Bitcoin is disruptive.
When it hits its stride, it is going to cause a major shakeup of the world financial and political structures. It is going to force a rethinking about how a lot of things are done. And with the current trend toward greater state and corporate control, this will probably be a good thing.
After the technophiles, some of the earliest people to gain an interest in the possibilities represented by Bitcoin were the libertarians. These uncompromising lovers of liberty understood that Bitcoin could return to them control of their finances. Bitcoin would allow them to save, store, and trade their wealth without the need of banks or governments, without regard for borders or currency controls.
While the anonymity of Bitcoin is a little overstated, it is nonetheless possible to use Bitcoin without having a prying state or a prying corporation watching over your shoulder. It’s still possible for governments to do massive data collection, but as the currency develops, expect services that will protect privacy in ways that we have come not to expect in the age of credit cards.
I recently came across a different type of libertarian in my search for interesting Bitcoin businesses to profile. Stateless Sweets an Agorist bakery. Agorism, proposed by Samuel Konkin and J. Neil Schulman, is, as I read it, a statement of faith in human nature. They suggest that all human interaction should be voluntary. They suggest that no one has the right to initiate violence against any other person or person’s property. By logical extension, since governments use what the agorists call “legitimized,” as opposed to legitimate, force to ensure the cooperation of its people, governments are not themselves legitimate.
Agorism comes from the ancient Greek word “agora,” or market. It is a place for people to meet freely and to conduct their businesses. Agorists, quite simple, believe that it is their right to meet and conduct whatever business they like without regard to what the state sanctions, taxes, or prohibits. It is a system of peaceful trade and voluntary interactions. In this world, we would all be self-responsible, self-sufficient, and harmonious.
But that is not to say that Agorism is passive. Agorism actively promotes the idea of opting out of the system. In fact, it is sometimes described as “the study or practice of all peaceful human action which is forbidden by the state.” Since the state is built on the use or threat of force, agorists opt out not paying taxes, gun running, drug smuggling, etc. The point is not to actively oppose the state, but to make it irrelevant. By becoming an agorist, you join a community of people who live by the same principles. One by one, as people join the movement, they stop supporting the government. At a certain point, governments will cease to matter and people will choose for themselves how they wish to live and who they wish to deal with.
How does Bitcoin fit in? Naturally, it is a currency that was designed by a mysterious person or persons to avoid the necessity of any government or corporate control. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency with trust built into the protocol. It is an agorist’s dream. With Bitcoin, there is no need to use government backed currency and therefore one more way to opt out of what the government is trying to sell.
I was in contact with Jillian Batty at Stateless Sweets to ask about her bakery, her Agorism, and Bitcoin. Here is our conversation:
First, could you tell me a bit about your business?
Absolutely! Stateless Sweets is an Agorist Confection shop. We carry delicious homemade old fashioned sweets. The kind your grandma made. We’re run out of a home kitchen in Denver, CO. Just moved here, and thankfully found somewhere with a gas stove. Those treats are sensitive business.
How long have you been in business?
Stateless Sweets opened shop originally in November 2011. It was an attempt to procure some much needed funds to have an awesome Christmas. After the holidays we expanded from the original products of Caramel and Fudge with English Toffee and Peanut Brittle. Everything spiraled from there and I bartered my way with website design and photography.
What are your chief products and who are your chief customers?
The fudge and brittles are definitely popular, but I’m seeing a growing demand for my Paleo type items. My customers? People who like candy or know it is a great gift. What got you into selling chocolate online? I have always enjoyed making candy while growing up with my grandma and mother. When I was in a situation where I could stay at home with my son I decided this is the opportunity to do something I love an
d support my family even more.
Can you tell me a little bit about the agorist philosophy and how you got involved with it?
The Agora encompasses a voluntary exchange of goods and services without the state’s obstruction. The Agora is working against government fiat non-economics. I believe in voluntary exchanges… and who likes funding war by paying taxes?
Can you tell me when you started accepting Bitcoin?
Why did you start using it and what kind of response have seen from offering payment by Bitcoin?
I started using Bitcoin because of the market demand from customers, ease of use, and being an Agorist; alternative currency is the way to go. I’ve seen an increase in business and have even had a few monthly memberships be purchased in Bitcoin. It’s a great way to pay for advertising as my business grows and seasons demand more exposure to a broader customer base.
Stateless Sweets customers are really the best part of this whole business. Their reactions and love for what I create is what keeps me going, even as I’ve accepted a new position with another business that accepts Bitcoin, and life has gotten that more busy. Their suggestions have inspired many new products, including Stateless Sweets Cinnamon Caramel. I had a customer request I make them one day covered in white chocolate. Decided the only right way to do this is to make my own extract and what was created is the most buttery, warm, cinnamon roll flavor in caramel form. Another customer requested I make a Mayan Temple out of Fudge… this seemed a bit challenging for shipping and I didn’t want to disappoint so I had to say no in that situation and offered a fudge gift basket instead. lol It worked out and the recipient was very pleased!
I want to thank Jillian for taking the time to answer my questions. I am not an expert on Agorism, so if you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections, please send them on. If you have purchased from Stateless Sweets, please leave a comment. If you know any business, charity, or organization that would benefit from being profiled on Bitcoin Warrior, please let us know by emailing [email protected]. Follow us on twitter at Bitcoin_win.