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Against the IFP

Centralizing control over a currency’s infrastructure is a seemingly obvious mistake.

One would think any Austro-libertarian worth their salt would be able to see thru such a charade. Yet here we are, again. Face to face with economic illiteracy. Not garden variety lefist economic illiteracy, but one far more stinging and painful - one which comes from within our own community, rather than from without. 

First, Bitcoiners faced the economic illiteracy of maximalism and small blockers. Attempts to masquerade money’s primary function as value storage (Ammous) or rejecting Menger’s Regression Theorem altogether (Szabo) are luckily demonstrably false. Nevertheless, the shock of our fellow Bitcoiners illiteracy was like an unexpected slap in the face. Suddenly, we were forced to confront the fact that the ignorance of our allies in the fight for sound money, had led them astray. Yet, thru BCH we were thankfully able to keep Satoshi’s dream of peer to peer cash intact. 
Well, crypto anarch…

A Primer on Homesteading for Agorists

The decision to homestead is similar to a country declaring independence. When America was young, they actually had a pretty decent understanding of freedom. A minuscule tax on tea and stamps and a few cops parking themselves around was all it took for the early Americans to realize “No, you will not rule us, you have no authority here.” Although we suffer far more state intrusion than they ever did and we accept most of it, the most powerful way to subvert their power and reduce their ownership claims on our lives that they can do nothing about, is in adopting the mentality of a homesteader.

Homesteading is typically thought of as a family getting land and living off grid, raising animals and growing plants to produce as much as they can for themselves. In future articles I could expound on why this stereotype exists as it follows naturally from what I am about to tell you if there is interest. I could also go into traditional homesteading content, let me know in the comments what you want to hear about - but for my first article, I think it’s important to go over the absolute basics; something anyone can benefit from.

The shift in consciousness that needs to be made is to declare independence in your life from those who would rule you just as a country would. You are sovereign regardless of what any power would have you think. If you do this, whatever means available to you can be thought of as your homestead. True, the state is present and they do indeed violently prohibit peaceful individuals from doing as they see fit in many cases, but several facts remain: A.) There is no place on earth where you have more freedom and ability to act on your will and participate in the “game of your choosing” as in your own home, even if that freedom is not perfect. Whether that is your apartment, house, or cabin in the country, this is a simple fact. B.) there are some things we can control, and others we can’t. This is also self-evident. As agorists, we seek to use every bit of freedom available to us to further increase freedom for ourselves and for others. Thus, it seems natural that we should leverage the very thing that we can control the most and have the most freedom in, to accomplish this goal. This is the act of homesteading.

Imagine homesteading as declaring independence once again. When the US did this from Britain, they envisioned the future spelled out in the declaration of independence and the constitution. This was a fairly noble goal, even if it turned out not to work. Since it failed and we do not have freedom, we must also declare independence, even if under the radar. The effects that ripple out from this are profound. Your “homestead” exists whether you have declared independence or not. Your homestead can be thought of as all you possess- your life, liberty and property; everything within your direct control that has an effect on your life. If you envision your life or homestead as a business, you would want it to be profitable. Making money via wages is fine, but I believe it resonates in the human heart that producing an actual good that has value, whether that be digital, physical, or otherwise, and “exporting” that good to other homesteads in voluntary exchange is very meaningful.

A way to understand this mentality is to compare it to those “civilization” video games. As the sole decision maker for your country, you want it to be as self-sufficient as possible. Ideally, you would develop the resources available to you so that you do not have to import as much and can export more to make more profit. The best build in a game like this would provide 100% of it’s own needs and create extra to sell to other players. If other people do not want to transact with you, it would be their loss, not yours. We can imagine our lives the same way. Although the 100% self sufficient life is impossible, the more we produce, the less say the state gets on what we do with it, and we can trade with like-minded individuals for the rest. This would be true sovereignty- not accountable to anyone because you can only be controlled indirectly. This is the exact reason why things like 3D printers and crypto are so subversive. The state has no direct control over you.

The effect this way of thinking has on our lives is profound. The mentality of a homesteader is to take stock of your life and ask: 1.) What is something that I want or need- can I produce it myself? If yes, how? If no, how can I get this in as violence free a way as possible? 2.) what is something I can uniquely produce? If there is something, how can I transact with this yield in as free a way from state violence as possible and if there is nothing I currently produce, what can I strive towards? Each individual must provide their own value to the world; this is the secret sauce to making markets flourish. Life is an infinite game, and there are niches to be filled that we can’t even imagine because they don’t even exist yet; they are waiting to be discovered by some entrepreneur who can not accept the way things currently are. We are all called to be that entrepreneur- to create something from nothing and make the world better. Even if it is small, there is some true yield anyone can produce that others will value.

Everything we produce for ourselves in the privacy of our own home is 100% tax free, unregulated, unsupervised, and as free as we want to make it. Everything we trade for with other like-minded individuals is the same. To homestead is to choose to find your place in the “free economy” and ideally, provide for everything you need outside of the auspices of the state paid for with the free market outputs you produce. If we fail to do this, we can only expect to import products tainted with layers upon layers of state violence and theft. Every transaction you make that is regulated, taxed, or otherwise controlled only goes to prop up the state. We cannot accept this.

The reason homesteading is so subversive to the state is obvious: the state can only control you indirectly. They have not yet stolen enough resources to monitor each citizen directly. They can only control you indirectly, by methods they can detect. It’s easy to limit a cooperate box store from selling McNukes™, not so easy to stop a lone black market salesman. The reason is the lone salesmen has offered no exposure- they have chosen to maintain the full privacy of their homestead and offered nothing for the state to scrutinize. If you work with what you can control and where you have to most freedom (your homestead, by definition), then everything that occurs on your homestead, whether that be digital, physical, social or otherwise, will have as much state exposure as you are willing to allow (which hopefully is 0).

It is possible, although difficult, to discover or even create this kind of economy in your life. We must start with declaring our own independence and show others the beauty of this lifestyle by embodying it. We must use whatever means available to us to gain more freedom. As peaceful individuals, no one has the authority to tell us what we can create or import into our homestead. Even the most benign transaction, when performed with a homesteading mentality, echoes freedom throughout our lives and those who we transact with. Homesteading is the most fundamental aspect of agorism and one we can all embrace regardless of position in life.

Be sure to follow the author @m_r_j_smith on Twitter!


  1. I found this a very helpful reference :

    For all those who travel the hard road, you are not alone.

  2. Excellent article. I wanted to point out that there is no intrinsic link between imports (to your homestead) and state interference. I don't share your appreciation of self-sufficiency because knowing agorists who can provide what i'm not so good at making allows me to be more productive making what I'm great at making, and this more efficient. "Voluntaryist sufficiency," I think, is a better goal, and the one toward which I strive.

    1. Blogger won't let me post as the author of my blog, so there is the link.


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