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|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia. (January 2013)|
Agorism is a 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, with contributions partly by J. Neil Schulman.
Agorists consider themselves market anarchists, while many characterize it as a form of left-libertarianism. Agorists generally oppose voting for political candidates and political reform. Instead, agorists stress the importance of alternative strategies rather than politics to achieve a free society. Agorists claim that we can achieve a free society more easily and sooner by employing such alternative methods such as education, direct action, alternative currencies, entrepreneurship, self sufficiency, and most importantly "counter-economics". Agorists consider their message to be scientific because science is an appeal to reason, which they believe is only possible in the Agora or free market. Agorists believe that State backed, regulated and funded science is illegitimate.
Konkin developed a class theory which includes entrepreneurs, non-statist capitalists, and statist capitalists:
|entrepreneur||non-statist capitalist||statist capitalist|
|innovator, risk-taker, producer
the strength of a free market
|holders of capital
not necessarily ideologically aware
"relatively drone-like non-innovators"
|the primary beneficiaries of government controls
"the main Evil in the political realm"
Konkin claimed that while agorists see these three classes differently, anarcho-capitalists tend to conflate the first and second types, while "Marxoids and cruder collectivists" conflate all three.
Konkin's treatise New Libertarian Manifesto was published in 1980. Previously, the philosophy had been presented in J. Neil Schulman's science fiction novel Alongside Night in 1979. Ayn Rand's example, presenting her ideas in the form of a work of fiction in Atlas Shrugged, had inspired Schulman to do likewise. Konkin's afterword to the novel, "How Far Alongside Night?", credited Schulman with integrating the "science of counter-economics" with Konkin's basic economic philosophy.
“Konkin’s entire theory speaks only to the interests and concerns of the marginal classes who are self-employed. The great bulk of the people are full-time wage workers; they are people with steady jobs. Konkinism has nothing whatsoever to say to these people. To adopt Konkin’s strategy, then, would on this ground alone, serve up a dead end for the libertarian movement. We cannot win if there is no possibility of speaking to the concerns of the great bulk of wage earners in this and other countries.”—Murray Rothbard
Konkin responded to Rothbard's criticism.
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