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Sunday, April 6, 2008

RE: More Libertarian Than Thou

David Terry wrote:

DT) I'd like to hear an explanation of why some people think that opposing "initiation of force, violence or fraud" is somehow "anarchistic"! (DT

BH) I don't know how "violence" snuck into the standard libertarian definition of aggression above. (BH

DT) "violence" = physical force, might, power strength, ferocity, fierceness, brutality. (DT

standard adj.  Normal, familiar, or usual

There are 300 times as many instances of the standard phrase as there are of your "violence" alternative.  "Violence" is redundant with "force" -- unless you know of a way to commit violence without force.

BH) Opposing aggression is indeed the essence of libertarianism -- I call this the Anti-Aggression Principle. (BH

DT) You can call it the Irving Principle for all I care.  (DT

If you're not interested in grasping the distinction that my entire point rests on, then you're not going to be able to offer a very cogent argument against it.

BH) The term "Non-Aggression Principle" is used by different libertarians to mean either the ZAP or something like the AAP, leading to lots of people talking past each other. (BH

DT) Like who, for example??? (DT

Starchild, for one. You, for another.  You seem not to understand the distinction between minimizing the net incidence of X and absolutely abstaining from X.  Doctors seek to minimize the net incidence of pain, but they still use needles.  Does that make them not anti-pain?


DT) By equating Zero Aggression to anarchism, you are merely playing devils advocate. [...] As long a men join together for common defense and/or retaliation against aggression, it is entirely improper to consider that anarchy (DT

I make the same argument Roy Childs made to Ayn Rand in his famous open letter. I don't see that you've given any counter-argument to it, or even any evidence that you've read it.