The non-aggression principle or NAP (sometimes the zero aggression principle) is a simple concept that helps identify and avoid unethical behavior in ourselves and others. The principle states that it is unethical and unjust to initiate coercion, physical force, threats, or fraud against other people.
“Initiation” is the key word; since there’s obviously no magical guarantee that all people will adhere to this principle, you are perfectly justified to respond as necessary to stop aggression if it’s used against you. NAP is not the same as pacifism; neither is it a strict, be-all-end-all definition of what is unethical.
The principle may sound rather obvious at its face, but once you really start to look at things, you’ll start to notice just how much modern society is based on aggression, from government (see “The State is Institutionalized Violence”) to parenting (through spanking and threats rather than understanding, explaining, and reasoning) and everywhere in between.
If you accept the non-aggression principle, then you’re already on your way down the road to a voluntary, stateless lifestyle. Welcome! If you’re interested in learning more, here are a couple of helpful videos:
Animated and easy to understand even if it is a little bit corny.
We often think that there are “bad” governments and there are “good” governments, and only the bad ones hurt and oppress their people. While some governments are certainly worse than others, it’s more a matter of degrees of badness. Wondering why?
Let’s start with what a government is: a government is a group of people who have claimed authority over all people inside a certain geographical area. That’s it! There’s no requirement for their subjects to consent, only to exist inside the claimed area.
Simply put, a government cannot function without the threat of initiating violence. They will dictate what you can and can’t do in almost every aspect of life, backed by the threat of violence, and demand that you fund them, backed by the threat of violence. Taxation, fines, and fees are the name of the game, which are really just glorified words for extortion and theft. A good way to spot this is to take any government action and imagine your neighbor or any random stranger doing the same thing. Is it still acceptable? Probably not! Any time you’re caught refusing to comply with a government mandate, it won’t be long before you’re met with armed men ready to kidnap you and lock you in a cage—and if you resist their attack, physically harm you.
What is it that gives this “elite class” a different set of rules from the rest of us? Some people consent and accept government as what’s best for them, but what about those who don’t consent—who never agreed to grant these people authority over them? Non-consenting people are extorted, kidnapped, and even killed by government agents all the time, and it’s all permitted within their laws. Laws are just words on paper that human beings like you and me wrote, but because they claim to be part of that elite class—”The State”—it is believed to be moral, ethical, and righteous for them and their enforcers, the police, to initiate violence to get their way.
If all people are equal and have the same rights then this can’t be legitimate behavior.
So which is it? Does a group of people have more rights than you? Are they your masters? Do they have authority and power over you?
If we have piqued your interest and you want to know more information about an alternative solution (an advanced society) please watch the following introductory videos. Thank you for visiting 5 Steps To Anarchy.
Continuing Education Beautiful Freedom by Stefan Molyneux
The State is Not Great: How Government Poisons Everything by Jacob Spinney
We were greeted with big smiles and waves as we drove into Roger’s Campground on Wednesday evening for PorcFest by people recognizing MARV. Various strangers dropped by to say hi throughout the evening, and then we hobnobbed with Pete Eyre from CopBlock and Antonio Buehler from the Peaceful Streets Project. Pretty cool!
And as I was writing this post, I heard some people walking by outside saying “Is that MARV? That IS MARV!”
Pete Eyre of peteeyre.com and CopBlock.org released his video “Goodbye MARV” this week. Pete will tell you a little bit about the MARV raffle and then interview its new owner, our very own David Blizzard, and David’s son Clint. Check it out below.
Thanks, Pete! We’re grateful to have this opportunity to continue MARV’s legacy. We’re doing a little work to bring him back to tip-top shape, working on our brochures and bumper stickers, and then we’re going to hit the road to bring the word of peaceful, voluntary society and true freedom to the people.
Keep an eye on the MARV category here at 5 Steps to Anarchy to keep up with what we’re doing in the future.
On June 30th, my family and I met with Pete Eyre (you might know him from Liberty On Tour and CopBlock.org) to take ownership of MARV, the Mobile Authority Resistance Vehicle. (Find out more about MARV here.)
My dad, our own David Blizzard, won the MARV raffle, and we’re excited to continue using this fine vehicle to spread the ideals of a voluntary society, free of government force and coercion! Stay tuned for news from us in the coming months.
I sat down with Pete for an interview before he handed off the keys and the title of MARV and we headed back down to Georgia. Check out the interview below.
One of the reasons that so many of us have or had trouble rejecting the concept of “the state” as something good is simply because we don’t approach it with reasoning and critical thinking. The capacity for reasoning is something I believe we’re born with, but is often dulled with age. Children long to understand why things are the way they are–the cornerstone of reason and critical thinking.
So why do so many people lack this simple ability? That’s probably a question for a psychologist, but the most immediately obvious answer to me is the learning environment created by parents and schooling. I’m sure you were told something “just because” or “because I said so” when you were growing up–you probably even knew this was a non-answer, but you had to submit to it or likely be punished in some way, which dulled your ability to think logically. Regardless of the cause, many people accept the “truths” they are given simply because it’s what they’re told.
To open your mind, it really is as simple as asking questions. Challenge the things you’ve come to believe to be true, but don’t yet know the reasons why. When an action is taken, why is it taken? Who benefits? Who is harmed? Does it warrant a reaction? Does that reaction solve anything? Who benefits from the reaction? Who is harmed by the reaction? Does the reaction warrant a reaction? And so on.
These questions can easily bring you to the truth of what government and law is, which is the basis of what I’m talking about here, but they’re also vital in your personal relationships. When you think a few steps ahead about your own actions and the actions of others towards you, you can more easily identify the good and bad behavior. You can strengthen your good relationships, or identify and resolve your bad relationships.
Society is, of course, made up of individuals. For a free, harmonious society, people must be able to work together and have positive associations, and only through logical reasoning and critical thinking is this attainable; without it, we have people believing that their problems and the bad behavior of others can only be solved through the application of force by certain people claiming to be part of the elite–the few wise enough to “fairly” exercise that power against other people.
Now, apply critical thinking to that idea. If people generally aren’t wise enough to make good decisions and must be forced to do good, why should we believe that those who find their way to power are wise enough to make decisions and force it on others?
Sometimes the right questions are difficult to find, sometimes the right answers are hard to accept, and sometimes the wrong answers are easy to accept, but through logical reasoning, you will find the truth.
Your neighbor comes to your door and tells you, “I need about 30% of your income so I can maintain the neighborhood, keep the road in good condition, and keep the place looking nice.” Maybe you don’t really understand why he needs a percentage, so you suggest, “Just let me know how much the expenses are and I’ll pitch in what I can. I like to know what I’m paying for and make sure I actually want to pay for it.”
Your neighbor replies, “You don’t understand. If you don’t give me 30% of your income each year, I’ll have Bill from across the street come over with a gun and bring you to his house, where he’ll lock you in a cage for a few years. Joe, Tim, and I voted on this and decided this is best for the neighborhood, so you have to go with it.”
“I didn’t agree to anything,” you might say.
“But you live here, so it’s implied.”
“What if I refuse to go with Bill?” you might ask.
“You don’t have a choice. He’ll just take you.”
“What if I fight him?”
“Then he’ll shoot you if necessary. That’s what the gun is for.”
Obviously, this is extortion. Even today, you would be well within your rights to defend yourself, even with deadly force, if Bill did, in fact, come to take you.
But this is almost exactly what the government is doing to you.
We’ve started a YouTube show this week called “State of Madness”. I’ll be ranting about recent news articles over the past week that showcase the insanity of statism. Once you see it, it just doesn’t seem to stop.
At face value, the purpose of law is to protect society from violence, theft, and other mistreatment. This, of course, sounds like a good thing. As a child, your parents and everyone who was most influential over you probably taught you to have respect for the law, and if you were to ever break any law you would be a bad person, as if the law is a shimmering code of absolute goodness and morality. Well, no. That’s wrong for many reasons.
Yes, the law states what actions must not be done, and law enforcement serves to deter the act before it happens, and to apprehend and punish the criminal after the law has been broken. Laws against murder, rape, and theft are made with good intentions. However, the law also dictates what you may do with your personal property; the law dictates whom you may marry; the law dictates what you may sell in a consensual transaction; the law dictates what substances you may put in your own body. There is no victim being protected by these particular laws; they are only a form of control.
Therefore, in our modern society, as run and dictated by “The State”, blind obedience to the law is a terrible thing to live by and a terrible thing to teach others. Most regulations that actually affect you in your everyday life are, at their core, mafia-like revenue generation schemes.
What about if you drive 15 miles per hour over the speed limit on a barren, four-lane, divided highway? A man in a costume may force you off of the road and tell you that you’d better pay up for breaking the rules.
What about if you build an addition to your house? Sorry, you were supposed to pay up for permission to build on your own property. Now you’ve got to pay more for not giving it up in the first place, or they’ll tear down your work.
Who was harmed by your “speeding”? No one. Who was harmed by you building onto your house? No one. These things aren’t about keeping anybody safe or protecting society from mistreatment; it’s about taking your money.
Everybody you know will most likely laugh it off and then remark that “you had it coming!” for getting caught stepping out of line and disobeying. This is absurd! It’s just like blaming a rape victim for “dressing provocatively” and telling her that she had it coming.
“Respect for the law” is a misled idea. The mafia creates all the laws that say that it is “legal” for them to steal your money and punish you if you don’t pay them their cut. Why should you respect that which doesn’t respect you? “Respect for the law” is a method of brainwashing to keep the people in line and to get the people to turn on one another. Nobody and nothing should ever be taken for granted because of a title or position; no law should ever be accepted merely on the grounds that it “is the law”.
Logical and rational thought is the only way to be free; not respect for the law.
In the United States of America, we are taxed on almost everything. You are taxed when you buy a bottle of water from a vending machine; you are taxed when you buy a car; you are taxed for owning that car through obligatory registration; you are taxed every time you buy fuel for that car. When you are paid wages for your work, you are taxed. When you own land and a home, free and clear, you still pay the government rent in the form of property tax. To even call property tax “rent” is being generous, when in fact it is a protection racket, like every other tax, and you will be forcibly removed from your own home if you refuse to pay it.
Do you know where all that money is actually going?
You don’t. There’s not enough time in the day for you to know where that money is going, with countless government agencies plowing through tax dollars at ever-ballooning rates, and an obscenely large tax code. Nobody actually seems to know just how long the U.S. federal tax code really is; figures range anywhere from about 17,000 pages to around 70,000 pages. There’s no way that even the taxmen know what is contained in this code.
Perhaps the worst part of it all is that they’ve trained us to willingly keep records and fill out ridiculous forms upon ridiculous forms, or even pay others who have undergone training to do all of this for us, all to have our money stolen from us and used for purposes we’ll never know.
If I suggested that everybody stop paying taxes today, and don’t give the government another penny, what would your first reaction be? You might be thinking “But who will take care of the roads?” (Or more likely, you’ll be thinking “I don’t want to go to prison,” but we’ll look past that for now.) That seems to be the most common response to such a suggestion, but the answer is simple. This isn’t a video game, where a hand in the sky places roads wherever they’re needed, and where a lack of money will cause the roads to spontaneously degrade and wash out at an accelerated rate. This is real life, where workers and machines will work just as well to build and maintain roads, regardless of whether it’s funded by tax money or private money.
I won’t sit here and tell you where the money for everything would come from if the government no longer had stolen money to pass around, but my point is that you are paying every day for things that you don’t even know about, and most people subscribe to this and accept it as a fact of life.
Once you take a step back from this insane “fact of life” and realize just how evil taxation is, you’ll wonder… why pay taxes?
NOTE: In no way am I suggesting that you actually stop paying taxes. This is only a philosophical discussion on the immorality of taxation.