Saturday, February 11, 2012

Initiating force

I have once again violated the Zero Aggression Principle. And, once again, I am OK with that.

My daughter touched a hot burner on top of the stove and burned her fingers. I grabbed her, and quite against her will, forcibly held her fingers under cold, running water. Yet, even as I did it I realized that even if it were the right thing to do, I had no right to initiate force and do it. That is how the ZAP works in real-life situations, and is why it is so resilient.

But, as I have pointed out in the past, sometimes you have to do what you believe to be the right thing and accept any consequences that come from your actions.

I do.

Would she demand restitution? I'll ask her, but even after I explain what restitution is, I don't think she will.

And, she is OK, other than a few blisters.



  1. Kent, I mean this in the best possible way. I think you need to reconsider your politics and move toward principles that are more "reality based" (for lack of a better term) rather than obsess with the minutiae of libertarian moral philosophy. Many of the big shots in the libertarian pantheon didn't have children or family responsibilities (Rand, Rothbard, et al). Perhaps if they had you wouldn't see such simplistic, unyielding, and formulaic "principles" as ZAP. As a father you also have a duty to materially support, protect, and instruct your offspring. A duty as a human being. A duty as old as the human race. I hope you get what I'm sayin' here man.

  2. Why? The ZAP works, in real life, as it is. You may not have a right to do something, but if you think it is important enough to do, while still knowing you have no right, and are willing to accept any consequences, you do it.

    It seems to me that believing I have a right to force someone to do something against her will "for her own good" is a very slippery slope that leads to nowhere good. Even if it's a child. On the other hand, if I know I have no right, but I think it's important enough that I am willing to accept the consequences of doing it anyway, it seems to instill some humility.

    Just my experience, anyway.

  3. Absolutely Correct Kent! Keep up the great works!