How Would Dual Power and Agorism Create a Free Society?

“Dual power” can be nicely summed up by the popular Wobbly phrase of “building the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.” Proponents of a dual power strategy share a belief in developing, at the grassroots level, an “alternative social infrastructure” that piece-by-piece replaces our statist, capitalist, society. Simply put, this revolutionary tactic involves competing with the state by building and utilizing counter-institutions that allow us to live in the type of non-oppressive world we want (as much possible) in the present. Dual power is seen as another form of civil disobedience and/or nonviolent direct action in agorist circles, but with the capability of vastly restructuring our society for ourselves and one another, while the state is left out to dry.

Insofar as how agorism may be used to create a free society, agorists believe that by using markets that operate outside the state’s purview (black and gray markets), a new economy is created alongside the existing “official” economy, slowly eroding the latter. Agorism was developed by Samuel Edward Konkin III, the late radical Rothbardian theorist, as a counter political-economic philosophy.

Examples he and modern day agorists share in vision include communities built around excess networks of producer and consumer cooperatives, small enterprises, mutual aid institutions, do-it-yourself collectives, community gardens, and credit unions that both do and do not directly conflict with capitalist institutions. If a monopoly is in operation with diseconomies of scale, dual-power should involve the act of providing the service at a smaller scale, at a more competitive ideal firm size, properly controlled and “regulated” by unionization of the working members within those firms. This “dual-power economy” would disengage, as far as possible, from the formal capitalist market economy, and increasingly create, over time, its competition within the black and gray market — leaving agorists substantially liberated to organize, produce, labor and exchange however they wish in this untaxed, non-state regulated counter-economy.

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