Agorism, Violence, & Voluntaryism
This piece was initially meant to be a simple Facebook response. It turned out to be a little longer than would be sufficient in such a thread. So I decided to make an entire post about it instead!
I made a post on the Philosophy of Volutnaryism page.
Just something to consider...
A lot of people dissenting against government through the advocacy of agorism and self sustaining means miss a crucial idea. While not wrong at all in their methods they do end up being incomplete! Many who take this ideological path do not address the issue of government violence.
This violence is the same which makes taxation possible. And when those same law enforcers with guns come to take you, your personal possessions, and all you seem to hold a claim over, what then?
This is not a direct challenge to advocates of agorism. This is merely an observation of what many advocates of such a philosophy of counter economics can look into to help themselves.
Being self sufficient does not do much good when the issue which causes all the symptoms is not addressed. Ideas of eminent domain, changes in legal regulations and tax codes, and even cries of inequality by supporters of the state can bring down the wrath of illegitimate authority. Agorism alone is not but a bandaid on a few symptoms; namely that of centralized monetary inflation and some regulations.
If a majority of 51% of a population engaged in counter economics but did nothing to stem the violence of the state, what is to stop the state from escalating its own violence under its own legal authority and peddling it as legitimate?
In time, with no addressing of the violence inherent in the system, the state will close the loop holes and bring the violence to everyone! Agorism without addressing the violence is nothing more saving one's self while others get eaten by the monster. And what good is living in a world alone and in hiding?
However, agorism when used in conjunction with other peaceful methods becomes a powerful tool! Education of economics, philosophy, and history are required side by side with agorism.
And when this is done, it becomes The Philosophy of Voluntaryism!
It is fine to champion small portions of a big idea. It's more efficient in effecting a change to do this while being able to see and understand the entire picture!
And to which I received an inquiry!
"Had me worried for a second there. I thought at first you were recruiting for the modern day Minute Men. Hypothetically though. How large of a community do you think you would need to have before the Fed's would think twice before pulling a Waco? I know we can't defeat the United States militarily. That's why I don't advocate overthrowing the government. I would grab my guns tomorrow if I thought it might work. I'm wondering if something along the lines of the Free State Project were to get strong enough to where a hundred thousand people were refusing to participate, pay taxes, hold elections etc. Would the federal government really kill or imprison that many of us in one fell swoop? If they did it would shatter the illusion of freedom."
And this is what I came up with!
Oh, I do not advocate for violence except in immediate self defense and only to stop the violence and hostility in order to resume peaceful reasoning.
I do not think it would matter how large the community of dissenters is. The War of Federal Aggression (1861-65) saw the raising of multiple armies of 10k to 50k plus soldiers march across Dixie and the lower East Coast! The same government did this to native peoples. And then it went to war in the Philippines too!
I don’t think it is a matter of how much it will take. I think if I had to choose some figure, I would put it around a minimum of a large majority. Maybe 60-70 percent!?
At the very least there will need to be a showdown for people to make a choice. Typically the philosophically incomplete and unclear as well as the apathetic change sides in the face of superior strength. I find that people will have to make a choice. We may well have to revisit another or multiple confrontations like the War of Federal Aggression. Whether or not these turn out violent is uncertain. I certainly hope they do not because generational conflicts like that tend to breed grudges and contempt for those seen as the enemy.
And anyone seen as such is ALWAYS dehumanized! Dehumanization of others makes their extermination much easier because they are seen as not being capable of being reasoned with. This is why war between different cultures is so much more common than war between similar cultures; and exceptionally more common than war between the same cultures and same languages. This is also among the largest culprits to the infighting amongst the various liberty groups ranging from the typical AnCap and AnCom to the Party Libertarians and small (L) libertarians to discordians and voluntaryists alike!
Yet, the introduction of dehumanizing characteristics makes all conflict that much easier. When we remove the fundamental idea that everyone we meet can be reasoned with to varying degrees, we set the stage to justify violence as a solution instead of an exclusive means to stopping other violence so reasoning may resume. And it is this reason right here why government will wage war on dissenters of a massive number I think. The dissenters will be accused of wanting to not help or even take away the ability of the advocates and apathetic of government to be educated, fed, clothed, sheltered, and kept secure at all, instead of simply done by government but allowed peacefully through any other means.
I think TFSP is an admirable goal. So long as it remains peaceful and vocalizes challenges towards those issuing violence in the name of the State, etc., that it can be a long term means to the solution of a stateless society. Unfortunately, at this time it is an easy target for the State and can be the next Waco by tomorrow morning because of political reasons of any kind which benefit the state now, tomorrow, or whenever! (Political power needs no justifications other than, because it thinks it can get away with it ultimately!)
Mostly I find that there are two things required every time to make a difference on a personal one on one level and on a massive social level.
1) Self patience to accept the fact that everyone is on a different journey of self discovery for enlightenment is crucial. We don’t have to understand where and when they are at first as much as we have to just have the empathy to realize they are as are we! We must recognize this and look for ways of making connections. Those who do not understand this will always find a way to interject that sometimes people cannot be reasoned with and that violence is acceptable; especially if it is ‘my life’ or theirs.
Everyone can be reasoned with but because there is no cookie cutter mold to do this, people will justify using violence because they do not know how to find the way of making that connection or are not willing to spend the time, intellect, and labor to do so. And it is in this group of people where every advocate of government falls into. EVERY. ADVOCATE. OF. GOVERNMENT.
2) A clear and complete path of thought progression must be present to explain to others willing to listen to reason; such a progression must be void of spirituality, the invocation of deities, and faith as these things have little to no empirical evidence to support their validity. They always are interpreted differently by every individual.
I understand that this will be difficult for many people to accept. Mostly this will be true because these people do not follow through on their own abilities to create a complete and clear path of thought progression possible. This happens because ideas such as ‘freedom’, ‘morality’, and ‘peace’ are intangible. We have no tangible reference for them like we do for a red apple tree.
We can touch, taste, smell, and see a red apple tree. But we cannot do this for abstract concepts. This is why the invocation of spirituality, deities, and faith must be avoided in such arguments. There is no easily identifiable reference for such that we can point to and have examined by the senses that everyone pretty much has! This is the wisdom of KISS! Keep It Short Simple!
Ultimately the invocation of unclear and abstract concepts becomes a way for the unclear philosophy of taxation to somehow not be theft; and now a lucrative, viable, and popular means to achieve peace that critical thinkers understand is an illusion! But there is no universal peace present to those who understand the importance of rejecting faith and spirituality in logical reasoning to reach the most effective and efficient arguments for a majority to understand.
If inconsistencies are invoked in dissent for government then they can be invoked in favor of government. It’s the same with morality. If faith in ‘X’ can be used to justify positive creating deeds, then it can be used to justify destructive deeds.
So, I find that teaching people how to think, how to deconstruct ideas and create them, is the most influential thing possible. And it becomes daily the reason why I, Jim Davis, continue to do what I do the way I do. I just don’t make an attempt to entertain people or discuss fluff the way so many others do. Though that may not be fair considering what I understand as ‘fluff’ is part of the journey for others to achieve greater comprehension of the world that is Humanity!