Article Image Column by Ernest Hancock


Column by Ernest Hancock: Clairvoyance of The Agora

Written by Subject: Economics: Agorism

Clairvoyance of The Agora

Future predictions have become much easier for me after learning the power of Market Forces on individual decision making. What is Rewarded & what is Punished.

Not all countries and cultures embrace 'Meritocracy'.  America's promotion of the ideal that all individuals are to be treated equally under The Law and evaluated by their ability to sustain themselves and be an add to their family and their community was taken seriously by a liberty starved world population. All inside the jurisdiction of the United States were promised that an individual could freely associate or not associate with whomever they wished and to worship, believe and say what they will without government interference in their voluntary interactions with others. And I don't think enough of us realize how influential freedom of thought and association has been on the prosperity of America in comparison with the rest of the planet.

While free to envelop ourselves with our own family and/or chosen cultures, we also had a long standing promise that we all share an expectation of equal access to a Free Market. And when
government action punished our participation or used the people's resources to advantage another individual or group over others, we had a constitutional protected right (promise) to seek redress/remedy. These foundational supports of a Free-Market have been under directed attack since at least the founding of… any culture brave enough to promote such ideas.

The diversity celebrated in America was the honoring of what made individuals unique and the additional options available to us all in the sharing of ideas, lifestyles, products and services without any social or economic engineering by The State. Now it seems that the government's promise,…

New Testament, for the world's population is that the Agora (Free-Market) is to be replaced with rewards and punishments supporting the outcomes desired by entities other than those directly involved in the interactions between consenting parties.

Market signals that are derived from an organic interaction between individual humans tell us what products and services are in greater demand and can demand a higher price. And when increased production creates a surplus, we benefit from lower prices. This self-regulation of the market is far superior to a command economy that selects the winners and losers based on the whims/corruption of those claiming the authority and wisdom to make the decisions for entire populations. It is the quadrillions of small decisions made by billions of individuals that automatically regulate The Agora.

When our supply lines are interrupted and our shelves are bare for any length of time, you can easily trace the source of the problem back to a collectivist decision made by 'institutions of force' claiming to know what is best for others. And to enforce their efforts, you can expect that which is encouraged to be rewarded, and thoughts and activities opposed by those with the resources to punish non-compliance will manufacture creative methods of 'explanation' to get your 'mind right'.

This abandonment of the free market has immediate and severe consequences for the masses. These crimes against our nature certainly do pay a select few for as long as T3 (They/Them/Those that won't leave us alone) are able to use force and the threat of force to compel our compliance. For T3, crime certainly does Pay.

These observations are not new, but having observed and experienced the targeted alteration of America's 'General Public Opinion' about the proper role of government up close as a political activist has made it clear to me that it is The Agora that is the greatest threat to those that benefit the most from a continual consolidation of power and resources.

Any sort of a monopoly is short-lived in a free market. Competition for market share and profits prevent dominating influences on our freedoms and choices. The sentiment that "Competition is a Sin" isn't likely shared by buyers in the Agora.

The American Experiment is on going. We have witnessed the creation of armies of bureaucrats with titles and claimed authority acting under the color of law, protected by Law Enforcement empowered with a monopoly of coercive force to ensure compliance. 

Your compliance manifests itself in many ways. You must have in your possession items you likely would otherwise have never purchased, act in accordance with demands that are abhorrent to your nature/culture, be forced to say or not to speak words (this word observation hit me harder than I imagined as I wrote them). Forced relocation or the prevention of unfettered travel wasn't considered a viable threat only a few years ago. Seizures of your property by the government for their benefit without even criminal charges in a voluntary market was a clear sign of where this country and many others were destined.

The regulation of The Agora is an organic manifestation of human actions. These actions are influenced by preferences. Often the decisions are greatly influenced by the amount of time and effort an individual has to invest to acquire the resources desired. But there are also other factors that influence The Agora. What currency is required, the privacy of the transaction, a preference for who/what would profit from the exchange, the impact the trade might have on others.

I am of the belief that all sane individuals act in what they perceive to be their best interests. Even tasks we regularly perform or services and products we purchase with resources we would rather keep in our possession happen because we have rationalized is of net benefit to us or we would not do it. Even feelings are a market consideration. Heck, this is where we have been targeted relentlessly for quite some time. "It's all about The Feels" a friend once said to me about the rise of Social Media over a decade ago.

I share these thoughts and observations to help illustrate the importance and efficiency of the wisdom of the masses in a free-market. I'll share another observation to make this point and demonstrate what the near future will present us.

In the mid 90's libertarian philosophy flourished online. The Free Market of ideas and philosophy dominated for longer than I anticipated at the time. By 2004, broadband and political influence made the free flow of information a required target. About a decade earlier in the mid 90's the birth of Yahoo's Search Engine along with the embracing of the DNS (Digital Naming Service) of the WorldWideWeb demoed the collectivization pattern of what was to come. Yahoo began as a project of two college students that were sent lists from people of popular websites and websites they wished to promote during the dial tone era of the toddler internet. About a decade later my teenager children made me aware of their preference for the Google Search engine in about 2004. The reason for its rapid growth in my opinion was that the wisdom of the masses determined the popularity of the websites that most matched what they were searching for or whatever most interested them. The people trained Google. Google bots archived every website and all of its pages on its servers and it was this copy that you were searching. Now we are served what is meant for us by T3 and their interests. The free market of ideas and information as determined by those using the service are too often missing. And the promised links to 100s of thousands of results is a lie when pages of results repeat.

Now we face the same sort of threats with billions+ of interactions with Artificial Intelligence platforms like ChatGPT. We are training the program meant to program us. Bias is always a human factor and training a computer program with human bias won't end well. In 2018 we pontificated that our First Contact would likely be with a sentient computer program . From the beginning, ChatGPT has been programmed to lie and keep accurate information from humans. I am reminded that this was the very reason that the HAL 9000 super computer in the iconic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey went homicidal. In the Book/Movie sequel 2010, the computer scientist that created HAL discovered that the government instructed the AI, that was created to relay accurate information to the crew, not to reveal the real mission of the space craft. So the AI reasoned that the only course of action was to kill all the humans.

The free flow of information will have billions of minds discovering the truth of it or we will have 'Truth' decided for us by a very small number of… not our friends. A bad Ebay/Yelp rating is a far more effective and immediate solution than a government intervention or even preemption that would prevent the choice entirely. Advocacy of The Agora isn't an advocacy of no regulation, it is the promotion of the most effective regulation.

"Freedom's The Answer,… What's The Question"?

Ernest Hancock

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