The Non-Aggression Principle (or NAP for short), also known as the Non-aggression axiom, is the absolute moral center of Libertarianism. It is the prime reason for the majority of “libertarian” stances on politics. All the way from ending our overseas wars to the ever growing welfare state, if you could boil all the other reasons for the libertarians political dissent away you would find the NAP. The NAP is a simple and easy to understand philosophical ideal that simply meas: It is morally wrong to initiate aggression or commit harm against someone who has not done anyone harm. It is an ancient principle found in many religions, and is one of the most basic lessons of morality that we teach our young ones. I would bet 99 out 100 people would tell you they agree with this idea, and the other one you back away from slowly…
Now, the NAP is the basis by which almost all actions are judged. If someone has stolen from you, he is in the wrong, for he has initiated aggression against your property. If some group assaults you and your family they have committed a moral crime (And legal depending on who is doing the assaulting). If you shoot and kill an attacker who is attempting to kill you, you have NOT committed a moral crime. It is the pacifist who calls all aggression immoral, let them do so for they will not get far in our gritty reality, but defensive aggression is not unjust. The use of violence to protect person and property is moral, although at times when we are forced to defend ourselves with our lives to we feel like knights in shining armor. No one wants to experience violence, just sometimes our cards aren’t handed to us like we please.
Here is the part that gets interesting: government. Of course, the proverbial fly in the lotion, the cyst on my kidney. The government is giant organization that, no matter what the size and scope of, makes a living violating the NAP. Every aspect of government is coated in violence, and I am not talking about the holocaust or other blatantly obvious violent jubilee’s that have scarred our specie’s past deeper. I mean everyday government. If you haven’t some to this conclusion by yourself I’m sure you are wondering where I am coming from, so let’s break it down. At its most basic, government must be funded. Nothing can work without funds and government is not exempt from that (It could work if all the politicians did all the work themselves….punchline delivered), so government must of course get funds somehow. They do this with taxes. (I will ignore money printing for the sake of this article) Taxes is money that is taken from a state’s citizens to “pay” for government. At no time in our lives were we given the option to pay taxes, they are taken from us without our consent. Argue the reason why all you want, “We need money to keep society running,” “How will we pay the firefighter and police? Who would help us?”. The bottom line is that this is a blatant violation of the NAP, and a fact that you would cannot disprove.
This basic fact flies in the face of many people from all over the political spectrum, some more than others. Regardless, if one is to support government one must support at least some level of violence against his/her fellow man. In my opinion this is a sad predicament. That the best we have come up with to “maintain” societal structure is based on plunder and threats of retribution. This mafia like system is an insult to someone like me who believes that under no circumstance, should innocent people be subject to theft and abuse in the name of (Insert Political Rally Cry Here). When man is left to be most free, and use his property as he pleases free from aggression and harm is productivity and peace at it’s greatest. I was not government coercion that brought about all the modern marvels that allow us to live greater and longer than kings did 200 years ago. Voluntary trade and interaction free from duress have created the greatest period productivity and economic growth in the history of our species.
Government violation of the NAP is at the root of our civil problems, and with the majority of people unwilling to give up this corrupt system for fear of what might replace it is not reason enough not to try. History has repeated itself and will continue to do so, and those repetitions all stem from one group of people using aggression against another, growing, and eventually self destructing. Thought I don’t see much of a light over the horizon, I still hold on to hope that the mass of people can stop tricking themselves into supporting something that is ever ready to use you as a stepping stool to power.
Remember people, it is an open hand and not a closed fist that is going to stop us from destroying ourselves. Keep the peace.