Ending The Debilitating Libertarian Dependence Upon Rothbard’s NAP


*Ending the debilitating libertarian dependence on Rothbardian Libertarianism and the NAP.*

[T]here is a very great difference between a general rule of thumb, and the necessary basis for a body of law whose properties are reducible to property rights, that are sufficient for the resolution of conflicts between individuals, such that they do not desire an authority to resolve or prevent conflicts via means other than the law reducible to property rights. Furthermore, the means of violation of a persons’ property is not, as Hoppe has demonstrated, important, but instead, the definition of property regardless of how it is violated. To define property by aggression is to confuse cause and consequence. Aggression (NAP) against Intersubjectively Verifiable Property (IVP) as the basis for the law and resolution of disputes, is not only insufficient in the coverage of human disputes that require resolution, but NAP/IVP licenses deception and externalities, and prohibits retaliation for deception (unethical) and externalities(immoral). Meaning that objectively, the NAP/IVP licenses deception(unethical) and externalized (immoral) actions. The fact that very few human beings seem to be able to rationally articulate that NAP/IVP is immoral, or that Aggression is an insufficient prohibition for constraining unethical and immoral trade, or that defining property by means of prohibition rather than its origin as human action is non-logical, doesn’t seem to alter the fact, that the majority of humans simply intuit that something is ‘wrong’ with Rothbardian Libertarian Ethics.

Jan Lester has taken the logical route to define property as logically reflecting human actions, and quite nearly found the correct answer with ‘imposed costs’ – at least he has been closer than anyone else. However, as we have stated above, we must reduce imposed costs, up what precisely? We must have a definition of property to impose costs against. (He does, but it’s not sufficient either – and will clarify in a moment.)

So how do we define property that can be transgressed against; upon which we prohibit the imposition of costs; and limit legal transfers to and from, to voluntary, fully informed, warrantied exchange?

We can try to rely upon reason, or we can instead, look empirically at what is necessary for the elimination of demand for the state. My first question is, how do we eliminate the state, by eliminating demand for the state? It is not “what should we ask people to believe?” But what basis of organic law is sufficient for elimination of demand for the state as either a suppressor of unethical and immoral action, or a suppressor of retaliation for unethical and immoral actions, regardless of what people believe or desire.

Now, while It is difficult to imagine people wanting to enter into contracts that permit unethical behavior, if people want to enter into contracts that license various forms of immoral behavior, then that is entirely permissible – in fact it is desirable. It allows us to ‘trade’ immoralities between classes. It sets terms and limits on immoral behavior, gives contractual license, but does not redefine the fact that immoral behavior is in fact, the involuntary transfer, or consumption, of paid in capital, or the ‘imposition of costs’ upon others. As such contractual exchange allows us to conduct voluntary exchanges of ‘immoral behavior’ via market means. When no other such means of exchange is possible. So if you were to choose some normative violation, as long as you exchanged contractual terms with some other class, an exchange occurs, not a violation of property rights.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

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