Anyone-including those who may fraudulently call themselves libertarians-who is aware of the Zero Aggression Principle and refuses to live by it, or promise to, is giving himself away. He is the badguy (sic, though I don't disagree with his usage), at least potentially, reserving to himself a right that he mistakenly believes he has, to beat you up or even kill you, should he deem it necessary or simply convenient sometime in the future. What he's saying is that he cannot be trusted, not as a friend, not as a neighbor, not as a colleague, not as a comrade.
...Unlike other ethical systems...the Zero Aggression Principle does not require us to turn the other cheek pacifically. Once an aggressor has revealed himself-by the initiation of force-he has crossed a morally qualitative boundary.
There can be no argument here about the specious, if ancient, doctrine of "degrees of force." You can be killed or maimed for life just as easily with a fist or a screwdriver as with a knife or a gun. The question isn't how much or what kind of force did your assailant initiate, but simply did your assailant initiate force. If the answer is yes, the degree of force you employ to stop him is up to your discretion.
Monday, February 20, 2012
L. Neil Smith, that is (I've linked the online beta version - this is from the Kindle version):
Posted by Al at 12:47 PM