One strategy for living a more free life is implementing what Samuel Edwin Konkin III described as “agorism”. Agorism is described as the practice of civil disobedience through counter-economics by which one avoids State harassment. In search of someone living the agorist life and undermining taxation, I spoke to a man who only wanted to be identified as “Hex”.
An Interview with Hex
JDaniel Richer: How would you describe your political beliefs?
Hex: I tend to avoid labels, but I primarily identify as an agorist or insurrectionary anarchist. We can get really bogged down in our economic preferences, throwing around colors and flags and adjectives and whatnot. After a while of floundering between those, I realized that the best economic “system” is whatever is voluntarily decided on by the people using it, and whatever produces the most autonomy.
Personally, I would really like to live in a radically peer-to-peer setup, with a good mix of trade, gift economies, self-sufficiency, and mutual aid. I’ll let other people put a name to it.
JDaniel Richer: What strategies do you use to live a more free life?
Hex: For me, it’s using the counter-economy, the black and gray markets, wherever I can. It’s way more available than people think. For example, I’ll bet you quite a bit of the people vending at farmer’s markets, aren’t paying all their taxes. At this point, I’m even getting my honey in the gray market.
I’ve also started working towards self-sufficient living, which admittedly is really hard with where I am now. My partner and I didn’t really grow up with gardening, so it’s an adventure, to say the least.
JDaniel Richer: What is Greyman Design?
Hex: I would describe Greyman Design as a fully agorist design collective. We operate it as close to our values as we can. We don’t pay taxes on our services, we don’t accept fiat, and we’re not registered on any government database of businesses. We don’t even have bosses, which some people might consider to be chaotic, but is actually working really well for us. And while we do have a Facebook page, most of the dialogue with clients happens over more secure methods of communication.
JDaniel Richer: How do you market something like this?
Hex: We got really lucky with marketing, since most of us already were well known in our circles, or were at least involved pretty heavily in the counter-economy already. So if we knew a business or person that was having a few issues with starting up and making their stuff look professional, we could come in and say, “Hey, I know someone who could make you a site,” or if it’s not a site they need, “Hey, I know someone who could make you a logo,” and so on. It’s mostly word of mouth.
People making really stellar graphics are pretty hard to find in the agorist community. So when they hear we’re agorists, we’re confidential, we work for cheap, and all of our crew has been doing it professionally for years, sometimes decades, it makes getting them to use our services pretty easy.
JDaniel Richer: How do you know you can trust the people you work with?
Hex: Originally it was just me with a friend, so there didn’t have to be much trust. When you suddenly add ten people to that, and then have clients that you’ve never seen and never will, you have to come up with something.
For the clients, we’ve decided to start having upfront fees, and pretty soon milestones, because otherwise some people will take the designs and run. That’s just how it is. I had it happen to me a couple times when I first started.
With fellow workers, we have a full online chatroom with multiple areas for progress reports and just regular chatting. We had a contract set up a while back during a meeting, saying they have to participate in that chat at least once a week. Surprisingly everyone agreed, and we haven’t had to boot anyone yet.
JDaniel Richer: What led you to this line of work?
Hex: Honestly, I just wanted a way to combine my philosophy with my daily life with something that I already knew how to do. I already had a couple of degrees in this stuff and a few years of experience, and so did some friends, so this was the first thing that the original crew came up with. Haven’t looked back.
JDaniel Richer: What’s next for Greyman Design?
Hex: We’ve been chatting about collaborating with some pretty awesome companies in the agorist community. We’d love to eventually grow to over twenty, maybe thirty designers and marketers, and start doing websites more regularly, especially deep web. I can’t speak for every worker in Greyman Design, but I’d love for us to be a regular first choice among clients that advertise in the dark and deep web.
JDaniel Richer: Do you have anything else you would like to add?
Hex: Yeah, absolutely. If readers want to find out more about us or become a client, please check us out on greymandesign.com, or if you’re looking for more secure methods, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This interview was lightly edited for clarity.Republish