Mental Levers

Featured image for “What is the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP)?”

What is the Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP)?

The Zero Aggression Principle says . . . Don't threaten or initiate force. Limit force to defensive purposes only (such as criminal due process).
Featured image for “What does everyone, including you, want?”

What does everyone, including you, want?

Every human being, including you, wants to avoid aggression. No one wants to be harmed.
Featured image for “What is initiated force?”

What is initiated force?

Can you tell the difference between initiated force and defensive force? This distinction is crucial to libertarian thinking.
Featured image for “Is fraud initiated force?”

Is fraud initiated force?

Fraud is illegal when used with the aim to... initiated force by other means
Featured image for “What is a libertarian?”

What is a libertarian?

Libertarians of all types agree on one thing: Solving social problems starts with a specific question.
Featured image for “What is a Voluntaryist?”

What is a Voluntaryist?

Applying the libertarian Zero Aggression Principle consistently.
Featured image for “Where do you get your rights?”

Where do you get your rights?

Does The State foster empathy, or oppose it?
Featured image for “Is the Golden Rule inherently libertarian?”

Is the Golden Rule inherently libertarian?

Does The State violate the Golden Rule?
Featured image for “Can everyone do absolutely anything they want?”

Can everyone do absolutely anything they want?

Everyone is free but cannot do absolutely everything they might want to do.
Featured image for “How much should you respect individual conscience?”

How much should you respect individual conscience?

Are you willing to use "government" force to make others obey your preferences, or will you respect individual conscience in all things?
Featured image for “How do we expand our liberty?”

How do we expand our liberty?

Don't impede the happiness of others. Politics is an anti-empathetic assault on individual happiness.
Featured image for “Is the libertarian concept of Zero Aggression pacifist?”

Is the libertarian concept of Zero Aggression pacifist?

The Zero Aggression Principle does not equal pacifism. It prohibits neither assertiveness nor defense. It only prohibits initiated force.
Featured image for “Are there exceptions to the Zero Aggression Principle?”

Are there exceptions to the Zero Aggression Principle?

Initiated force digs a hole Why there should be a bias against initiating force.
Featured image for “Should zero aggression always be your starting point?”

Should zero aggression always be your starting point?

Find ways to solve social and political problems without aggression
Featured image for “Isn’t voluntaryism just another ideology?”

Isn’t voluntaryism just another ideology?

Unlike statists, left and right, the voluntaryist doesn't see you as a pawn in some scheme to make the world a better place.
Featured image for “How do libertarians view Constitutional rights?”

How do libertarians view Constitutional rights?

Does the Bill of Rights only apply to Americans?
Featured image for “How do libertarians view politics?”

How do libertarians view politics?

Are voters sociopaths?
Featured image for “Is a criminal action still a crime if The State does it?”

Is a criminal action still a crime if The State does it?

Does your so-called government fight crime, or commit crimes?
Featured image for “Are you a passive consenter to State criminality?”

Are you a passive consenter to State criminality?

Do you aid and abet The State's criminality?
Featured image for “Do you make excuses for State criminality?”

Do you make excuses for State criminality?

Do you know someone who suffers from it?
Featured image for “Is Democracy benign and moral?”

Is Democracy benign and moral?

Democracy has no magic power to make wrong become right. We rightly rejected the divine right of kings, but now wrongly accept a divine right of majorities.
Featured image for “Is democracy inherently perverted?”

Is democracy inherently perverted?

In democracy the majority vote counts 100% but the minority vote counts 0%. What happens to self-rule?
Featured image for “What is the connection between morality and law?”

What is the connection between morality and law?

Should you advocate the Nuremberg Principle? This article is 92 words long. You can read it in 30 seconds. It addresses these questions -- Are legislation and law the same? Is legislation inherently lawful? Can legislation be criminal? What if legislation had to be moral? Would this promote empathy?
Featured image for “What is a law?”

What is a law?

Most people think a law is anything passed by a legislative body. If true, then how could the Nuremberg Trials rule that Nazi “laws” were illegal?
Featured image for “Are some people confused about what a government is?”

Are some people confused about what a government is?

Government defined. What should government do, and not do? Does an institution cease being a government if it violates government's purpose? Other labels.
Featured image for “What is a legitimate government?”

What is a legitimate government?

Two traits distinguish a legitimate government from a pretend "government." This mini-article has 106 words. You can read it in less than 30 seconds.
Featured image for “What is The State?”

What is The State?

What is The State? How does The State differ from legitimate government? This mini-article is 202 words long. You can read it in under a minute.
Featured image for “Can you be pro-government but anti-state?”

Can you be pro-government but anti-state?

We are pro-government and anti-state. Does that sentence contradict itself? This 116-word mini-article explains why it does not. You can read it in under 30 seconds.
Featured image for “What do libertarians mean by the terms statist and statism?”

What do libertarians mean by the terms statist and statism?

Libertarians use the terms statist and statism to describe those who use The State to impose their personal preferences on others.
Featured image for “Who are the left-statists and right-statists?”

Who are the left-statists and right-statists?

The Zero Aggression Project believes most political labels are fraudulent. Using the terms left-statist and right-statist solves this problem.
Featured image for “Do statists have a P-P problem?”

Do statists have a P-P problem?

Left sees profit as a curse word. Right does the same with pleasure. Both sides use The State to impose these prejudices on others.
Featured image for “Should anyone have coercive authority over others?”

Should anyone have coercive authority over others?

Featured image for “Is The State the country?”

Is The State the country?

Statists assume The State is the same thing as the country. But voluntaryist libertarians argue that The State is merely an institution.
Featured image for “Are society and community the same thing as The State?”

Are society and community the same thing as The State?

Libertarians think The State's use of initiated force is inherently anti-social and anti-community. Society and community describe voluntary relationships.
Featured image for “Is The State a form of cooperation?”

Is The State a form of cooperation?

Libertarians believe that statists misunderstand cooperation. The State's use of initiated force contradicts the whole idea of cooperation.
Featured image for “Is statism actually compassionate?”

Is statism actually compassionate?

When voluntaryists disagree with a more "socialist" political agenda, they're accused of being "privileged" or "selfish."
Featured image for “What is the central principle of politics today?”

What is the central principle of politics today?

Featured image for “Can statist policies be enforced without murder?”

Can statist policies be enforced without murder?

Featured image for “What do libertarians propose as the alternative to state coercion?”

What do libertarians propose as the alternative to state coercion?

Libertarians propose peaceful persuasion and voluntary cooperation as the alternative to statist violence.
Featured image for “Is statism generous?”

Is statism generous?

Would you consider your neighbor generous if he robbed you and gave your money to the Red Cross?
Featured image for “Are statists robbing your charities?”

Are statists robbing your charities?

Statists engage in charity robbing to fund their favored cause. This is greedy and harmful. The Zero Aggression Principle is the cure for charity robbing.
Featured image for “Why should you oppose all business taxes?”

Why should you oppose all business taxes?

Companies collect taxes, their customers pay them. Corporations never pay taxes, consumers do.
Featured image for “Can The State cure selfishness and greed?”

Can The State cure selfishness and greed?

Selfishness and greed are inherent to statism. Thus, The State cannot cure these problems, it can only magnify them.
Featured image for “Do more laws make things better or worse?”

Do more laws make things better or worse?

A frequent outcome of new statist policies is the Boomerang Effect. The unintended side-effect of a new law or regulation is that it makes the problem worse.
Featured image for “Do “free riders” justify initiated-force?”

Do “free riders” justify initiated-force?

Free riders do NOT justify initiated force. Instead, they signify a benevolent, empathetic society committed to generosity and Zero Aggression.
Featured image for “Do externalities justify initiated force?”

Do externalities justify initiated force?

The State is the ultimate negative externality
Featured image for “Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?”

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

Featured image for “Do some people need to be monitored and disciplined by their "betters?"”

Do some people need to be monitored and disciplined by their "betters?"

Statist argument from arrogance.
Featured image for “Can any particular good outcome justify The State?”

Can any particular good outcome justify The State?

Reject Cargo Cult Statism. Instead of initiating force, set yourself the empathetic task of always finding ways to deliver the cargo using Zero Aggression.
Featured image for “Can initiated force be harnessed for good?”

Can initiated force be harnessed for good?

When Statists solutions fail, and they blame the opposing party or some other non-cooperating force, they've fallen for...
Featured image for “How should The State be evaluated?”

How should The State be evaluated?

To learn how to evaluate The State correctly you must learn to count all the costs of initiated force.
Featured image for “Can a cost-benefit analysis justify initiated force?”

Can a cost-benefit analysis justify initiated force?

Featured image for “Can “social science” justify initiated force? Part 1”

Can “social science” justify initiated force? Part 1

No complete cost-benefit analysis is ever conducted before any statist scheme is implemented. Statists use "social science" to sidestep this flaw
Featured image for “Can "social science" justify initiated force? Part 2”

Can "social science" justify initiated force? Part 2

“Social science” also fails in another crucial way...
Featured image for “Are fears of even modest State growth reasonable?”

Are fears of even modest State growth reasonable?

Statism is creepy
Featured image for “Can initiated force be limited?”

Can initiated force be limited?

Giving The State the power to initiate force instantly frees it from most limits.
Featured image for “Can The State be controlled?”

Can The State be controlled?

The Constitution either created the criminal State we now have, or it was impotent to prevent it.
Featured image for “Does initiated force solve social problems or beget more violence?”

Does initiated force solve social problems or beget more violence?

Politicians design programs they believe will initiate force precisely and sparingly. But in reality, they've opened Pandora's Box.
Featured image for “Is corruption an accidental byproduct of statism?”

Is corruption an accidental byproduct of statism?

Featured image for “Is the Zero Aggression Principle anarchistic?”

Is the Zero Aggression Principle anarchistic?

The State is anarchy. It is not ruled or regulated by anything, it commits crimes. It foments chaos and disorder.
Featured image for “Is The State needed to provide governmental services?”

Is The State needed to provide governmental services?

The State's cultural dominance has left us largely blind to institutions of NON-STATE GOVERNANCE and order.
Featured image for “Are there non-state forms of regulation?”

Are there non-state forms of regulation?

There are non-state forms of regulation just as there are non-state forms of government.
Featured image for “Do you have more power as a consumer or as a voter?”

Do you have more power as a consumer or as a voter?

Consumer vs voter -- where does your greater power lie? Consumers are kings. Voters are captives.
Featured image for “Is taxation impractical?”

Is taxation impractical?

Violence-based funding is inherently criminal and corrupt. It removes the need to satisfy customers, leading to waste and incompetence.
Featured image for “What is the alternative to The State?”

What is the alternative to The State?

Consumer controlled governments will begin when violence-based funding ends. You will set your own budget for government and choose your own providers.
Featured image for “Will consumers fund sufficient governance?”

Will consumers fund sufficient governance?

What amounts to "sufficient funding" for government services should be defined by consumers, NOT politicians.
Featured image for “Can The State become a legitimate government?”

Can The State become a legitimate government?

Transforming The State into a true government means no more initiated force.
Featured image for “Is a libertarian society Utopian?”

Is a libertarian society Utopian?

A society based on the Zero Aggression Project will not be Utopia. But it will be better than the Statist society we now.
Featured image for “What fundamental laws will govern a libertarian society?”

What fundamental laws will govern a libertarian society?

Law in a society based on the Zero Aggression Principle will rely on three social norms.
Featured image for “What is a post-statist?”

What is a post-statist?

Post-Statism - A forward-looking label....Statists advocate initiated-force. They come in liberal, conservative, green, libertarian, and socialist varieties
Featured image for “Can we let the market handle things?”

Can we let the market handle things?

What do libertarians mean when they say, "Let the market solve a problem?" Are they suggesting that greedy, capitalist cronies should solve social problems?
Featured image for “Are the free market and society the same thing?”

Are the free market and society the same thing?

Free market is not just money, materialism, and self-interest. It covers all peaceful exchanges, cooperation, and human relationships. Free market is...
Featured image for “What is capitalism?”

What is capitalism?

Capital is money or resources used for production rather than consumption. Capitalism is "Toolism."
Featured image for “Do you analyze competing concepts fairly?”

Do you analyze competing concepts fairly?

Do you analyze competing concepts fairly? Golden Rule of Ideas: Treat your own ideas the same way you treat opposing concepts. No double-standards.
Featured image for “Should you avoid the war of competing studies?”

Should you avoid the war of competing studies?

Can a study refute a moral principle? Can people become experts in how others should live? What you can can gain from avoiding the war of competing studies.
Featured image for “Are you being manipulated by a statist machine?”

Are you being manipulated by a statist machine?

Agenda Setting controls what people think and how they think about it. Agenda Setting is manipulative and excludes libertarian ideas. But there is a cure!
Featured image for “Why do my friends snap-back to statist ideas when I’m not there?”

Why do my friends snap-back to statist ideas when I’m not there?

The Rubber Band Effect. One conversation won't undo the "pull" of statism
Featured image for “Why do people act as they do politically?”

Why do people act as they do politically?

The aesthetic theory of partisan attraction suggests that people don't reason their way into a political party or ideological tribe
Featured image for “What thing do we most need to create a libertarian society?”

What thing do we most need to create a libertarian society?

The most useful libertarian actions will be those that discover, recruit, and mobilize more libertarians
Featured image for “Why do statist ideas defeat libertarian ideas in the political arena?”

Why do statist ideas defeat libertarian ideas in the political arena?

Seen as often as statist schemes (visibility parity), libertarian ideas win. How to make that happen? Operation Everywhere.
Featured image for “What strategic activity should libertarians prioritize?”

What strategic activity should libertarians prioritize?

Since there are tens of millions of latent libertarians, focus on that low-hanging fruit, first.
Featured image for “Can you induce people to reject statism?”

Can you induce people to reject statism?

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." Try the Mental Depth Charge: Identify contradictions and then stand back!
Featured image for “When should statists oppose greater government powers?”

When should statists oppose greater government powers?

The 'shoe on the other foot' rule. Before giving any power to a politician, think about what could happen if a bad politician had that power.
Featured image for “Why should you tackle the five hardest issues first?”

Why should you tackle the five hardest issues first?

Use the Pillar Strategy to collapse the mental structure of statism.
Featured image for “Can a voluntaryist be a gradualist?”

Can a voluntaryist be a gradualist?

A Fabian libertarian maintains the ultimate objective of a zero aggression society but also seeks small opportunities to move in that direction.
Featured image for “Does the common definition of isolationism make sense?”

Does the common definition of isolationism make sense?

Libertarians get accused of being "isolationists" all the time. Statists are sloppy with words like that. The actual isolationists are...
Featured image for “Why political borders are not like private property lines”

Why political borders are not like private property lines

Locked doors are for protection. Politicians maintain borders for dividing the sheep and fleecing them. Political borders can be bad for property rights.
Featured image for “Is capitalism the same thing as the free market?”

Is capitalism the same thing as the free market?

Most people assume that capitalism and the free market are the same thing. In this 158 word mini-article, Zero Aggression explains the actual relationship.
Featured image for “Should libertarians abandon the word capitalism?”

Should libertarians abandon the word capitalism?

Democrats, socialists abuse the word capitalism causing capitalist to get shy. But this word can expose hypocrisy if used correctly...
Featured image for “Does the label anarcho-capitalist accurately describe any libertarian?”

Does the label anarcho-capitalist accurately describe any libertarian?

Some libertarians and voluntaryists like to call themselves anarcho-capitalists (an-caps). Please consider these three ways that label fails.
Featured image for “Are advocates of single-payer lying, perhaps even to themselves?”

Are advocates of single-payer lying, perhaps even to themselves?

Single-payer is a phony, misleading term. Let us count the ways that illustrate how there's never a single payer in any of these schemes.
Featured image for “What’s the true objective of ‘single-payer’ advocates?”

What’s the true objective of ‘single-payer’ advocates?

What's the true meaning of single-payer? Single-payer really means single-price. Single-price means shortages, poverty, and death.
Featured image for “What do you and everyone else want?”

What do you and everyone else want?

It's a universal: Every persons wants to be happy and has their own definition happiness. What does that mean for governance?