Sometimes I have this terrible habit of assuming certain arguments are settled, before moving on to the next one. Things like non-aggression I thought were one of them. You know, like, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t assault people, even if they’re too young to fight back”. Surprisingly enough, there are still people in this world who think that’s a great idea.
Today I find a blog post addressed to me at “The Right Stuff“, which, other than some inexplicable distaste for Cop Block, I usually enjoy immensely. In it, the author is replying to yesterday’s piece here, where I was second guessing my own use of force arguments. Of all the assertions I made in that article, the one he questions, is the non aggression principle. Mind you, not to restore the republic or in favor of some ill defined social contract, my understanding is the gentleman addressing me is himself a market anarchist (I’m now receiving word this may not be the case).
As I describe it;
The initiation of force is impermissible, and may be responded to with force. All else is permissible, and may not have force levied against it.
As TRS describes it;
I remember enough of my atheist/ancap years to know that “force” in the NAPist sense is the act of a human actor exerting his will over another human actor either directly or indirectly. While not explicitly stated, NAP hinges on the idea that all humans have natural rights that should be defended should they be encroached or aggressed upon.
His criticism starts off;
While a beautiful notion, Man’s actions are not magically protected by an outside force (I write this honestly as a Christian, that can certainly be a conversation for another day). Nature doesn’t care one whit for your perceived natural rights. We must first accept that what one really argues for when they assert “natural rights” is a set of perceived privileges or permissions.
Well, nothing magical about it, unlike your pal Jesus. There is no outside force, you’re responsible for protecting it yourself, hence the use of force arguments I’ve been making. I don’t think that “nature” cares about my “natural rights” anymore than the fucking police do. “Nature” will flush me down a mudslide just as quickly as it will give me air to breath. I don’t think the NAP is some kind of magic word that just protects your “rights” because enough people got on YouTube and said so. It’s just a moral concept and standard of conduct. One which, I have reason to believe, should be universally acceptable, and would lead one to greater success than other less axiomatic notions.
Consider association or disassociation, could that not be perceived as an initiation of force? Standards and punishments are certainly not the same thing as natural rights. The Free State Project exiling Cantwell and the actions and behaviors that led to the exile could be seen as aggression or force by either side.
None of this would be seen as aggression by anybody who understands plain English. The FSP removed me from their list of participants, and said I’m not welcome at their party. This is no different than me telling a fat chick I won’t sleep with her. I have no property in the FSP, and if they don’t want to associate with me then they are more than welcome to create a PR nightmare for themselves and look like complete idiots. Likewise, I’m more than welcome to slam them in front of hundreds of thousands of visitors on my blog, as an unprincipled bunch of hacks who lost sight of their goals, securing my position as pariah.
That’s how freedom of association works. If I thought the FSP was aggressing against me in doing so, I’d be gearing up for invasion to reclaim what was mine, instead of destroying their reputations and blowing past them in the Alexa ranks. Welcome to the market of ideas, where intellect, principle, and words, trump force and fraud.
We’re living this, friend. Ain’t it beautiful?
I’ve been critical of the rush to ostracism many have made against me as of late, and indeed of the concept of ostracism itself. I’m not the only one. Even some of the people who have made that rush are beginning to see the error of their ways, and surely this will only become more widespread once I arrive back in Keene later this month. What’s happening in New Hampshire is really kind of amazing if you think about it, we’re building this free society which really hasn’t ever existed before. It’s somewhat of a messy process, and we’re learning. Mistakes are being made, and my expulsion is one of them.
While I’d certainly prefer to be liked by everyone, I’d also prefer to have free money and an unlimited supply of strange pussy. We deal with what’s available and make certain personal value judgements. I value speaking my mind over popularity, and unsurprisingly, I get both. Hopefully the money and the pussy will be here any minute now.
But even if it never comes, nobody here is initiating force, so no crime has been committed. Just an outspoken blogger speaking his mind while a half dozen self important control freaks make fools of themselves and ruin a once well intentioned institution.
Think of a merchant fleecing a customer or a leader misleading his followers.
The leader’s lies could serve a greater goal that benefits all. What of the merchant and customer? Trade has always been unequal, and we enjoy immense comforts because of it.
Those sound like really good reasons to not do business with that merchant, and not to follow that leader. If they took property from their customers or followers through deception, that’s fraud, and they would be justified in using force to retrieve it. Unequal trade is something liberals whine about, when two people exchange goods and services voluntarily, they are both better off for having done so, or they wouldn’t do it. If you have popcorn and I have a dollar, and you give me popcorn in exchange for the dollar, this would tend to signal that I want the popcorn more than I want the dollar, and you want the dollar more than you want the popcorn. Win win.
a man being a tad too forward in his advances to a woman
If the advances became so forward that he was restricting her movements or threatening to invade her body, the NAP deals with this by permitting the woman to use force to defend herself or to have agents act on her behalf to repel the threat. If by “too forward” you mean too many loveletters, well, sorry sweetheart, learn to deal with it.
Referring to Elliot Rodger of all fuckin people, he says the following;
Taking an extreme example from recent memory, even the perceived snubbing of desired sexual partners could be seen as preemptive force or aggression.
While Supreme Gentleman-guy is an extreme example, recognize that even in the case of the mentally incompetent or unhinged, all action ultimately comes from something psychological or physiological. Being creatures of free will, driven by passion and reason to wildly-varying degrees, one could argue that all human action is more accurately described as a reaction.
Fact of the matter is, something always initiates the initiation of force, which perhaps leads one to question if NAP is seeking to fight the smoke or the fire?
Elliot Rodger was liberalism personified. Self important, entitled, effeminate, whining, beta males shouldn’t get pussy because they need to stop breeding. Sure he went out and initiated force against people because of some perceived injustice, that doesn’t mean he had any right to. Do I really need to go back to “A is A” and objective reality?
The fact that some people do crazy ridiculous shit is not ignored by the non-aggression principle, I suspect you’re thinking pacifism. In a free society, the Elliot Rodger story would have been rather uninteresting. Firstly, he probably would have just cashed in his $300 sunglasses and spent that money in a whore house. Secondly, the guy blew his own brains out the moment he met resistance from police, so I doubt he would have tried this were he outside the safety of a gun free zone like UCSB, and even if he did, he would have been stopped by the first act of defensive force.
When you get into it with these subjective reality types who claim to be adherents to the NAP, you’re getting closer to pacifism, whether they admit it or not. They will do all sorts of mental gymnastics to avoid getting to the reality that the way you deal with threats of violence is by killing them and suing his estate for the clean up costs.
He goes on into the realm of parenting, which has always been a touchy subject for libertarians.
Moving on, Cantwell mentions “abusive parenting.” What constitutes “abuse” is a matter for another topic; I wish to focus on the act of parenting in general. Some of the more extreme followers of Non-Aggression decry spanking or any physical punishment of children. This stance assuages anuses, certainly, but it’s also not enough. How are you not initiating force when you physically prevent your infant child from staying up late, not bathing, touching a hot stove, or wandering into the woods or traffic? The child doesn’t know that his or her actions will likely have bad consequences, but how can the parent be absolutely certain the actions won’t have a good outcome?
Whether or not you are correct in your protection, whether or not you are altruistic in motive, the child will feel you have prevented an action, that you have encroached upon his or her rights. No matter how you slice it, NAP-ist parents cannot avoid issues with their beliefs without committing criminal negligence… Which itself could be considered an initiation of force. Damn.
I appreciate Molyneux’s approach here, and recognize there’s some difference on the opinion. Hitting/spanking/physical punishment in my book is off limits. I don’t understand why we still have to tell people “Stop hitting your babies”. Plenty of parents manage to raise children without doing this, so telling me it is impossible is nothing more than a cry of incompetence on the part of the parent. Do a better job.
Do children need to be restrained? Of course. You can’t let a baby crawl onto the highway while you beg it to come back into the house, and nobody I know of is suggesting otherwise. The line gets crossed when you torture the child after the fact instead of finding some more appropriate way of dealing with the problem. Even if you shelf the NAP, the evidence is just that hitting doesn’t bring good outcomes. I imagine most of us just want to have better adjusted children with higher intelligence who won’t wind up in prisons and mental hospitals and crack houses later on in life, peaceful parenting gives you the best likelihood to achieve this, and I think the science on this is pretty well settled, even if your ancient cryptic fiction novel says otherwise.
What is peaceful to one person is violence to another. You can be as consistent a follower of Non-Aggression as you could possibly be, yet still find someone who considers you an aggressor. Maybe it’s a police officer and maybe it’s also a snotty, saggy feminist blogger.
The police officer aggresses against me in reality, and I am in reality justified in using force to defend myself against him. His superstitious notions of authority have no place in objective reality. So whatever second guesses I may have to tactics for the end of the State, I’ll always feel better about dead cops than I will about extorted motorists. When some subjective reality feminist decides that my penis makes her a victim from half way across the country, well, she doesn’t have a third leg to stand on. There will always be incorrect perceptions in the world. If somebody’s perceptions lead to incoherent words on the interwebz, then we can just smash them with superior intellect. If they lead to force against me, that’s why I carry a .38 revolver.
The NAP doesn’t require anybody to agree with it. The concept stands on its own. You can believe in the world we live in, or you can believe in the bible, or you can believe in gender baiting Marxist dogma, it doesn’t much matter to the objective reality non aggressionist. A is A, hollow points expand on impact, and I’ll defend my person and property.
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