New Libertarian Manifesto

New Libertarian Manifesto

The New Libertarian Manifesto is a work of agorist philosophy written by Samuel Edward Konkin III. In it, Konkin proffers various arguments of how a free society would function as well as examples of existing gray and black markets. It contains criticisms of utilizing political (i.e. activist or legislative) or violent means, and advocates non-politics with non-voting as a strategy. Finally, Konkin describes the steps of utilizing the black market to dismantle the state, a strategy known as counter-economics.

Konkin estimated that he would publish the New Libertarian Manifesto in 1975, but he considered it long-delayed.[1] He published it on the black market, without submitting it to the United States Library of Congress. The work was first printed by Anarchosamisdat Press in October 1980, and subsequently by Koman Publishing Co. in February 1983 and by KoPubCo in 2006.[2] After he first sold 1,000 copies and then 1,500 gold-covered copies, Konkin saw the book as a black market best-seller.[3]




The manifesto was systematically criticized, in a four-part series, by influential Austrian School economist and philosopher of anarcho-capitalism Murray Rothbard who was one of Konkin's major influences. He found the manifesto's assertion that wage labor was undesirable or that it would disappear to be absurd, noting specifically the manufacturing industry as one that could not be handled economically by self-employed, independent contractors due to transaction costs. Rothbard also pointed out that wage labor made it unnecessary for poor workers to purchase their own capital equipment; this could be left to the capitalists. Rothbard also viewed it as implausible that the black market could out-compete the white market at providing goods such as automobiles, steel, and cement that are less valuable and harder to conceal than jewels, gold, drugs, etc. Rothbard viewed the black market as being, in any case, ineffective at bringing down tyrannical regimes and perhaps even helpful in propping up otherwise economically unviable systems such as the Soviet Union's.[4] However, Rothbard did offer some praise, stating, "Konkin's writings are to be welcomed. Because we need a lot more polycentrism in the movement. Because he shakes up Partyarchs who tend to fall into unthinking complacency. And especially because he cares deeply about liberty and can read-and-write, qualities which seem to be going out of style in the libertarian movement."[2] Konkin wrote a reply to Rothbard's critique.[5]


Libertarian Robert LeFevre hailed the work "for its position respecting consistency, objective and method" and claimed that "it will have and deserves to have a compelling influences upon members of the 'old' left."[2]


Further reading

  • Rothbard, Murray. Strategy of the New Libertarian Alliance, Number One, May Day 1981, 3-11; reprinted as “The Anti-Party Mentality” in Libertarian Vanguard, Aug.-Sep. 1981.

External links

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