New Libertarian Manifesto -- The 25th Anniversary Edition, by Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947-2004), brings the groundbreaking work back into print. First published in October, 1980, the Manifesto is the most concise treatise on Counter-Economics and Agorism available to the public. Five chapters encompass Konkin's unique view of libertarianism: I. Statism: Our Condition; II. Agorism: Our Goal; III. Counter-Economics: Our Means; IV. Revolution: Our Strategy; and V. Action: Our Tactics. The 25th Anniversary Edition is the fourth printing of the book, which has been an underground anarchist classic. Also included in this edition are critiques of New Libertarian Manifesto by Murray N. Rothbard, Ph.D., Robert LeFevre, and Erwin S. Strauss, and replies by Samuel Edward Konkin III, which were published in Strategy of the New Libertarian Alliance in 1981 and long out of print until now.
Agorism inspired the tattoo on my chest, as well as my personal philosophy. This book and the system of revolutionary market anarchism it promotes offer the clearest route to individual freedom I have yet discovered. This system and strategy complement Rohbardianism perfectly, and in fact seems more Rohbardian than even Murray--due primarily to Rothbard being bogged down in Libertarian Party politics in his later years. (No disrespect intended. Rothbard will forever remain my favorite philosopher.)
This is a wonderfully radical piece of work that I am only ashamed that I had not read sooner. Certainly there are some flaws to this piece but it is perhaps the most interesting libertarian piece on strategy I have every read. I have a few short words about each chapter.
Chapter 1: This was incredibly well written. The first two sentences echo my favourite libertarian quote of all time. Konkin writes, "We are coerced by our fellow human beings. Since they have the ability to choose to do otherwise, our condition need not be thus." Brilliant! Consider the words of Rothbard who writes, "In the field of justice, man's will is all; men can move mountains, if only men so decide. A passion for instantaneous justice — in short, a radical passion — is therefore not utopian, as would be a desire for the instant elimination of poverty or the instant transformation of everyone into a concert pianist. For instant justice could be achieved if enough people so willed." Overall, this chapter is excellent and there is almost nothing I would change.
Chapter 2: This chapter does an excellent job of describing ideal-theory libertarianism; a LeFevrian pacifist society, as well as non-ideal-theory libertarianism; a private law society operating on the basis of private property rights. One particularly interesting section in this chapter suggests that possibly (and even Konkin appears to have his reservations about it) the state would find it less profitable if libertarians were to start acting in almost random self-defense. Next time a cop tries to enter your house, fucking kill him. I love the sentiment. The state uses random violence on us (surely no drug dealer, prostitute, employer of alien labour, etc. knows if or when they will be arrested) and we should do the same to them! I think only that this asks many individuals to bear a high cost for only marginal gains for the movement.
Chapter 3: Here, while I am interested in the actual strategy proposed by Konkin, the language used is wholly confused. Konkin introduces what he calls "Counter-Economics". In brief counter economics is simply acting on the black market. Do not report income, do not report transactions, do not report any activity to the state. And this is all well and good. But Konkin contrasts this to what he calls "Establishment Economics". By establishment economics he is referring to something approximating neoclassical economics. The problem is that counter-economics is a form of normative economics, telling us how our economy should function, whereas establishment economics is a form of positive economics, telling us how people really do act in the economy. Ironically enough, it is The Establishment that now sows this confusion. Think, for example, of the idiotic "Group Economics" that the NBA (you could scarcely name a more "establishment" organization other than the state itself) has asked their players to wear on the back of their jerseys. Does the NBA expect people to begin defying natural economic laws? No! They are proposing a normative economics about how we should operate. But, no doubt, the confusion is there.
Chapter 4: I don't know how many people could get into counter economics given the high cost of operating on the black market. But I should see no reason to be against this strategy. More and more people operate outside of the state until it is more efficient to join the agora than side with the state. Even the unpaid armies will flock to us. Konkin makes clear that in pursuing the agora we can never violate the rights of others. So why be opposed to this?
Chapter 5: I don't think that having Libertarian Party is a problem. What about the division of labour?! Some of us will make good politicians to limit the evils of the state from the inside while others will become counter-economists and black market entrepreneurs.
I didn't like this one very much. It was way too short to effectively argue for its ideas. The style also wasn't that great, it was the typical call-to-action that you can read in every pamphlet, not particularly bad, but also not particularly good. It isn't Common Sense.
As an alternative, I would recommend An Agorist Primer. It's at once more better presented and way better argued.
Una mezcla de momentos brillantes y absurdos. Hay una fiel idea que gira en torno a la libertad y al individualismo, pero también una peligrosa y poco pragmática forma de ver la vida, que no se deslinda mucho de otras ideas autoritarias. No debe ser tomado al pie de la letra más allá de sus bases teóricas y breves reflexiones sobre el papel del individuo contra la violencia en cualquiera de sus formas.
It's certainly interesting and parts may be useful but I find it unlikely that things would go as he planned. If nothing else it's good for a backup plan or something used sparingly in times of desparation. It's more of a way to sneak around the state than to get rid of it. Also as someone that lives in the middle of nowhere I find it would be a lot harder to put this stuff in action without living in a big city where you can have your own agorist community.
The slogan "Agora Anarchy Action" can be rephrased into "Agora=Anarchy+Action" Konkin beautifully explains how to peacefully end the legalized theft of the masses (taxation), and thus live in a truly peaceful society.
As my role model Lenin said: “So long as the state exists there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there will be no state.” Yet I can not bring myself to sympathise with this inaccurate piece of melodrama.
Работа устарела, события идут по другому маршруту. Идеи либертарианства живут, а вот практического воплощения так и не наступает. Конечно хочется избавиться от государства, но проблема с отсутствием успешных примеров, даже начального уровня
Not exactly the most descriptive book. Any libertarian could (essentially) provide this books content if you give them 10 minutes to explain their ideology. This book doesn't really argue why either. So in other words: in order to understand what this books is about you need to already know more about libertarianism than this book explains. If you know nothing about agorism, I guess this is a good book to start with but I don't know if it is worth spending any money on it.
This is a very vague plan of action from Konkin, I'm glad that this was written, the best of the book is the introduction to the term "Agora", but the ideas here are general and simplistic.
The prologue written by Jesus Huerta de Soto, increases the hype to maximum levels, to finally just give something that feels like a compilation of ideas that try to move to action, but without any particular action proposed.
The basic concepts of Agorism are not ones that I would agree with in whole, but Konkin's thoughts on starving the State through counter-economics have been very insightful to me. All in all, was underwhelmed with both this work and his Agorist Primer though. They were surprisingly small. Was expecting a bit more meat behind these works seeing as how they've been foundational in spawning the Agorist movement.
Básicamente un ensayo corto sobre estrategia. Para leer en una tarde, esencialmente la propuesta es la misma de otros libertarios radicales sobre una sociedad en que la justicia y la seguridad dejan de ser monopolio del estado y son servicios ofrecidos en un mercado. Como filosofía política no representa ninguna aportación, lo interesante del pequeño libro es pensar la estrategia política de forma distinta a como lo hacen las estrategias de partidos electorales, con destellos de genialidad de cómo generar una revolución - que sea irreversible y para el autor esto implica cambiar las estructuras de producción- y pensarla en fases que inclusive pueden demorar generaciones. Sin embargo, aparte de esos insights el autor no plantea algo más detallado, es una hoja de ruta demasiado genérica. Una de las partes más criticables para mí es su idea del liderazgo y organización, que es muy débil y desordenada.
En esta obra se presenta una propuesta más activa para los libertarios la cual es denominada Agorismo, se trata de actuar bajo lo que se conoce como Contra-Economía bajo los mercados negro y gris para evadir y en el largo plazo eliminar la intervención estatal, la obra es un buen aporte al movimiento libertario y anarcocapitalista.
I know it's a manifesto, so it's an entry-level text but i was expecting for more convincing and better defending of counter-economics. I've heard his other books are more theoretically sophisticated though, I'll check em out.