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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Agora I/O

George Donnelly organized an "Agora I/O" conference this coming weekend. It seems interesting.

(George Donnelly gets an SEO fail. If you google "agora io", his website is #4. He spread himself out on too many domains. He would have been better off doing

He got a lot of speakers! Actually, "too many speakers" can be a problem. People are overwhelmed with too much information.

I know some of the speakers from other contexts.

Nina Paley is a critic of copyright law. She used some old songs in a movie. It was a huge headache and cost, to secure legal permission to use the songs. Now, she's very critical of copyright law.

The correct answer is "Intellectual property is not property!" This applies to copyright, patents, and trademarks.

Larken Rose spent time in jail as a political prisoner. He publicly questioned the IRS. He said "The income tax is illegal, due to a technicality." He was prosecuted and convicted in a sham trial.

As condition of his "Supervised Release" from jail, Larken Rose was ordered to file amended tax returns. Larken Rose pointed out the irony, that the judge ordered him to commit perjury, by falsely claiming his income was taxable.

Larken Rose seems to be a serious anarchist now. He's good at explaining "Government is one big criminal conspiracy!" Having spent time in jail as a political prisoner, that gives him extra anarchist credibility. However, I never heard Larken Rose advocating for agorism before.

In that sense, Larken Rose is half-correct. Larken Rose knows that the State is one big criminal conspiracy. I haven't heard him mention agorism as a resistance strategy and as an alternative to the State violence monopoly.

I wonder if people in the anti-State movement are converging towards agorism? It's more promising than anything else I read. "Tax protesters" are better off practicing agorism, rather than trying to win in a corrupt State court. An agorist would be an idiot to file a zero return or exploit other "tax protester" tricks. You should deal in cash/gold/silver, directly with your customers, and avoid using the State banking system. (Tax collectors can use bank records to reconstruct your taxable income. Don't use a State bank if you're a serious agorist! For this reason, a secure agorist banking system is needed.)

I've been following Marc Stevens' website a little. He's more focused on fighting the State in State court. I haven't seen Marc Stevens heavily promoting agorism.

I read a lot of Brad Spangler when I first got interested in agorism. I'm interested in more advanced material now.

L Neil Schulman (not to be confused with L Neil Smith) is an agorist fiction writer. (Ironically, L Neil Smith also is an agorist fiction writer. Famously, L Neil Smith got into a copyright infringement dispute with the Shire Society, when their "Shire Declaration" was similar to content from his book. I found it amusing and hypocritical.)

Overall, Agora I/O seems worth investigating. I'm only going to watch the "best" stuff. I don't have time to watch everything. George Donnelly has some interesting speakers.

If someone else looks into it, let me know what stuff is worth watching.

My biggest complaint is "too much content". I don't have that much time to spend on it. I'm only interested in the best few speakers.


Anonymous said...

A marketplace with too many options is your biggest complaint?

I'm LOLing.

dionysusal said...

Marc Stevens talks about building the agora all the time on his show, and gives ideas on how to go about it. He’s even talked about tax resister insurance. He doesn’t really focus on “fighting in State court”-- he simply tries to help people repel vicious bureaucratic attack so they can be left alone, and you have no choice but to do it on their turf.

Anonymous said...

A 4% tax is levied on buying a house in the United Kingdom. 4% on a million pounds house is 40, 000 pounds.

This will take an average working man years and years to save up. You might be able to save a few thousand pounds a year. So this represents 13 years of savings.

Nobody can afford the stamp duty on moving houses and so it just gets added on to a mortgage. Banks win. Governments win.

The trouble is that people can no longer afford to move houses.

So if a man loses his job he can't afford to sell his house and move into a new area.

Excessive government taxes on everything place a huge drag on the economy.

Now a man either has to give up work or travel hundreds of miles to work. What a waste of fuel and time?

But the thicko, short-term clowns in government don't care. Just so long as they and their banker friends are in the money.

Eventually the system will collapse. But politicians only think about their term and kick problems into the long grass.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing is that the fools in the UK government wring their hands over the long-term unemployment. The decent guy Ian Duncan-Smith is sent to investigate welfare dependency.

People stay unemployed because of stupid high taxes on selling your house and buying another house near where your potentially new job is.

People can't move to new jobs because of the stupidly high taxes.

It takes years of savings to pay the stamp duty on buying a new house.

The government is essentially telling people it is better they don't even bother seeking a new job in a new area.

The government is out of touch. Politicians make large amounts of easy money. They don't understand it takes an ordinary working man years and years to pay the stamp duty on buying a house.

Just adding this tax onto a mortgage does not solve the problem.

You don't make money just because the paper value of your house has gone up. You always need a place to live.

Politicians live gilded, sheltered lives. They get big expenses and their mortgage interest payments are paid for them.

They don't pay inheritance tax because their lawyers create trust funds for them.

If an ordinary man tries to reduce his inheritance tax he will be thrown into jail.

Anonymous said...

I saw a news headline saying that David Cameron said that the people of Libya have rejected Colonel Gadaffi.

Ha! Only 1 in 5 of the UK people voted for David Cameron. And some of those people only voted for him because he promised to raise the inheritance tax threshold. On getting into office he broke the promise.

Anonymous said...

I watched television tonight and an ex-politician was saying the economy will be sluggish for the next few years.

But why? There are still people that want to work. There are still minerals and oil in the ground. There are still products that can be made.

So why a sluggish economy? The only thing missing is money.

Banks suck money out of the economy by demanding interest payments on money they created out of thin air.

The government has to increase taxes to pay back the banks.

This is wrong. If government needs money for a project it should create the money itself, not involve expensive banks.

If taxes were lower people would have more money and they could use this money to start businesses and employ other people.

People are unemployed because of debt being repaid to banks on money created from thin air and high taxation.


They are either stupid, corrupt or just don't care.

dionysusal said...

>I haven't seen Marc Stevens heavily promoting agorism.

>If someone else looks into it, let me know what stuff is worth watching.

This is a must-see:

Marc Stevens: Building the Agora

Anonymous said...

I am not so sure Agorism would work. I think it is sort of an escape dream for those who understand that taxation is a theft, but aren't willing to really do something about it.

It wouldn't work, because it has a defect in it: to work, it needs many people participating, thus creating the Agorist economy, which would allow them to trade their skills and goods efficiently.
But that same level of participation would also make it easier for so called "authorities" to crack up on the Agorists.

Remember, that barter is only a pipe dream of survivalists, it is not efficient, because it does not allow for the division of labor, which is the reason for capital growth and improved conditions.

Therefore, money and markets are essential, and these two, when developed enough to provide it's benefits, are also widespread enough as to not being able to be secluded within any narrow circle of participants that are aware of them.

At this point, any Agorist system will either be infiltrated by powers that be, or it will needs to be openly defended by force, hence mutating into a mafia.

There is a small hope, that at this day and age, it may be possible to develop totally secure and anonymous electronic money system, which the would allow for sufficient and anonymous black markets, however such development hasn't happen yet.

I hope my argument would be taken seriously, and not as a simple desire to piss on someone's parade.

FSK said...

What alternatives are there besides agorism?

You aren't going to convince a majority.

Agorism has a chance, if you are careful to exclude undercover cops. If you have a huge business, you'll attract attention. On a small scale, you should be able to get away with it.

A combination of "promote agorism", "promote taxation is theft", and actual agorism seems like the best approach.

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