Friday, December 2, 2016
Baby Starving Rothbardians, Part 1: Ethos
Originally Written in Late September and October 2014
Edited on November 8th, 2015, and on January 9th, 24th, and 25th, 2016
Post-Script Written on January 24th – 25th, 2016
The following was the description of my now-defunct Facebook page “Baby Starving Rothbardians”.
Baby Starving Rothbardians (B.S.R.) believe that the N.A.P. (the Non-Aggression Principle, or Non-Aggression Axiom / N.A.A.) should be construed to prohibit aggression against individuals who negligently fail to care for people of whom they never consented or committed to take care.
We, the Baby Starving Rothbardians, call this view of the N.A.P., the “Baby Starving Principle (B.S.P.)”, or “Baby Starving Axiom (B.S.A.)”. This applies to all people, regardless of their age, heritage, culture, or their status as the child of the person expected to feed them.
Baby Starving Rothbardians believe that to prohibit aggression against people who neglect those of whom they never promised to take care, means that there should be no laws passed against any arguably immoral or amoral behavior, for three reasons. The first is deontological, the second is utilitarian, and the third is consequentialist.
The first, and deontological, argument against punishing such neglect, is the opposition to the Alienation of the Will, and the opposition to the Prior Restraint of Action. As a bit of background information, the Alienation of the Will (at least, the alienation of the will from reason) was discussed favorably by Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche; and Prior Restraint of Action has been discussed critically by Ron Paul, and by others favoring a consistent “natural rights” defense of liberty.
The argument against punishing neglect (when care was never promised) which relies on the opposition to the Alienation of the Will, is based on the idea that the Alienation of the Will, and the Prior Restraint of Action, both hinder, as well as alter the moral character of, behavior and action.
This is to say that the inability to choose to commit an immoral or amoral act, robs people of moral agency in the “decision” not to commit the act. By this, I mean that the existence of laws against the act or behavior – as well as the existence of police forces (sometimes armed with military-grade equipment) positioned ubiquitously, and ready to prevent and punish the behavior – creates a “chilling effect” upon the freedom of action.
The robbery of moral agency deprives a person of any and all responsibility involved in refraining from committing an arguably immoral or amoral act. This robbery thereby negates the right of a person to take credit for any benefit that comes from “their own” action (or, more appropriately, inaction). It also absolves a person of any right to take personal responsibility, and obligation to accept any punishment, for any harm that comes from those actions.
The second argument against punishing neglect (when no care was promised) is a utilitarian one: the need to commit some arguably immoral or amoral act(s) in order to effect some greater good for a greater number.
The third argument against punishing similar neglect is a consequentialist one: the corruptibility of laws, and enforcers of laws, against such behaviors, as well as the disproportionate force and harsh punishment, which arrest, and enforcement of such laws, often entails.
Baby Starving Rothbardians do not discriminate between the libertarian left and libertarian right; nor between 1960s counter-culturalist left-Rothbardians and late-stage 1980s-90s right-Rothbardians; nor between deontological, utilitarian, and consequentialist libertarians.
We welcome all people who accept the Non-Aggression Principle, and understand the concept of the Alienation of the Will. We welcome adherents to any and all libertarian, decentralist, anarchist, and voluntaryist politicoeconomic philosophies.
I would like to note that I do not personally support the second argument (the utilitarian argument) which I have presented against punishing neglect. Nor do I support the consequentialist ethics in general which give rise to the third argument.
I have presented the second and third arguments against the punishment of neglect, solely for their own sake; that is, because it is useful, and consequential (in regards to supporting my desired ends), to mention them.
Now I’m thinking like a Machiavellian!