Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

The best word to describe yourself?

rated by 0 users
This post has 22 Replies | 6 Followers

Top 100 Contributor
Posts 849
Points 17,125
Ego Posted: Thu, Mar 27 2008 2:23 PM

In this thread, MacFall said that he describes himself has an "agorist". That word promotes discussion (no one knows what it means) and it doesn't come with any baggage like "anarchist" or "libertarian".

Personally, I love the word "capitalist". It shows a non-hatred of profits, but that word doesn't emphasize the freedom-aspect of free-markets, plus it doesn't promote any discussion like "agorist".

Are there any other words that don't sound like they are related to "agriculture"? I think "agorist" is a great word, and I wouldn't mind using it... I'm just wondering if there is anything that sounds a bit more catchy.

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

  • | Post Points: 65
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

It's not true that noone knows what agorist means. It's a rather specific faction within market anarchism that was started by Samuel Konkin in the 70's. Just wiki it, or go to the official agorist website or Brad Spangler's blog. Agorism is not a mere replacement word for libertarianism or anarcho-capitalism. It specifically refers to a strategic outlook towards achieving the goals of them, one that is explicitly opposed to political parties and electoral politics. The idea is to employ economic secession as the primary strategy.

I'm not trying to talk down to you or anything, because obviously you haven't heard of the term until now. 

Anyways, as to your question, I've seen quite a few different words libertarians use to describe themself. Voluntaryist is one, although I think this is too broad and doesn't sound that good. And using confusing or largely unheard of words like "polycentric order" doesn't help either. So I'm not sure if there are any adequate words to substitute. I tend to just call myself a market anarchist, and then use other descriptors for sub-categories within that broad paradime (such as agorist, left-libertarian, anarchist without adjectives in my case).

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 849
Points 17,125
Ego replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 2:56 PM

I looked it up after I saw MacFall mention it... but yeah, I hadn't heard of the word "agorist".

Could you elaborate on the difference between agorism and anarcho-capitalism? From what I read on wikipedia, agorism simply is a belief that all transactions should be voluntary.

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

thecapitalist:

I looked it up after I saw MacFall mention it, but yeah, I hadn't heard of the word "agorist".

Could you elaborate on the difference between agorism and anarcho-capitalism? From what I read on wikipedia, it simply is a belief that all transactions should be voluntary.

Sure. Anarcho-capitalism or market anarchism is an end. Agorism is a strategy or means towards reaching that end (as well as being armed with its own unique class analysis). Agorism rejects involvement in political parties, voting and running for office. Agorism is not a belief that all transactions should be voluntary, it is a belief that the means towards reaching a voluntary society should be persued through the market itself, especially those sections of the market that are most shunned by and far removed from the state (I.E. black and grey markets). It is supposed to involve a multiple staged process in which a critical mass is built until eventually the market itself essentially outcompetes or absorbs the government. The risk factor is obviously high in the early stages and perpetually lowers as critical mass is built up. Agorism is not an overnight strategy, it is actually long-term.

Many anarcho-capitalists are not agorists because they still support participation in the political process as a strategy, such as the enthusasiam for and involvement in the Ron Paul campaign and the Libertarian Party. Wheras Agorists are highly critical of the Ron Paul campaign and dissavow the Libertarian Party. Agorists may also tend to have a bit of a different emphasis on alliances, being more allied with libertarian and anarchist elements on "the left". Agorists appear to be more in line with Rothbard ala 1970's as compared to Rothbard ala late 80's and early 90's. Rothbard did seem to grow more conservative as he aged, and switched his alliance more towards the paleo right. He also explicitly denounced anti-voting sentiment as misguided and naive. One of the few areas I have rather strong disagreement with Rothbard on is strategy.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 849
Points 17,125
Ego replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 3:15 PM
Thanks for the explaination, that would firmly keep me out of the agorist camp. I wasn't a fan of the Ron Paul campaign either, but that's because I don't like the idea of running candidates (for any party) that have no chance. I firmly believe in running electable candidates, so I guess I'm back in square one as it comes to choosing a word.

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,175
Points 17,905
Moderator
SystemAdministrator
I am an agorist, but I will usually refer to myself as a market anarchist or radical market/classical liberal.

 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,221
Points 34,090
Moderator

 Off topic:

I disagree that RP was not an electable candidate, but then again, I disagree with pandering towards some vauge, mainstream concept of "electability" overall. 

What I do agree, however, is that his campaign was not nearly organized enough to make it further than they have or did.  It helped highlight the power behind grassroots, internet campaigning; but also the limits of a simply un-organized campaign, as well.  They also made the grave error of ignoring the race baiting allegations brought up by the Newsletter controversey, as well as the more recent, race-baiting post cards concerning immigration. 

The campaign was actually serious that if you ignore a problem, it would go away.  I was also dis-heartened by the fact of the following post regarding the deeper, possible backstory regarding the Newsletter's here: http://fusionistlibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/01/rockwell-rothbard-race-war.html.


Back on Topic:  

I also agree with what I've read concerning Agorism; it also helped me further see the correlation between economic & personal freedom.  I'm not sure what I would label myself though, as such a pre-mature label will probably change in the coming year as I read more.

The best label I can give myself right now would be a "student of libertarianism's assorted philosopy, principles, & literature."; although I'm also reading into objectvism, post-statism, panarchy, & polyarchy.  

I'm still green around the ears, so we'll see in about 6 months to a year.

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 8:43 PM

thecapitalist: One need not agree totally with "plumbline" agorism to be an agorist. There is a general acceptance by the community of anyone who favors economic secession as the means of opposing the state. I, for example, do not agree with SEKIII's class analysis, and while I don't think that political strategies are viable methods of reform, I am not hostile to libertarians who choose to vote. I'm voting for Paul myself in the PA primary, although I won't vote in the general. As was pointed out earlier, agorism refers more to the strategy than to a particular philosophy. When I say I'm an agorist, I mean it in both senses (the latter to an extent) - but that doesn't have to be true for everybody.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 849
Points 17,125
Ego replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 9:23 PM

Off topic: Incrimentalism has worked a little too well for both the right and the left in this country, but especially for the left. I don't see why the same can't be true for ancaps. It's frustrating having the only contenders be collectivists wearing different color ties.

 

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 9:27 PM

Incrementalism would only work if the state were not regarded as "legitimate" and "necessary". Because they are so regarded by the majority of the people, the grade slopes in their favor - sharply. Revolutions are never fought by a majority. If a majority ever favored revolution, it would not be necessary - and then incrementalism would work. 

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 45
Points 1,185
snliii replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 9:38 PM

In one word??  hmm...

I would consider myself as the "***" 

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 9:46 PM

The Triple Asterisk? Is that your secret identity?

 

Can you fly? 

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 31
Points 585
javier replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 10:30 PM

Brainpolice:
The risk factor is obviously high in the early stages

to say the least.  when I read konkins libertarian left alliance manifesto or whatever he called it, I just thought 'wow, the state will use this as a justification to stick bar codes on our foreheads'.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Thu, Mar 27 2008 10:42 PM

It was the New Libertarian Manifesto. And yes - it is important that the countereconomy become too big for the state to squash before it attracts notice. Not as hopeless as it might sound when you consider that, as Konkin pointed out, everybody is already involved in it to some extent, and the fact that it will be mostly grey market and quite decentralized will make it REALLY hard to stamp out, or even to effectively disrupt.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,056
Points 78,245

MacFall:

It was the New Libertarian Manifesto. And yes - it is important that the countereconomy become too big for the state to squash before it attracts notice. Not as hopeless as it might sound when you consider that, as Konkin pointed out, everybody is already involved in it to some extent, and the fact that it will be mostly grey market and quite decentralized will make it REALLY hard to stamp out, or even to effectively disrupt.

Right. Considering that the very existance of such black and grey markets is a product of the failure of the state to stamp out those activies and services in the first place. It isn't really possible for them to truly stamp them out in a complex and dynamic society. The more complex it becomes, the harder it is for a central institution to truly control (think the calculation problem).

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,221
Points 34,090
Moderator
Nitroadict replied on Fri, Mar 28 2008 12:01 AM
Brainpolice:


Right. Considering that the very existance of such black and grey markets is a product of the failure of the state to stamp out those activies and services in the first place. It isn't really possible for them to truly stamp them out in a complex and dynamic society. The more complex it becomes, the harder it is for a central institution to truly control (think the calculation problem).




I agree on this; however, wouldn't numerous wars and/or de-population ease the possible problems of having 'x amount' of a population engaged in the act of counter-economics, thereby easing the problem of the "calculation problem" ? 

I'd imagine nuclear war would solve this, despite the massive collatoral damage  a Government  would have to give & take.  Then again, I guess it depends on how organized people are, as obviously some type of evacuation or mass migration could occur with advanced warning... 

I'm not saying it's futile at all, but I am saying some people (such as Kissinger), would be slimy enough to realize such a grim solution to massive rebellion.

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 31
Points 585
javier replied on Fri, Mar 28 2008 12:18 AM

Brainpolice:
Right. Considering that the very existance of such black and grey markets is a product of the failure of the state to stamp out those activies and services in the first place. It isn't really possible for them to truly stamp them out in a complex and dynamic society. The more complex it becomes, the harder it is for a central institution to truly control (think the calculation problem).

They might not have stamped them out completely but they have also grown their own powers because of it.  Look at the war on drugs.  The state would try to enslave us all before it would ever become obsolete.  This would inevitably lead to violence.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 45
Points 1,185
snliii replied on Fri, Mar 28 2008 5:14 AM

I

MacFall:

The Triple Asterisk? Is that your secret identity?

 

Can you fly? 

 

 

hah...

Well, I typed in Libertarian with three ***

perhaps it censored me because I'm a pseudo neo-con

"national" defense was the first, th esecond was established courts, the third was a bad word...  =) 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 126
Points 2,410

 Conservative/Libertarian for me.

If you are rather "strictly" Libertarian, I'd suggest the term: Propertarian. The problem with liberty or freedom is that it  can pretty much mean anything, and too often it means libertinism i.e. disregard for the property rights of others. Property is a much more cleaner term, much easier to understand, I think it's better to use it instead of liberty.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 849
Points 17,125
Ego replied on Fri, Mar 28 2008 3:41 PM

That's a good point, Miklos, but I'm not ready to concede the word "liberty" to the left just yet. ;)

When individuals have liberty, they are not controlled by other individuals, so the idea that I have the "liberty" to enslave someone really doesn't make sense. 

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 946
Points 15,410
MacFall replied on Fri, Mar 28 2008 4:33 PM

Brainpolice:
Right. Considering that the very existance of such black and grey markets is a product of the failure of the state to stamp out those activies and services in the first place. It isn't really possible for them to truly stamp them out in a complex and dynamic society. The more complex it becomes, the harder it is for a central institution to truly control (think the calculation problem).
 

Aye. For that reason, I somewhat agree with LeFevre's prediction that the state will one day become obsolete and go away. Or as I'd put it - people will realize its obsolescense. I think that a vibrant countereconomy will help that to occur much sooner than it would otherwise, but it will happen someday. As I've said before, statism will be removed from the production of law and defense as leeching was removed from the practice of medicine. Although, the ejection will need to be much more forceful at its conclusion, I predict.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 126
Points 2,410

I'm afraid the problem is not only with the Left but also with the Classical Liberalism - or the way Classical Liberalism is understood today. Classical Liberalism is generally understood as something like "You may drive as fast as you want but if you hit somebody, you have to pay the damages, so it's up to you to regulate yourself." 

But I think this is totally different from a Libertarian system properly understood. In a properly understood Libertarian system simply whoever owns the road, sets the speed limit. 

In a properly understood Libertarian system there is not guarantee life will be generally more free in the vulgar sense i.e. freedom to do whatever you want. Owners would set their own rules and we cannot really tell how relaxed or how strict those rules would be. Probably UK night clubs would have as annoyingly stiff dress codes as they have today, for example :-)

 This is why I'd emphasize property instead of liberty or freedom.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 849
Points 17,125
Ego replied on Fri, Mar 28 2008 7:35 PM

I consider myself anarcho-capitalist, but I don't see why things would be all that different.

Keep the "government" in place, just remove its ability to initiate force. In other words, it now becomes voluntarily funded, it can no longer control wages and prices, and it can't enforce its monopolies. On the other hand, people would still respect basic laws and the main difference would be our (tremendous) economy.

 

As an aside: how do you define "liberty"?

Don't allow leftists to play games with definitions! Some of the libertarian-leaning leftists at this forum will try to redefine "left-wing" back to its original defition (Third Estate, limited government, free-markets, laissez-faire reforms, etc.). Fine! We non-leftists can't stop them from using their own personal definitions; they can use whatever labels they want to describe any concept they want.

However, they have the audacity to then use their personal definition of "left-wing" (remember, the original definition, which is no longer valid) to prove that modern leftists are more libertarian than modern rightists! They will say that libertarianism is "inherently leftist" (again, using the original, no longer valid definition), and use that to insist that we should prefer and side with modern leftists over modern rightists.

Question their motives.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (23 items) | RSS