Happy Sun’s Day
“The Only Proper Use of Aggression is to Protect One’s Rights or the Rights of Others” – The Book of Rabyd 1:7
Thoughts and Exposition:
The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is stated many ways but the basic gist of it is a combination of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “love your neighbor as yourself”. Every major religion in the world has something like this in it, but then all of them turn around and use fraud or even force to control others.
So leaving religion behind, it is simply that people have their rights and no one should use violence or lies to take them away. If someone or group of someones does use violence to try to take rights away, the NAP simply states that the person whose rights are being threatened or people around them who see that their rights are being threatened have the right then to use violence in return in defense.
Aggression is further defined as the use of physical force, threatening the use of force or fraud. This is not pacifism as the use of force or even the threat of force is allowable in actions that involve self-defense or the defense of others. There are other types of force but the NAP is about physical force, threat of physical force or fraud.
This means a lot of other areas where things are about influence, politics and other types of force are not necessarily covered by the NAP. However, if one thinks on this that means that much of what government does is a violation of this principle. This really limits how much the government should do and puts it clear focus on the government as the force that protects the rights of its citizens and does not threaten them with force or trick people out of their rights through fraud.
On a personal level, this means that if I were to act in a violent manner, that means the one who I am acting on has made a decision to violate my rights or the rights of another person. Other than that, it is never right for me to initiate violence and it is certainly never right for me to engage in fraud. This part is actually more challenging in many ways than gripping about government. One must always be first concerned that you are following the NAP before you judge others on their following it. It is more a philosophy of personal responsibility than anything else.
Following the NAP leads to a practical morality. There is nothing more frustrating on the one hand than people who, because of their politics, religion or other beliefs, think they have the right or force their viewpoint on others through law, violence or fraud. One the flip side, it is also frustrating to watch people stand aside while violence or fraud is perpetrated and they do nothing about it. The NAP gives us a principle to guide us. It is not perfect, but it is a lot better all others I have found so far and far more practically useful.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.