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Derrick Broze

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April 1, 2013


Agorism is a revolutionary libertarian social philosophy that advocates the goal of the bringing about of a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging in a manner with aspects of peaceful revolution. It was first proposed by libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III in 1975.[1]


Civilian militiamen stand guard. (Photo: Keith Miller/Global Post)

Civilian militiamen stand guard. (Photo: Keith Miller/Global Post)

On Monday March 25th volunteer community forces took control of a town on a highway in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Numbering in the hundreds, they arrested local police officers and searched homes after  one of their leaders was killed.

The self-described “community police”  were stopping traffic Wednesday at improvised checkpoints in the town of Tierra Colorado. The Associated Press reported that several of these men opened fire on a car headed to the beach. They arrested 12 police and the former director of public security in response to the slain leader.

Corruption and violence have run rampant while the Mexican government has struggled to come up with solutions.

The President  of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, has promised to focus more on the robberies, extortion and violence that affect ordinary Mexicans. While the government is attempting to focus on local policing matter, the citizens are not sitting around waiting for help.

In El Mezon, a Mixtec indigenous village75 miles northeast of Acapulco, the people have taken to creating their own community protection. In an article on the GlobalPost, Evert Castro, a municipal councilman ,says:

“The federal and state governments haven’t been able to do anything, And we don’t have the capacity to fight these criminals. So the people got tired and decided to act on their own. We see this as a good thing.”

The  Tlachinollan human rights organization spoke positively of the rise in community protection agencies. According to the groups website, “The justice system is neither efficient nor trustworthy. This is one of the fundamental reasons why the strategy against organized crime has failed.”

The Tlachinollan continues:

“Today the organized people of the Costa Chica realized that the security forces and justice organs don’t do their job but on the contrary collaborate with the organized criminal bands. For that reason [the people] have decided to provide security and justice according to their own systems.”

The founder of one of the community forces, Placido Vaerio weighs in on the farmers situation, “We are going back to the fields but we are not going to give up our weapons. We are going to start building a system of justice.”

These types of situations are likely to increase, not only in Mexico but in the European Union where the economy continues to tumble. Whether it be Cyprus, Spain, Greece, or Mexico the formula will be the same.

The government wanes in influence and economic power.

Programs to band aid the failing economy are implemented, robbing the people little by little.

Basic services that many have relied upon began to be taken away.

Police forces are cut and the military grows in power.

At this point there is an opportunity to be seized. As we see in Mexico the people will create alternatives to keep their communities safe. When the government fails new strategies can arise in the free marketplace of ideas.

In the New Libertarian Manifesto Samuel Konkin III wrote about the demise of the Statist majority and the increase in Agorist pockets. Agorism involves creating alternatives to what the state offers.This includes the ideas of Counter-Economics and use of the black and gray markets.

 This also includes destroying the monopoly on force and violence that modern day police forces maintain. To do this Konkin imagined that technology could help increase the people’s access to freedom based solutions and create alternatives to compete with the State rather than fight within the system.

By providing a better alternative in the market you provide the community with a solution. This encourages competition and the eventual disruption of state monopolies of all kinds. In chapter 4 of the New Libertarian Manifesto Konkin outlines possible phases in the process of becoming an Agorist society. He describes phase 2 as follows:

“Most agorists are imbedded in the rest of society and associating with them are partially converted libertarians and counter economists. In order to reach this phase, the entier society has been contaminated by agorism to a degree. Thus it is now possible for the first “ghettoes” or districts of agorists to appear and count on the sympathy of the rest of society to restrain the State from a mass attack.”

Have we reached this crucial point? I believe Agorism is a transitional method towards a more free society and eliminating many of the problems we face in our world. This includes a failed government that engages in crime against it’s own people. By creating alternatives in the areas of food production, community protection, currency, and self-governance we become more free in our lives both now, and in the future.