As a libertarian Independent, I must Build my own Opinion about the Non-Aggression Principle.
Almost every libertarian seems to defend and promote something called the Non-Aggression Principle. I guess the image I borrowed from another WordPress summarizes this doctrine. All the research I do into this ideal seems to point to it as the bedrock of all ten different kinds of libertarian.
Yes, I am absolutely going there for every point I make. I can understand and warn about the problems of Intervening in foreign countries’ affairs as the aggressor. But it looks very much like the NAP allows for foreign interventionism in self-defense and defense of others.
The foreign policy reason I guess Austin Petersen, political hero of mine, opposes the Non-Aggression Principle is because of how ludicrously dovish it leads many Pro-NAP libertarians to be. Meaning they confuse it with pacifism in legit a heart beat, according to me.
But this analysis is supposed to be independent of anyone’s claims about the NAP but mine. So let us break this down by category.
Militarily changing a despotic monarchy into a free-society republic without any aggression being perpetrated by that monarchy is to be the initial aggressor. I oppose such exertions of regime change. But I do support militarily changing a monarchy to a republic if, and only if, that monarchy is exerting terroristic or genocidal aggression.
What do I mean by this? I refer to situations under which a tyrannical regime is either sponsoring terrorism and/or commencing genocide. To destroy such a regime is to wage war in self-defense or in defense of others, depending on who that despotic aggressor’s targets were until it got collapsed. Defensive war to defend others is often called ‘Humanitarian Intervention’, did you know?
Launching war to destroy a foreign power long before it attacks, for me, depends on if there is valid evidence of that power initiating aggression. If there is not, which is inherently the case when a tyrannical regime does preventive war to a free society, then yes it is aggression.
But if there is a big pile of credible evidence of aggression, which is always the case with a free society doing preventive war to a tyranny, then no it’s not aggression. It is waging war in national Self-Defense, especially if the evidence is something so indisputable as aggressively worded blackmail.
Although Western values are the values uniquely libertarian, I will say that to launch unprovoked military strikes for the spread of Western values breaks the NAP.
Much like with preventive war and regime change, a proper free society that abides by the NAP does not militarily exert Western values. Unless it’s in self-defense or defense of others from nationally, regionally or globally known aggression.
Guess what? The NAP makes it easier for me to explain how my type of libertarian, neolibertarianism, differs from neoconservatism. Neoconservatives mostly favor unprovoked acts of preventive war, regime change and cultural imperialism. While neolibertarians like me, most of us, invoke the NAP to claim we should only do regime change, liberty promotion, and preventive war as defenses against aggression. Many of us don’t want the West being the initial aggressor in this sense.
My Overall Verdict
So, based on the text in the above image, I would say the Non-Aggression Principle permits free societies to use lots of kinds of warfare to self-defend and defend others against aggression.
Tyrannies on the other hand are acts of aggression by definition and morally do not have any rights, not even right to life, because NAP.
By the way this is not ignoring the need to prefer free trade, free migration, and diplomatic friendships over war. I know all too well the moral superiority that free trade, free migration and diplomatic friendship have over military anything. But I also promote the reasoning that if I am to think the NAP is a morality banning violent aggression while allowing violent defense, then it equally applies to nations.
I’m very certain I just confused everyone with this piece. I easily confused my former supervisors at The Libertarian Republic. I easily confused the Non-interventionist mainstream of libertarianism. I easily confused anyone in Cheshire Class of 2013 with me who actually reads my pieces on this WordPress diary. But if you are amused & enlightened by this piece then thank you very much for reading it,