An interesting dialogue. One that raises uncomfortable questions. The dialogue has been ongoing at this blog for quite some time; in many ways, the dialogue can be summarized here, beginning with the comment by Nick Badalamenti March 22, 2017, at 6:38 AM.
For close to two years I have been examining the relationship of the non-aggression principle and culture. The dialogue has been ongoing at this site throughout this time. This journey began with an examination of left-libertarianism; such an examination inevitably moved into the culture. With culture comes the topic of immigration.
- What if the NAP requires a certain
cultural soil on which to thrive?
- What if that cultural soil is to
be found in what is traditionally understood as European and Anglo?
- Do all invasions require armed,
uniformed battalions – supported by airpower?
- What if elites are purposely
taking action to destroy that cultural soil, specifically for the purpose
to destroy the one philosophical threat to their worldly power and
- Do parents have an obligation to
protect this cultural soil for their children?
- What if that obligation requires
methods that cannot be considered consistent with the NAP?
- It is acceptable for a voluntary
community to set standards for new members to meet before they are allowed
- Is it acceptable for a voluntary
community to set standards that members are required to meet, else they
The Non-Aggression Principle Applied
Libertarianism, in theory, is decentralization in practice. Being human, we will never achieve the NAP utopia – there will never be a heaven on earth. Consider how much those libertarians who believe this sound like believers in communism; in both cases, they require humans to be something other than human. The chance of achieving perfection in applying either system is zero.
The best we can hope for is continued decentralization. This implies increasing choice in increasing aspects of our lives.
The increased choice can be found in both market and government realms. As libertarians, we tend to focus only on the “government” aspect, but it is incorrect to ignore the freedom that has been offered by the market – cars, iPhones, the internet.
This is not to minimize the “government” aspect. For this reason, it is consistent with the NAP to root for every opportunity of political decentralization: the break-up of the Soviet Union, Brexit, Scottish Independence, Catalonia. Political decentralization brings increased political choice for individuals.
Find something that comes closest to what you want; you will never find exactly what you want. It will always be true in the market; it will always be true in the political.
A Historical Framework
The closest and longest lasting example in history that I find that is consistent with the non-aggression principle is that period understood as the Germanic Middle Ages. Political decentralization defines this period.
Was it pure libertarianism? Hardly. But there is no chance of heaven on earth.
What characterized this period? Local governance; law based on the old and good, not legislation; all men truly under the law; the law binding by individual oath; the oath a three-party oath – two human parties and God; the king can only enforce the law, not legislate; every noble with the ability to veto the king’s decision; serfs protected by the same system of oaths; wars were between the nobles and kings, the serfs were not obligated.
What else characterized this period? Lots of wars. What didn’t characterize these wars? All serfs conscripted at the wish of the noble; involvement of the entire continent, let alone world; the ability to sustain the war for an unlimited period. The wars were limited in both size and duration. Call them family feuds, because that about describes it.
What else characterized this period? The Christians of the Germanic Middle Ages fought desperately to protect their culture. They felt that without this culture, they would have no future for their children; without this culture, they would leave no legacy worth celebrating. By losing this culture, they would be remembered as pariahs.
I believe it is fair to suggest that the obligation most felt by the nobles of this time was the obligation they felt to both their ancestors and descendants – to preserve the culture of which they enjoyed the greatest decentralization. Their view? Any society that failed to preserve its culture didn’t deserve to survive.
Face the questions. Think through your answers. The context is this world, not in theoretical utopia.