Skip to main content

The Trouble With Dave Smith

  On the issues, Dave & most agorists can find agreement 99 out of 100 times, but as libertarians we have a habit, a pastime - a duty even, to seek out & argue over the 1% of things we don’t agree on. In keeping with that tradition friends, I've got to tell you, when it comes to strategy, Dave Smith seriously fumbles the ball. The fundamental issue is that @comicdavesmith is interested in creating libertarians, whereas agorists are interested in creating liberty. Dave has a classic case of @perbylund ’s Savior Complex - the irrational desire of individualists to save the collective whole of society. There are lots of problems with this, but even if creating libertarians is a worthy goal, does that mean the Libertarian Party is the best vehicle to accomplish this task? Has anything the Libertarian Party ever done caused even a slight retreat of statism? Dave rightly points to his own success at spreading the message of liberty. It's true, no one - save Ron Paul or Tom

Technological Agorism Part II: Infrastructure Disintermediation






If knowledge is power, then those with data are King.

In this context, it’s easy to understand why Columbia University professor Alexis Wichowski has coined the term “net-state.” As she writes in this Wired article, “Net-states are digital, non-state actors without the violence.”

Ahh, music to the agorist’s ear…


"We reject Kings, Presidents & voting. We believe in: rough consensus & running code."
-David Clark, MIT Professor 


The superpowers of net-states; tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook & similar firms, have become so powerful that they're beginning to out-compete governments in the provision of basic infrastructure, from power grids to telecommunications & public transportation. Indeed, it should come as no surprise that governments, being incapable of efficiently providing the most basic infrastructure, roads - will be poorly equipped to compete in the fast-paced, high-tech, digital age. This high-level disintermediation strikes at the very heart of the state. It deprives them of their bread & butter, so to speak.




Importantly, it also indicates that we’re beginning the transition into the 3rd phase of the agorist revolution. As Konkin notes in The New Libertarian Manifesto, the 3rd phase will be marked by the first glimpses of parity between the state & the Agora: “the resources of the economy approach equality between the state and the Agora.” As we'll see below, this parity is beginning to take shape.

In her new book, Information Trade, Wichowski contrasts the federal government's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico with that of the private sector. Immediately following the storm, the entire island lost electricity & 95% of cell service went out. In total, it's estimated that more than 4,500 people died. Unsurprisingly the long neglected state-owned power infrastructure had been entirely destroyed.

As different levels & branches of governments argued amongst themselves over who was responsible for rebuilding the power grid, Elon Musk and the governor of Puerto Rico reached a tentative agreement over Twitter to refit the island with independent solar & battery systems.



In his book, Tools and Weapons, Microsoft President Brad Smith explains how the market has naturally incentivized that firm to provide free broadband infrastructure to rural American communities. A greater degree of broadband connectivity will enable Microsoft to expand its reach to previously inaccessible communities & market a secondary layer of products to them.

By doing so, Microsoft is assuming the functions and responsibilities once reserved exclusively for state actors. Smith freely acknowledges that by undertaking this project, Microsoft is taking a page right out of FDR's playbook. Roosevelt's expansion of the electrical grid flew in the face of the economic concept of timing, but this time around, it's the market & not the state taking the lead.

"Net-states” have even successfully defended the American public from targeted attacks on domestic infrastructure from our own government. For example, in the wake of the Snowden leak, it became apparent that the NSA was tapping into undersea fiber-optic cables belonging to American tech firms. As Smith recounts, “The reaction at Microsoft & across the industry was swift. In the weeks that followed, we & other companies announced that we’d implement strong encryption for all the data we moved between our data centers on fiber-optic cables.”

Thus, net-states are no longer competing with governments passively, but are now actively resisting government interference in market affairs. 





In 2018 more than two dozen tech firms led by Facebook & Microsoft signed a digital Geneva Convention, which declared that they would not help any state - including the US government - to launch cyberattacks on “innocent civilians and enterprises anywhere.”

Tech firms are standing up to states & competing in other non-traditional sectors as well. SpaceX has already replaced NASA’s shuttle program. Elon Musk’s other venture, the Hyperloop, promises a degree of efficiency several orders of magnitude greater than current public transportation models. Indeed, the examples are endless.

In any case, for the agorist, this is a welcomed and expected trend. We look forward to the increased living standards and improved quality of life that accompanies the death of a state monopolies.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear America, I Won't Be Locking Down

Dear America I won’t be locking down, not that I ever did. And I don’t care about the arbitrary mandates of a geriatric pedophile with a history of dementia. I don’t wear the muzzle or social distance. Nor do I have any plans to start. I won’t be avoiding friends or family & I actively seek out large public gatherings. Needless to say, it’ll be a cold, cold day in hell before the government injects my living body with a foreign substance or keeps me from my family on Thanksgiving Day. You see, I knew from day one that COVID was a hoax. More specifically, when videos of Chinese people dropping dead in the streets were being broadcasted by Western propaganda outlets, it became clear this was essentially a soft coup. As a general rule, anything coming from the CCP should immediately be assumed to be intentionally falsified for malicious purposes. Friends, what has happened is obvious. The political cartel has manufactured a virus because fear enables them to seize power & furthers

Against the LP

Agorism has no room for politics.  The Agora & political institutions can coexist no more than a state of marriage & bachelorhood can coexist. Counter-economics & politicking are likewise mutually exclusive. Frankly, it should seem obvious that engaging in politics & anti-politics is contradictory & self-defeating. It wouldn’t make much sense to get chemo in the morning & smoke a pack of Marlboros in the evening, so why would one seek to destroy the government today, and empower it tomorrow?  Just as a chemist who tests a logically inconsistent theory will experience failure, so too will social scientists & revolutionaries experience failure when they pursue inconsistent theories.  Note that without exception - every gain made by the liberty community in the past 15 years has been produced by the counter-economy & that no other faction of our movement can claim even a small victory . Here’s a brief look at the scoreboard: Whereas the LP & small gov

In Defense of Left Libertarianism

Marx was right, but Marxism is stupid. Let me explain… Marx’s fundamental critique that the working class is being exploited by the upper class is true. This is so inherently obvious in the modern political climate that I find it bewildering the notion even needs defending. In fact, today, the working class has been so thoroughly exploited that they can now be more accurately termed the working poor . Go to Manhattan, the neoliberal shithole from whence I came - and try to find a worker who both lives & resides there. You can’t. There aren’t any. The elites have successfully used a combination of high taxes & a denial of civil liberties to expel the working class from their homes. Trust me, I am among the expelled. The anarcho-capitalist habit of turning a blind eye to class theory is a grave mistake, as it sweeps real concerns under the rug. In doing so they dismiss the plight of an enormous contingent of the public - labor. No, we agorists aren’t seeking an abandonment of met