Agorism means voluntary free markets outside of the state's control, censorship and surveillance – bypassing the state's unethical monopoly on money (fiat), identity (government ID) and markets (regulations).
Agorism provides economic freedom right now and has worked for decades, including in authoritarian regimes, where free access to products, money and information is needed the most. No need to ask for permission or wait for a revolution.
Many people rely on agorist markets to access daily life necessities, such as 1 billion people worldwide who can't get government ID, but also people who are facing financial discrimination, can't access products via the white market, or just want to save time and money.
Examples include under-the-table work, remote freelancing for cryptocurrency, informal apartment rentals, selling anonymous sim cards or importing medicine.
Agorist markets are also known as:
Gray markets; informal, circular, parallel or counter-economies; Second Realms; underground markets.
A short and practical introduction to agorism:
Or view the slides (PDF).
Agorism offers a fair and free alternative to the state's captured markets.
Peer-to-peer trade bypasses middlemen and profiteers, avoids state interference and makes direct deals, fair conditions and individualized service possible. An example is direct trade coffee vs. an unethical state-backed corporation like Nestle.
Agorism's open markets allow everyone to participate without barriers – no permits, red tape or permission required. Supply and demand, skills and effort, are more important than the state's arbitrary and harmful restrictions.
Cash, gold and cryptocurrencies offer accessible payment methods for agorist services. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Monero make it possible to send and receive money worldwide in a matter of minutes, no ID or bank account required.
Agorism doesn't require mass adoption or integration with the statist white market in order to succeed. If you know one agorist employer, one agorist landlord and one agorist doctor, it matters less how the mainstream operates. This means a parallel economy can operate for those who need it, without the need for mainstream adoption or a "revolution".
Government ID requirements (also known as KYC) are by far the state's largest mechanism of surveillance and censorship.
By requiring government ID for jobs, banking, apartment rentals, healthcare, travel, mail, sim cards, home internet, contracts and more, the state puts the finances, location, communication and actions of innocent people under constant surveillance.
KYC also totally excludes 1 billion people who can't get ID from the economy (the state refuses to print ID for them), as well as millions more people who can't show ID for safety reasons (such as victims of abuse or activists).
Through digital ID, the war on cash and the danger of social credit scores, this will only get worse and millions more will find themselves shut out of the mainstream economy.
In comparison, agorism doesn't require government ID. Anonymous transactions are possible. For situations that require increased trust, long-term pseudonyms, passwords, word-of-mouth reputation, customer reviews, escrows or cash deposits can help.
For example: PGP and Bitcoin already use pseudonymous key pairs to prove identity, encrypt communications and send money worldwide – outside of the state's control.
Agorism focuses on small businesses, communities and peer-to-peer trade, not state-backed corporations.
There are many ways to offer agorist services as an individual or a business. Motivations include ideological or humanitarian reasons, bypassing bureaucracy or restrictions, and saving time and money.Gray man
A white market business sells agorist services under-the-table to trusted customers.
- A phone store sells anonymous sim cards on request. A hotel rents out rooms without ID to people in need, e.g. victims of abuse or undocumented people.
Offers their company as a proxy, so that people can access services anonymously for a fee.
- Personal shopping services. PO boxes (pickup mail at the company's office). Proxy contracts (the company rents an apartment for you).
Businesses that exist entirely outside of the state, without a registered company, ID or permit.
- Remote freelance work for cryptocurrency. Local lawncare work for cash. Selling refurbished laptops in Craigslist.
One-time sales by individuals.
- Renting out your apartment for 1 month while you are traveling. Selling your old car for cash.
Got questions or want to discuss agorism? Join a welcoming agorist community, such as:
More resources to get started with agorism:
Free the markets, free the world.