The Non-Aggression Principle is Worthless when Those in Power Can Define Aggression
The Non-Aggression Principle is Worthless when Those in Power Can Define Aggression published by Tylenol with MDMA
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Posted on 2017-05-07
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One of the cornerstones of modern libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle. According to NAP.com, the non-aggression principle can be defined as “aggression (n.): initiation of a coercive relationship.” Or in simpler words: Don’t be a dick. On the surface, this seems like a pretty good principle. As long as we’re not harming others in any form, we should be free to do what we want. It’s the tiny sliver in the Venn diagram between Anarchism and Libertarianism. On a micro level, this works out fine.
However, once an entity gets to a certain level of power, the non-aggression principle starts meaning less and less. There are going to be times that someone steps on someone toes and it’ll have to be worked out. Between two theoretically equal entities, they can work with a neutral arbiter to forge a compromise based on damages done and what will fix the situation. However, when one entity has more resources than the other, the balance of power goes haywire. The entity with more power has more resources. They can hire better lawyers, bribe arbiters, put more resources into undermining the standing of the weaker party. They can outbid resources they need and destroy them. The more powerful entity has the ability to define aggression, and there’s no libertarian solution that can fix that.
Note: I use the term entity because it can apply to an individual, corporation, or some other representation of power.
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