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Twenty Twelve: The Agora Blossoms

Twenty Twelve: The Agora Blossoms

By: Catherine Bleish

We have all heard predictions about 2012 since we were children.  That once far-off date seemed to loom precariously in the distance dangling stories of future horror, future spiritual evolution, or other predictions of major global change.  Now that it has arrived it seems reasonable that by coincidence or not, this year will indeed be one filled with changes of historic proportion.

It is easy to see the potential for a monumental shift in human behavior if you simply take a step back and watch humanity from a bird’s eye view.  Tensions have been steadily rising for generations as human livestock have slowly begun to demand freedom from their human owners in various capacities.  Amazingly, it has been our simple human curiosity that has led many to suddenly break their mind free from the propaganda they have been fed their entire lives.  

One of the greatest influences on this has been the growth of the Internet which has become the source for documenting all human knowledge, ideas and experiences.  This means two things.  The first is that people are able to actually see the atrocities committed by government that at one time were censored from their spoon fed media.  The second is that the idea of individual sovereignty has been able to suddenly explode throughout the populace.

That is not to say that people aren’t ripe for the information.  Simply existing on a day to day basis has become a struggle for many.  Our culture of debt spending has created a society where people are perpetually ripped away from their families while they toil at work in a financial spiral of despair.  College students graduate already in debt and unable to find a job leaving our young adults flailing in a pool of hopelessness as they wait tables and move back home with their parents.  An ignorant and brainwashed populace is easy to manipulate and exploit, and thus our people suffer through their own actions and choices.

These conditions, combined with our new-found easy access to knowledge, create a perfect environment for the beginning of a new cultural Renaissance for humanity.  This opportunity is one of great proportion, and one that can elevate our species from one living in perpetual anguish to one thriving in our natural roles as creative and infinitely powerful beings. 2012 will be the year that the straw breaks the camel’s back, 2012 will be the beginning of our evolution into creatures of a higher frequency.

This means 2012 will bring a boom to the grey and black markets as people seek ways to survive without dependency on a failing federal reserve note, and without having the fruits of their labor stolen by greedy gangsters with guns. People struggling to find work will begin to use their skills, their talents, their time and their energy to barter for their needs.  People will use items of real value to barter for other items of real value.  People will cut the middle man out and begin to take ownership of their own survival.

The need for a “job” in the traditional American neo-feudalism will begin to disappear out of a pure animalistic need to survive.  As these “jobs” become harder to find and the dollar becomes more and more worthless, people will be forced to look for alternative ways to make ends meet.  This is where the cultural Renaissance comes in.  As people turn to their hobbies or interests to create a means of providing for their families, they will have the opportunity to be creative.  This will create a market of unique hand made goods, delicious homegrown foods, and personalized services that big box businesses just can’t compete with.  Once those who enter the black and grey markets out of necessity begin to flourish, you will find others entering out of a desire to be creative and successful.  It will be beautiful!

I know this because the evolution has already begun in my own life and in my own circles.  I know this because I am watching it happen and watching it grow and because I know it is real for me.  My life has changed profoundly in the past year and a half as I evolved from politico to sovereign.

It was easy for me to become disenfranchised with our current system of government after working so hard during the 2008 Presidential Campaign for Dr. Ron Paul.  Not only were the powers that be absolutely heinous in their attempts to stop and silence us - the powers within his own campaign where equally disheartening.  I figured it was because it was a national campaign and national politics and that state/local activism was really where I could influence things.  

After several State Legislative sessions I, watched our government grow.  Sure, we had several minor successes.  We stopped Real ID in Missouri, slammed back the infamous MIAC Report on the Modern Militia Movement, passed several tenth amendment bills, and even passed a Constitutional Amendment to stop Obama Care in Missouri.  Yet, suddenly I saw check points popping up in Missouri.  I felt the presence of police everywhere I went.  And then I was unlawfully arrested.  Twice.  

I’ll admit I was very traumatized in each arrest circumstance.  They happened within six months of each other, which left me emotionally exhausted and obsessed with the growing police state in our country.  The first charges were dropped relatively quickly which removed the burden of an impending trial from over my head, but my second arrest caused me many months of stress as I awaited trial in New Hampshire.    

I was not myself.  I was depressed and angry and everyone I knew was forced to suffer right along with me.  It took John leaving me for me to realize just how much power I was giving these institutions of violence and fear.  I was giving my entire being, every ounce of my energy and every thought in my head, to the state.  I knew that something must change and I began to take ownership of my emotions, my income, and my life.  Without truly understanding the term, I began to walk down a path of agorism as I healed and began to grow.

I decided that I must learn to grow food in order to ensure I could one day provide for a family.  I explored places to live in Missouri, New Hampshire and Texas where I could barter my labor for housing.  My favorite offer was from a small farm in Dripping Springs, Texas where I decided to spend the last six months of 2010 learning to garden and care for chickens. I knew my dependency on the federal reserve note for my housing would return when my time on the farm was done, so I simultaneously began to work on trading my skills, knowledge, time and energy into things that I needed to survive.

My first barter arrangement was under my belt and I began to seek others.  I hooked up with a local bookstore, Brave New Books, and offered to make them a new website.  In exchange, they offered me a Berkey Water Filtration system valued around $225. What a blessing this was as the well-water was full of sulfur and I could not afford a filter with cash!

Next, I hooked up with a local Political Action Committee and provided conflict resolution, team building, and strategic planning services.  I also wrote one article a month for a local paper in my hometown.  In total, I lived off of just over $200 a month for about 7 months.  Sure, its possible, but I do not recommend it.  

The honest truth is that it was very difficult on my health - I was working very hard for very little and my body paid a toll.  I lost my energy and drive, I began to find grey hairs and see lines in my face, and I became rather thin for my build.  But I was determined.  I was NOT going to go back and work for the system that robbed from my paycheck only to point a gun at me and put me in a cage simply for speaking.  I just could not participate in that system any longer.  

And so I took the hard road and made a sudden switch.  I learned to live very small.  My entire life fit in an 18 foot trailer and I only spent money on my needs.  Dog food, gasoline, cell phone (and thus Internet access), and food.  I suddenly found myself more blessed than I thought possible.  I spent hours and hours outside working my hands in soil and tending to plants that I learned to love as I watched seeds turn into plants that would provide beautiful and delicious food.  Friends began to grace the farm with their presence.  Together we’d work mid noon until sun down, then together we’d eat, drink, sing songs and be merry around the campfire.  Life was slow.  It was simple.  It was beautiful.  I got a taste for freedom.  It tasted good.

Quickly my need for federal reserve notes increased when I moved off the farm.  This is when I found myself in over my head.  I was cranking out websites left and right all fall of 2010, so I decided to offer three websites in one month for a hundred dollars each.  I wanted to diversify my work and needed to raise the dollars to pay rent.  Not only did I accidentally take on absolutely huge jobs that would take months and many additional hours to finish, but I made poor choices in hosting providers and lost over a dozen websites at one juncture.  One was for my best friend Tracy’s campaign right toward the end, and we lost all of her content.  This crushed me like nothing ever had.  All my work.  Just gone.  And it was my fault for not backing it up, I had no one else to blame.

It was one obstacle after another.  I really had a hard time getting on my feet and if it wasn’t for John, I don’t know how I would have made it.  He always made sure I was eating well and even helped me pay the upfront fees to move into an apartment.  He was a true blessing in my life during this time.  We soon found out we were pregnant and I would soon find my impoverished lifestyle devastating my body as nutrients were re-directed to baby.  This is when another blessing entered my life.  

A local activist and naturopath doctor offered to treat John and I as a thank you for our activism.  We visited him the first time before we knew we were going to have a baby.  I was in very bad shape, as was John.  Our bodies were not happy with us.  We had spent years of around-the-clock activism or agorism and we were close to falling apart.  Our doctor encouraged us to change our lives immediately.  And we did.  Well, some things took time, but others happened that day.  We began taking vitamins, paying attention to how our bodies reacted to various foods, and generally began to take care of ourselves.  The timing was perfect as not a month later we found out a baby was on the way.  Later, I would help the doctor with web work and John plans to help him with video and audio assistance in the future.

As our lives both began to transition from “work” to “agora”, we found many circumstances to barter with people in our community in this way.   When our dog, Edward Norton, became ill with bone cancer, we bartered with a local veterinarian for his end of life care.  We provided a website and a YouTube video.  We have also paid this veterinarian in silver. We began to take silver to the farmers market and found vendors that would barter silver for veggies, meat, cheese, and fruit.  So we began to use “junk silver” dimes to buy food.  Months later, a farmer’s market vendor asked John to provide marketing services in exchange for food. Now our family is blessed with fresh veggies and frozen homemade meals every month.  It has lowered our grocery bill significantly, especially since we only eat organic real food.  We moved into a house on two and a half acres and began to grow our own veggies (although we have been defeated by drought and freezing to date), and acquired chickens who lay the eggs we eat and provide us with a sporadic stream of silver (we barter a dozen eggs for a silver dime).  

We also began to invest in our agorist friends.  One of the aforementioned arrests resulted in a small settlement for me from the arresting police department.  That money was spent on baby expenses, finishing my graduate degree, a few farm items (like 18 baby chicks!), and on products created by our friends that we can now sell at our vendor booths as we travel the country giving speeches.  It is really important to me that my friends are able to start the transition from activist to agorist as well.

Granted, we’re not totally there.  We still depend on the dollar for rent and utilities, but we have done a fantastic job of decentralizing our resource acquisition so that we are providing for ourselves in a variety of means.  We write, speak, sell items at vendor booths and offer various media services.  We love to barter.  I’m not going to do websites for pay anymore; it took the fun out of it for me as I still have a few projects backlogged from this time last year!  We are close, though, and I have never been happier.  I eat good food, take good vitamins, spend time outside, spend time with family and get to support people I love while supporting our family.

We are building toward something more.  We want to live as sustainably as possible.  We are interested in buying land in Texas or New Hampshire and starting a homestead where we can build a home of the earth that does not require tapping in to the central electric, water, or gas grids.  We want to raise our own food and create many things ourselves.  We want to experience joy every single day just simply by existing in the world we have built for ourselves.  We are so excited!

I tell you this so you understand both the pros and the cons of becoming an agorist.  You have to sacrifice a lot to make the transition, especially if you are one of the firsts in your community to begin the process.  But it is worth it.  If you can persevere through the rough patches, you can arrive at a point where you have made enough contacts and built enough relationships that you can live with little stress regarding your needs.  You will feel so liberated.  

It also means that those of you who are not yet ready to make the transition should consider finding a way to support those who are paving the way.  Each time someone takes the first step down the path of agorism, it becomes easier for the next person.  It is by helping each other that we can rise above the chaos and negativity found in mainstream culture.  We can create a way of life that allows our fellow human being to exist without the use of the federal reserve note and without a gun pointed at them demanding a cut.  

If you’re interested in supporting any of my agorist / barter friendly / silver friendly friends by purchasing items made by them, hit me up and I’ll put you in touch.  We sell the notorious “Peace Piece” tobacco pipes, Surviving Sheftall paracord bracelets, Dean Ryan Collection lady’s v-neck tee’s, JFK ETF shirts by LRP, hand made AliCat glass/wire jewelry, Nicola’s Duct Tape wallets, Liberty Stickers, Dime Cards by Indigo Agora, and much more!  You can also visit our growing agorist directory at

Twenty twelve is the year.  The time is now.  Agorism is the key to thriving in this chaotic society.


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