Sunday, November 1, 2015

Silk Purse Libertarianism

"The problem—the ONLY problem—with the Zero Aggression Principle or the Non Aggression Principle is that people don't understand it." — Jeff Colonessi

Well, no. That may be one problem with it, and one that Jeff has encountered. He goes on to say that ne ZAP/NAP doesn't mean you can't oppose aggression with force, but just that you can't initiate force. Well and good. And, indeed, that's pretty much the way most civilized people have tacitly agreed to live their lives with one another.

But just as Newtonian physics works perfectly well in normal conditions, but fails miserably in extreme conditions (speeds near c, inside black holes, etc.), the (let's just call it) ZNAP works in the limited conditions wherein the overwhelming majority both understand it and agree to it. So there's nothing "wrong with" Newtonian physics except that sometimes people misapply it.

To put it another way, the rules of baseball work perfectly for a baseball game, and there's nothing "wrong with" the rules of baseball, except when people misapply them, and try to play chess or football with them, or use them to operate a parliament or a courtroom. Then they fail miserably.

So, I agree that there's nothing wrong with the ZNAP, as long as one doesn't attempt to apply it where it doesn't work. And it works in a homogenous society of intelligent people whose history enables them to both understand it and want to follow it. And such societies are few and far between, and, I hate to inform our overly-idealistic brethren, getting fewer and farther between daily, as the Third World is invited to come in and devour the fruits of civilization while contributing nothing.

Quibcag: Akane initiates aggression against Ranma in Ranma ½ (らんま½). He probably had it coming.


  1. I hate to break it to you, but its not culture its race. Those blacks you meet here are the same as Bantus in Africa even if they have lived here for four hundred years. When you see basketball stars who are famous international celebrities that get paid millions of dollars to play a game they used to play for free their whole lives and then turn around and say they're slaves cause the owner of the team is White, it becomes obvious that having a genetically low IQ is just about everything that is wrong with them.

  2. That's one thing I could never 'get' about libertarians, it only can work with low corruption and solid rule of law.
    One example is 'The Michael Jackson conundrum''. It's generally acknowledged, that sexual child abuse is a bad thing (with the exception of a few sick freaks), but what about the situation where wealthy pedophiles buys/rents/hires children for their desires?
    That's where Jackson comes in, it's generally assumed that he probably molested at least one teenage boy in the early 90's. It was quietly settled for (by various estimates) $10-20 million, one of the terms of the agreement was that no public statement could be disclosed about anything - including in court.
    After that California law was changed to make non-disclosure agreements invalid in criminal proceedings.
    In many non-'first world' countries due to police indifference/incompetence/corruption it is possible for Westerners to travel to them for the purpose of doing things that would get them substantial prison time in their home countries.
    Starting in the late 80's, (then West) Germany made doing that a crime, and other Western countries soon followed.
    In short, ''the free market'' can't always solve everything.
    BTW, Joshua, it's not quite the same for Africans IN America vs. Africans there. Peak bell curve here: ~80 IQ, there ~65. For Whites in general ~100. Though it does help explain high African illiteracy on both continents.

  3. Arguing that a libertarian society won’t work in a given culture is not the same as saying it won’t work.

    Look at it a different way: Will a capitalist or crony-capitalist society work in a culture where 90% plus of the population is of a strongly socialist bent? Of course not. The vast majority of the population will vote to tax those who are productive to the breaking point (or beyond). What about in a society where the culture views stealing (simple theft) as acceptable? Again, the culture will not support capitalism, because those who are productive will have everything they produce stolen from them.

    Does that mean capitalism is unworkable? Of course not. It means that culture is not willing to be a capitalist one. The US exists as a crony capitalist society, The USSR existed as a communist country. Germany was a fascist country and Japan was a feudal monarchy. The fact that all 4 existed at the same period of time does not mean that a crony capitalist society is unworkable. The fact that we have had crony capitalism does not mean capitalism (without the crony part) can’t be implemented.

    The principle of ZAP or NAP, or as I’ve suggested NIF (Non Initiation of Force), is at its roots and individual philosophy. Let’s take that Bantu culture and apply it. Plop down 1, just 1, woman who is libertarian in it. Let’s assume a man attempts to rape her. The principle does not prevent her from fighting back, or even killing her attacker. Assuming she is unsuccessful, it doesn’t prevent her from attempting a remedy through the courts. Assuming she is unsuccessful, it doesn’t prevent her from killing her attacker out of revenge. The truth – regardless of what anyone says, testifies to or claims, is that one specific guy raped her. She is entitled to defend herself and (if unsuccessful) gain recompense. The fact that the laws don’t allow for it bear nothing on the matter. That just means she’s stuck in a non-libertarian society. The fact she may not be successful bears nothing on it – just because you have the right to defend yourself doesn’t mean you will be successful.

    Now one individual won’t change that society. 10% of the population, given time and commitment to their ideals, may be able to. 90% of the population, given a strong commitment to their ideals, will change the society in a short time. This doesn’t matter whether they are for or against ZAP or NIF. It doesn’t matter whether they are for or against libertanryism, or capitalism, or socialism. What matters is that they refuse to yield on their principles and that those opposing them are willing to yield on them.

    In an ideal libertarian society, you wouldn’t need laws and 99.99999% of the population would live by ZAP / NIF. The few outliers would either passibly fake it or be eliminated from the gene pool. But the world doesn’t have “ideal” societies. It may never. So? In a non-ideal, but primarily libertarian society ZAP / NIF would still be the operating principle. There might be more structure and a more formalized “law enforcement” or courts, but they would enforce laws that ONLY addressed when one party injured another.

    1. That's a balanced view. Rare among orthodox libertarians these days ;)

  4. Yeah, well I'll grant you that Libertarianism would work if you had a small group of High IQ techno geeks living on a space station with beautiful compliant women who had old fashioned values and hated feminism, but one asshole with Egalitarian fantasies with a rocket could ruin the whole thing by bringing in idiots.

    1. An even MORE balanced (and realistic) view!