Samuel Edward Konkin III
|Died||February 23, 2004 (aged 56)|
|Founder of agorism|
Coined the term "minarchist"
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in the United States
Samuel Edward Konkin III (8 July 1947 – 23 February 2004), also known as SEK3, was the author of the publication New Libertarian Manifesto and a proponent of a political philosophy which he named agorism.
Konkin was born in Edmonton, Alberta, to Samuel Edward Konkin II and Helen Konkin. He had one brother, Alan. He married Sheila Wymer in 1990 and had one son, Samuel Evans-Konkin. The marriage ended soon afterward. Though he was an atheist, Konkin was a lifelong fan of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
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Konkin considered libertarianism as radical. He was an initiator of the Agorist Institute.
Konkin rejected voting, believing it to be inconsistent with libertarian ethics. He likewise opposed involvement with the US Libertarian Party, which he regarded as a statist co-option of libertarianism. He was an opponent of influential minarchist philosopher Robert Nozick, and referred to Nozick's devotees as "Nozis."
Konkin presents his strategy for achieving a libertarian society in his aforementioned manifesto. Since he rejected voting and other means by which people typically attempt social change, he encouraged people to withdraw their consent from the state by devoting their economic activities to black market and grey market sources, which would not be taxed or regulated. "Konkin called transactions on these markets, as well as other activities that bypassed the State, 'counter-economics.' Peaceful transactions take place in a free market, or agora: hence his term 'agorism' for the society he sought to achieve." He also strongly opposed the idea of intellectual property.
Konkin was editor and publisher of the irregularly-produced New Libertarian Notes (1971–1975), the New Libertarian Weekly (1975–1978), and finally New Libertarian magazine (1978–1990), the last issue of which was a special science fiction tribute featuring a Robert A. Heinlein cover (issue 187, 1990).
Political theorist and anarcho-syndicalist Ulrike Heider, in her book Anarchism: Left, Right, and Green, accused Konkin of endorsing historical negationism in his dealing with the Institute for Historical Review, which included allotting advertisement space to the IHR in New Libertarian, and writing a positive review of James J. Martin's book on Raphael Lemkin, which was published by the IHR. Konkin personally rejected Holocaust denial, but defended the IHR because he believed its freedom of speech was being suppressed.