Libertarianism is about nonaggression
BY HOWARD J. BLITZ
Jan 7, 2004
The libertarian philosophy has been around from the time God gave Moses
the Ten Commandments telling the world that it is wrong to lie, steal
It was Jesus who recognized and told the world that God gave individuals
free will to make their own life decisions, that we would be responsible
for those decisions and that it is wrong to use force on anyone in
implementing those decisions.
And it was the founders of our nation who recognized that government was
nothing but brute force and, therefore, created for the first time a
written constitution restricting the use of that government force to
very limited and specific activities, which reflect those ideas first
stated in the Ten Commandments and by Jesus himself.
The essence of the libertarian philosophy is nonaggression against
non-aggressors. In other words, no one is to initiate the use of force
against another individual. An individual can do anything he so chooses
as long as it is peaceful. The only excuse for utilizing force is to
defend one's life, liberty or property.
Thus, if an individual does not murder, rape, burglarize, defraud,
trespass, steal or inflict an act of violence against another person's
life, liberty or property, then the individual should be allowed to do
whatever he or she feels will result in his or her happiness.
This nonviolent principle also applies to groups of individuals, as well
as governments. Groups of individuals and governments cannot initiate
force either since groups of individuals and governments are but
extensions of the individual. Government by definition uses force, and
that is the reason why our founders wrote the Constitution to allow
government force for defensive use only.
The libertarian philosophy requires that the individual take total
responsibility for his economic and personal life and that government's
primary reason for existence is to prosecute and punish antisocial
individuals who initiate force against others. If every individual
followed the libertarian philosophy of not initiating force on others,
there would indeed truly be world peace.
In future columns, I will explore some specific applications of
libertarian principles to real-world situations.