Episode 309 – Solutions: Agorism

by | Oct 20, 2015 | Podcasts | 9 comments

Many people have their own theory about the way the world should work, but few combine it with action. Today on The Corbett Report we explore the writings of Samuel Konkin, and how his central idea, agorism, combines the theory and practice of freedom through counter-economic action. Agora! Anarchy! Action!

For those with limited bandwidth, CLICK HERE to download a smaller, lower file size version of this episode.

For those interested in audio quality, CLICK HERE for the highest-quality version of this episode (WARNING: very large download).


New Libertarian Manifesto (YouTube playlist)
Time Reference: 0:15
New Libertarian Manifesto (pdf)
Time Reference: 1:22
Samuel Edward Konkin III bio by Jeff Riggenbach
Time Reference: 03:34
“Agora” in The International Dictionary of Historic Places: Southern Europe
Time Reference: 06:01
An Agorist Primer
Time Reference: 07:16
Robert Poole and Samuel Konkin: What is a Libertarian?
Time Reference: 23:50
A Map of the Weirdest Sex Laws in the United States
Time Reference: 28:12
Agorist cab service succeeds thanks to Bitcoin
Time Reference: 29:55
What Uber (and Taxi) Drivers Think About the Politics of Ride Sharing
Time Reference: 30:25
Can You Use Bitcoin for a Tax Haven?
Time Reference: 31:02
Silk Road Back Online After FBI Shutdown
Time Reference: 31:54
Episode 303 – Solutions: The Peer-to-Peer Economy
Time Reference: 33:32
“undercover anarchist” by 1nvisibleman
Time Reference: 52:20


  1. A lot of these talking points are a liiiiittle more mirror-universe-world Maoist, authoritarian and revenge-minded than I’m comfortable with.

    “Statists apprehended pay restoration and if they live long enough to discharge their debts(!), are re-integrated (“re-educated?”) as productive entrepreneurs. (Their “training(?)” comes automatically as they work off their debt.)

    What kind of “statists” are we talking about? Dick Cheney? FBI agents? Some sour old woman that works down at the Social Security office? Somebody who voted in the last election or paid taxes? Apprehended by whom and on what authority? (There’s that word.) Clearly in a voluntarist society, the class of people being rounded up (can’t believe ‘libertarians’ are even talking like this) is not going to volunteer to be subject to the jurisdiction of the “free-market arbitration and protection agencies” that will be doing the dragnetting.

    I mean, James – are you not the least bit creeped out by any of these quotations?

    • Iiiii don’t think I missed nothin’, homey – it’s right there in their own manifesto as a part of their endgame scenario.

    • Genuinely curious and not trying to be snitty – do you advocate any change in the ruling structure of society at all, then? Do you believe such a thing to be de facto impossible, or even undesirable? Is your interest in our man JC / the alt-media generally one of just knowing how the various scams work in order to avoid and/or personally profit from them as your interests dictate? I ask because one rarely sees someone with a genuine understanding of how the world really works ultimately in agreement with the power elite’s ideology, which is, of course, “might makes right.”

  2. Hi, the link is dead to the smaller mp3 file size for this podcast

    • Thanks for letting me know. The link has been corrected so the file should be working now.

  3. Better watch out for those free boxes. It’s a CIA plot.

  4. I watched the linked debate between Poole and Konkin and feel that SEK absolutely crushed it, for the most part, and find it a perfect example of the road to the status quo that is the usual fruits of consequentialist thinking, as James has often pointed out.

    On the other hand, I remain thoroughly creeped out by SEK’s vision of the ultimate fruits of his own movement. For one thing, I’ve never seen the notion of “private arbitration & protection companies” fleshed out in any serious way, and I find the idea that such institutions will wither away with the coming of the New Anarchist Man, rather than, say, form a regime largely indistinguishable from a state, to be rather naive. For another, it’s very difficult to square a vision of anarchist liberty with rhetoric and talking points one might expect from, say, the Weather Underground. I think SEK’s hatred, othering, and collectivizing of ‘statists’ got away from him on this one. I mean, I sometimes fantasize about drinking enough ayahuasca to apotheosize into some kind of Dr. Manhattan figure and hadouken Fort Meade and Goldman Sachs’ headquarters too, but I try not to let such things bleed into my serious political philosophy.

  5. Phew! Thank you so much anacardo01.
    For once the comment section gives me solace.

    While I admire Sam Konkin’s boldness in publishing such a manifesto, and agree with many of his observations, his ultimate solution violently disagrees with me, and as with others here, it sets alarm bells ringing in my mind.

    We can all recognise that states, like governments, consist of people behaving according to sets of conventions, procedures and traditions. They are not supernatural forces of evil. Shouldn’t we point out the basic objectives that we share with government employees, rather than alienating all those who apparently support the state by branding them mortal enemies? I have a suspicion that humanity has a massive, unknown debt of gratitude owing to myriad minions of tyrants, who by following their individual consciences, have mitigated some of the worst excesses of government, throughout history.

    For me the non-aggression principle is as logical yet worthless, as the argument that if there were no guns, then nobody would ever get shot. Obviously, if everyone, everywhere was decent and honest all of the time, we would have very few problems.

    I’m repulsed by the attempted guilt manipulation that resembles “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Apparently, we must all choose one side or the other. To polarise society is to court civil war. We must subscribe to the fantasy of a world where organised crime is impossible due to the predominance of non-aggressive free-marketeers, or we are personally responsible for all the horrors inflicted by every empire, state, kingdom, fiefdom and gangland since the beginning of time. Like much of JC’s listener-ship, I distrust all binary polarisations. You are either an enlightened libertarian or you are a monterous statist. Surely, we allowed a few other options!?

    I laughed in delight at the idea that once I move to Indiana or South Dakota, every erection will become an agoristic act of non-violent defiance; a revolutionary contribution to ejecting the ruling elite. Sadly, we were later told that such activities don’t count unless they are consciously agoristic. I have reasons to doubt whether my one-eyed-advisor, has a conscience!

    Evidently, Sam’s utopia has a new priest class; those who are fully radicalised and “maintain purity of thought”. I wonder who he envisages having sufficiently sanitised minds and what privileges they will enjoy.

    The three frontiers for activism that I can identify are:
    1. Information gathering, organisation, corroboration and sharing. (JC does this very well)
    2. The design, construction and improvement of independent (from any state) systems of survival, communication, interaction, trade, organisation, defence, security etc.
    3. The gradual usurpation, sabotage, co-option, de-funding, boycotting etc. of the dysfunctional establishment, until it eventually becomes powerless and obsolete.

    For me, the only justifiable purpose for human society, is for mutual survival and the enrichment of one another’s lives. This is the antithesis of ordering civilisation for the empowerment and enrichment of a few by deceiving, exploiting and oppressing the many.

    The key problem I find with the voluntarist ideology, is that it only safeguards justice for two parties who have exactly equal powers of influence and coercion. It denies the responsibility of third parities, who I believe have a duty to intervene on behalf of those who are weak, vulnerable or frightened; and to restrain people while they are acting irrationally, due to emotions temporarily overriding their reason.
    “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere”. Consequently, this brand of anarchism has no intrinsic immunity to the utopia being destroyed by the first psychopath, lazy or greedy person who has the sense to form a gang and enjoy the fruits of other people’s labours while doing nothing but mischief themselves.

    We need to develop robust ways in which the best aspects of human behaviour are encouraged and rewarded, while we embrace our shared responsibility to keep domination and exploitation in check.

    Having followed some of the evolution of JC’s beliefs, and financially supported his work for many years, I am confident that with the help of other sharp minds such as Sibel Edmonds, he will outgrow his present flirtation with the impractical, immature, dishonest, non-solution expounded by the Konkin, Passio et al cult.

    Alternately, I and the other agoraphobic dissenters, can be dismissed as mentally debilitated victims of our statist indoctrinations.

    P.S. Thank you James and all your guests for all the diverse food for thought and inspiration for actions. You are a genuine marvel!

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