From this post:
Derek: “don’t know, when you define aggression a priori”
I am not sure what this means. I am defining what libertarians are in terms of their view on aggression: they are against it. Aggression itself requires further explanation, definition, and justification. In my various articles I have attempted this. E.g http://mises.org/daily/3660#ref18 .
Aggression is fairly obvious in terms of human bodies. But in terms of other scarce resources, you have to identify the owner first–aggression here is dependent on property rights. Thus what makes libertarianism unique is its property right assignment rule: basically the Lockean rule of appropriation of unowned property.
” you do so in a manner that objectively deems certain actions as non-aggressive and therefore non-problematic when they actually are in some reasonable sense.”
In other words, you are willing in some cases to condone the use of violence against someone who has not committed aggression against the body of, or trespassed against the owned property of, another person. We libertarians call that “criminal” or aggression.
“When recognizing social problems, aggression being one of those many problems (one of the more serious ones), you don’t engage in the tendency of deeming social problems non-problems at all because you understand you’re not aware of certain social contexts.”
We don’t “deem” anything but we are opposed to aggresion. We believe aggression is always unjustified. This does not mean we think there are no other social problems. What you are doing here is exactly what conservaives do when they say they aer against violence but it’s just one of many values, etc. — Check out this post and y’ll see wha I mean http://www.libertarianstandard.com/2012/01/17/the-disingenuous-liberty-isnt-the-only-value-attack-by-liberals-and-conservatives-on-libertarianism/
“The NAP, on the other hand, is about removing all care about context and focusing on one principle, or axiom in some cases, about aggression.”
No. You are wrong. You are squirming and evading, trying to avoid naming the truth: that you are sometimes willing to condone or commit aggression. If you are, go ahead and say it. If not, then you are identical with libertarians.
Let’s take a simpler exapmle. Presumably you oppose the torture and murder of children. Right? For whatever reason. You think that it is unjustified. It is wrong. It should not be engaged in. Saying this is not “simplistic” or “out of context”–it is just what you believe. Likewise libertarians feel the same about aggression: we basically believe that humans ought to live in society, in cooperation, as much as possible; that when there is a possibility of physically, violent conflict, this is always because of the fundmanetal fact of scarcity: their intended use of some scarce resources, whether others’ bodies or other reosurces, conflict. We believe that to avoid the problem of violent conflict people ought to abide by a set of property rules that allocate particular owners of all such contestable resources. And we believe that the owner should be the person himself, in the case of bodies; and in the case of previously unowned resources, it ought to be the first one to start using it, or someone to whom he has contractually transferred it.
Now the only way you can disagree with this is to think someone other than A ought to own his body–i.e. slavery. Or that someone other than the original homesteader of a resource should have it–that is, A homesteads property X and later on, some latecomer B gets to take X from A, to become its new owner. We call this theft.
Why would you be in favor of slavery or theft?
“Considering that libertarianism is all about people freeing themselves and taking *self-responsibility*, conveying an ethic that creates some philosophical and practical dependency of this type is a dangerous way of thinking in my opinion.”
It’s not “about” this. It’s not “about” anything–it’s not a novel with a plot. LIbertarianism is a political philosophy with a particular view of how property rights should be allocated. Every political philosophy has some view of property rights. It’s just that all the non-libertarian ones believe in some form of slavery or theft.
“I think this stems from the Austrians means of deriving ethics from a system of rights, “natural” rights usually, rather than derive a system of rights from their larger theory of ethics.”
Has nothing to do with it.
I suggest you read my What It Means to be an Anarcho-Capitalist. stephankinsella.com/publications