It's Time for Libertarians to Abandon the NAP

Yeah, I said it.


First, a couple of points for my Libertarian friends to consider. One, this is my opinion. Two, I don’t care if you end this thinking I’m a “real” Libertarian or not. Unfortunately for you, I don’t need your approval to be in the party. Finally, three, I write this knowing that we are a party that eats our own, so I expect a lot of pushback. See point two for my feedback.


Okay, now that all those issues are addressed, let’s move on.


First and foremost, if you’re not a Libertarian you probably aren’t familiar with the NAP, or Non-Aggression Principle. Some of us consider this to be the foundational principle of Libertarian Party (LP) philosophy. Basically, the NAP states that any forceful interference with an individual or their property is wrong. Further, the NAP states that no one person should harm another in any way. I’m sure that those of you capable of reasoning have already started to see the issue here and how this can be manipulated to infringe on the rights of others.


And that is exactly what other members of the LP are using the NAP to do, especially on the issue of masks. Just yesterday I had a rather circular argument about it.


I do not support any type of government mandate on masks. This is my body and you will not tell me what to do with it, pandemic or not. When we give the government an inch, they historically take miles, and when bodies are the subject of mandates and laws the slippery slope gets a healthy serving of oil and the American people are handed luges rather than ropes. The government does not care about you nor your rights, they’ve demonstrated this time and time again. Masks are about control, but that’s the subject of another post I’ll have to make.


Proponents of the NAP use it to justify government mandates on masks and gatherings because in their eyes the trade of personal liberty for the greater good of society is allowable. They feel morally superior to other members of the LP who value their freedoms, and wave the NAP around declaring anything they do not like to be a violation of it. This behavior is strikingly like red flag laws, and one of the many reasons the NAP must be abandoned or very clearly defined.


Like red flag laws, the criteria of the NAP are so broad that it can be used to disarm anyone not subscribing to another’s ideologies. As a matter of fact, the NAP should be a logical fallacy in any argument because it does not hold up to any amount of scrutiny in its current state. Allow me to explain my reasoning.

In order to truly live out the NAP, one would have to stay at home in the fetal position and die. That’s the only way. Since any actions carry the potential to harm another person, anyone dead set on carrying out the NAP could only do so if dead, because once dead a person tends to stop doing things. But even a dead person could violate the NAP. I’ll get to that in a second, but first let me explain how any amount of living violates the NAP in its current interpretation.


Violations of the NAP:


· Driving. Although a person may drive with the best intentions, a quick stop to avoid another driver could result in an accident several cars back which ejects someone from the windshield which kills or maims them. The driver violated the NAP.


· Buying shoes and clothes. This action may seem basic and harmless, but have you checked the origin? At some point, I’d venture a guess that sweat shops were used which are modern day slavery outfits, and since LP members believe in voting with their dollars, anyone who purchases clothing made in these conditions violates the NAP.


· Operating a boat. All boats leak oil and fuel. Therefore, by operating a boat an individual violates the NAP by polluting drinking and swimming water.


· Receiving mail. Not only do the aircraft and vehicles used to deliver mail release pollutants into everyone’s air, the oil that powers them comes from unjust US wars for resources. That’s a double NAP violation, one for contaminating the environment others live in and another for killing people for resources.


· Watching a movie or TV show. With all the abuse in Hollywood coming to light recently, by supporting the industry in any way a person violates the NAP.


· Finally, I promised I could show how an individual could violate the NAP even in death. Let’s say a person drowns in a water tower and goes undiscovered for days or weeks. Several residents complain of low water pressure coupled with awful tasting black water which upon investigation reveals a decomposed body. Since I would guess that nobody would voluntarily drink the “Agua de la Muerte”, even in death the poor soul has violated the NAP. This situation has happened as well, with the unfortunate person being Elisa Lam.


See? Even with the best intentions daily living presents situations contrary to the NAP in its current interpretation. Much like laws in the US, this principle is so broad and undefinable that any liberty an individual exercises can be argued into a violation by using a faceless victim and circular logic. These facts alone render the entire principle to be a fallacy in itself and using it to demand masks or any limitation of another’s liberty is hypocritical if the person making the argument partakes in any of these activities (and many many more) because they themselves violate the NAP almost hourly. It is currently impossible not to.

This leaves the LP with two paths. Either we abandon the NAP entirely, or we define it concisely. Personally, I am a fan of abandoning it since nobody will agree on how to interpret it. If the LP maintains its current diversity of left and right adherents, which it will, defining exactly what aggression is or where it begins is impossible.


However, if the NAP must be kept, aggression needs to be defined. I would suggest that aggression be defined as inflicting IMMEDIATE bodily harm. Full stop, no modifiers. This boils the NAP down to a quantifiable action. Is an individual looking to inflict immediate harm or loss of life? Is the answer is yes, the NAP has been violated. Viewing the NAP in this manner would resolve the hypocrisy of LP members calling out other members when they themselves have almost certainly at some point in their life caused inadvertent harm to another. That after all is what they say anti-maskers are doing, harming someone they will never know or meet.


Until next time, Liberty or Death. Demand your rights and be Aggressively American.

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