Comments 26

  1. The left sidebar is broken throughout the ZAP site, blocking the view on each of my browsers, Chrome and Firefox for Android.

    1. I assume you mean by this that the left column is overlapping the material in the center of the page. I am not seeing this on my screen using Chrome. Have you tried refreshing the page? Are you on a phone perhaps? The site is not optimized for phone yet.
      Perry Willis

    2. Looks like the issue I was having is with the responsive design of the footer. As the screen narrows, it is pushed up – and it is wider than the left sidebar so it overflows across the content on the right side of the page.
      A great way to simulate this is to just re-size your browser (grab the right side and slide it left) until it’s in a kind of portrait mode. The page doesn’t really handle this well.
      Interesting how different the site looks on various browsers on various OS’s:

  2. Hi,
    I support Libertarian principals for the most part and am a free thinker.
    For the most part I find myself agreeing with your principals.
    When the right is mentioned in the icons it tends to be in a more general way than with the left. In one left and right are mentioned and the examples are socialist and progressive. Both of the examples are to the left.
    One message that I found disturbing was about private security vs police.
    Yes I have been intimidated by private security. Private Security Organizations in fact provide the muscle behind some international corporations which exert the same sort of tactics as “statists” when given the opportunity.
    It is my observation that states and international corporations are in a contest of world control. The internationals it would appear to be winning.
    Arguing to dismantle one evil and not the other if successful will assure the victory of the other.
    I ask that you cut a little deeper in your philosophies. Movements such as this one can have the impact that you seek.
    So please be aware of the other forces in play and reflect them in your briefings.
    James Horne

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments James. We too would like to direct more of our criticisms at the Right, but we’ve had a hard time doing that because the Left has a more coherent set of objections to freedom than does the Right. The main problem on the right seems to be a dislike of pleasure, combined with a desire to use the military to do social engineering abroad (even though they oppose it being done at home). You will see us take more aim at both of these issues as we unveil other parts of the site.
      With regard to the supposed contest between The State and corporations, this is one of the big areas where we think left-statists get things subtly but crucially wrong. The State and corporations are not foes, they are partners. The State is an approach to “government” that is of the cronies, by the cronies, for the cronies. We want to break-up this partnership by eliminating the initiation of force. We hope you will stick with us to explore more deeply what this means.
      As for private police — what if you had your own police firm to protect you? Would that make you feel more or less secure than you do today?
      Perry Willis

  3. Love your heuristics. I would like to share the “Zero Aggression Principle” heuristic on my facebook page. What shows up when sharing needs to be enlivened a bit though. I know its shallow, but when we’re trying to get those who are not already on board interested enough to click on something to read it…it must LOOK interesting.
    Thanks and continue the good work,
    Rachelle Ottosen

    1. Thanks for the kind words Rachelle. Can you give us a bit more detail about “enlivening the Facebook share.” One thing to know is that the Facebook share text is written to maximize SEO, but we can certainly take a look at doing it better. Any more concrete feedback you might provide would be helpful. Thanks again!

      1. One of my interests is intellectual history. Your heuristic reminds me of the 1920’s, when there was a labeled conflict between fundamentalism and liberalism.
        The conflict was actually between two fundamentalisms–the one that bore the name and the social gospel that opposed it–both of them simplistic, self-righteous, and authoritarian, as silly as the current clash between creationists and evolutionists.
        Your heuristic looks to me like yet another fundamentalism. It is ridiculous to claim that what you have to say about these matters is all we need to know.

  4. Just a quick compliment: I love the approach of this site, and the vast number of concise, well-worded principles. I’ll definitely share these links in other conversations. Thank you. And I look forward to the tools, too.

  5. I am geting a Security Certificate error when I try to go to this site. Brower give a strong warning not to go here. This needs to be addressed or people will be afraid to visit.

  6. Can’t subscribe to your Consent site… This is what it says when I try:
    The website cannot display the page
    HTTP 500
    Most likely causes: •The website is under maintenance.
    •The website has a programming error.
    What you can try: •Refresh the page.
    •Go back to the previous page.
    More information

  7. The errors in the information at this site are numerous but I realize you have the right to distribute it.
    Error begets error.
    One example is in the definition given for the (presumably)core principle on the home page
    – Don’t threaten or initiate force
    – Limit force to defensive purposes only
    There is contradiction there since “threaten force” can be used for a defensive purpose
    “initiate” means offensive(opposed to defensive),
    but “threaten” is neutral, it can be offensive or defensive

    1. Thanks for your comment Eric. A threat to defend yourself is not initiation, it is a response to an earlier threat, or a simple statement of the self-evident right of self-defense. But even if this were not true…
      Prose that attempts to address all minor nuances soon degenerates into legalese. There are no perfect solutions in life, there are only trade-offs. We prefer pith to mind-numbing detail. Thanks again for your interest.
      Perry Willis

      1. thanks
        If pith is the goal then dropping “or threat” would be even more pithy
        and would not alter the intended meaning . . .
        – Don’t initiate force
        – Limit force to defensive purposes only
        That said, I do recognize that you may consider the wording of the core definition for NonAggression to be a minor nuance.

  8. 2 Comment. One Positive, one negative.
    Great site. Lots of good healthy info.
    But clicking on many different icons really sucks up my bandwidth.

    1. Thanks for your comments Alobar. As a practical matter, the number of icons people click will be dictated by their level of interest. We had to choose between having a few long articles that covered a lot of topics, or a lot of topics covered by a large number of short articles. We chose the latter. That way people can share the specific narrow article that best matches their current need. We hope you find this approach useful.

  9. Hi guys,
    Generally love the succinct descriptions. On the empathy one, you begin
    “You imagine how others… want to be treated, and you deal with them that way (the Golden Rule) …”
    I think that the Golden Rule is more like “You imagine how you would like to be treated, and you treat others that way.”

    1. Peter, With the heuristics, we made a conscience decision to go for pith over precision. Precision can quickly become too complex to actually be read.
      My philosophy about the Golden Rule is that its impossible to put in words, yet even grade school children can understand it. For the sake of pith, I’ve literally skipped a step. You are correct that, at first, we learn how to treat others by the realization of how we feel. But we don’t stop there. With maturity, we deduce that others have feelings too. Here’s the rub: They may not desire the same things I would want. The Golden Rule, based on my feelings and desires, would be a terrible principle to apply, if I was a masochist, right? So, at a mature level, we try to determine what others want, what makes them happy, and if we care about them, we deliver it, even if it’s not our cup of tea.
      Now, we haven’t forgotten about precision, which is why we went on to publish a more detailed article about the Golden Rule: Have you had time to read that?

  10. Jim, I empathize with your desire for pith 🙂 My understanding is that an expression is pithy when it is concise and compellingly expressive. Achieving pith is challenging, in part, because it includes the constraint of not sacrificing semantic fidelity.
    When I Google “Golden Rule,” the very first link returned is , which manages to give a reasonably precise, concise characterization.
    I have read the longer article, and feel that it has much clarifying value. It however is not referenced in the Empathy heuristic page. So, judging the effectiveness of the Empathy heuristic page currently must be done without reference to the more detailed article.
    My principle concern is that the Empathy heuristic page will leave the reader thinking “These guys are preaching the virtue of the Golden Rule, but don’t even know what the Golden Rule is! They are not worth my time.”
    That would be sad, and, I believe, avoidable. I guess you disagree that this outcome is likely. Of course, it is your web site, and thus your call.
    Again, I do love the overall site concept and execution.

    1. Actually, the Golden Rule article is both in the side column, next to Empathy, and in the article itself, as the first hyperlink.

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