Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Self defense a primary human right

Self defense a primary human right

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 29, 2015)

If someone is violating your personal rights — through aggression or by violating your property — you have the right to stop them.

Nothing, no justifications or excuses, can abolish or alter your right to defense of self or property. The right of defense is the primary human right; all others come from that one.

Aggression is the act of committing, or threatening, violence against someone who isn't currently using violence against you nor violating your property. The defining characteristic of libertarians is that they realize they have no right to use aggression. Self defense, even with violence, is not aggression; the other person started it.

If someone is doing something which doesn't violate your person or property, but still offends or bothers you in some way, how do you deal with it? There are a couple of very different ways people approach this situation, which highlight the difference of the libertarian response.

The first way to deal with this is childish, even barbaric, and is by far the most common way: you pretend to have the power-- or worse, the "authority"-- to control how other people live their lives, and you make up "laws" to use against them if they continue doing what you don't like. Using this tool, you violate their right to live unmolested; you violate their life, liberty, or property-- probably feeling righteous while doing so.

The other way is to try to convince them to change their ways, and if that doesn't work, as long as they don't become aggressive or try to violate your property, you walk away and mind your own business.

I know this isn't good enough for most people. It doesn't feel satisfying to them. They want a way to force others to stop doing what they don't want them to do-- even when they have no right to do so. They simply can't abide leaving people to live according to their own wishes if they find those wishes offensive in some way. They will invoke the "common good", "the children", "community standards", and all manner of justifications for doing the inexcusable. It's still wrong. You have no right to rule other people, and using force against non-aggressive people turns you into a thug.

Unless others are violating your person or property you have no right to control their actions-- and since you can't delegate a right you don't have, since it doesn't exist, you can't send enforcers, bureaucrats, or politicians after them without becoming the problem.

Do you value your rights to life, liberty, and property enough to respect the identical and equal rights of everyone else? Or do you intend to rule?


1 comment:

  1. The right to defense applies to statists.

    Kill them all. Let God sort them out.