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Posts Tagged ‘NAP’

An Expanded Version of the NAP

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2021

Regarded by many as the keystone of Libertarian philosophy.

https://an-expanded-version-of-the-nap-60.webself.net/

This essay offers an expanded version of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). The traditional forms have been very useful as introductory statements into libertarian discussions. However, the Anarchist/Voluntaryist movement has matured to the point where the NAP requires formulations that are more sophisticated.

The simpler versions of the NAP

For the uninitiated, the typical NAP expressions have the advantage of simplicity, such as

“It is wrong to initiate force, threat of force, or fraud against others or their property, without consent”.

This speaks to a shared basic morality at the heart of human interactions. Moreover, it is highly comprehensive: a great deal is conveyed in a single sentence.

However, the expression fails in many cases. If I grab my watch back from a pickpocket, it may seem to a bystander that I am the thief. Relying strictly on simple forms of the NAP does not help, or at best creates confusion. It does not meet the needs at hand.

The need for an expanded formulation

Anyone who has engaged in conversations about the NAP has likely faced challenges, such as edge-cases or other difficult scenarios. Additionally, articles and blogs have been written presenting outright challenges to the NAP itself.

We can easily see the limitations of the simple form of the NAP, by examining what is not mentioned, or at best implied:

  • The terms “force” or “aggression” imply coercion by direct human action. They do not specifically mention the words we use, or physical objects under our control. This leaves many actions open to interpretation such as verbal abuse, pollution and other nuisances.
  • It does not account for degrees of force. Minor actions can be debatable, such as harmless threats.
  • It does not allow for degrees of harm. Trivial aggressions can appear as NAP violations.
  • Intent is only weakly implied. Pure accidents can appear just as egregious as willful coercion.
  • The concept of consent itself can be misinterpreted; a fraud victim may appear to give consent.
  • It does not address actions taken in defense of third parties. This leads to debates as to whether such defense is “initiated” force.

An enhanced version of the NAP

The author wishes to stress that this formulation of the NAP is by no means intended as definitive, complete or final.

The following is offered as an enhanced version of the NAP. It separates and emphasizes the fundamental concepts that underpin the principle, as it pertains to the actors and their actions. The concepts are: Initiation, Intent, Compromised Consent, Harm, and Causal Role.

To consider a human action as wrong, all components of the Non-Aggression Principle must be present:

  • Initiation. An action is initiated by a person or by means of property they control
  • Intent. The action is intentional, or its results are reasonably foreseeable
  • Compromised Consent. The subject either lacks reasonable capacity to give consent to the relevant actions, or has such capacity but is deprived of the choice to freely opt out of the harm
  • Harm. The subject experiences non-trivial harm to their person or property
  • Causal Role. The action has a sufficiently significant causal role in undermining the subject’s consent.

This formulation has the advantage of being useful across various normal and abnormal human interactions. It attempts to eliminate controversy by detailing the NAP’s components, then applying the situational specifics to these components.

The alert reader will likely notice the use of several subjective terms, such as “reasonably”, “freely”, “non-trivial”, “sufficiently” and “significant”. These are used by design. The purpose of this particular version of the NAP is to simplify discussions about detailed, specific cases. If it is to succeed in this, it must use terms that are both broad enough to generalize, yet meaningful enough to make sense when applying them.

The spectrum of right and wrong actions

Human interactions fall along a spectrum that extends from purely peaceful voluntary actions, to acts of pure violence. My Super Bowl ticket changed hands when my wife purchased it…a purely peaceful exchange. It changed hands when she gave it to me as a gift…again, peaceful. I got into a brawl and hurt a bystander; the ticket changed hands again when I gave it to him…as restitution for the harm I caused. Later it changes hands again…when he is murdered for the ticket.

The issue is not that these examples are difficult to resolve; our common sense tells us exactly which cases are right and which are wrong. The problem is that simple forms of the NAP are not always useful when we try to apply them to specifics. Our time is spent debating how to interpret the NAP and its terms. It is not a failure of our common sense, nor of the spirit of the NAP as a principle. It is rather because the formulation is too broad to adequately handle specifics.

Refer to this supplemental essay for examples demonstrating the value of an expanded formulation.

DEFINITIONS

This essay’s use of the NAP terms is anarcho-capitalist, and based on contemporary scholarly understandings of property, consent, and Austrian economic theory.

Some terms used in the expanded NAP formulation…

“Initiated”

This addresses the particular action that “started it” and makes defensive actions easier to evaluate. For example, the thief “started it” by stealing the watch. If a week later the owner takes it back, the owner did not take an “initial” action even though the two events were spaced apart in time. Rather, he responded to the thief’s initial action.

“Initiated…by means of property they control”

This insures that if physical objects are a factor in the action, the person controlling or responsible for the object is culpable. A dog’s owner allows it to run free and the dog then bites a child. The owner cannot claim to be innocent on the grounds that he personally did not commit the act of aggression.

“Property”

Assumes the scarce-goods (rivalrous, conflictable) model, which includes a person’s body and justly acquired material objects. Ownership is essentially the right to exclude others from use.

“Action”

In general usage the word “action” appears to subsume all forms of human activity. In this essay, “action” implies intent and purpose…the exercise of will. “Action” is therefore contrasted with (and does not include) other human movement such as moving while asleep, or accidental motions. To be sure, the phrase “The action is intentional” is self-describing. However, it is retained to make explicit the importance of intent when evaluating specifics.

“Intent is a necessary ingredient in human action; if there is no intent, then there is no action, only behavior: involuntary physical movements guided by deterministic causal relations.”

(Stephan Kinsella; Patrick Tinsley, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 07/30/2014)

For example: there is no intent to harm if, while walking, I faint, stumble and injure someone. But if I drive drunk and then injure someone, my driving in this condition was intentional (and, of course, its consequences reasonably foreseeable). This is why intent is a component in affirming or rejecting a NAP violation.

“Compromised consent”

This helps clarify the victim’s ability to agree to the interaction and its outcomes. Any one of the following can be considered a victim, whether they appear to give consent or not: a person sleeping or comatose, a child, a mentally challenged person, a person unaware of the conditions at hand.

“The subject…is deprived of the choice to freely opt out”

The core element of consent is the freedom to opt out of the interaction altogether. Choosing between a 10-year Life policy and a 20-year policy actually entails three options, the third being the choice to opt out. But say a parent pays a ransom for their child’s life. Using the simpler version of the NAP, one might argue they “consented”. However the opt-out aspect is absent and thus consent is “clouded”. Inclusion of the choice to freely opt out makes clear there is no consent.

“Non-trivial harm”

This eliminates unreasonable claims of NAP harm. The traditional libertarian challenge case is shining a flashlight at someone, who then claims a NAP violation, as they did not consent to being struck by light photons. This is trivial harm.

“Sufficiently significant causal role”

The action must have enough significance in causing the harm. Several examples presented in the supplemental essay show the importance of this part of the expanded NAP.

Conclusion

The Non-Aggression Principle is already highly implied as a basis of traditional common law and civil law. As we move toward a stateless society, the NAP will be refined in ever greater detail. Eventually a free society’s legal code is likely to have a highly robust formulation of the NAP as its foundation. This will represent the moral and philosophical aspect of the NAP; but its utilitarian aspect will emerge with each individual application, where the particulars will be examined within NAP legal frameworks.

Mark Maresca

March 2020

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Existentialism, Libertarianism, and the NAP | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2020

The philosophical thesis of existentialism has no normative content—even morality is an undecided issue. Libertarianism, in contrast, champions what is sometimes characterized as the non-aggression principle (NAP) as its most fundamental tenet: initiating or threatening forceful interference with individuals and their property is wrong. In existentialism, everything is permitted. In libertarianism, in contrast, everything is permitted except violation of the NAP. Libertarianism, therefore, exemplifies moral absolutism, which existentialism does not.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/existentialism-libertarianism-and-the-nap/

by Laurie Calhoun

Pexels Pixabay 163064

I self-identify only as myself but have long been sympathetic with both libertarianism and existentialism. Having dealt throughout 2020 with an array of restrictions on my liberty imposed by local authorities everywhere I have been (Europe, the UK, and now in the US), the primary effects of which have been not to save lives but to control how people behave, I have been thinking about existentialism, which naturally raises questions about the proper scope and role of government, bringing me back, also, to libertarianism. Both outlooks prioritize human liberty, dignity and personal responsibility above all else. I have seen nearly nothing written about existentialism in recent years, perhaps because its most famous adherent in the twentieth century, Jean-Paul Sartre, was politically aligned with socialist and even communist movements. To suggest that existentialism and libertarianism are somehow related might seem prima facie odd because the latter is typically regarded as politically conservative, a right-wing, not a left-wing, view of the proper role of government. The mere mention of the word libertarian may incite ire among progressives of the “social justice warrior” stripe, and some leftists appear to derive untold delight from sardonically ridiculing libertarians as “pot-smoking Republicans”.

Another common stereotype is that libertarians must be white male land owners (why else would they care about protecting private property?!), which is of course just as simpleminded as Joe Biden’s claim that “You ain’t black!” if you have to think about whether to support him. In fact, nothing could be more racist than to assume that “authentic” black people have no real choice but to support the Democratic party. Biden’s claim was all the more disturbing given that he himself helped to author the 1994 crime bill which put thousands of people behind bars for nonviolent offenses, including many African Americans. Biden also rallied vigorously for the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq, which is relevant not only because a disproportionately high percentage of racial minorities serve in the military, but also because the lives of millions of persons of color were destroyed or degraded as a result of arguably the worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history. In 2011, the Obama-Biden administration went on to offensively attack the country of Libya, which resulted in a resurgence of African slave markets. In that same year, they used lethal drones to execute brown-skinned U.S. citizens without indictment, much less trial. But who really cares about Biden’s policies? At least he is not Orange Man Bad!

Speaking of labels, Jean-Paul Sartre famously praised Che Guevara as “l’homme le plus complet de notre époque [the most complete human being of our age]” which, again, might lead some readers to scoff at my claim that existentialism and libertarianism have anything whatsoever in common. It would be a mistake, however, to confuse Sartre’s political views with the higher-order philosophical thesis of existentialism, which was most appealingly articulated by nineteenth-century thinkers Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard and Fyodor Dostoevsky, who are not coincidentally some of my favorite authors. Albert Camus, another twentieth-century intellectual, wrote a number of works which arguably reflect an existentialist outlook—including his most famous novels, L’étranger [The Stranger] and La peste [The Plague]—but Camus himself resisted that label. He certainly wasn’t the first independent thinker throughout history to have refused to accept such labels, for a variety of different reasons. Some among them simply do not like club-like organizations, which do on occasion transmogrify into religious cults of sorts, even when their memberships comprise what to all appearances are intellectuals.

Jean-Paul Sartre followed the lead of his nineteenth-century predecessors in famously propounding that “l’existence précède l’essence,” which is an explicit rejection of the essentialism of ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle. We become what we do, but that is never fully determined by the circumstances of our birth. That said, it was not entirely insane for twentieth-century existentialists to champion left-wing political causes, so long as they were convinced (as they seem to have been) that the conditions for human liberty, dignity and personal responsibility were not available to the vast majority of persons. Sartre rejected not only Aristotle’s essentialism but also his belief (apparently common in ancient Greece) that women and non-Greeks (barbarians!) were not full-fledged persons. As pretty much everyone owns today, individuals denied the opportunity to educate themselves may appear to be illiterate, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with their inherent intellectual capacities. Along those lines, left-wing existentialists may insist that before anyone can make free choices, they need to have not only the potential but also the power, at least in principle, to do so. People who are scrounging around for their next meal or a roof over their head for the night may not have the energy or time to do much else.

As a result of the political activities and fame of Sartre and Camus, the existentialist waters were muddied for decades to follow, with some of those claiming Sartre as a personal hero more or less on a par with the twenty-somethings who wear Che Guevara t-shirts but never bother to read any books about him. Those who adore the iconic stenciled image of “Che”, and the implied “coolness” of anyone who agrees, might be stunned to learn, among other things, that Che Guevara personally oversaw the execution of more than 500 human beings, most of whom had been going along to get along with the Batista regime. Then again, given what might be termed “the authoritarian turn” taken in recent years by leftists keen to impose their values on everyone else, perhaps they would not be bothered in the least by Che’s homicidal creds.

The division between left-leaning and right-leaning existentialists turns most obviously on their interpretation of potential. Few would deny that it can be difficult for a person born into poverty to break out of his conditions, but it is nonetheless possible, as we know from the many people throughout history who have done just that. It is precisely the inherent dignity of human beings which drives some of them to achieve great things, and, although some will roll their eyes or snicker at this, one may with equal reason point out that many a person with a good deal of potential ended up squandering it in part as a result of the privileged conditions into which he was born. Ultimately, in a free society, the answer to the question what persons should do with their lives comes back to themselves, regardless of whether they were disadvantaged or spoiled, encouraged or oppressed.

The philosophical thesis of existentialism has no normative content—even morality is an undecided issue. Libertarianism, in contrast, champions what is sometimes characterized as the non-aggression principle (NAP) as its most fundamental tenet: initiating or threatening forceful interference with individuals and their property is wrong. In existentialism, everything is permitted. In libertarianism, in contrast, everything is permitted except violation of the NAP. Libertarianism, therefore, exemplifies moral absolutism, which existentialism does not. An existentialist may adopt non-aggression as a personal principle, and he may or may not exhort others to do the same. He may or may not find fault with those who neither agree with him nor follow his lead. The existentialist may skeptically regard the NAP as an article of faith, for it must be chosen by an individual himself for himself and for his own reasons. But to claim that normative principles such as NAP are articles of faith is not to deny their importance in how some people choose to shape their own lives.

What should we do? is not a question which can be settled by appeal to the deliverances of science, because science trades only in facts, while normative prescriptions for action are based in values, which cannot be read off of empirical reality. The paradox of morality is that you cannot argue someone into acting morally, if he does not already believe that he should, because what one ought to do can never be deduced from the way things happen to be. Instrumental rationality is a matter of fashioning means to ends, but setting those ends is up to individuals themselves—an idea championed not only by skeptics such as eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume, but also the existentialists.

The open-ended, contentless quality of existentialism is perhaps why much of what has been written by existentialists is literally literature—assuming the standard division between philosophy and literature. (I myself reject that division, but many philosophers do not.) However one distinguishes one type of writing from another, it is up to each person to decide how to interpret everything. If you choose to follow anyone else’s rules (those of your parents, teachers, the state, a religion or other group, a philosophical “school”), that is something which you choose to do—or not. “Ne pas choisir, c’est encore choisir [not to choose is still to choose],” as Sartre famously put it. Common criminals and protagonists such as Raskolnokov (in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment) or Meursault (in Camus’ L’étranger) may be viewed by many as miscreants, but their comportment arises out of their individual decisions to adopt their own principles for living. They are free agents, and no one else is responsible for what they do. Yes, forces of nature and nurture act upon everyone, but we alone choose what to do and bear the primary credit or blame for the consequences which ensue.

Western democracy is generally regarded as the best available system for free persons, for it permits them to carve out their own destinies, based on their own beliefs. Everyone faces obstacles and struggles along the way, but with sufficient initiative, drive and ingenuity, some people manage to make something of themselves. The laws of modern societies prohibiting violence against other people effectively affirm the libertarian’s NAP (which is not however to deny that the state is itself the primary violator of the NAP, above all through war). An individual may lead his life as he wishes, provided that he does not prevent others from doing the same. If your concept of “The Good Life” requires the destruction of other human beings and/or their property, then your liberty will be restricted by the government, if you are caught. Some people do not embrace the NAP, choose to rape and murder, pillage and plunder, and some among them end up in prison next to the nonviolent pot-smokers and others locked up as a result of the 1994 crime bill and related NAP-hostile legislation.

Now that recreational marijuana has been legalized in many of the United States, and medical marijuana in even more, there are plenty of pot smokers roaming free, even while others continue to languish behind bars. We also know that, although some murderers are locked up, others remain at large: one out of every three homicide cases in the United States is never solved. That may seem to be an alarming statistic to some, but it is the price that must be paid for the much worse alternative of judging everyone guilty until proven innocent. The presumption of innocence protects many more innocent than guilty people. No one should be locked up (much less executed) for their mere potential to commit crimes, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a tyrant, tout court. Some of the best works of dystopic fiction underscore the horror of a world in which everyone is constantly under suspicion and subject to arbitrary detention for whatever reason any authority may deem sufficient, solely at his caprice.

In 2020, people are currently being denied the freedom needed to determine their own destinies and to conduct themselves with the dignity which distinguishes them from the members of other species. In this way, COVID-World offers libertarians a glimpse into the twentieth-century existentialists’ concerns about the material prerequisites which must first be satisfied in order for persons to be able to choose what to do with their lives. Before COVID-19, people in Western liberal societies were largely held responsible for their own deficiencies and failure to fashion a good life for themselves. Now, however, people are being denied the opportunity to do what they would choose to do, left to their own devices. Effectively, those being prevented from earning a livelihood and forced to stay home are the equivalent of innocent persons erroneously convicted and sentenced to prison terms. Incarcerated persons are severely hampered in their ability to start and run businesses, and to act in other ways which might prevent them from resorting to crime in the future. They are also strictly limited in their choices of how best to flourish and thrive while inhabiting a cage.

Just as innocent persons should not be incarcerated, healthy people should not be quarantined. From the perspective of both existentialism and libertarianism, this arbitrary detention of innocent persons can be viewed as an affront to humanity. People are being told how they must live by their government, which claims to be acting for the public good but in reality is destroying countless lives. It is not the case that persons are forbidden by the government only from harming other people and their property, as an NAP-based society would prescribe. Citizens are in fact being ordered, effectively, to harm themselves, under the pretext that acting in ordinary ways may lead to the deaths of other people. How so many compliant citizens have come enthusiastically to embrace this Orwellian Covidystopia as “the new normal” is beyond me. Perhaps it is simply the logical consequence of stringent behavioral conditioning initially implemented by appeal to what we now know to have been the false claim that millions of compatriots would otherwise die. Many months later, having already accepted the endless and mercurial decrees of the Covid czars, people still terrified of the virus are willing to do whatever they are told to do without posing any objections whatsoever. Nine months of habits die hard, so when gurus in white lab coats such as Anthony Fauci tell them to jump, they answer “How high?”

Governments allegedly of, by, and for the people have imposed many restrictions on liberty in countries all over the planet, the primary effects of which have been to harm millions of people in the name of the small percentage of those who are vulnerable to COVID-19. It may be tempting to ascribe underhanded or ulterior motives to those who wave their science flags in defense of the new Nurse Ratched state, but there is no real need to do so, for the phenomenon can be more simply explained as fully analogous to the enthusiastic drum-beaters for wars from which they themselves have nothing to gain and, indeed, much to lose. The problem at this point in time is that people reside on one or the other side of the COVID-19 divide, but the policymakers are for the most part aligned, claiming the authority to dictate behaviors for all of society by appeal to the opinions of a few select scientific experts, no matter how many times they have been wrong in the past. Recall that Anthony Fauci sincerely proclaimed in a 60 Minutes program interview that masks were not necessary, and in fact caused more problems than they prevented because people wearing them tend touch their faces more often than they might otherwise do. (And of course it is quite evident by now to any observant person that most people wear the same mask over and over again—pulling it out and putting it into the same pocket or purse, making the exercise purely a matter of show.) We were also told “fifteen days to flatten the curve,” but then the goalposts were changed again and again, until now, nine months later, Pennsylvanians have been ordered to wear masks whenever they leave their home and also within their residence, if anyone should happen to visit. Travel continues to be restricted and has been condemned by government authorities the world over, both at the national and state level, despite the IATA’s (International Air Transport Association’s) calculation that the chances of contracting COVID-19 on a plane this year were one in twenty-seven million. Although some disputed that claim, the U.S. government abandoned its own health screening of persons on incoming flights because the positive cases were so low that the program was deemed cost ineffective.

Citizens stepped onto a slippery slope when, back in March 2020, they agreed to stay home, and, if necessary, not to work. They agreed to wear masks wherever and whenever this was deemed necessary by the authorities that be. But one restriction and rule leads to another, with progressively more absurd implicatios, as is nowhere better illustrated than in the State of Pennsylvania’s requirement that people wear facemasks within their own homes. Who will be enforcing such laws? (Perhaps Amazon’s Alexa can be brought on board, given that she already resides in millions of homes.) This invasion of policymakers into the private lives of their constituents, and the fact that people have not risen up in response, is a dangerous turn in the already surreal series of events constitutive of the COVIDystopic year 2020, and it must be resisted, while it is still possible to do so. Beyond prohibiting domestic violence (which is one instance of enforcing the NAP), the state has no business whatsoever in any private residence. It is not the government’s business to tell human beings how they ought to live or who they should be. People need to take personal responsibility for their own health and well-being. No one denies anyone the right to choose not to smoke or to drink alcohol and eat fatty foods, and no one is preventing anyone afraid of the virus from donning hazmat suits. As for the rest of us, we should be permitted to shoulder the inevitable risks associated with leading what we freely choose to make of our own lives.

About Laurie Calhoun

Laurie Calhoun is the author of We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering to Assassination in the Drone Age, War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, You Can Leave, and Philosophy Unmasked: A Skeptic’s Critique.

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About Two Years … – Gold Goats ‘n Guns

Posted by M. C. on October 22, 2020

If you are truly on an honest journey to find the right path for your own personal behavior, then rigorously applying the NAP (Non-Aggression Principle) to all facets of your life leads you to shedding the precepts of the necessity of the coercive state to shape and hold society together.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/10/20/about-two-years-anarchy-capitalism/

Author: Tom Luongo

There’s an old joke that runs through hard core libertarian circles that goes something like this.

An overly earnest newbie at a Libertarian Party meeting one night during a lull in a heated discussion of comma placement in a new rule change proposal asks, “What’s the difference between an anarchist and a minarchist?”

The grizzled party chair looks up from his copy of Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty and replies, “About two years.”

And I can tell you that that joke, like all good jokes has a nugget of deep truth in it. Embracing Minarchism is the toe-dip into the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). It’s your first tentative step into the scarier world of imagining it without a state.

And it’s a position that’s comforting. But it is also rife with contradictions. Those contradictions weigh on a person who is trying to live up to the ideal of the NAP.

If you are truly on an honest journey to find the right path for your own personal behavior, then rigorously applying the NAP to all facets of your life leads you to shedding the precepts of the necessity of the coercive state to shape and hold society together.

Anarchy in the You ‘Kay?

Because you begin to see the break points, the fault lines of our society in NAP terms. For me, I quickly no longer gave credence to the idea that in order for my individual rights to express themselves I have to submit to a human authority with a granted monopoly power on the use of aggressive force, which the NAP itself stands in opposition to.

At the core of all collectivist thinking is this basic tautology that your rights stem from the negotiation of what others define them as. Only by submitting to a higher human authority over you can you have a hope of retaining any of them, so you need to negotiate them down from the ideal.

Sound complicated? That’s because it is and it’s also insane.

A far simpler interpretation is to state I have a right to life. I have a claim of ownership of myself. Any abrogation of that claim of ownership and right to it by an aggressor is wrong.

Clear, concise, powerful.

Once you come to that conclusion and are willing to apply it consistently then you can become comfortable with freeing your mind of the need for the state.

But it also comes with responsibility. How do you defend those rights? Will you defend every assault on them no matter how minor?

But here’s better questions, ones Marxist will always throw at you to trip you up…

If you don’t defend yourself against a minor theft, say a pen or a coffee mug, was your right to property taken from you? Do you still have it in practical terms if you can’t defend against a murderer?

The answers are, in order, No and Yes. Just because the property was taken or the threat made, you always reserve the right to express the right to defend it.

That you choose not to is… wait for it…

… also your right.

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

Neil Peart – Free Will

That leads to basic economic questions like: Should you always do so? When is forgiveness or acceptance better than retribution?

Is it worth my precious time to chase down a guy who sold me a fake watch rather than chalk it up to experience and go about my other business?

These are basic questions that form the filter on which to view the world around you and are the basic seeds of the growth from being mired in the inconsistencies of Minarchism and blossoming into the flower of Anarchism.

The Right Stuff

It leads you to conclusions about how to find ways to minimize, not eliminate, coercive forces on your life. That we live in a world circumscribed by tyrants constantly climbing over each other for the power to tyrannize is irrelevant. They may in real terms suppress the expression of your right to life but it most certainly doesn’t negate it.

You can always choose to say, “No.”

Notice to this point I haven’t spent one word talking about implementation or politics. Because implementing these ideas isn’t a system to be imposed. That, itself, is a violation of the NAP, the idea of imposing Anarchy is a Collectivist perversion of the process.

We’re seeing this in the hyper-violent rioting of Antifa and BLM wanting to impose their new system that they call anarchy at the point of a gun and an open-ended wrench.

Anarcho-Capitalism isn’t a political system, it is a behavioral model and a filter with which to view the world. It is a philosophy whose name implies an internal vision of the world we want rather than the world we have.

And that filter is an incredibly powerful tool to analyze the world — especially economics and politics as both lie at the intersection of behavioral dissonances within a given population.

(I talked with Jay Fratt, The Conservative Hippie, about Anarchism on his podcast over the weekend.)

It is also a personal goal most people share — the best versions of ourselves possible. Where the differences lie along the political landscape is the extent to which taking on the responsibility of fixing problems which are not ours leads to violence, i.e. the State and before that revolution.

And that leads to the next two-year process, the one of realizing that there is no Utopia where sin is expunged, theft conquered and sociopathy eliminated.

There is only the minimization of these things because people are capable of tremendous generosity and tremendous violence. All of us. At all times.

Sometimes simultaneously.

And the real struggle is coming to terms with that fear. Fear drives Communists to overreach and hubris. AnCaps are driven by the acceptance of their limitations.

Only a culture which reinforces this idea of personal responsibility for one’s actions rather than glorifying thieves as winners will put us back on the right path rather than the wrong one.

Given where we are right now, that’s going to take a heckuva lot more than two years.

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