An Agorist Analysis of Nolan on Strategy at New Hampshire Liberty Forum

Posted: 7 March 2009 by Brad Spangler in Political Science
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David Nolan (PhiKap ’66), founder of the American Libertarian Party (LP), denounces the LP leadership and calls for molilization to “smaller-government states” at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum.

From George Donnelly (Twitter: @georgedonnelly ), who has been live-tweeting some of the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, I’ve learned that Libertarian Party founder David Nolan has been speaking there, denouncing the Libertarian Party’s current leadership (at least) and calling for libertarians to form a mutual aid network, vote with their feet by moving to smaller-government states and form enclaves to facilitate local mutual aid and activism. He reportedly announced the formation or upcoming formation of something he calls the “December 11th Group” — which name I’ll asssume was chosen as a reference to the founding date of the LP and not for sake of it being the date in 1994 that Boris Yeltsin ordered Russian troops into Chechnya.

From what little I’ve heard of it, I’m generally supportive of this approach, with some qualifications. There’s more than this that needs to be said about libertarian strategy (that is to say, agorist revolutionary strategy), but this fits in well with what myself and other left-libertarians have been saying for a while now. While it presumably leaves the door open for electoral activism for those that haven’t got that particular monkey off their backs yet, it’s also a not-particularly electoral approach. That ambiguity keeps the radicals and the moderates in contact, potentially aiding our efforts at further radicalization of the libertarian movement generally.

Konkin foresaw in New Libertarian Manifesto that, at the correct stage of revolutionary development (that is to say, at the correct stage of market pre-development for adjudication and defense enterprises), agorist enclaves would naturally condense out of the general population as a result of popularizing our views — yet still leave the general population thoroughly contaminated with agorists and counter-economists.

Where that particular notion becomes potentially problematic is if it’s premature or the condensation process otherwise makes people bigger targets rather than smaller ones. Pie in the sky “anarcho-zionism” — in which we supposedly all get together in Galt’s Gulch or whatever — wouldn’t be economically viable without sufficient numbers of people involved and doesn’t necessarily make people safer from the state. Of particular concern is the understanding we must make our views popular enough for such a project to attract enough people while still leaving a significant number of supportive sympathizers back in the more statist areas. All of us remember the Waco Massacre, after all. Isolation and self-segregation potentially just makes you easier to dispose of for your enemies, which is precisely why mutual aid networks are a good idea (besides being prefigurative of agorist underground mutual surety enterprises — i.e. “insurance companies“ [.pdf]). With New Hampshire as the model, though, particularly the heroic voluntaryists in Keene, we’re more or less on the right track.

For those looking to see which states are comparatively more or less statist than others, the Mercatus Center has recently published a comprehensive ranking of U.S. states [.pdf], as well as their raw data that the study is based on, just in case you take issue with the way their scoring system is weighted. Missouri is in the top quintile, so I’m probably staying put for now.

Top states (enlarge):

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Colorado
  3. South Dakota
  4. Idaho
  5. Texas
  6. Missouri
  7. Tennessee
  8. Arizona
  9. Virginia
  10. North Dakota

Brad Spangler is the director of the Center for a Stateless Society and publishes a blog:

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