Alex Peak


2008/05/22:  The Agorist Party

Also available in .txt.

In this dream, I was somehow involved in the creation of an Agorist Party (AP).

There are three libertarian parties currently active in the United States: the Libertarian Party (LP), the Boston Tea Party (BTP), and the Personal Choice Party (PCP).  In this dream, a fourth libertarian party was emerging, and was to take the mantle as the most radical of the four.

For those not aware, agorism is a revolutionary form of market anarchism.  It was first promoted by Samuel Edward Konkin III.  According to Konkin, revolutionary change is not achievable through the political process, and thus the system must be fought from the outside, rather than from the inside.  To achieve this revolution against the state, Konkin advocated using counter-economics.  Essentially, this means focusing one’s energy on promoting the black and grey markets, while eschewing the white markets of the political class.  (Red markets ought also be eschewed.)

Needless to say, this is an anti-political movement.  Konkin himself was very opposed to the use of political parties, and considered the Libertarian Party un-libertarian by the very fact that it was a political party.

Those familiar with agorism would therefore immediately notice that there is something odd about my dream.  If agorism tends to oppose to participation in the political process, how on Earth could an Agorist Party arise?

In my dream, this was not so much a political party as it was an anti-political party.  The platform, which was extremely short, called in no uncertain terms for the abolition of the state.  More importantly, it stressed the importance of counter-economics as the means toward this end.

The party was not focused on running candidates and getting elected.  Instead, it served solely to get a mouthpiece who could espouse the importance of counter-economics and the evils of the state to the public through the media.

I recall the movie Brewster’s Millions (1985) in which the main character, played by Richard Pryor, runs for office.  His goal, however, is not to win, and he uses his campaign to encourage people to vote against all of the candidates, himself included.  The Agorist Party platform held the same position, and all of its candidates were expected to make it clear to the public that the entire election process was an illegitimate means of imposing controls over people.

Agorist candidates were free to speak as poorly about the political Establishment, including their competitors, as they wanted, as getting elected was absolutely not the goal of the campaign.

Ballot access is, of course, the biggest hurdle that this dream doesn’t take into account.  It is the only reason I can currently conceive that an Agorist Party would not actually arise.  Agorists do not seem likely to care much for the idea of diverting resources that could be going into the black and grey markets instead into the building of state parties for the purpose of ensuring ballot access.  The only reason I could conceive of anyone going forward with the formation of an Agorist Party is for the publicity it would bring to counter-economics, and to anarchism in general.  Given that no major third party in America promotes anarchism (the Libertarian Party comes closest with its promotion of minarchism), and given how fun it would be for agorists to promote anarchism so openly through the media, it’s not impossible that some wealthy agorists might find this avenue worth the diversion of their resources, even if only for a single presidential campaign.  Regardless, I won’t hold my breath.

What sort of effect would this have on the Libertarian Party?  I do not know, and could see it going either way.  On the one hand, it would help make the Libertarian Party look more moderate and approachable by the general public without the Libertarian Party needing to moderate even one of its stances.  On the other hand, it could divert energy away from the Libertarian Party, as some of its more radical members decide to focus their political energy on the development of the Agorist Party.

None of these thoughts came to me in the dream, however.  In the dream, it was all about the explicitly anti-state platform and anti-political candidates.  In the dream, it was essentially Brewster’s Millions meets anarchism.  All in all, it was a fun dream, just as Brewster’s Millions was a fun movie.

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