“Where the State pardons, Libertarianism accuses” – S.E Konkin III
When Samuel Edward Konkin III finally penned down his “New Libertarian Manifesto” it was on a backdrop of in-fighting within the freedom thirsty movement of the United States back in the 1970s, with the start of the in-fighting being (arguably) the creation of the Libertarian Party.
The whole first chapter covers a small and very minimal summarization of these events, from Konkin III’s point of view, and its an important piece of historical context to the book itself. The chapter gives enough information and names for any eager person to continue to dig through the backstory on their own, but it is severely lacking in detail as its presented within “New Libertarian Manifesto”.
“Most damaging of all to this perfectly free society is its lack of a mechanism of correction. All it takes is a handful of practitioners of coercion who enjoy their ill-gotten plunder in enough company to sustain them – and freedom is dead.” – S.E Konkin III, on Robert LeFevre vision of a free society.
Leaning on other thinkers past work, such as David Friedman, Rothbard, and Mises, Konkin explains an internal (in-group) solution to how to create a sort of juridical system, how to compensate victims of crime and misdeeds.
Konkin present his theories on this matter in a logical and simple manner, making it easy to follow his train of thought on the topic – And its a great summary of a much larger and complex body of work (mainly made by Friedman), taking the essential parts and serving it up to the reader.
Sadly, any idea on how to handle external (out-group) force or coercion is never touched upon within the realm of his theory, but I’m guessing that is because that is a topic so long into the future that it wouldn’t be productive to try and solve that sort of problem at the moment.
“Any attempts to force a solution against the wishes to both parties violates
Libertarian principle. So a “shoot-out” involving no risk to third parties is acceptable – but hardly profitable or efficient or even civilized (aesthetically pleasing) save to a
few cultists.” – S.E Konkin III
The meat of the “New Libertarian Manifesto” comes from Konkin’s ideas of Counter-Economics: Slowly depriving the government of taxable resources and starving out any false authority that way by creating markets outside the states reach. Using economics as a tool toward a peaceful revolution, “If everyone abandoned ‘legal tender’ for gold
and goods in contracts and other exchanges, it is doubtful that even taxation could
sustain the modern State”.
Konkin predicts that the state will try and hit back on these kinds of tactics and he underlines the need for counter-economical protection services – Ways to keep the transactions secret, the anarchist industries hidden and practical ways to guard against the establishment thugs. With the rise of BitCoin and blockchain-technology, we just got a simple way of hiding transactions.
“Going from an agorist society to a statist one should be uphill work, equivalent to a
path of high negative entropy in physics. After all, once one is living in and
understanding a well-run free society, why would one wish to return to systematic
coercion, plunder, and anxiety?” – S.E Konkin III
WALLY CONGER: AGORIST CLASS THEORY
Konkin was neither a rightist kook nor a commie. But his theory of
ruling classes and class structures remains today a brilliant libertarian
alternative to tired Marxist theories of class struggle. And that theory
may serve as the foundation upon which to build a strong, revitalized
libertarian” – Wally Conger, from the foreword.
“The Agorist class theory” is the second book within-the-book and its outlines how Konkin thought about classes, edited and support-written by Wally Conger and its a fascinating separation from the more famous Karl Marx’s class theory. A part of the book even has a section with Marxist Problem and countered with an Agorist Solution.
It has a great, historical look on several aspects of classes and its a fast read, but many red threads to follow into other historical books for the extra interested reader and its a good supplement to the “New Libertarian Manifesto”. If you are interested in more about Agorist class theory, Sal the Agorist made a terrific podcast episode about it over at Soundcloud.
I highly recommend anyone that is interested in Libertarian philosophy to grab a copy of the book to digest an underappreciated way to achieve freedom and figure out if its something for you.
Get a copy of the books here:
Paperback Version with both Books (Via Amazon)