and what could be improved upon. If you’re wanting to be a front-lines activist, this may be the talk for you, straight from one of the most successful activists out there.
Perhaps one is interested in a basic lesson of how to transition from ideas to actual practice? Cat Bleish is speaking on Transitioning from Agorist Theory to Practice on friday, March 25 at 3pm est. Having made the transition herself, she’ll be able to impart lessons from her own experiences. For anyone interested in getting involved in living as an agorist, this would be a key talk to attend. Cat Bleish has long been involved in working against government incursion into our lives, having strongly opposed the fusion centers, but is now working to create positive solutions around statist tyranny.
Construction is a historically counter-economic profession. Want to get involved in an industry easier to hide from the state than others? Josh Carter‘s Construction with Agorist Principles on sunday, March 27 at 2pm est. Living a life as an agorist and having worked within construction, he’s the one to know how to operate a business off the books, but also how to minimize the costs, when you do have to surface temporarily. If you’re involved in construction and would rather work for yourself, this would be a vital talk to attend.
And once you’re ready to get involved, perhaps start an underground business, then Momma Ally‘s Underground Business Marketing & Anti-state Security Measures at sunday, March 27 at 3pm est is the talk for you. Having operated the Last Biscuit for two years, under the noses of the Savannah, Georgia police state, she was successful in building the business from a local southern food delivery business to a city-wide underground business. Only when filming Savannah police harassing a defenseless homeless person was when the business came crumbling down. And now, recovering from that loss, plans are being made to expand nationally.
Perhaps Being the Media in Your Community, to profile abuses such as the one against that homeless man, is more your style? Well, that’s Jason Talley‘s talk on sunday, March 27 at 1pm est. Interested in building a strong community, media is one part of promoting a community’s work and if your community needs a voice, this may be the talk for you.
And if you want to build an agorist community yourself? Then Marc Stevens‘ Building a Local Free Market could be the first step in that direction, on friday, March 25 at noon est. Though not entirely focused on community, I believe a local market is a key step to beginning that community, to self-sufficiently support itself from within. And if you know many people producing goods, or able to, off the books, you may be the key person to begin a local community market.
Don’t trust the fiat currency imposed by the state due to its inherently inflationary nature? There’s at least two talks regarding alternative currencies! The first is Ron Helwig‘s Shire Silver and Silver Currency on saturday, March 26 at 2pm est. The second is Silver Bullet and Coin Silver, by Nick Saorsa and Drew Phillips of Freedoms Phoenix, on saturday, March 26 at 3pm est. With inflation causing the value of federal reserve notes to silver to fluctuate wildly (from under $20 to nearly $40 in a year), accepting and holding alternative currencies is a very beneficial policy in these economically uncertain times whether you’re an individual or involved in a business, community, or free market.
And in such uncertain times, the state cracks down socially as well. The world witnessed the internet blackouts during the ongoing middle eastern peoples’ revolutions. Do you have a plan to communicate with comrades and loved ones? J Kent Hastings‘ How to Survive with Ham Radio When the Internet is Set to Kill, on friday, March 25 at 4pm est, provides much needed information on one useful form of communication if the internet is shut down, from communicating itself, to building a makeshift ham radio. This would be a key talk to attend, and save offline, for such an eventuality.
Of course, counter-economic action isn’t all business or survival preparation, its also fun, and there’s two talks on entertainment, yet which still have value. Sovereign Curtis‘ Ask Soviet Curtis: Uncle Joe of PorcFest and J Neil Schulman‘s Why Alongside Night as a Movie is a Vital Part of Agorist Mass-Marketing Strategy. Both are on sunday, March 27 at 11am est. For those unaware, PorcFest is a freedom festival, including an agorist market 80+ vendors strong, with police kept out, and everything from open, respectful use of various substances to family-friendly activities. Basically, an experiment in statelessness. And Alongside Night is the most successful agorist novel, written by J Neil Schulman, and now being converted into a feature film. And whats the value in these talks? From Curtis, one could learn how to begin their own local freedom festival for those who can’t always travel to PorcFest. And from Schulman, one can learn the value of why a fictionalized account of agorism is a key part of agorist mass-marketing.
There are also many more speakers and topics, so be sure to check out the Speakers and Schedule pages to learn more! And, if you value their talk, please donate as a thank you for their time and knowledge.