Now that election time has come around again, there are droves of well-intentioned, but misguided people who want to put their faith into another politician. Although the popular version of government-approved history tells us that politicians are the ones who create change in this world, this is simply not true. Those who really create change are the innovators, especially those who have the needs of society in mind when they create. When someone uses their intellect to solve social problems, without using the force of the government, they are participating in something called “agorism.”
By: John Vibes
This article first appeared at FreeThoughtProject.
For those who are not familiar with the term “agorism,” it is a strategy of noncompliance that uses counter-economics and underground markets as a way of keeping power in the hands of the average people, thus slowly diminishing the power and relevance of the control structure.
Growing food, starting mutual aid or charity groups, using bitcoin, homeschooling, running a small business without licenses, bartering and starting community currencies are all examples of agorist activities. Some agorists are even so bold as to create businesses that will challenge existing state monopolies like we are seeing in New York with alternative protection agencies and arbitration services.
It is as simple as finding a need in your community for a particular good or service, and attempting to provide that value without any sort of interaction with the government or any other unchosen 3rd parties. In other words, the basic idea is to try solving the problem yourself, with your community instead of waiting around for a politician to promise to fix it and, in turn, making the problem worse.
1- Lysander Spooner – Lysander Spooner was a famous anarchist and abolitionist in early America that has been left out of the history books because of the peaceful and radical non-government solutions that he developed and advocated. Spooner thought of a way to put his philosophy into action by creating his own businesses that would directly compete with government services. One of his most groundbreaking entrepreneurial achievements was forming the “American Letter Company,” a letter and package delivery business that competed with the US Postal Service and proved that we don’t need the government to deliver mail. Hundreds of years later this strategy was identified by Samuel Edward Konkin III as “Agorism,” a philosophy of non-compliance that uses underground markets as a means of making the state obsolete. Without Spooner, it is entirely possible that people would never understand that government is not needed for mail delivery services, a function that was strictly reserved to government in those times.
2 – Dale Brown – Dale Brown of Detroit’s “threat management center” has shown that crime can be stopped and lives can be saved by independent people using nonlethal tactics. In areas of Detroit where police don’t answer 911 calls, Dale Brown took matters into his own hands and started taking those calls himself, and because Dale was not “above the law” as police officers claim to be, he had to solve these crimes without hurting people, because he would actually be held accountable for his actions.
Dale has also been able to service poor neighborhoods for free, by financing his business through providing security for high-income areas. Instead of joining a police force and becoming a part of the problem, Dale Brown has decided to peacefully compete with the police department, and has become a part of the solution.
3 – Ross Ulbricht – Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder and mastermind behind the website Silk Road is currently a political prisoner in the United States, because he created a trading platform that made the black market safer, and in many ways, rendered the drug war obsolete. Instead of lobbying, protesting and begging for politicians to change drug laws, Ulbricht took matters into his own hands and devised a platform that allowed people to buy and sell drugs without fear of arrest. Despite the fact that he was eventually arrested himself, and his site was taken down, the idea that he put out to the world could not be stopped, and there were instantly dozens of spin-off sites to take the place of the Silk Road, just as we saw with the file-sharing boom after Napster was initially shut down. Online drug markets are now one of the major weapons that drug users and sellers have in the drug war, and could be one of the major factors that eventually tip the scales in the direction of freedom.
4 – Cody Wilson – For generations, advocates of private gun ownership have been fighting exhaustively through political channels to protect their right to keep and bear arms. Gun owners even have one of the strongest lobby groups in Washington, the NRA. Yet over the years, gun rights continue to diminish in America, despite the constant political campaigns by the NRA and politicians that claim to support gun rights. However, in the past few years, one guy with a good idea has managed to do more to protect gun rights than the NRA has in decades of political involvement. Cody Wilson is the founder of “Defense Distributed” and the “Wikiweapon” project, which allows anyone with a 3D printer to create their own untraceable gun in the privacy of their own home.
There has been a heated debate about 3D printing technology in the past few years, as 3D print gun projects like Wikiweapon began to grow in popularity and gather press recognition. Wikiweapon was a project that intended to share open-source blueprints for 3-D printed guns, allowing anyone with the right equipment to manufacture a firearm from their home. Instead of begging the government for help, Wilson took matters into his own hands and used his intellect to solve a problem that government was creating. Is anyone beginning to see a trend here?
5 – Satoshi Nakamoto – No one really knows who Satoshi Nakamoto actually is, but he, or she, is responsible for creating the most popular alternative currency to ever exist in the world, Bitcoin. While Bitcoin, like any platform, has a number of different advantages and disadvantages, it gives people a decentralized alternative to government controlled, central bank issued currency. It has even been admitted by central banking elites in official reports that Bitcoin is seen as a major threat to the establishment because it allows people to trade by cutting out the middleman. Instead of fighting against the central banks through politics, on their own turf, the mysterious Nakamoto came up with an idea that would make their “service” obsolete.
6 – Bernard von NotHaus – While on the topic of alternative currency, Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the Liberty Dollar and co-founder of the Royal Hawaiian Mint Company is worth mentioning. As with Satoshi Nakamoto, NotHaus saw the problems with centralized currency and banking and decided to provide an alternative by minting his own silver currency. His idea was such a threat to the establishment that he was arrested in 2011 for counterfeiting and was accused of “domestic terrorism.” However, his idea created a ripple effect which inspired countless others to mint their own alternative currencies in the fight against central banking.
7 – John Taylor Gatto – There may be a lot of great teachers out there, who care about what they do and have very good intentions, like the world famous educator John Taylor Gatto. But even he found the top down structure of the school system and the curriculum provided is very damaging to the minds of children.
He left public schools by writing his resignation letter in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, starting the letter off by saying that he “refuses to continue hurting children.” He then went on to start an incredible career in writing, researching and speaking out about the dangers of compulsory schooling. Gatto went on to write a number of different books about the history of government schooling and how it was intended to indoctrinate, not educate. He also brought forward radical solutions, in supporting homeschooling and alternative schooling centers like Montessori schools.
8 – Alternative Journalists – There have always been alternative viewpoints, so it is hard to track down exactly where the alternative media began. However, in the 21st century, the alternative media has now become the chosen source for daily news about the world and has exposed the mainstream media for the propaganda platform that it is. While it is hard to track down the beginning of this phenomena in modern culture, Hunter S. Thompson can be identified as a pioneer in the field. Thompson created his own brand of “Gonzo Journalism,” which made a joke of traditional journalism, and brought forward issues and perspectives that a new generation of free thinkers were seeking out. Today, there are millions of journalists running around with a similar mentality, and now these journalists far outnumber the establishment shills that appear on the television news each night. Although Thompson was known to occasionally rub shoulders with politicians, he was still far more critical of them than the mainstream media was and helped to provide an alternative in a time where one did not exist.
9 – Salman Amin “Sal” Khan – Khan is the creator of an education platform called the “Khan Academy” which allows people to learn on their own, making public indoctrination centers entirely obsolete. According to the organization’s website, the academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art, economics, and more. Their missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps.
10 – Whistleblowers – There are too many great whistleblowers to name them all, but their place in the fight for freedom is invaluable. Many of these people have held positions within the control structure, and may have participated in oppression themselves. However, they were led by their conscience to expose corruption instead of going through the “proper channels” to air their grievances within the organization. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is an agorist who created a platform through which whistleblowers could share information without fear of persecution. His platform was used by Chelsea Manning, and a number of other whistleblowers, but sadly, Manning was eventually arrested and is now serving a 35-year sentence in a military prison. These actions later inspired Edward Snowden, who showed the whole world how corrupt the NSA is, and how deeply their spy program goes into the lives of innocent people.
This article first appeared at FreeThoughtProject.