Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 29 Sep 2011 14:18:18 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

This ESR Google+ post, on a parody of the Elizabeth Warren quote, turned into some statists denigrating libertarians (and a bit of vice-versa on my part). So I posted this.

Since there is widespread misunderstanding of what "libertarian" means, I'll clarify. I use L. Neil Smith's definition. The Libertarian Party has strayed pretty far from it, though they still have a non-aggression clause in their membership form (which has survived multiple removal attempts, by non-libertarian party members):

Non-aggression has wide-ranging ramifications. It implies no taxes, no drug prohibition or any other criminalization of behavior without a non-consenting victim, no infringements whatsoever on the right to keep and bear arms, etc. The strange thing is that most people, on reading the paragraph below, will agree with it, but when you point out to them that aggression is in the state's every act, they either refuse to see it, or claim that we need THOSE exceptions.

Most libertarians, though we firmly oppose aggression, are big supporters of the right of self defense. Quoting Neil, "Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon -- rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, ANYTHING -- any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission."

Here's that definition:

"Zero Aggression Principle" (ZAP):

A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.

Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.

-- L. Neil Smith

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Comments (1):

Civilization requires Aggression

Submitted by White Indian on Sat, 01 Oct 2011 14:20:28 GMT

Freedom is mostly a psychopathic liar's word used by agricultural city-Statists (Civilizationists) to whitewash their blatant aggression. Civilization has always been externally invasive and internally oppressive, from the Sumerian civilization to the Roman Empire to the American superpower.

The most hilarious are the "libertarian" types whose thin masquerade fails and revealingly snarl against their ostensibly sacred non-aggression principle.

"Man is born an asocial and antisocial being. The newborn child is a savage. Egoism is his nature. Only the experience of life and the teachings of his parents, his brothers, sisters, playmates, and later of other people force him to acknowledge the advantages of social cooperation and accordingly to change his behavior." ~Ludwig Von Mises, Omnipotent Government, p. 241

"[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land ... Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent." ~Ayn Rand, speech at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974

"Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment ... unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares?" ~Murray Rothbard, Essays of Murray N. Rothbard Edited by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

In reality, the agricultural city-State (civilization) requires massive amounts of violence to maintain the primary Big-Government entitlement program: land title to privation property for the privileged people.

"Premise Three: Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence." ~Derrick Jensen, Endgame

Derrick Jensen on violence and civilization (mirror)

So Niel is a liar. His ZAP is a masquerade. He will initiate violence in just the same manner as any government for the same reason - civilization requires it to maintain its system of hierarchical domination, especially privation property. As Kevin Carson states, there is an "Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand."

A more honest view of "property rights" is addressed by attorney Jeff Vail, as follows:

When one steps back and examines the notion of “owning" something, the abstraction becomes readily apparent. Ownership represents nothing more than a power-relationship—the ability to control. The tribal institution of “Ownership by use" on the other hand, suggests simply that one can only “own" those things that they put to immediate, direct and personal use to meet basic needs—and not more. A society crosses the memetic Rubicon when it accepts the abstraction that ownership can extend beyond the exclusive needs of one individual for survival. Abstract ownership begins when society accepts a claim of symbolic control of something without the requirement of immediate, direct and personal use. Hierarchy, at any level, requires this excess, abstract ownership—it represents the symbolic capital that forms the foundation of all stratification.

source: The Right to Property

To summarize: civilization's privation property rights are contradictory to the ZAP.

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