What do you and everyone else want?

Everyone seeks to increase their happiness. That’s why people…

  • Don’t want their stuff stolen or vandalized.
  • Don’t want to be injured or killed.
  • Move away from harm and towards pleasure.

Happiness is a primary human goal.
But some may object…

  • “Not everyone is happy.” Of course not, but even unhappy people seek happiness over harm.
  • “There are other motivations besides happiness.” Perhaps, but those other motivations don’t have the aim of making the seeker less happy.
  • “People often act against their own happiness.” So what? People make mistakes. Such mistakes don’t negate happiness as a prime human goal.

It’s wrong to think that others don’t want happiness just because their choices would make you unhappy. Different people are made happy by different things.
Think about what makes you happy? Then ask yourself…

  • Are you happier when your conscience is violated?
  • Does your joy increase when your choices get restricted or removed?

Well, what is true for you is also true for other people…

  • My happiness is important in the same way yours is.
  • Our neighbor’s happiness is just as valuable to him or her.

Politics is an anti-empathetic assault on happiness.

Using threats of violence to make others obey your preferences makes them less happy. Please realize…

If you can use The State to impose your preferences on others, others can do the same to you, and thereby damage your happiness too.

Be empathetic. Respect that others have their own unique path to joy. Obey the Zero Aggression Principle — don’t aggress against others, personally or politically.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

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Show Comments 7


  1. Exactly.
    The sociopath invites us to use force, and often succeeds, because OUR HAPPINESS DOES NOT MATTER to a sociopath.
    Sociopaths divide us into factions and then tell us that our faction’s happiness is more important, than all other factions’ happiness. Then invite us to harm the other factions.
    Once we grasp this concept, it is obvious why this subject seems confusing.
    It is confusing, because the sociopaths who want us to rob each other and give them the loot, are lying to us.

  2. I would argue that most people are NOT happy unless they are busy controlling what everyone else does/says/thinks, etc. Sure everyone wants their own FREEDOM, but as soon as I assert mine they get offended. This problem is only getting worse now that we have what people would call “moral decay.” Because you see before it wasn’t socially acceptable to divorce, swear, cheat on your spouse, smoke pot in public or elsewhere, do drugs, watch porn, etc. etc. etc. And since “now it is” well then things are just terrible. I hope you can read sarcasm. Any way control freaks have been trying to control us/you/me from the beginning of time. And they are not getting tired it seems.

    1. Hi Mike. There is much truth in what you say, and yes, we do appreciate the sarcasm. The burden on us is to constantly remind people that whatever they can do to others, others can do to them.

  3. @Bob Schubring
    Well said!
    So humanity’s task might be described as learning to identify sociopaths, and then ignoring their lies!

  4. If most of your population are psychopaths who do not like being raped, but who derive great pleasure from raping, then you wil decrease net happiness by enforcing the Non-Aggression Principle.

    1. You are assuming that the happiness gained by the rapist is equal to or greater than the happiness lost by the rape victim. The whole point here is that it simply is not possible to quantify the subjective experience of individual happiness. Thus is is also impossible for any authority to calculate the amount of “greater good” that its coercively imposed policies will generate. In other words, there is no such thing as “net happiness”, so anyone who claims that his program will increase this non-existent quantity is either ignorant or lying. You can be sure in any case, that he believes it will increase his personal happiness.

  5. Maybe “politicians violate personal conscience or take away individual choices all the time” because they have no other tools, besides the use of force. They can force you to do something, forcibly prohibit you from doing something, or force you to pay for what you wouldn’t pay for voluntarily. They have no other tools!

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