RE: [lpsf-discuss] How far into the swamp do we set the tent poles?


I'll timidly hop into the fray here for a moment. First I'll say
that if we had a milder pledge, y'all wouldn't be having this
fascinating discussion. :slight_smile: I think the major value of the pledge
now is getting people thinking and talking about principles. But
I've said before that I don't think it really defines any actual
principle at all, because it's too easy to argue that *any* force
is in response to *something* that the other guy did; and besides,
it was, as Brian points out, originally to distinguish the Party
from the various groups agitating for violent revolution at the
time, rather than an ethical principle in itself. My own version
of a zero/non/anti-aggression principle is more like "I am willing
to use only minimum, necessary, and effective force for the
prevention of actual harm to myself, others, or nature."

Brian Holtz wrote:

The potential for negligent harm can easily rise to the
threshold of reckless endangerment, which is a form of force
initiation. That's why it's so silly for NAPsters to claim to be
absolutists regarding gun control. Unless you'd allow concealed
carry of nuclear mortar rounds and smallpox bullets, you're not
a purist on gun control. (Ted Brown, are you paying attention?
Ted has questioned my commitment to gun rights.)

I agree with the first sentence, but I don't accept the third. I
see this as a strawman, too. In my mind, the purist position on
the right to keep and bear arms would be simply in line with my
own definition of anarchism -- which I believe is very close to
your definition -- which is the conviction that legitimate
government powers are derived from and cannot exceed individual
rights. And as far as I'm concerned, nukes and germs are not arms,
they are doomsday devices, and *neither* individuals nor
governments may legitimately keep or bear them.