The Non-Aggression Principle

Writes Free Your Kids:

We follow the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). So do you. It says, simply: No one may initiate force against another. Note: This does not preclude self-defense.

It is a beautiful, elegant, simple philosophy. We all follow the NAP in our personal relationships. You can’t *force* your neighbor to lend you his shovel. You can’t *force* an employer to hire you. You can’t *force* friends to come to your kid’s birthday party. You don’t steal. You don’t commit fraud. You don’t punch your spouse in the mouth. All interactions you undertake are voluntary in nature. You persuade others. You reason with them. You trade. You barter. You hash things out.

In your personal lives, you live in peace. You do not use force. You do not initiate violence. You are more than capable of conducting your affairs without resorting to threats or acts of aggression. Yet, so many are more-than-willing to allow a violent entity to control a huge portion of their lives. And that entity is, of course, the state.

You think government isn’t violent? Try not paying your taxes. Try resisting its edicts. Try opposing its laws. Watch how quickly the facade of benevolence dissipates. You will obey or guns will be drawn. The state is legalized violence. It violates the Non-Aggression Principle as a matter of course.

Do we need this? Do we need violent, tyrannical masters? No. People cannot be led to virtue at the point of a gun. Solving problems through violence can never lead to a higher morality. Only when we completely reject this double standard and accept the NAP as the proper way for humans to conduct ALL of their affairs will we forever escape the nightmarish entity called “the state”.

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Written by 

Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.