Liberty Explained: What is The “NAP” or Non-Aggression Principle?

• The “NAP” or Non-Aggression Principle is the belief that initiating or threatening any forceful interference against an individual, their property, or their right to liberty is morally wrong. While many libertarians vary on their definition or forceful interference, property, when/how to apply the NAP, and proper responses to an aggressor, the movement is largely built on the defining principle, which boils down to “don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff”. It is in contrast to Pacifism in that it allows a forceful defense.

• Mary Ruwart in her book Healing Our World calls this the Good Neighbor Policy. “Therefore, our program for peace had two parts: 1. honesty, tolerance, and respect towards others and their property (i.e. refraining from threatening first-strike force, theft, or fraud); and 2. repairing any damage we caused by violating the first part. We will refer to this dual approach of honoring our neighbor’s choice and righting our wrongs as the practice of “nonaggression,” the Good Neighbor Policy, or libertarianism.”

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