Samuel Edward Konkin III
July 8, 1947|
|Died||February 23, 2004
West Los Angeles, California, United States
|Main interests||Anarchism, Economics, Natural law, Political economy|
|Notable ideas||Founder of Agorism|
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Samuel Edward Konkin III (8 July 1947 – 23 February 2004), also known as SEK3, was the author of the publication New Libertarian Manifesto and a proponent of a political philosophy which he named agorism.
Konkin was born in Saskatchewan, to Samuel Edward Konkin II and Helen. He had one brother, Alan. He married Sheila Wymer during 1990 and had one son, Samuel Evans-Konkin IV. The marriage ended soon afterward. Konkin was also notable for his style of dress: "To show his anarchist beliefs, he dressed completely in black, a color associated with that movement since the late nineteenth century."
Konkin rejected voting, believing it to be inconsistent with libertarian ethics. He likewise opposed involvement with the US Libertarian Party, which he regarded as a statist co-option of libertarianism. He was an opponent of influential minarchist philosopher Robert Nozick, and referred to Nozick's devotees as "Nozis."
Konkin presents his strategy for achieving a libertarian society in his aforementioned manifesto. Since he rejected voting and other means by which people typically attempt social change, he encouraged people to withdraw their consent from the state by devoting their economic activities to black market and grey market sources, which would not be taxed or regulated. "Konkin called transactions on these markets, as well as other activities that bypassed the State, 'counter-economics.' Peaceful transactions take place in a free market, or agora: hence his term 'agorism' for the society he sought to achieve." He also strongly opposed the idea of intellectual property.
Konkin was editor and publisher of the irregularly-produced New Libertarian Notes (1971–1975), the New Libertarian Weekly (1975–1978), and finally New Libertarian magazine (1978–1990), the last issue of which was a special science fiction tribute featuring a Robert A. Heinlein cover (issue 187, 1990).
Political theorist Ulrike Heider criticized Konkin in her book Anarchism: Left, Right, and Green for endorsing historical revisionism. Konkin personally rejected Holocaust denial, but endorsed the Institute for Historical Review for the reason that their freedom of speech was being disputed.
- Agorism.info has archived Konkin writings and pamphlets in PDF format
- Interview with Konkin
- Konkin on Libertarian Strategy, by Murray Rothbard
- Sam Konkin and Libertarian Theory, by David Gordon
- KoPubCo back issues of New Libertarian
- Murray Rothbard, "Konkin on Libertarian Strategy" followed by Samuel E. Konkin, "Reply to Rothbard" at AnthonyFlood.com
- Obituary for SEK3 by Jeff Riggenbach
- Obituary for Sam Konkin by Phil Osborn