AgoraFest 2015 has come and gone. This year’s festival, as with the previous two festivals, was a great time that was over far too quickly. As I sit at home adjusting to the statist world I’m forced by fate to occupy I can’t help but reflect on the thing that makes AgoraFest so great: a focus on action.
A lot of freedom festivals focus on education and spreading the message. Both of those are necessary but neither solves the problem of statism. Fighting statism requires actual action. Being an agorist festival, AgoraFest focuses primarily on counter-economics. As I conversed with other AgoraFest attendees I wasn’t once asked to donate money to, caucus for, or otherwise waste my time with a political campaign. What I heard were entrepreneurial ideas. Common topics included starting underground businesses, alternate strategies for educating children, and how advancements in technology can help create a world decoupled from State control. Best of all, people were walking the walk.
Quite a few AgoraFest attendees were selling goods or services. Everything from food to books to solar panels to bicycle rentals could be found for a price. Many of us were exchanging silver dimes as tokens of appreciation for minor tasks. If somebody asked you to run and grab them a bottle of water or a beer there was a good chance you’d net a silver dime for your time. All of this may sound minor or petty but it’s actually a big deal.
Every revolution has a humble beginning. The common trap agorists fall into is thinking they need something big to make an impact. One of the AgoraFest speakers pointed out that agorists often get caught up focusing on a single million dollar idea instead of a million one dollar ideas. Because of this they never take the step from theory to practice. Every vendor at AgoraFest was taking that crucial step. Every silver dime that exchanged hands was a transaction in a truly free market. And in this environment devoid of government oversight nobody was hurt, which firmly hammered a nail into the coffin of the idea that government oversight is necessary to ensure consumer safety.
In four short days a handful of people gathered in one location to put decades of theory to practice. The results were phenomenal. And it is this focus on action that makes AgoraFest a truly unique experience.