A couple of people have asked me:
FSK frequently criticizes anarcho-capitalists as pro-State trolls. Aren’t anarcho-capitalism and agorism the same thing?
I consider “agorism” and “free market anarchism” to be equivalent. Agorism and real free markets are the “One True Version of Anarchy”.
The fallacy of “anarcho-capitalists” is that they fail to answer “How will the State be eliminated?” They assume that the State will gradually shrink and then voluntarily shut itself down. This will occur by voting, which is the usual (L)libertarian fantasy.
How is a failure to answer “How will the State be eliminated?” make it fallacious? There is no assumption, just no explicit component to the philosophy. Perhaps because to claim any one method is the surest or only way is highly suspect and limiting. Agorism provides a set of steps which if carried out could bring about a the State’s destruction. Little more than libertarian black market, Fabian strategy style. Agorism is more then anything a tactic. One of many theoretical means to ending the State. An explicit means to an preexisting end.
And to lump Libertarianism and libertarianism into a single basket is just as fallacious as claiming the “usual” fantasy of those isms is to vote away the State. Lowercase ‘l’ libertarianism applies to a rather large range of philosophies. Both anarchist and not. Propertarian and not. Besides a belief in the non-aggression principle (ignoring consequentialist vs. deontological differences) there is nothing more to libertarianism.
Anarcho-capitalists sometimes defend large corporations as a natural free market occurrence. Large corporations cannot exist without State subsidies.
How can the author possibly know that? We can say they won’t have the State subsidies to make them that big, we can say that they won’t be corporations in the way they are now due to state intervention but how can anyone claim to know to what size a business can or can not get to in a freemarket? How can one claim that a business would be unable to provide for their customers so well, through efficiencies of scale and division of labor, as to be as large as some businesses now? They obviously wouldn’t exist in the same capacity or for the same reasons.
Anarcho-capitalists defend the current State. They say “We should obey State regulations for now. In the present, the State has legitimacy. The State is evil, but we need it right now.” Anarcho-capitalism is a pro-State philosophy of anarchy.
I’m glad the author know what all ancaps everywhere think and defend. As an ancap and a friend of ancaps… I have never made such statements or hear such statements as above. Anyone who would is not a libertarian ancap.
An agorist says “The State has zero legitimacy *STARTING NOW*.
As mentioned before an proclaimed ancap isn’t an ancap if they claim the State has legitimacy.
We will ignore all the stupid taxes and laws that restrict our productivity. We will boycott the State as much as possible, but a perfect 100% boycott is not feasible in the present.”
All? Doubtful. It is improbable to get 100% outside the taxation of the state. The second sentence admits as such and therefore the first sentence is negated by it. And what does “as much as possible” mean? A rugged individualist anarcho-primitivist is likely to tell the agorist that using State built and controlled roads is completely avoidable.
An agorist wants the State to get bigger and more inefficient and then collapse, instead of gradually shrinking and disappearing.
I’ve never read that as the explicit goal of agorism. The point of grey and black market agorist action is multifacited. To undermine the state’s “business” by providing alternatives (leading to shrinkage of the State hopefully) and grow successful enough as to provide free market defense against those who would still call themselves the State. It would seem that wanting the State to grow before collapsing is akin to desiring people to get harmed. You can say that such a situation would work in favor of free market anarchism but to want it is anti-libertarian if we agree that the growing of the State would lead to more infringement of liberties.
If you call yourself an anarcho-capitalist and aren’t a fool, your beliefs will be similar to those of agorists. However, the people who call themselves anarcho-capitalists tend to fall into the usual (L)libertarian intellectual trap.
If you advocate the State you aren’t an ancap. If you are an ancap then of course your beliefs are similar to an agorist. Many, including Konkin, consider agorism to be an evolution of Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist philosophy. Konkin describes agorists as “strict Rothbardians… and even more Rothbardian than Rothbard [himself].”1
This is the problem with using labels over descriptions. I prefer to substitute definitions for what they actually mean, especially when there could be confusion.
While I don’t completely disagree… labels exist for a reason. They are a shortcut to having to explain everything every time you discuss a topic. When diving deeper into a topic one must always lay down specific definitions otherewise you end up arguing semantics endlessly.
If you aren’t an idiot, when you refer to “anarchy” or “market anarchism”, you mean what I call “agorism” or “really free markets”. I frequently see people calling themselves anarcho-capitalists with pro-State troll false beliefs. Whenever possible, substitute labels for what you actually mean, to avoid confusing.
If you call yourself an anarcho-capitalist and you aren’t an idiot, you’re beliefs will be the same as what I call “agorism”. However, I see a lot of pro-State trolls calling themselves anarcho-capitalists.
Gets a little ad hominem and repetitive here.
Agorism is the only philosophy that answers “How can the State be eliminated?” and “What will the replacement look like?”
I doubt that’s true. I’m sure some Fabian socialists were anarchists. However, even if true I fail to see why a means should to be married to the end or what benefit it provides. It is difficult enough to maintain an idea of an end with changing understandings of life and economy (mutualism for example). Adding to that the need to justify a means seems excessive and unnecessary.
If lots of pro-State trolls start calling themselves agorists, then do I have to find a new name for my philosophy?
If you want to dilute the waters I suppose. Those who wish to minimize your impact and undermine your message will attempt to steal words and redefine them. It’s a great tactics that has been use for hundreds of years if not longer. It is a way to keep you on the run. To make you waste your time with semantics and definitions. There is little that can be done about this tactic but running away from definitions does not seem to me a reasonable attempt at a solution. If a word is misused then make a point to correct that person who does so. I have found it far easier to point out the true meaning of a word and explain that it has been usurped by those who either don’t understand it or are out to discredit it rather then dispel the misunderstanding and introduce a new work in addition to describing it.