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Agorism is a branch of anarcho-capitalism[edit]

Agorism is a branch of anarcho-capitalism; it is not left libertarian. So I changed the article accordingly. Hogeye 05:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Agorism support Left-Libertarism, and it's not estrictly anarcho-capitalist, but try to advance a step more-- 01:42, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

If "left" means revolutionary (as I think Konkin argued), agorism is left; if "left" means socialist (as it is more commonly understood), agorism is not left. HTH. —Tamfang 04:43, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia's Left-libertarian article, it means socialist. Since Agorism is not socialist, the current characterization is clearly wrong. So I'll change it back to simply "libertarian." - anon
In left-libertarian article:
Although Rothbard eventually drifted back into the Old Right, his initial leftward impulse was picked up by activists like Samuel Edward Konkin III (founder of the Movement of the Libertarian Left) and Roderick Long. These left-libertarians argue that presently-existing capitalism does not even vaguely resemble a free market, and that presently-existing corporations are the beneficiaries and chiefmost supporters of statism. By this line of reasoning, libertarianism should make common cause with the anti-corporate left.
Samuel Edward Konkin III and Roderick Long are agorists. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:13, 1 July 2006.

But does it mean that agorism is a left-wing philosophy? That question isn't rhetorical, by the way. --Onias 17:10, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, what does "left-wing" mean? See my comment above. —Tamfang 06:15, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
The best definition is "the rich must pay". --Onias 22:36, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

An agorist might argue that most of the rich in this corrupt (statist) world got that way illegitimately, and may owe compensation for their plunders; but wealth is not itself a sin, nor certain evidence of sin, so the rich do not owe any debt merely because they are rich. So, no. —Tamfang 06:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
no it is not a branch of anarcho capitalism, agorism as founded by Konkin is against ip, patents, etc, AC is not, agorism is fine with communal property such as open source, or socialist communities (in so far as these things were founded under contract and no coercion was used in their foundings). agorism is a branch of classical liberalism, and/or (american)libertarianism. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).
You just described an-cap as well. I don't know of any definitions of ancap that support IP or patents, nor that exclude communal property or socialist communities so long as they are voluntary. You just described agorism as ancap! What definition have you been reading? :) (talk) 05:06, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, your argument does not necessarily prove that agorism is not a form of anarcho-capitalism. It simply differs from other anarcho-capitalist theories in certain regards. ---Cathal 19:01, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
right, and since i cant prove there is not a giant spaggeti monster in the sky one must exist? your argument is defunct you cannot argue from a negative, you bear the burden to prove that agorism IS a form of ancap. the fact that agorism is distinct in name alone bears evidence that they are in fact separate. now you claim they are the same, prove it. ive given evidence that they have differences.

I'd agree that agorism is historically rooted in ancapism. But it's paralleled, if not converged with, the mutualist/individualist tradition. Jacob Haller 21:21, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

i would argue that agorism and ancapism are both separate branches from one another but off the same limb of the individualist anarchism school of thought. i think such distinctions are important, as agorism is distinctive enough from ancapism. the ramifications for this article on where agorism directly lies in the entire anarchist school of thought are fairly large. if it is a branch OFF ancapism vs a sister branch WITH ancapism OFF indivanarchism, then the validity for agorism even having it's own article is up for debate. ultimately, the metaphorical independance of the agorist tradition from ancap influences is also threatened into a state of metaphorical hemegony of ancapism, as the distinctness of agorism is debated away and this article devolves into little more than a foot note for ancapism. while i will agree that historically agorism was partially inspired by rothbard, my point is that it is spiritually rooted in individualist anarchism. had konkin wrote before rothbard, we might very well be debating if ancapism were a branch off agorism.
Well anarchism itself developed more than once, e.g.:
  • Godwin's, from classical liberalism
  • Warren's, from early socialism
  • Stirner's
  • The Lyon Mutualists' & Proudhon's, from both early socialism and classical liberalism
  • Greene's, dependent on Proudhon but influenced by transcendentalism
  • Andrews'
  • Spooner's, from abolitionism
Since Bakunin's, Tucker's, Kropotkin's, Tolstoy's, etc. depend on Proudhon's, it's clear that many schools can come from one origin, and since Warren's, Proudhon's, Greene's, Andrews', and Spooner's, as well as agorism, share many features (features not emphasized by Bakunin's, Kropotkin's or Tolstoy's), it's clear that similar schools can come from different origins. Therefore the origins of agorism do not make it part of anarcho-capitalism any more than the origins of anarcho-communism make it a part of mutualism. Jacob Haller 22:18, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Anarcho-capitalism = propertarian market anarchism. Thus agorism is a subspecies of anarcho-capitalism. The fact that some agorists use a socialist definition of "capitalism" and like to put down (what they call) capitalism does not obviate that fact. PhilLiberty 05:20, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

By that definition, much of anarchosyndicalism may be anarchocapitalism. Chaplin's Centralia Conspiracy argues from Lockean rights, though Chaplin was exposing hypocrisy, and not arguing Lockean property vs. possession. Willard's Farmer Jones on Party Problems asserts Lockean property vs. possession, and was criticizing the Socialist Party's purge of Wobblies from its ranks. Neither work directly addresses market anarchism, but Chaplin was an anarchist, and the works show that Lockean conceptions were rattling around in syndicalist, classically-considered-anticapitalist, contexts. Jacob Haller 04:48, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Anarcho-syndicalism wouldnt be anarcho-capitalism because market anarchism advocates business-provided defense. Illegal editor 04:59, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Last month it was 'market-provided defense.' Now it's 'business-provided defense'? Anyway, defense issues define anarcho-pacifism, but not many other schools. Jacob Haller 05:27, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean? If the market supplies defense then those who supply it are businesses. Illegal editor 16:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
In "libertarian capitalist" thought, the market generally describes the entire voluntary sphere. By this definition, volunteer community militias would be market-provided but would not be businesses. The defense controversies, about pacifism, vs. community militias, vs. professional defense, can cut across different economic models. Jacob Haller 18:55, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
That's a mistaken assumption on your part. The market is whatever is being bought and sold. If I donate something to you, that's not a market transaction. That's not part of the market, and not part of the capitalist system. It's ALLOWED under the legal system that laissez-faire capitalists support but it's not part of capitalism. In the legal system that a market anarchists supports, there is not simply the market, but all kinds of other activities going on that are not market activities. But essential to market anarchism is that protection is being bought and sold. If it's all charity, then it's not market anarchism. Illegal editor 19:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Re: "If I donate something to you, that's not a market transaction. That's not part of the market, and not part of the capitalist system", this implies that if I pay you anything from a fraction of a cent to many dollars for something, that's a market transaction, and if you pay me anything from a fraction of a cent to many dollars to take something from you (toxic waste, for example), that's also a market transaction, but if the amount is zero rather than 1/1000 of a penny, suddenly it is not. It also implies that if I barter with you, giving you some valuable good or service on the condition that you also take away some toxic waste, all for a price of zero dollars, that's not a market transaction. I would argue that a market transaction with a price of zero is still a market transaction. (talk) 07:28, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Addendum: Chaplin talks about created goods but Willard talks about land itself. Jacob Haller 05:27, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

There is ample recent testimony from prominent agorists that "anarcho-capitalism" is not an accurate description of their philosophy. It's an open debate. Insistence on the term in this context is obviously POV-pushing. Libertatia 17:14, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Is there anything anarcho-capitalists support that agorists are against, or vice versa? Illegal editor 17:37, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The most prominent difference is how Agorists propose to do away with the state. They propose an effective, practical solution the problem with Anarcho-Capitalists seem to advocate some combination of education and other strategies. Also the way Agorists view society is different to that of Anarcho-Capitalists - as has been established before in this discussion. Once again though, Agorist hold different opinions to many Anarcho-Capitalists on corporations, patents and IP. -- (talk) 12:52, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, both anarcho-capitalists and agorists support education as an important element of the fight for liberty. There's really not a whole lot of difference between them, except for the fact that the agorists are staunchly against participation in electoral politics, whereas Rothbard thought that it was futile to try to forcibly overthrow a democratic government, and therefore embraced electoral politics. As for differing views on patents and IP, citation needed on that one, because Rothbard and every other anarcho-capitalist I ever heard of, with the exception of Morris and Linda Tannehill, was against IP, and I'm not aware of SEK3 being for IP either. Tisane talk/stalk 05:17, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Freenet Link[edit]

The freenet link listed doesn't seem to work, at least not from FCProxy


Question: What does it mean to "respect" collective, non-state property? Does it mean placing restrictions on acquiring property? --Onias 17:10, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, respecting property (of whatever kind) means not acquiring it as if it were unowned. Anarchists do not recognize the state as a valid owner, obviously, and "public property" normally is euphemism for "state property". The sentence in question seems to be saying that something can be property of "the community" (rather than of an individual or a partnership) without being state property, though it's not said how that can be. —Tamfang 06:15, 17 September 2006 (UTC)


This is contradictory: "Like anarcho-capitalists, and unlike libertarian socialists, they believe that private property may extend beyond current possession. Private property, particularly in land would not continue infinitely, but must actually be used in some regular capacity to avoid being considered abandoned." Isn't it? Maybe I just don't understand what it means.Anarcho-capitalism 07:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I went ahead and deleted that. If they're Rothbardians then they support property in land - not Proudhonian "possession."Anarcho-capitalism 21:15, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Well they support property in land, so long as it is used in regular capacity or it can be considered abandoned and can be homesteaded.-- (talk) 13:47, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Anarcho-capitalism and common property[edit]

The article said that agorism is different from anarcho-capitalism in that it allows for collective property. That's not any different from anarcho-capitalism. Anarcho-capitalists also allow for collective or common property. All that matters is how it is acquired.Anarcho-capitalism 07:59, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

That's not necessarily precise, because radical geoists are more or less allies of agorists and use the term "common" property in a very non-Rothbardian way. As a consequence, agorists tend to use the term "joint" property (i.e. jointly owned by several specific owners rather than an amorphous and undefined general public) in reference to what is being called "common" property here.

Then anarcho-capitalists and agorists believe in joint property - there is no difference here. The difference is that anarcho-capitalists (the more general category) do not necessarily condone non-contractual "commons" in the geoist sense, while agorists are more tolerant of such arrangements. E.g. Agorists may approve of common ownership of a watershed by people who live there, with transferability of ownership rights to people not living there (absentee owners) considered invalid. Many anarcho-capitalists would reject this arrangement as true ownership. In a nutshell, anarcho-capitalism includes both hard and soft propertarianism, while agorism favors soft propertarianism. PhilLiberty 15:13, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

IP unedit[edit]

someone replaced the second and third paragraphs which had references, with an entirely different section, with no citations or references. it had one note referencing Schulman and his book, but Schulman was a science fiction writer inspired by Konkin. It would be fair to think that Schulman might have differed from Konkin regardless of his "inspiration", Konkin outlined agorism, a scifi writer didnt. This edit should be discussed as it had attempted to replace a referenced section with weak unsubstantial claims and shoddy references. (talk · contribs)

J Neil Shuman "first disciple of agorism???[edit]

This is nonsense, for anyone who has read Konkin, or any other agorists, Shuman differs radically from the line. Shuman seems to consider himself an agorist, when in actuality, he is more in line with ancapism. The fact that someone named "JNeil" [1] is editing, and overwriting all references to Konkin "the founder of agorism" with non cited sections about Shuman's take on agorism is outrageous! JNeil is also posing as "J Neil Shuman", and no evidence to back this claim up has been presented either. If it is not Shuman editing, they are lying and all of their edits need to be reverted, if it is Shuman, his edits and claims have been to the detriment of Konkin's arguments, and the highlighting of his own. If Shuman is "JNeil", then he is attempting to turn the article into his own personal views platform. You search his edits in the history of this article, and you tell me if it is right for him to replaced referenced sections relating to Konkin's statements with unreferenced sections from a Shuman pov. ~

It seems to me that, by supporting IP, Schulman disqualifies himself from being an agorist. It seems that the article has been rewritten by someone who does consider Schulman to be an agorist, resulting in some nonsense. E.g. The second paragraph, which previously had differentiated the agorist subspecies from the main species anarcho-capitalism (equivalently propertarian market anarchism) has been rendered meaningless by giving two conditions which apply to all anarcho-capitalists. The things that make agorism different from general anarcho-capitalism are 1) rejection of IP, 2) soft propertarianism, i.e. tolerance of natural (as opposed to contractual) collective property, and 3) emphasis on "counter-economic" strategies. PhilLiberty 05:56, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

There is no "Neil J. Shuman" at issue here. There is only me, J(oseph) Neil Schulman, with the Wikipedia account "Jneil," who met Samuel Edward Konkin III in 1972, who organized the two CounterCon conferences in 1974 and 1975 in which SEK3 first spoke publicly about CounterEconomics, and who authored the first booklength presentation containing exposition on the philosophy of Agorism in my novel Alongside Night, begun in New York City in 1974, first draft completed May 1, 1976 in the AnarchoVillage, Long Beach, CA -- where SEK3 and I both had apartments from 1975 to 1984 -- first published by Crown Publishers in 1979, and first published with an afterword by SEK3 in the 1987 Avon paperback.

SEK3 himself considered Agorism to be a subset of anarcho-capitalism, and while he was opposed to IP he did not consider that a part of the definition of Agorism.

Furthermore, what distinguishes Agorism from other libertarian and free-market-anarchist philosophies -- anarcho-capitalism, propertarian anarchism, Voluntaryism, Autarkism -- is Agorism's reliance on counter-economics as the means of achieving the functionally libertarian society.

How do I know this? I was there when all this was hatched. I am a primary living source, and contributions to an encyclopedia article on Agorism from me do not require outside sources. any more than an encyclopedia article on Marxism would need outside sources to verify contributions made directly by Friedrich Engels. --Neil

you are either a self promoter who is attempting to hijack the meaning of agorism from a dead man, or are lying about your identity. you claim we are acting "orwellian" by attempting to "rewrite history", but frankly, you are the perpetrator in that. Konkin, the founder of agorism, can be quoted as being against IP, but you sir have attempted to blur the line in this article. ironically, while you who attempt to justify and argue against his points for IP, you would be one who would benefit quite a bit from rejecting IP. meaning that you're doing it now, because obviously you don't care to keep his work original. you only seem to care about using his philosophy for self promotion, and adaptating it to you own ends. you sir, are little better than another Peter Keating, if you understand the reference. ~ (talk · contribs)
I apologize for the above user who engaged in a rather nasty personal attack. He is in violation of the following Wikipedia policies:
What he should have done to support his argument is to provide a reference to a reliable source that shows that opposition to IP is part of the definition of Agorism. I do not believe that any such reference exists, and I need more than an unsupported assertion from an anonymous contributor to a Wikipedia talk page to convince me to redefine "the meaning of agorism." Guy Macon 07:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I can personally verify that J. Neil Schulman, Jneil, who I have known since 1978, is telling the truth about his relationship to the late Samuel Edward Konkin III, who I knew personally from 1978 until his death in 2004, and the original publishing dates of Neil's book Alongside Night, as I was living in the same apartment complex for some of that time. I read Alongside Night in manuscript prior to its publication, and it was as Neil describes in that form as well as in the published hardcover edition. -- Davidkevin 01:15, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Re: "I am a primary living source, and contributions to an encyclopedia article on Agorism from me do not require outside sources. any more than an encyclopedia article on Marxism would need outside sources to verify contributions made directly by Friedrich Engels. -Neil", You appear to misunderstand Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. In particular I call your attention to which states "All material added to articles on Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable published source, even if not actually attributed in the text. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions, experiences, arguments, or conclusions." and "'No original research' is one of [Wikipedia's] three core content policies." Also see and .

The preferred way for you to insert your contributions while following Wikipedia policies is to publish them in a publication (print or online) that meets the Wikipedia criteria for being notable and reliable, then to put an entry in the talk page of the article pointing to the material, and also disclosing the fact that you are not a disinterested party. I would also point out that a Wikipedia article on Marxism would not allow contributions made directly by Friedrich Engels. That would violate the Wikipedia guideline. Contributions from those who are involved in the topic can be very useful and can lead to a higher quality of the article, but care must be taken that this good information doesn't come with any unwelcome bias or point of view issues. The guidelines help to avoid such problems. (talk) 02:35, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Please see discussion about this on the talk page for the J. Neil Schulman Wikipedia page. Guy Macon 07:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

For anyone who needs proof that User:Jneil is J. Neil Schulman, go to User:Jneil.

Here are some reference pages that may be useful for anyone who in the future wishes to edit the Wikipedia article on Agorism:

{ How Far Alongside Night? by Samuel Edward Konkin III]

Agorism.Info: Note reference to Alongside Night – The classic novel of agorist revolution then compare publication dates of Alongside Night and Samuel Edward Konkin III's New Libertarian Manifesto on

A Fannish Tribute to Samuel Edward Konkin III

The AnarchoVillage Page

J. Neil Schulman's "The Heinlein Interview & Other Heinleiniana" Reviewed By Victor Koman Agorism —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jneil (talkcontribs) 10:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I am a huge huge *HUGER* fan of both authors in play here. What saddens me is people lowering the tone even on a talk page, about something that so commendable as an idea. I can't say "grow up". That would be paternizing. But effing grow a pair. The whole point of agorism is it isn't out of your pocket, if somebody benefits from a trade. Live by it, or not; your choice. Tell the whole story like you would like somebody from your perspective would like it be told, if you were in their position, and ask that people on the otherside respect the reciprocity asked for. Period. -- (talk) 19:00, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Definition of capitalism[edit]

Jacob inserted a "neutrality disputed" tag in the following.

Some agorists defect from Rothbard's standard {{POV-statement}} economic definition of "capitalism,"...

Jacob, can you explain this? What do you think is POV? Do you object to the word "defect?" Would you rather say "evolve from?" Or do you deny that Rothbard's (and Wikipedia's, and dictionaries') standard definition of capitalism concerns private ownership of the means of production (as opposed to State privilege?) I don't understand why you consider it POV. PhilLiberty 15:04, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

It's not the standard definition in the English language. Another, older, clearer definition is in widespread use alongside that definition. My best recommendation is to avoid unqualified references to either socialism or capitalism in this article, in mutualism (economic theory), in left-libertarianism, etc. Jacob Haller 04:29, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Private ownership of the means of production with a free market is not the standard English language economic definition? I'm sure that it is. That's what it says in my dictionary. I agree that it is a problematic statement unless Rothbard's definition is given. Do agorists really define capitalism as Rothbard defines state capitalism? That would be really odd. I don't see why they would have different definitions. Illegal editor 04:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, them, your dictionary ignores more than 150 uears of usage in the older sense.
A few agorists use libertarian socialist definitions. Others note the differences and aboud the terms or explain how they will use the terms. Roderick Long's Zaxlebax speech goes into this. (See definitional concerns in anarchist theory).
Roderick Long ought to actually look at definitions of capitalism. [1] They don't describe mercantilism. He's caving in to uneducate people who improperly call the U.S. a free market capitalist system, when most academics call it a mixed economy. No scholar would call the U.S. a pure capitalist system. Find me ONE definition of "capitalism" in any reference work that defines it a system of state intervention. I don't care how old the definition is. I doubt you'll be successful. Illegal editor 19:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Historical anarchist and libertarian socialist definitions of capitalism &c.[edit]

I present the following definitions and/or descriptions of capitalism or the capitalist system from anarchist and libertarian socialist sources, some of which are relevant to present-day agorism:

  • Proudhon, Pierre Joseph, Philosophy of Misery:

Capital, Mastership, Privilege, Monopoly, Loaning, Credit, Property, etc.,--such are, in economic language, the various names of I know not what, but which is otherwise called Power, Authority, Sovereignty, Written Law, Revelation, Religion, God in short, cause and principle of all our miseries and all our crimes, and who, the more we try to define him, the more eludes us.

To defend usury they have pretended that capital was productive, and they have changed a metaphor into a reality. The anti-proprietary socialists have had no difficulty in overturning their sophistry; and through this controversy the theory of capital has fallen into such disfavor that today, in the minds of the people, CAPITALIST and IDLER are synonymous terms.

  • Proudhon, Pierre Joseph, 1851, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, fourth study, commenting on Rousseau:

After having trifled with his readers thus for a long time, after having drawn up the Code of Capitalist and Mercantile Tyranny, under the deceptive title of Social Contract, the Genevese charlatan deduces the necessity of a lower class, of the subordination of labor, of a dictatorship and of the Inquisition.

  • fifth study:

Finally, its adversaries, the capitalistic, theologically [?] usurious, governmental, partisans of the status quo [?], all those indeed who live less by labour than by prejudice and privilege.

Let this course of reduction, for however small an amount, once be entered upon, and continued as slowly as you like, faster or more slowly makes no difference; then, I assert, the social tendency in all that concerns the price of money and discount, throughout the whole territory of the Republic, will be immediately changed, ipso facto, and that this simple change will cause the Country to pass from the present capitalistic and governmental system to a revolutionary system.

  • sixth study

The school of Say, sold out to English and native capitalism, the chief focus of counter-revolution next to the Jesuits, has for ten years past seemed to exist only to protect and applaud the execrable work of the monopolists of money and necessaries, deepening more and more the obscurity of a science naturally difficult and full of complications.

  • Greene, William B., Communism-Capitalism-Socialism equates Capitalism with Plutocracy.
  • Bakunin, Mikhail, The Capitalist System (not the original title):

What is property, what is capital in their present form? For the capitalist and the property owner they mean the power and the right, guaranteed by the State, to live without working. And since neither property nor capital produces anything when not fertilized by labor - that means the power and the right to live by exploiting the work of someone else, the right to exploit the work of those who possess neither property nor capital and who thus are forced to sell their productive power to the lucky owners of both. Note that I have left out of account altogether the following question: In what way did property and capital ever fall into the hands of their present owners? This is a question which, when envisaged from the points of view of history, logic, and justice, cannot be answered in any other way but one which would serve as an indictment against the present owners. I shall therefore confine myself here to the statement that property owners and capitalists, inasmuch as they live not by their own productive labor but by getting land rent, house rent, interest upon their capital, or by speculation on land, buildings, and capital, or by the commercial and industrial exploitation of the manual labor of the proletariat, all live at the expense of the proletariat.

  • Bakunin, Mikhail, God and the State:

In 1830 the wealthy bourgeoisie had definitely replaced the old nobility in the seats of power. It naturally tended to establish a new aristocracy. An aristocracy of capital first of all...

  • Bakunin, Mikhail, 1867, Marxism, Freedom, and the State:

The masses, without distinction of degree of culture, religious beliefs, country and speech, had understood the language of the International when it spoke to them of their poverty, their sufferings and their slavery under the yoke of Capitalism and exploiting private ownership; they understood it when it demonstrated to them the necessity of uniting their efforts in a great solid, common struggle.

  • Bakunin, Mikhail, 1869, The Policy of the International defines capitalism as the rule of the bourgeoisie:

And that poverty --- which is the common lot of the worker --- in all parts of the world --- is a consequence of the present economic organization of society, and especially of the enslavement of labour --- i.e. the proletariat --- under the yoke of capitalism --- i.e the bourgeoisie?

  • Most, Johann, 1883, Pittsburgh Proclamation:

the whole line of the bourgeois (capitalistic) society...

  • Spies, August, testimony:

While capitalism expropriates the masses for the benefit of the privileged class; while capitalism is, that school of economics which teaches how one can live upon the labor (i.e., property) of the other; socialism teaches how all may possess property, and further teaches that every man must work honestly for his own living, and not be playing the 'respectable board of trade man,' or any other highly (?) respectable business man or banker, such as appeared here as talesman in the jurors' box, with the fixed opinion that we ought to be hanged.

Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; does riot mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all. Anarchism, or socialism, means the reorganization of society upon scientific principles and the abolition of causes which produce vice and crime. Capitalism first produces these social diseases and then seeks to cure them by punishment.

  • Fischer, Adolph, testimony:

Capitalism now is speedily attaining its most extreme character, that is, it is develop into monopolism. Wealth concentrates itself more and more in a few hands and the misery and poverty of the great mass of people is consequently enlarging in the same degree. The rich got richer and the poor poorer. Like the ruling classes in the eighteenth century, so the same classes at the eve of the nineteenth century are deaf to the complaints and warnings of the disinherited, and blind to the misery and degradation which surround their luxuriously outfitted palaces.

  • Parsons, Albert, testimony:

In other words, his wages represent the bare necessities of his existence, and the unpaidfor or 'surplus' portion of his labor product constitutes the vast superabundant wealth of the non-producing or capitalist class. That is the capitalist system. It is the capitalist system that creates these classes, and it is these classes that produces this conflict.

The capitalist system originated in the forcible seizure of natural opportunities and rights by a few, and converting these things into special privileges, which have since become vested rights formally entrenched behind the bulwarks of statute law and government.

  • Parsons, Albert, 1887, Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis, chapter 2 "Capitalism: Its Development in the Unites States, continued:"

Political parties, no longer divided in interest upon property questions, all legislation was centered upon a development of the resources of the country. To this end vast tracts of goverment land, amounting to many million acres, equalling in extent seven states the size of Illinois were donated as subsidies to the projectors of railways. The national debt, incurred to prosecute the rebellion, and amounting to three billion dollars was capitalized, by creating interest upon the bonds. Hundreds of millions were given as bonuses to proposed railways, steamship lines, etc. A protective tariff law was enacted which for the past twenty years has Imposed a tax upon the people amounting to one billion dollars annually. A National Banking system was established which gave control of finance to a banking monopoly. By means of these and other laws capitalist combinations, monopolies syndicates, and trusts were created and fostered, until they obtained absolute control of the principle avenues of industry, commerce and trade. Arbitrary prices are fixed by these combinations and the consumers--mainly the poor--are compelled by their necessities to pay whatever price is exacted. Thus during the past twenty-five years,--since the abolition of the chattel-slave labor system--twenty-five thousand millionaires have been created, who by their combinations control and virtually own the fifty billion dollars estimate wealth of the United States, while on the other hand twenty million wage workers have been created whose poverty forces them into a ceaseless competition with each other for opportunity to earn the bare necessities of existence.

  • Tucker, Ben, 1892, Why I am an Anarchist:

To show the invalidity of the claims of State Socialism, Nationalism, Communism, Single-taxism, the prevailing capitalism, and all the numerous forms of Archism existing or proposed, is at the same blow to show the validity of the claims of Anarchism.

  • O'Neil, Pat, 1905, Speech at the Founding Convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (third day):

The attempts of present day trade unions to enforce laws preventing the employment of convicts proves again their powerlessness and makes them accessory to the crime of capitalism, heaping insult upon injury.

  • Corna & Klemensic, 1905, Resolution #20 at the Founding Convention of the Industrial Worlds of the World (fifth day):

In view of the fact that the present form of capitalism is increasing organized violence to perpetuate the spirit of despotism to predominate in this republic...

  • Revised version (seventh day):

The present form of capitalism is increasing organized violence to perpetuate the spirit of despotism

  • Bourne, Randolph, 1918, The State:

But except for these occasional menaces, business, that is to say, aggressive expansionist capitalism, had nearly forty years in which to direct the American republic as a private preserve, or laboratory, experimenting, developing, wasting, subjugating, to its heart’s content, in the midst of a vast somnolence of complacency such as has never been seen and contrast strangely with the spiritual dissent and constructive revolutionary thought which went on at the same time in England and the Continent.

  • Bookchin, Murray, 1971, Listen, Marxist!:

Writing in the middle years of the nineteenth century, Marx could not be expected to grasp the full consequences of his insights into the centralization of capital and the development of technology. He could not be expected to foresee that capitalism would develop not only from mercantilism into the dominant industrial form of his day--from state-aided trading monopolies into highly competitive industrial units--but further, that with the centralization of capital, capitalism returns to its mercantilist origins on a higher level of development and reassumes the state-aided monopolistic form.

  • Dolgoff, Sam, 1971, Relevance of Anarchism is Modern Society:

The bourgeois reformers have yet to learn that as long as these reforms are tied to the state or to capitalism, which connotes the monopoly of political economic power, decentralism and federalism will remain a fraud...

And one definition of anarchist socialism, also relevant to present-day agorism:

  • Lum, Dyer, in Parsons, Albert, 1887:

Labor, free from the exactions of speculative rent, and released from necessity to buy a monopolized medium of exchange, would offer as inducements to exertion: Opportunity to freely enjoy the fruits of industry without paying toll. Opportunity to the endless increase of wants and means to wrest from nature their supply. Opportunity to the use of all wealth had in the extension of productive activity. Opportuinity to freely co-operate to secure:

  1. . Protection and security from invasion of these natural rights.
  2. . Insurance against depredation and risks.
  3. . A medium of exchange based upon wealth saved, having social sanction, discharging social functions, and serving social ends.
  4. . The organization of labor exchanges from which profits would have fled to join rent and interest.
  5. . The organization of all forms of activity, and thus release from enforced taxation.

In short, where capital seeks labor, where supply waits upon demand, where order follows progress, where authority dissolves under the genial glow of liberty, and necessity for wage-labor disappears.

The present system offers government to defend privilege. Anarchist-socialism offers co-operation to extend opportunites. The one, in making co-operation compulsory and fostering privilege, sets a premium upon greed and culminates in tyranny. The other, in removing privilege, places a premium upon voluntary co-operation, and tends to eliminate greed.

Okay, that was me. Wikipedia logged me out while I looked these up. Jacob Haller 01:13, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

can you pull up Thomas Hodgskins' definition/use of capitalism as well? Thorsmitersaw (talk) 20:50, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

SADLY, This article is likely a good candidate for a POV flag[edit]

I say this because there is an edit war flaring up between "Jneil" and a small number of editors who feel the need to revert his changes, due to "Jneil's" self promotion, and blatant hijacking of this article. ~ (talk · contribs)

As of 24/8/2011, it appears J Neil Schulman (Jneil) has been blocked indefinitely by Wikipedia for, among many other things, conflict of interest issues, edit warring and POV editing. See his talk page for more information (Truthful Additions (talk) 03:41, 26 August 2011 (UTC))

Getting the work done[edit]

The recent edits certainly read like Neil's writing. So, while Neil has had some feuds recently with other agorists, I'm inclined to think of his presence here as a plus. The article needs to be brought into line with Wikipedia's standards, and some of the contentious points dealt with, but that ought to be possible, particularly if Neil is willing to help with the sourcing. Making too much of departures from agorist "orthodoxy" is undoubtedly a mistake, given SEK3's famous assertion that "everyone here disagrees." Libertatia 16:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Konkin DID attempt to distinguish between anarcho-capitalism and agorism in this interview. Some commentary on it from me here. Bradspangler 12:35, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

It looks like Konkin was equating "anarcho-capitalism" with Rothbard and only Rothbard. I don't think that's standard because there are many more anarcho-capitalists than Rothbard, many of who do not agree with Rothbard on everything and some who are not even remotely Rothbardian. If it's said if Konkin said his philosophy differs from anarcho-capitalism then it should be said that when he says "anarcho-capitalism" he's referring specifically to Rothbard particular version instead of all versions of anarcho-capitalism. If you look at the definition of anarcho-capitalism in the anarcho-capitalism article, agorism fits in that definition. Agorism may just be an alternative term to market anarcho-capitalism to lefties. If a lefty sees the word "capitalism" in a philosophy, he's going to diss it immediately. But if you call it something else then you might be able to convert him. Call it "left libertarianism" and its all the more marketable. This "counter economics" stuff is advocated by those who call themselves anarcho-capitalists too. It's not unique to agorism. I don't see anything "left" about counter economics or the black market. Counter economics is simply pure laissez-faire capitalism. BlackWhich 04:12, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes it appears agorism is just anarcho-capitalism under another name and calls itself "left" to attracting non-suspecting leftists to anarcho-capitalism. Pretty sneaky. Operation Spooner 23:37, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
That's my take, too - it's mainly a marketing gimmick. And a damn good one! It's anarcho-capitalism clothed in lefty jargon. But also agorism favors a certain strategy. Agorism is to anarcho-capitalism as anarcho-syndicalism is to anarcho-communism. It's the broader school plus a transition strategy. PhilLiberty 07:24, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
What about collectivist, market-collectivist and individualist syndicalists? Jacob Haller 17:38, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Agorism originally seems to have referred to counter-economic strategies, as opposed to LP-centered strategies, for market-anarchist ends. Left meant counter-economic/revolutionary strategy and right meant electoral/reformist strategy. Jacob Haller 17:38, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

That's an idiosyncratic usage of the term "left." Agorism also represents Rothbards anarcho-capitalism as not being revolutionary. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rothbard advocated the use of all non-immoral strategies to eliminate the state. He even advocated revolutionary strategies such as the workers confiscating businesses that received corporate welfare. Agorism is a less revolutionary form of anarcho-capitalism as far as I can tell. Operation Spooner 17:45, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
All usage of the term "left" is idiosyncratic. PhilLiberty 18:29, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I just read in the interview with Konkin that he says one of the reasons he chose to call it left is to "made sense to use a label that would appeal to" the New Left. So he admits that one of the reasons was for marketing, among others reasons. This article says the reasons he calls it left is because it's "revolutionary." Is there as a source for this claim? Operation Spooner 21:14, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the real thing that's being analysed here is the fact that Agorism is a fledgling philosophy. Even though it is established, I definitely do not think it has reach its full potential, so I would still put it in its infant stage. Agorism is going to develop more over time as more influential Agorists become increasingly prominent.-- (talk) 13:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


I could be wrong, but this article seems to be setting up J Neil Schulman as the sole 'other' figure in Agorism. Konkin has always been the traditional figure head of Agorism, J Neil Schulman's name only really comes up when discussing alongside night or a schism amongst Agorists after Konkins death and an attempt by Schulman to purge those who weren't Anarcho-Capitalists or market Anarchists from the movement of the Libertarian Left, resulting in them founding the Alliance of the Libertarian Left.-- (talk) 05:41, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

If you look at the history, you'll note that Schulman himself wrote much of this article; it used to read as if agorism was a joint effort by Schulman and Konkin. If you have a reliable source for anything you say, it would be most welcome so that we could correct any inaccuracies in the article. Thanks for the notice, Skomorokh 11:50, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I know of a history of the Libertarian movement hosted on Brad Spanglers blog that was supposed to have been written by a member in the libertarian movement that lead to Agorism. I could always dig around and find some more sources. Also, the schism involving the MLL and ALL is particularly well known among Agorists and left-libertarians. I think it's unwise to take Schulman's perspective as completely accurate.-- (talk) 08:43, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
This article is indeed in need for a more exhaustive presentation of the subject. Maybe if I get time I'll get editing it. Meanwhile please just source and add as much as you can. Lord Metroid (talk) 01:31, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Early publications[edit]

I removed the following from the article, and bring it here for discussion:

J. Neil Schulman, managing editor of Konkin's magazine New Libertarian at the time of its first publication in 1979, first promoted the philosophy of Agorism in his novel Alongside Night, which he began writing in 1974, when he was an editor for Konkin's magazine, New Libertarian Notes. On their cross-country automobile trip from New York to California in August 1975, Konkin and Schulman outlined a book to be co-authored by them titled CounterEconomics. When the outline and sample chapters for CounterEconomics failed to achieve a contract with an advance from a major publisher, Schulman went back to work finishing Alongside Night while Konkin devoted his energies to his own magazine publishing before eventually writing The New Libertarian Manifesto and An Agorist Primer, scheduled to be published by Victor Koman's KoPubCo, which published the most recent edition of The New Libertarian Manifesto. Before his death Konkin completed a manuscript for CounterEconomics which is also scheduled to be published by KoPubCo.

Not only is this highly repetitive and not well-written, it repeats information already covered in the origins section. Rewritten and referenced, some of this could be useful, but in its current form, it is not fit to be in the article. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 04:40, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

From User: J. Neil J. Neil Schulman

Not well written? How many awards do you have for writing, bucko? Anthony Burgess ever praise anything you've written? How many magazines have you been an editor on? How many national and international newspapers and magazines have published you?

If there's any problem with Wikipedia it's that actually having proven yourself in the real world means precisely nothing here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jneil (talkcontribs) 20:34, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Agorist class theory - where do workers fit in?[edit]

The section defining what agorists see as the social classes is nice and clear (it may even be accurate :) ) but: where are the workers? When anarchists talk about class, it's usually in terms of workers and bosses.

Now obviously this is some kind of capitalist anarchism, so there would be a difference there, but for the sake of comparison and clarification it'd be nice if someone who knows about the subject could put a line or two in saying how this compares to the more common anarchist class analysis. Chaikney (talk) 19:39, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm by no means an expert, but I think I can answer your question. ACT is divided not by economic or social class, but by the decisions each individual makes. Hence, a worker could fit into any of the classes, depending on how they act - counter-economically, neutrally, or statist. The worker/boss division is less important, as the importance comes from the personal use of resources rather than the means of acquring those resources.

I added a new section clarifying class theory. The former class theory section has been renamed Agorist view of capitalism since it had nothing to do with class theory, but rather with the agorist refinement of the nature of capitalist actors. To answer Chaikney's question, both workers and bosses are in the productive class, assuming they are not employed or subsidized by the State. If they are, then they are part of the parasite class. PhilLiberty (talk) 16:56, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
If someone wants to challenge whether David Hart, The Radical Liberalism of Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer is a worthy citation, here is where to do it. Don't simply delete something without a reason. PhilLiberty (talk) 02:52, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

"where are the workers? When anarchists talk about class, it's usually in terms of workers and bosses." the division of workers and non workers is sort of asinine. Agorist class theory does not divide people simply upon what they do but on the ethical grounds which they do it. Similar: the class theory used by the likes of Nock (the economic class, and the political class) was concise and did not make room for 'the workers' because it didn't have to, because it did not MATTER. Thorsmitersaw (talk) 20:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

JSTOR, etc.[edit]

I notice agorism has zero JSTOR hits, and not a whole lot of Google Scholar hits in general. It seems like it's going to be hard to write a very comprehensive article about agorism, because the academic community just hasn't published a lot of citable work on this subject. Tisane talk/stalk 19:58, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Anarchists and Law[edit]

From the article: "Most anarchists — that is, anti-capitalists who oppose profit-driven markets as well as the nation-state — find the notion of anarchist "law" and "security" peculiar[citation needed], as such concepts are normally attached to a statist police force". This shows nothing but some ignorance of laws history developing outside of the state to resolve disputes between persons and codify the means in which to do so along with establishing certain social norms. Whats more is i do not believe the view of law as solely a product of the state is 'normal' among anarchists, there is a distinction between law and the law as it is, that I think many anarchists recognize. As for security, conflating that with a police force is just asinine. There is no parallel to draw between the two. This portion of the article seems like a fly by night interjection by a critic/hater of agorism and ancaps in general. Thorsmitersaw (talk) 20:55, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Agorism is not a branch of anarchism[edit]

This page was earlier written as though agorism were a branch of anarchism. I have found no [reliable] source that says this (although Konkin and most agorists are certainly anarchists). I guess this is why there's no "agorism" link in the anarchism sidebar, but there is an "agorism" link in the libertarianism sidebar. As far as I can tell, what makes agorism what it is is its method of achieving results--counter-economics. If there's a reliable source that says agorism is necessarily anarchist, then I'd like to see it. However, even if this link is supplied, it could still be argued that someone who wants to employ counter-economics to achieve their ends is an agorist (as this was a unique point of view on how to achieve ends when Konkin first articulated it). The original Konkin text (where he coins the term "agorism" and gives his take on it) states that the ultimate goal of agorism is "bringing about a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges – a free market." However, what a "free market" means is variously defined by sources. Whether or not a "voluntary society" can apply to anarchy is also a highly controversial matter. Also, the original Konkin text never (unless I missed it) provides a clear definition on what he regards as a "state" or "anarchy" or "anarchism".

Another problem is that there's so little written about "agorism" out there. Terms are often variously defined by sources. For example, this site currently lists David Kelley as an Objectivist more-or-less because he insists he is. If there are various sources which provide different definitions of what agorism is, then there's no official definition of what it is regardless of how it was originally defined (this applies to "anarchism"). I'm not aware of any other reliable sources for what "agorism" is other than the Konkin text, but considering that this is just what one guy wrote and not a philosophy encyclopedia or something, it seems pretty suspect to me to define "agorism" as a branch of anarchism because of what one person says about it. Byelf2007 (talk) 23 January 2011

I agree that agorism is not a branch of anarchism, but rather a means of change. However, agorism is defined in this article as advocating the creation of "a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges", this sort of society is inherently anarchist. Voluntaryism in practice is always anarchism; something is "government" if it is coercive, if it is not coercive (if it is voluntary) it is something else. Because of this I believe that agorism, as defined in this article, is inherently a way to transition to an anarchist society, and not anything else.--NickJVR5000 (talk) 00:41, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

what is a statist capitalist?[edit]

I know very little about this topic, so can't accurately edit it myself- but the third column on the section on Konkin's theory doesn't tell me what a 'statist capitalist' is- only that it is evil and bad. A definition would help readers know what it means (not jsut what Konkin's opinion of them is). WotherspoonSmith (talk)

Presumably it means those who rely on anti-competitive legislation to protect their market share; this includes those whose principal customer is the state. —Tamfang (talk) 04:13, 28 January 2013 (UTC)