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Weathering With You: An Agorist Perspective

If someone asked you what your favorite emotion was, how do you think you’d answer? For many people, I suspect they would answer “Happiness”, “Joy'', or some variant of exclusively positive emotion. Someone may think more meticulously and answer with “Contentment”, which while a positive emotion has a lot of nuance attached to it. However my answer to that question is what I feel others would consider more orthodox: Bittersweet. Pleasure accompanied by suffering, not exactly most people’s first pick but from my perspective pain is necessary in order to enjoy the pleasure that life gives you. Perhaps I'm over-romanticizing but there’s something to desire from looking back fondly at times where you were hurting and seeing yourself in a better place in the present. Perhaps you finally have moved on from “The one who got away” and can look back on those times with fondness. Perhaps you are sharing stories of a friend or family member at their funeral and though they may never w

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 methodological individualism, but rather the recognition that group dynamics can be consequential & informative.

That’s about all Marx got right.


Although he correctly identified the plot of the play, he miscast its characters. The true antagonist in the story of class theory is not the capitalist entrepreneur, but the parasitic political class.

Far from exploiting the worker, the capitalist entrepreneur serves the worker. He or she does so in a number of ways. First, if a socialized or worker-owned entity wishes to undertake some enterprise, they must first delay their own consumption of goods & services in order to save the capital needed to acquire the requisite resources. Then, they must labor in their production for some unspecified amount of time without compensation, in the mere hopes that whatever product they turn out is marketable. The entrepreneur, who has already undergone the painful experience of delaying consumption, & is thus now flush with capital - expends these resources so that workers who are unable, or unwilling to delay consumption, are relieved of that burden. More still, the capitalist entrepreneur provides a form of economic insurance to the working class. If Starbucks has a couple bad years, baristas still get paid, no?

No entity in all of history has exploited labor more so than the Federal Reserve. One who accepts counterfeit bank notes in exchange for their labor, makes themselves a slave to the counterfeiter. This much is logically true, yet the claim stands on empirical grounds as well. In 1964 the minimum wage was 5 silver quarters, or $1.25. Today, those 5 silver quarters are worth ~$20. To whom has this difference been redistributed? Entrepreneurs or the banksters, politicians & lobbyists who compose the political class?

Not to worry. Agorism fixes this.


Those who exchange labor for non-inflationary assets are more likely to see their wealth appreciate over time. By exclusively working for gold, silver or cryptocurrency, workers can assure that the upper class is unable to exploit their labor. In other words, agorism has already realized & addressed the plight of the worker by enabling alternative means of exchange. Thank you Satoshi!

First, we encourage all members of the working class to extricate themselves from the chains of wage-slavery & to develop entrepreneurial side hustles. In the meantime, negotiate sound monetary compensation with your employer. Entice them with a slightly lower rate - as the deflationary aspect of sound money will more than compensate your losses. If your employer refuses, consider BitWage. Bitwage is a market oriented solution to this very problem which enables individuals to receive all or some of their wages in digital assets.

Don’t fall prey to either the lackadaisical attitude ancaps have toward class theory, or the divisive & envious identity politics inherent within Marxism. Agorism cuts a middle path, acknowledging the binary class division in a way that’s consistent with sound economic & moral principles.
 

Comments

  1. Dear Sal,
    I enjoyed your article very much, but I think you confuse "Capitalism" and "Freemarket Principles." It is not unique to you but it is a theme in many libertarian circles to conflate the two. However Marx coined the term "Capitalism" and described it as an economic system based on the money power, as Henrich Pensch would describe it: "state sponsored usary." The very name capitalism means an economy of financialization. Marx would go on to state that capitalism was a transition period to socialism and I would have to agree with him for a debt and usary based economy defintely leads to socialism and communism; which is central bank control of everything.

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    1. To add to what you said Ryan, Marx's use of the term "exploitation" is more technical than the moral sense many assume. For Marx, "exploitation" describes the fact that the capitalist appropriates the surplus value in production. It's a separate question as to whether the economic transaction between capitalist and wage laborer "serves" i.e. benefits the laborer - presumably it serves both parties since they voluntarily engage in it. The point is that wage labor can both "serve" and "exploit" the laborer simultaneously because the two terms refer to different attributes of the transaction.

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    2. @Andy M you are repeating the nonsense long debunked LVT and surplus value derived from it .

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  2. Quite US centric, I live in India, it was the lower/working class that resisted change/economic liberalization till 90s which later made India much more prosperous and created the middle class. And still opposes any kind of more free market economic reforms, country still ranks 120 in economic freedom index, capitalists with all their cronyism still made us much prosperous, made internet/other utilities much cheaper. 60% population is agrarian, and about 80% supports socialism( not just like US millennial - healthcare and education but literally state owning most sectors) .
    "Marx’s fundamental critique that the working class is being exploited by the upper class is true... The elites have successfully used a combination of high taxes & a denial of civil liberties to expel the working class from their homes. " A great part of that denial of civil liberties and exploitation has not just came from elites but also been because of the working class support for most of those policies at least here in India and probably even in US, given by the fact labor unions supporting minimum wage, regulations, high taxes etc are part of the working class.
    Why shouldn't I dislike the lower class instead or maybe both them and cronies?

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    1. @pc
      India literally was/still is a caste system for thousands of yearsof that doesn’t scream exploitation I don’t know what else will. There are a lot of reasons too dislike people: mask wearing for instance, but have some mercy for the ignorant and uneducated who just don’t want to go hungry for the night.

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    2. @Ryan where I said there wasn't caste system.

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  3. New to this school of thought...agorism seems to be a kind of leftist libertarianism, a virtual contradiction in terms. I don’t know how agorists can reconcile their libertarian beliefs in inherent individual freedoms with their disdain for naturally forming hierarchies. Is frustration at being on the lower tier financially what is driving this philosophical incongruity?

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