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L. Neil Smith's
Number 582, August 8, 2010

"You knew I would"

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Honouring SEK3
by Jim Davidson

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Samuel Edward Konkin III, or SEK3 as he was affectionately known (and often signed his e-mails), was born 8 July 1947. As the father of agorism, his work in creating new understanding should be more widely known.

SEK3?s ideas are among those being taught and promoted at Individual Sovereign University. Our promotional slogan for 2010 is "Guidance on the path to agorism." Many of us are very familiar with Sam's work and associates. My own contact was limited to a very brief e-mail exchange with Sam near the turn of the millennium.

In reviewing our condition, SEK3 wrote, "We are coerced by our fellow human beings. Since they have the ability to choose to do otherwise, our condition need not be thus. Coercion is immoral, inefficient and unnecessary for human life and fulfilment. Those who wish to be supine as their neighbours prey on them are free to so choose; this manifesto is for those who choose otherwise: to fight back."

The strategy of agorism seems, to me, to contrast with the failed strategy of political reform and the dubious strategy of violent revolution. We have seen that counter economics was a significant factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union. I think that collapse played a significant role in the essentially open economy of China today—the PRC won't be failing because its official economy can't keep up. (China seems to be following the Soviet approach in repressing samizdat, which was another major factor in the end of the Soviet empire, I believe.)

Political reform has obviously failed utterly. Why? Well, the people who get to divvy up $3.8 trillion in stolen and borrowed money, this year (and about $1.5 trillion in borrowings in excess of deficits over the last two years) as well as hundreds of billions at the state and local level do not think the system is broken. They like it the way it is, and are going to fight, often using dirty means, to keep it the way it is.

Violent revolution seems to be tempting to many, including Tom Woods who appears now to be pushing the nullification/secession rituals without any concern for the vast effusion of blood we may anticipate from these strategies. Unfortunately, as the Athenians and many others learned, a league strong enough to overthrow a tyrant may become dangerous itself to liberty. Certainly the American revolution was betrayed within about a decade of the Articles of Confederation. So one has to wonder what sort of thing would be powerful enough to replace the USA government without being even more dangerous to our freedoms.

Agorism avoids these options by rejecting political action and avoiding the state. It also fulfils the admonitions of Laozi and Etienne de la Boetie, among others, to withdraw support from tyranny rather than trying to confront it directly.

Laozi pointed out, about 2500 years ago, that people do not need rulers. "Therefore the Sage says: I take no action yet the people transform themselves, I favour quiescence and the people right themselves, I take no action and the people enrich themselves...."

Murray Rothbard, a key influence on SEK3's views on politics and economics, wrote of Laozi, "If it was hopeless to try to disentangle society from the oppressive coils of the State, then he perhaps assumed that the proper course was to counsel withdrawal from society and the world as the only way to escape State tyranny."

One of the key followers of Laozi was Zhuangzi who epitomised the idea of withdrawing from the state with his response to an offer of office and money from the emperor, "Don't sully me, I would rather roam and idle about in a muddy ditch, at my own amusement, than to be put under the restraints that the ruler would impose. I will never take any official service, and thereby I will satisfy my own purposes." Rothbard quotes Zhuangzi saying "There has been such a thing as letting mankind alone; there has never been such a thing as governing mankind [with success]." In fact, the world simply "does not need governing; in fact it should not be governed."

But it is. Why? Well, there is that $5.3 trillion to divvy up. Consider the average congress critter. He lives well, gets lots of goodies from lobbyists, has lots of nice meals, dines high on the hog. The average congress critter has a net worth in excess of two million dollars. The "rank and file" member makes $174K plus, and the speaker of the house over $223K. Meanwhile the average American, if he's employed, makes $46K and has a negative net worth because his home is worth less than the mortgage on it, his car is worth less than the note on it, and he has credit cards and student loans more than he can manage. The average American is a slave to debt, a peon to the congress critters who feast on his blood like leeches.

Another great author who recommended withdrawal from the state was Etienne de La Boétie. Writing about 500 years ago, he said, in part:

    Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! Dictators work havoc. You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death.

    He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own?

    How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves?

    You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows— to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check.

    From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.

So it is in this tradition that Individual Sovereign University seeks your support, your knowledge as a teacher, your enthusiasm as a student, your finances as a freedom enthusiast, your sponsorship as a private enterprise to teach the lessons of agorism. Agorist class theory, the golden economy, the differences among the red market and grey market, how to lessons on forming your own enterprise, avoiding the state, living free—all these are the subject matter we seek to share.

But is it all about withdrawing, hiding, making do with less? It is not. Going underground is a temporary expedient as the state generates its own destruction.

Moreover, the golden economy is one of the key tools in bringing down the institutions which oppress us. For free market money has gone cryptographic. It is now increasingly easy to use. You can now make an economic transaction, complete with discussion, negotiation, and exchange of value, with another individual that cannot be detected. What the state cannot detect, it cannot prohibit, it cannot regulate, and it cannot tax.

Here are some of the choices now available to you in free market money. In physical silver, Ron Helwig has developed Shire Silver. Karen Emery has developed Del Valley Silver. Other choices exist. provides an account-based system redeemable for gold in Zurich with PGP-encryption for all messaging traffic to and from the account. Their SCI and APIs are extremely secure. To my knowledge, no one has ever cracked a Pecunix ...user account, and that includes quite a few users who haven't even worked out how to log in. (smile)

eCache provided a very secure token based system redeemable for gold in a number of countries. It was all being done with meshmx and TOR last I looked. However, I was not engaged to conduct an audit of any of their vaults, due to the small amount of funds in current circulation.

Public Key Transaction Processor is one of the most cryptographically secure of the new systems. is one of the most flexible of the new systems (since 2007). Patrick added PGP secure commo some time ago (2008?) and Bill St. Clair has been developing Trubanc based on Loom ever since. I have in fact audited the gold in one of the vaults used by a secure issuer with Loom.

If you google "Open Transactions" + "fellow traveler" (use the Yank spelling) you should get a link to a message recently released into the wild about a cryptographically secure transactions processor. Note this is software, no vaults yet that I know of.

The voluntary economy is here, and it is rising in the shell of the system which has come unglued and is collapsing all around us. We are putting "paid" to the demands of the petty tyrants who think they run our lives.

Or as SEK3 wrote, in his conclusion to New Libertarian Manifesto "We witness to the efficacy of freedom and exult in the intricate beauty of complex voluntary exchange. We demand the right of every ego to maximize its value without limit save that of another ego. We proclaim the age of the Market unbound, the natural and proper condition for humanity, wealth in abundance, goals without end or limit, and self-determined meaning for all: Agora.

"We challenge all who would bind us to show us cause; failing proof of our aggression we shatter our fetters. We bring to justice all who have aggressed against any, ever. We restore all who have suffered oppression to their rightful condition. And we destroy forever the Monster of the Ages, the pseudo-legitimized monopoly of coercion, from our minds and from our society, the protector of aggressors and thwarter of justice. That is, we smash the State: Anarchy.

"We exert our wills to our personal limits restrained only by consistent morality. We struggle against anti-principles which would sap our wills and combat all who physically challenge us. We rest not nor waste resource until the State is smashed and humanity has reached its agorist home. Burning with unflagging desire for Justice now and Liberty forever, we win: Action!"

Agora, Anarchy, Action!

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Jim Davidson is an author, entrepreneur, and anti-war activist. His 1990 venture to offer a sweepstakes trip into space was destroyed by government action as was his free port and prospective space port in Somalia in 2001. His 2002-2007 venture in free market money and private stock exchange was destroyed by government action in 2007. He's going to Mars if he has to walk. His second book, Being Sovereign is now availble from Lulu and Amazon. His third book Sovereign Self-Defense will be released for Kindle soon. His fourth book Being Libertarian will be available for free download as a .pdf, being a compilation of all his essays and letters in The Libertarian Enterprise since 1995. Contact him at or He and his associates at Individual Sovereign University are planning a series of concerts and celebrations of freedom around the world. One of these events is 4-6 March 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.

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