Decentralized Geography, Where to Go From Here?

Decentralized networks are more stable than centralized ones.  This applies to work places, sources of income, computer networks and nature.  In the workplace, a top-down centralized system creates a large burden on a central point, when the load is decentralized there are fewer problems if one person isn’t “doing their job” or some sort of failure happens in the production line. When your income is decentralized and you are bringing in revenue from various projects, it is less devastating when one of them fails and your family is better able to weather the storm.  Decentralized computer networks provide network stability and security – take the Bitcoin network for example, if a miner or mining pool go down, there are still thousands of nodes able to pick up where those left off. Mother nature operates this way, too, ant colonies and animals in migration do not have one central authority dictating how to travel or when, they depend on their own cues and instincts, their network is decentralized and their network is strong.

I have seen the power of the decentralized network and feel passionate about creating this sort of security in my life on multiple fronts.  When we lost our farm it was totally devastating.  We lost everything we had been working for, because we had centralized our efforts all in once place. Our family was the central focal point of the community and when we lost what we had, the community scattered and we were left trying to figure out where to farm and garden.

Now that we are in an apartment, we have our own front porch garden going.  We are also building garden beds on the sidewalk in front of a neighboring restaurant and plan to get an additional restaurant on board. We are also gardening with friends on their property and actively looking for a property of our own.  We decentralized our local gardening efforts to prevent losing it all again, but I want to decentralize further, I want to decentralized our geographic location so we have choices across the country where we have thriving gardens and community that we can plug into when we please.

After years of travel and meeting with activists communities I see 4 geographic locations that seem to provide the most in term of what we are looking for. We want a government that is minimal, we want strong like minded community, we want the ability to garden and live off the grid.  The places we feel provide the most in these regards are 1. Central Texas 2. New Hampshire 3. Asheville, NH and 4. Colorado.

I want to have a place to stay in each of these communities.  I want an off the grid permanent home in each of these locations.  I want a thriving garden in each of these locations.  I want a thriving livestock operation in each location.  And I want them to be profitable so I can incentivize someone to operate them while we travel between the 4.

To make this happen I need a good plan, and that is the phase I am in currently, determining the plan of action.  Where to start?  Obviously Central Texas is a good option for us to start because we are here, we have community have family here, we have chickens here, we have gardens here.  We also need something sooner than later because my family is not happy in an apartment. The next step will likely be NH because there are so many activists there and moving there and Bardo Farm has a thriving off the grid community that we want to be a part of.  Asheville is very enticing to me because we really clicked with the activists there and loved the city.  Colorado we have the least ties to, but I see great potential.

Here is a podcast I did discussing the choices and where to go from here.

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I plan to write an overview of all 4 activist hubs to give others advice and inspiration on where they can go to be in community with others!

No Poo Update, 23 Months Later

I had a four month break around the one year mark and my hair did awful on shampoo. I have been back on baking soda plus apple cider vinegar since February and do not see myself ever turning back. My hair is soft, shiny and happy.

Few tips I have learned in these 2 years….

1. If your hair is super greasy, apply the baking soda dry to dry hair while you get ready to shower, then wash and vinegar rinse as you normally would.

2. I have tried mixing with water and pouring, spraying, and a variety of application methods. My favorite now, and the fastest, is get your hair wet, dump a handul of baking soda in your hand, and smear all over, working it into your scalp with your fingers. Add more handfuls until your hair is totally saturated. Quantity is king.

3. I just pour straight apple cider vinegar on my hair, splash splash, work in with fingers, let it sit while I wash my face, then rinse.

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Neither Bullets Nor Ballots by: Wendy McElroy

 

Check out this classic essay on voluntaryist strategy by philosopher and liberty advocate, Wendy McElroy.

My favorite line – “It is ironic that a movement which uses the free market as a solution for everything from roads to national defense declares that political means, the antithesis of the free market, are necessary to achieve freedom.”

Neither Bullets Nor Ballots

by Wendy McElroy
Number 1

From Voluntaryist.com

 

The Voluntaryist seeks to reclaim the anti-political heritage of libertarianism. It seeks to reestablish the clear, clean difference between the economic and the political means of changing society. This difference was well perceived by the forerunners of contemporary libertarianism who tore the veil of legitimacy away from government to reveal a criminal institution which claimed a monopoly of force in a given area. Accordingly, early libertarians such as Benjamin Tucker maintained that one could no more attack government by electing politicians than one could prevent crime by becoming a criminal. Although he did not question the sincerity of political anarchists, he described them as enemies of liberty: “those who distrust her as a means of progress, believing in her only as an end to be obtained by first trampling upon, violating, and outraging her.” This rejection of the political process (by which I mean electoral politics) was a moral one based on the insight that no one has the right to a position of power over others and that any man who seeks such an office, however honorable his intentions, is seeking to join a criminal band.

Somewhere in the history of libertarianism, this rejection of the State has been eroded to the point that anarchists are now aspiring politicians and can hear the words “anarchist Senator” without flinching. No longer is libertarianism directed against the positions of power, against the offices through which the State is manifested; the modern message — complete with straw hats, campaign rhetoric and strategic evasion — is “elect my man to office” as if it were the man disgracing the office and not the other way around. Those who point out that no one has the right to such a position, that such power is anathema to the concept of rights itself, are dismissed as negative, reactionary or crackpot. They are subject to ad hominem attacks which divert attention from the substantive issues being raised, the issues which will be discussed in The Voluntaryist.

The Voluntaryist is unique in that it reflects both the several centuries of libertarian tradition and the current cutting edge of libertarian theory. The tradition of American libertarianism Is so inextricably linked with anarchism that, during the Nineteenth Century, Individualist-anarchism was a synonym for libertarianism. But anarchism is more than simply the non-initiation of force by which libertarianism is commonly defined. It is a view of the State as the major violator of rights, as the main enemy. Anarchism analyzes the State as an institution whose purpose is to violate rights in order to secure benefits to a privileged class. For those who believe in the propriety of a limited government it makes sense to pursue political office, but for an anarchist who views the State as a fundamentally evil institution such a pursuit flies in the face of the theory and the tradition which he claims to share. Thus, the political anarchist must explain why he aspires to an office he proclaims inherently unjust. Perhaps one reason for the erosion of anarchism within the libertarian movement is that many of the questions necessary to a libertarian institutional analysis of the State have never been seriously addressed. A goal of The Voluntaryist is to construct a cohesive theory of anti-political libertarianism, of Voluntaryism, which will investigate such issues as whether moral or legal liabilities adhere to the act of voting someone into power over another’s life. Perhaps by working out the basics of this theory the unhappy spectacle of “the anarchist as politician” can be avoided.

Another major goal is to examine non-political strategies. In constructing anti-political theory and strategy — which was assumed by early libertarians without being well defined — we will be labeled as merely counter Libertarian Party by those who innocently or with malice are unable to perceive the wider context which leads to a rejection of the political means itself. The myriad of non-political strategies available to libertarians will be dismissed or will be accepted only as useful adjuncts to electoral politics. It is ironic that a movement which uses the free market as a solution for everything from roads to national defense declares that political means, the antithesis of the free market, are necessary to achieve freedom.

As Voluntaryists we reject the Libertarian Party on the same level and for the same reason we reject any other political party. The rejection is not based on incidental evasions or corruption of principle which inevitably occur within politics. It is based on the conviction that to oppose the State one must oppose the specific instances of the State or else one’s opposition is toward a vague, floating abstraction and never has practical application. Political offices are the State. By becoming politicians libertarians legitimize and perpetuate the office. They legitimize and perpetuate the State.

If libertarianism has a future, it is as the movement which takes a principled, resounding stance against the State. Those who embrace political office hinder the efforts of Voluntaryists who are attempting to throw off this institution of force. It is common for libertarians to view anarchism and minarchism as two trains going down the same track; minarchism simply stops a little before anarchism’s destination. This is a mistaken notion. The destination of anarchism is different from and antagonistic to the destination minarchism. The theory and the emotional commitment are different. Murray Rothbard captured the emotional difference by asking his famous question in Libertarian Forum, “Do you Hate the State?” Voluntaryists respond with an immediate, heartfelt “yes”. Minarchists give reserved, qualified agreement all the while explaining the alleged distinction between a government and a state. Political anarchists are in the gray realm of agreeing heartily in words to principles which their actions contradict. It is time to have the differences between Voluntaryism and political libertarianism clearly expressed and for non-political alternatives to be pursued.

It is time for The Voluntaryist.

A Message to Our Brothers and Sisters in Egypt, From SovereignLiving.tv

448509-egypt-protestsMessage to Egyptian protestors – give self-governance a try! It is likely that the next ruler will be just like the rest of them. It may take a while but as Lord Acton said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You may not be able to have total liberty all across the country, but at least take a couple million of you and create a sustainable and autonomous region or two. What better opportunity than now do you have a chance at experimenting with a radical new way to organize society. Give mutually beneficial voluntary association a try and abandon the old way of coercion, hierarchy, and despair. If democracy is what you desire, explore direct democracy, where the individual chooses if he or she wishes to participate. You may not get another shot at it in a while. Why not try something new? We’ll be watching. Good luck. Peace and Freedom for ALL.

Harry Reid Worried About Tea Partiers and Anarchists Eliminating Government!

Shout out to the anti-state tea partiers and those pesky anarchists!!! KEEP IT UP!!! Those that would use state power to further their own ends are losing!!!

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/04/24/reid_likens_tea_party_to_anarchists_says_government_is_not_inherently_bad_government_is_inherently_good.html

HARRY REID: We have a situation where this country has been driven by the Tea Party for the last number of years. When I was in school, I studied government and I learned about the anarchists. Now, they were different than the Tea Party because they were violent. But they were anarchists because they did not believe in government in any level and they acknowledged it. The Tea Party kind of hides that.

They don’t say they’re against government, but that is what it all amounts to. They’re not doing physically destructive things to buildings and people, directly, but they are doing everything they can to throw a monkey-wrench into every form of government, whether it’s local, state or federal. That’s what it’s all about. And so, anything they can do to through a monkey-wrench in the wheels of government, they’re happy doing that. And I’m sorry to say that my friend from Oklahoma is helping them. Maybe not directly, but indirectly, and that’s wrong. Government is not inherently bad; government is inherently good. That’s why we have a Constitution and that’s what we direct the activities of this government based upon. (Senate Floor, April 23, 2013)

The Role of the Remnant In Building a Free Society

For those prophets for liberty out there who are frustrated with most people’s inability to grasp the possibility of life without the state, libertarian anarchist Albert Jay Nock’s essay titled, Isiah’s Job is a must read.  In the essay, Nock compares the difficulty some messengers of freedom find in spreading the philosophy of liberty to the struggles faced by the Prophet Isiah in his effort to spread the word of the Lord.  Isiah was becoming increasingly frustrated with the masses and their outright disdain for the message he was preaching.  The Lord reminds him that it is in fact the “remnant”, or those who are willing to listen and challenge their beliefs, that is his target audience.  It is the remnant who will survive the societal collapse and begin to build society anew.  The remnant is your target audience.  They are the future and the path to our collective liberation!

So next time you are feeling dreary and drained due to zombie stares and fallacy ridden banter coming your way, remember the prophet Isiah and his mission to awaken the remnant.  It matters not if the masses do not accept the message.  So long as enough of the remnant do, rest assured, we will find freedom!

Full Article: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/nock3b.html

“In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.””

The Agorist Revolutionary Alternative

The Agorist Revolutionary Alternative
From: http://jneilschulman.rationalreview.com/2011/02/the-agorist-revolutionary-alternative/

By: J. Neil Schulman

Back in the early 1970′s Samuel Edward Konkin III, a libertarian activist, editor, and writer — began looking for alternatives to traditional political activism, both electoral and revolutionary — to bring about a free society. Sam’s premise was that electoral participation was a game that paid off not in liberty but in power; and that because the state’s tentacles held society hostage traditional revolutionary tactics resulted in unacceptable collateral damage to innocent bystanders.

Konkin, being a scientist, approached the question logically. To his way of thinking the means and ends had to be one and the same. If the end was a society whose institutions were noncoercive and respecting of voluntary contracts and trade then the means of achieving such a society, likewise, also needed to be noncoercive and respecting of voluntary contracts and trade.

These were the seeds which led Samuel Edward Konkin III (SEK3, for short) to begin exploring the strategy of countereconomics, and the philosophy of Agorism, as the libertarian means to achieve libertarian ends.

Konkin first presented his ideas on countereconomics at two “CounterCon” conferences I organized in fall 1974 and spring 1975, during the off-season at Camp Mohawk in the Berkshires, a summer children’s camp owned and operated by my father’s brother and sister-in-law.

The next expression of countereconomic ideas and Agorism were in my novel, Alongside Night, which I began writing in 1974 and which was first published in October 1979 by a major New York book publisher.

One year later Sam self-published The New Libertarian Manifesto, the first formal expression of countereconomic and Agorist ideas. The first edition sold out quickly, and reprint editions have been proliferating in both printed and digital editions ever since. Additional publications further elucidating countereconomics and Agorism followed, and SEK3 worked to refine his work on countereconomics and Agorism until his death in February 2004.

Sam saw Agorism as a revolutionary alternative to Marxism and, like Marx, the impact and popularity of his ideas have only spread and gained new converts after his death.

Me, I’m sort of like Paul McCartney after the death of John Lennon. I was there at the beginning and I’m still here.

Agorism is the idea that if you want a future society based on free trade there is no substitute for trading freely now as a means of getting there. Phrased as a boundary problem it’s obvious that a single individual escaping from the State is not a strategy; but obviously 100% of individuals escaping from the State into free trade would be. Like a revolutionary version of the Laffer Curve, there must be some tipping point where individuals removing their lives and property from State control is sufficient to starve a State thereby collapsing it. Seeking that tipping point in a Starvation Curve is the revolutionary strategy of Agorism in a nutshell.

Agorism looks to what traditionally has been called the black market, or underground economy, as the playing field for revolution.

The problem with this is that the people who trade on the black market are after tangible and immediate rewards – not anything as abstract as freedom — and more often than not they’re not all that scrupulous about how they get it. Lacking anything other than threats of violent retaliation from ripping off someone more powerful, the underground entrepreneur finds no particular market advantage to abiding by rules of honesty and fair play as opposed to getting away with anything one can get away with.

Furthermore, an oppressive — even a totalitarian — state can tolerate a thriving black market. In fact there’s an argument to be made that since command economies violate fundamental economic laws and create massive misallocations of resources, and consequent underproduction of anything people want and need, that a thriving black market is actually an enabler of above-ground economic oppression. The way Mafioso and drug lords buy off law-enforcement officers and judges regularly is a testament to the symbiosis between an oppressive state and a criminally-run black market.

The only thing that can take counter-economics out of this paradigm as a strategy for freedom, and Agorism out of this paradigm as a social movement, is that bringing morally self-conscious actors into the black market brings arbitral dispute settlement, and stable predictability, into the equation. This has the potential of enabling the expansion of markets by drawing new capital into the underground economy that would normally avoid such high-risk investments.

Bringing law and order to the black market is what makes countereconomics distingishable from the normal criminal-run “black market” — or, to use Samuel Edward Konkin III’s distinction, the “red” market.

The market is only truly “black” — run under the Anarchist’s Black Flag rather than the Pirate’s Jolly Roger — when underground markets are more lawful than the capricious and tyrannical rules of the aboveground economy.

Yes, that’s right. The revolution only succeeds when the Anarchist is more for law-and-order than the Statist.

Agorism only works as an alternative to other political philosophies — countereconomics only works as an investment alternative to a statist-controlled above-ground economy — if promises and contracts from traders in the underground markets are more honest and trustworthy than in the above-ground economy.

The Prisoners Dilemma can’t win freedom. Only Trust can do that.

Some may argue that the above argument is utopian or perfectionist — that the success of Agorism requires men to become better than they are. The fact is, it only requires underground traders to adopt business standards common in above-ground markets: consumer responsiveness, honest accounting, and above all peaceful dispute settlement.

If the leftist critique is correct and there is no actual distinction to be made between a businessman and a criminal then any sort of market approach to social organization is doomed.

Agorist traders don’t need to be angels for Agorism to replace Marxism as the Revolutionary Alternative.

Just middlin’ decent.

Updated 9/11/2011

Author’s Note April 26, 2012: Recently I’ve been using a “Devil’s Dictionary” style definition of Agorism: Estate planning for the death of the statist-controlled economy.

This article is Copyright © 2011, 2012 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.

End the Fed: A Strategic Analysis – Politics vs. Agorism

Article originally featured on the Freedom’s Phoenix E-Zine.

End the Fed: A Strategic Analysis – Politics vs. Agorism

By: John Bush

Thanks largely to the work of Dr. Ron Paul, the issue of whether or not we ought to audit or end the fed has broken through to the mainstream.  Led by a coalition of die hard liberty activists, Austrian economists, and sound money enthusiasts, more and more people are convinced that the Fed should be abolished as it is not only unnecessary and unconstitutional, it is also detrimental to prosperity and economic freedom.  The question naturally arises amongst those crazy enough to want to work towards achieving the goal of ending the Fed, how do we do it?

A Tale of Two Tactics

While there is more than one way to skin a cat, for our purposes we will only be focusing on two strategies for ending the Fed, the political strategy and the agorist strategy.  The political strategy is reactive and seeks to compete within the system in order to end the fed from the inside.  The agorist strategy is proactive and seeks to create alternative institutions which will end the fed by competing with it.  As we shall see, while both strategies compliment one another, only one method will bring about the change necessary to truly end the Fed and ensure it is not merely replaced by something worse.

Competing Within the System

The political approach to ending the Fed involves politicians and activists working within the system to pass legislation and enact policies in order to bring about an audit of the Fed, potentially ending it indirectly.  Politicians and activists are also working to directly end the Fed by repealing the Federal Reserve Act or by other similar means.  While this approach has much educational value as many Americans are actively watching and learning from the political process, it seems to be doomed to failure from the onset.   As G. Edward Griffin points out in his book, the Creature from Jekyll Island, the Federal Reserve System is a mutually beneficial partnership between the banking cartel and the U.S. Congress.  The Federal Reserve Act was passed not only for the benefit of the banks, but for the benefit of Congress and the rest of the Federal Government as well.  Thanks to the Fed, USA Inc. has access to the printing press and with it the ability to fund their pet projects and bailout their buddies without having to raise taxes (except for the inflation tax, but nobody knows about that one anyways).  Why would the political powers that be want to take away their access to the magic money machine? Whether they sign on to an Audit the Fed Bill only to bail on the effort later, in the end, those in power never voluntarily give up their own power, especially if that power helps them stay in office.

Also worth mentioning are political efforts at the state level with the goal of establishing state banks and currencies. It is certainly preferable to have multiple competing state-run banks issuing currency to the people, however, as often occurs when governments operate banks, the few benefit at the expense of the many.  This strategy also fails to strike at the root of the matter (the issuance of a single currency by a coercive monopoly run institution) as it advocates for the creation of the same thing it is fighting against, only on a smaller scale. While the political approach at both the state and federal level does well to educate the public about the ills of the Federal Reserve and multiple competing government run banks are preferable to one government run bank, ultimately this strategy to end the Fed leaves much to be desired.

Competing With the System

The second and more viable strategy to end the Fed is through agorism (AKA revolutionary market anarchism).  Agorism is a libertarian strategy that focuses not on competing within the state to change it, but competing with the state to ultimately replace it’s coercive hierarchical systems with a system based on mutually beneficial voluntary associations.  In order to accomplish this goal, Samuel Edward Konkin, the father of agorism and author of the New Libertarian Manifesto, encourages activists to participate in and grow what he called the counter-economy.  The counter economy consists of those market transactions, goods, or services prohibited by law (the black market) and those market transactions, goods, or services that are only deemed legal if you first ask government for permission (the gray market).  The idea is to grow the wholly voluntary counter-economy, including competing institutions of defense meant to protect agorists from state intervention, to the point where one day the freed market of the counter-economy rises in favor in the minds of the masses and competes the state out of existence.

Rather than waiting for the Congress to end their own access to the magic money machine, an agorist approach to ending the fed would have activists immediately taking steps to end the fed themselves by limiting their use of Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) and by creating and participating in competing currencies and parallel institutions.  Take note that the strategy of agorism does not require activists to wait for legal tender laws to be repealed before they begin competing with the Fed, it only recommends that they take necessary precautions to shield themselves from state abuse should the iron fist of government come crashing down upon them.  While the prospect of state retaliation may be a major factor in preventing activists from taking the agorist path, remember, if you have to ask permission or wait for legislation to be passed before you can exercise your natural right to voluntary exchange, you are only cementing the state’s authority over you and ultimately proving how unfree you truly are.

Consistency is Key!

In the New Libertarian Manifesto, Samuel Edward Konkin wrote, “the consistent application of the theory of libertarianism to every action the individual libertarian takes creates the libertarian society.”  This maxim could not be more true when it comes to ending the Fed here in America.

It is often said in libertarian circles that Federal Reserve Notes have no value as the FRN is a fiat currency.  While this notion may hold some water, I would argue that FRNs carry with them the value ascribed to them by those using the FRN as a medium of exchange.  However manipulated or inflated the FRNs may be, they are nonetheless worth something to the individual receiving the FRNs.  If FRNs were totally worthless, no rational actor would trade goods or services for them unless they believed their goods or services to be worth less than nothing.

If the only value as a medium of exchange FRNs have is the value attributed to them by those using FRNs in market transactions and as a means of storing value, then why do those seeking to end the fed continue to empower the Fed by saving and exchanging the currency of the Fed?  Those seeking to end the Fed often fail to take in to account the fact that every time they use FRNs they are in fact empowering the Fed by continuing to give value to it’s currency.  In a way, those using FRNs are indirectly responsible for perpetuating the existence of the Fed and allowing it to be further used to fund wars of aggression abroad and the creation of a police state at home.  It is difficult, but if we are to reach our goal of ending the Fed, we must live our lives in a manner more consistent with our stated ends.

Problem-Reaction-Solution

The development of alternative mediums of exchange becomes all the more crucial when one is aware that those in power perpetually use of the Problem-Reaction-Solution tactic.  This tactic occurs when individuals or groups create a problem, expecting a negative reaction from the public, with the intention of offering a pre-determined solution that serves the ends of the manipulators rather than the ends of the people.

It is entirely possible that many banking elites would be perfectly content to witness the end of the Fed.  They are well aware that without a viable alternative already in place, America would be in a state of total chaos should a currency crisis ensue.  A dramatic decline in the value of the medium of exchange used by the people would be quite the problem to which the reaction would not be pretty.  And to whom do you think most will look to for the solution?  None other than the same crooks who caused the problem in the first place.  The global banking elite are already spreading the use of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights and floating the idea of a North American currency.  It is not out of the realm of possibilities for them to be sitting and waiting for the right crises to ensue in order to make their push for the further centralization of power.  As Rahm Emmanuel, ex-Chief of Staff to President Obama said, “you can never let a good crisis go to waste.”

The banking elite are like the mafia.  They come in, occupy a restaurant, in this case USA Cafe, run up the credit on the place knowing they won’t be able to cover the bill, and when the chickens come home to roost, they burn the mother fucker down.  We are at that stage with the FRN.  The banking cartel took root in this country, ran up the credit while fattening their pockets and building a police state at home and a military and economic empire abroad, and now they are lighting the match.  Rather than wait for the establishment to offer another centralized statist solution like an IMF SDR or a currency backed by the U.S. Treasury Department, why not begin creating competing currencies and alternative institutions now?  That way, when bottom drops out, people will have multiple fully functional free market currencies to turn to, instead being forced to rely on the next big statist monopoly boondoggle.

Applying the Philosophy

It is understandably difficult to fathom the possibility of living without the use of FRNs.  Afterall, most of us are paid with FRNs, we buy groceries with FRNs, we buy gas with FRNs, how can we possibly avoid the use FRNs!?!  While it takes a dramatic change in one’s lifestyle in order to fully wean oneself off the FRN, it can be done.  For those not interested in making that large change over night, in the short term, do what you can to limit your dependency on the use of FRNs.  Contribute less and less to the evil that is the Federal Reserve System and not only will you make the possibility of ending it more feasible, you also won’t be contributing to it’s existence!

Five things you can do to limit your use of FRNs in 2012

1. Barter – One of the easiest things you can do to limit your use of FRNs is to engage in barter.  If you have a good or service to offer, find someone willing to trade what you have for what you need.  This method allows you to skip the need for a medium of exchange all together and assists you in reducing your cost of living and need for more income (FRNs), which also helps when the IRS comes a knockin.  For example, I have a barter relationship with a local farmers market where I exchange marketing and promotional services for frozen meals and vegetables.  My lady and I also have participated in labor share programs at local farms where you put in a days worth of labor and get out a big box of fresh veggies.  In order to find people looking to barter in your area, perform an internet search with your city’s name and “barter network” in the search bar.  You will find that in most cities there are already thriving barter networks.  If your area does not have a barter network, be the first to start one!

2. Silver coins as a medium of exchange – While barter is an excellent way to reduce your dependence on FRNs, in some instances it is difficult to find a match of wants and needs within a barter network.  People often need a sound medium of exchange in order to engage in some market transactions.  Most will instinctively turn to the good ol’ FRN to fulfill this purpose.  Others however are using a more dependable medium of exchange – enter the silver coin!  Liberty communities across the country are actively exchanging goods and services using silver as a medium of exchange.  Down in Austin we launched the Black and Yellow Pages (http://blackandyellowpages.biz) which is a business listing of like minded businesses and services that accept silver and/or barter.  In New Hampshire they have the Shire Exchange (http://www.shireexchange.com/) which is fulfilling the needs of activists and other New Hampshire residents without the use of the FRN. 

To help facilitate the trade of silver, liberty entrepreneurs are even creating their own silver currencies.  The folks at Shire Silver (http://shiresilver.com/) up in New Hampshire are producing laminated cards with strips of silver and gold in them that are useable at outlets across the country.  The guys out at Freedom’s Phoenix (http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/) in Phoenix, AZ are taking pre-1964 dimes (which are comprised of 90% silver) and other “junk” silver and putting them in laminated cards with catchy and flashy logos.  On the backside of the card you will find a chart explaining the real value of the older silver American minted coins.  They are currently being spread and used all across the country.  Visit DontTreadOnMeme.com to get a hold of some of the dime cards to share and trade with your community (http://donttreadonmeme.com/).

3. Competing currencies – Already in existence thanks to many lefty and anarcho-socialist efforts are thousands of local competing currencies.  Some are based on labor hours, others on commodities like vegetables or land, and some are even based on promises to redeem certain goods or services in the future.  In order to find such a currency in your area, hit the Internet and enter your city along with key words such as “competing currency”, “labor dollar”, or “local currency”.  If you cannot find one in your area, get to researching and start one of your own!

4. Reduce your cost of living – Still another way to reduce your dependency on FRNs is to lower your cost of living.  One way to accomplish this task is to engage in barter whereby no money or income is needed, only your labor or goods you already have.  One may also consider getting rid of their smart phone with its $100 monthly bill and picking up a pay as you go phone, starting a garden and reduce your monthly grocery bill while benefiting your family’s health, buying a mint condition used car instead of getting on another bank note, and/or no longer buying coffee at Starbucks everyday and instead making it at home.  There are a countless number of things you can do to reduce your cost of living so as to limit your future use of FRNs.  I believe most of the reductions can be chosen so as to actually increase your standard of living by allowing you to enjoy a more simple and easy life.  For more on this strategy as it pertains to avoiding the income tax, check out the DON (Don’t Owe Nothing ) Method: (http://sniggle.net/Experiment/index5.php?entry=howto)

5. Build Community – Most important of all is the need to build community.  Not only should we be looking to like minded liberty lovers first when we have a job that needs to be done or a service that needs to be performed, but we must also commit to aiding each other should one of us fall victim to the evil hand of the state.  While peacefully trading amongst one another may seem as natural as the sky, in some cases it poses a threat to the authority and power of those pulling the strings of the monopoly institutions.  We must exercise caution when engaging in agorism and participating in the counter-economy.  However, we cannot allow the specter of state abuse to prevent us from ceasing the empowerment of the very system that seeks to enslave us and our posterity.  Find comfort in the fact that there is strength in numbers, there is strength in unity, and there is strength in truth.  We have all three of these things and as long as we act in a manner consistent with our inherent freedom, we will find liberty in our lifetime.

Living the Dream in 2012

As we enter 2012, it is all the more evident that the veil of legitimacy has been lifted from the ugly face of the Federal Reserve System.  As you go forward this year, every time you are about to hand over a crumply and green value losing Federal Reserve Note,  ask yourself – is it absolutely necessary that I use FRNs as a medium of exchange in this particular instance? Is the convenience worth my participation in perpetuating a system that has done more harm to humankind than most known to man? Is there a way to obtain this good or service without using FRNs?  Take the time to reconsider your purchase and research the alternatives.  You just may find another person like you who is ready to take that next step towards agorism and willing to fix your leaky toilet for you in exchange for piano lessons.  You may just find the counter economy is already alive and well in your community.

If you really want to end the Fed, rather than asking your Congressman to sponsor a bill, ask a local farmer if he needs a hand on the farm and can spare some extra veggies or ask the local hardware store manager if he’s willing to accept silver coins in exchange for the goods he has for sale.  Take proactive steps to limit your use of the Federal Reserve Note while building and participating in competing currencies and alternative institutions and soon you will find that the Federal Reserve has ended itself!