Of all the systems that we seek freedom within and from, none pervades our lives as much as the “econosphere” we inhabit. By “econosphere”, I mean the global network of economic activity whose nodes are individuals and whose edges are trade relationships between individuals.
Even if we had no government, we’d still likely be trading goods and services. Therefore the econosphere may be more significant than the existence of government to those seeking freedom. Anarchists traditionally focus on the elimination of government as the means of increasing freedom. However, I propose that limited reliance on the econosphere is a more comprehensive goal for anarchistic thinking.
There are two paths to individual economic freedom in a free-market economy: The first is to be wealthy enough to afford whatever transactions one wants to make whenever one wants to make them. This is unfortunately out of reach for most people. The second path is voluntary frugality; limiting the transactions one makes to well thought out targets, such that utility and satisfaction of purchases is maximized and very few dollars are spent on things outside those targets.
This strategy of voluntary frugality limits individual reliance on the econosphere by limiting the amount of money that an individual needs to acquire and spend, thereby enhancing their freedom to choose their path in life. I cannot think of a more practical expression of anarchism within the “real world” that we inhabit today.