A few run-ins with these guys in my youth soured me on Libertarianism forever, but the Z Man still likes batting them around a bit. As Libertarianism attracts mainly college kids, who don’t know what they don’t know, I present the following as a public service:
This “non-aggression principle” you keep going on about…. that’s been covered. As always, a Dead White Male got there first.
Thomas Hobbes said the first Law of Nature — the very first one, and please note the capitals — is: “seek peace.” Problem is, no individual man is powerful enough to guarantee peace for himself against all the other people he’s forced to interact with. So we form covenants — what comes to be known as the famous “social contract” — in order to secure peace for ourselves and our posterity. Hobbes spends the rest of a fairly long book exploring the consequences of this social contract.
That book is Leviathan, and it ends with the most absolute monarch that ever could be. Hobbes’s reasoning is irrefutable if you grant his premises. It’s worth reading. Our forefathers thought so, at least, since all that “by the people, for the people” stuff — Locke, Montesquieu, the whole schmear — is an attempt to wrestle with Hobbes’s premises without arriving at his conclusion. They used to teach this stuff in Humanities 101, I swear.
It’s not your fault you didn’t get this in college — we gotta fit Jay-Z, Ru Paul, and Andrea Dworkin in the curriculum somewhere — but you can find a copy in every used bookstore in the land. Give it a skim, then get back to me on the moral basis of Libertarianism.