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Letters to the Editor • Philosophy: Libertarianism

I Can’t Imagine

The “Rule of Law” is pretty basic on its foundation. If you don’t hurt me, I won’t hurt you. If you don’t steal from me, I won’t steal from you. If you do try to hurt me, I have a right to stop you before you hurt me, by whatever means possible. Don’t yell fire in a theater, when there is no fire, because it will almost certainly cause a panic trying to escape, where people will get hurt. Don’t shoot a gun strait up in Time Square, New York City on New Years Eve, because there is a good chance that the bullet will come down and hit somebody.

Justice is just trying to get your due, when someone or some group does break one of these basic precepts. All aspects of the Rule of Law are based on these percepts that have long been accepted by reasonable individuals, philosophers and economist that have come to use the phrase, “the Non-Aggression Principle to describe these fundamental aspects of the Rule of Law. We call the different offences different things in different countries, to be more definitive in our respective legal systems, but these are the basic precepts and every society in modern history has adopted them as their fundamental rule of law. 

We even make laws called “’malum prohibitum’ laws” that attempt to help people so that they do not harm themselves or others. Car Seats and seat belts are an example. Almost everyone accepts the Non-Aggression Principle as a basic foundation because everyone agrees it is a necessity foundation for a civil society. But it is another story when you speak of the enforcement of ‘malum prohibitum’ laws as many people disagree. Should we be able to incarcerate somebody for smoking marijuana because they just ‘might’ or “the percentages show” that they might take more addictive and detrimental drugs and then they just ‘might’ steal or harm someone else to afford or acquire these other drugs.  People would argue then, why don’t we just put those in jail who break the non-aggression principle when they harm others or steal their property.  Just because you smoke marijuana doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to steal or hurt others and if you want to hurt yourself by putting foreign substances in your body, as long as you don’t hurt me, what do I care or more importantly “can I really stop you”. The suicide rates suggest that it is difficult to stop people from harming themselves and the facts are that many people who have smoked marijuana have gone on to be Presidents of entire Countries. Should we enforce helmet laws for motorcycles if the one most likely to be hurt is the motorcycle rider themselves who decides to either wear a helmet or not. But this is a debate for another day.  The reason for my essay is the non-aggression principle and can you imagine if we didn’t follow these basic precepts.  

I Can’t Imagine…..what it would be like if one group was legally allowed to use and carry automatic weapons and even tanks, so that they can legally steal money and property from others. It would be literally chaos. The group of course would become very powerful, as it would take even a larger group to stop them and they would probably have to do the same things (armed theft and coercion) to get the money to be able to get enough people and arms together to stop the other group. There would be cartels, gangs, wars and armed conflicts over just about everything from drugs to the guns themselves, as everyone would need the guns to be able to protect themselves from the bad guys, whoever they are and they could use the drug money to help pay for the guns. I’m starting to get confused because I’m not sure which groups of people are the good ones or the bad ones and more importantly how I would know for sure what the distinguishing features are. I guess that’s what religions are for, because they always seem to know which groups are the good guys and which are the bad guys. Therefore I must consult my spiritual Shaman to get this answer. 

I can’t imagine that a group of people would be legally allowed to create whatever ‘malum prohibitum’ laws their peanuts minds can think up. Oh yea, they have the guns and I guess that gives them the right to make any law they want. I wonder why they make so many laws? I’m not sure of the specific reasons but the attorneys seen to make a lot of money helping the various parties defend and prosecute one another over the various disputes of interest. I doubt if anyone even knows all the special interest groups representing the various positions. There are numerous pro-choice and pro-life groups, there are pro-legalization and anti-drug groups, there are those in favor of lax immigration policy and there are those in favor of stringent immigration policy. There are those that want the various groups to steal more money from other people so that they can buy more guns to protect those people from others who want to steal from them. There are those that don’t want these large powerful groups of people to steal from them using all types of guns while prohibiting them and others, not in the large group, from owning the same kinds of guns.  Let’s not even go into the lies and corruption that would take a library. I’m getting confused again as to who the good and bad guys are. Anyone have any ideas, because my Shamin is even now confused.

It seems to me that we should just stick with the Non-Aggression Principle. You’re not allowed to join any group that tries to legalize the breaking of the non-aggression principle. You cannot legally steal or extort money from others because you control the laws by having the most guns and hiring the most ignorant thugs to enforce the various malum prohibitum laws. The governments of the world are powerful, literally out of control and those in government are the largest transgressors of the non-aggression principle. In the name of enforcing the non-aggression principle, they take for themselves the legal right to break it.   

What we have now is chaos because there are so many people willing to break the non-aggression principle for money, privilege and power. We have destroyed our economic system, we have destroyed our ethics and we have destroyed the brilliant future we could have had if we had just chosen not to ever break or allow others to ever break the non-aggression principle.

The redistribution of wealth through coercion, extortion and thievery, know as taxation has long been the favored mode for breaking the non-aggression principle by the ruling class. They have used an  aristocracy, bureaucracy or whatever you call those whom are willing to seek the legalized protection and use of the law to acquire money and property through the “unethical” means of taxation. If I steal from you it is illegal but if I steal from you as part of the Democratic or Republican parties, both known for their lies, deceptions and corruption it AOK. Since when does any sane society believe that they can utilize an unethical economic and legal foundation to fund an organization that will promote the ethical activities of a civil society?    

If a high school student can’t understand these basic concepts, boy are we screwed.  What does confuse the average individual is then how are we going to afford and accomplish the many things that we as individuals cannot do on our own. That is simple. This concept in erroneous and has long been a deceptive practice by those who are drawn to governmental power. The idea that those in government are the only ones able to do certain macroeconomic activities is ludicrous and historically incorrect. Even the all mighty justice system has historical been proven to be superior when in the hands of private citizens as long as the government does not grant monopoly power to the final arbiters. When left to competition, the Citizens are generally wise enough to choice the better judges and systems such as the Law Merchant. Would we have better law enforcement if police were “prohibited” from being employed by government and therefore must work directly for you and your neighbors instead of bureaucrats and politicians?  History has shown on numerous occasions that private police provide overall superior services to their neighborhoods and community, it just that the government mandated history books don’t, for some reason, note these activities. Just remember that if it is a good idea or a necessary activities people will find the money, will and courage to accomplish those things and the well regulated militia, the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, is the finest example and the primary cause for the creation of this country. Had it not been for private militia groups, we would still most likely be under British rule. We have sadly forsaken the individual right and non-aggression principle for the rule of law by force, aggression and the usurpation of individual rights.  

Believing that government can offset the ill effects of private enterprise is another misunderstanding of just how the current system really works. The government today is the protector of not the public  but the multinational corporation that fund every election cycle, their favored/paid off candidates. The key to stopping the unethical practices of corporations is to repair the justice system through privatization. Go to to learn more.