Axiom/proposition glossaries"

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Trevor Watkins

Jul 31, 2020, 6:43:27 AM7/31/20
to LibertarianSA
This thread is meant to provide a glossary of libertarian/individualist axioms/propositions, as a reference for the Axiom Olympics in a separate thread.

Trevor Watkins

Non aggression principle (NAP) Murray Rothbard
Rothbard states: "No one may threaten or commit violence ('aggress') against another man's person or property. Violence may be employed only against the man who commits such violence; that is, only defensively against the aggressive violence of another. In short, no violence may be employed against a nonaggressor. Here is the fundamental rule from which can be deduced the entire corpus of libertarian theory."[

Individualist Proposition (IP) Trevor Watkins
An individualist accepts the proposition that 

No one should act against an innocent person or their property without their consent.

Although these are all short words of 3 syllables or less,  some explanation will be required.

no one 

no individual, or group, or community, or government, or corporation.


Ought to, in order to be consistent with this proposition


To “act” is to cause a real-world, observable, physical event, as opposed to a non-physical event such as the use of words or gestures. “Preventing an action” is synonymous with “taking an action” .
For example, striking someone, taking their property, confining them, are examples of real-world events.  Being rude, shouting, threatening, are not actions with real, physical consequences.


an innocent person is not guilty of acting against anyone without their consent. Acting without consent  is called a consent violation. A person guilty of a consent violation is not protected by this proposition.


any individual (without qualification, of race, gender, creed,etc) capable of giving informed consent. This excludes those who cannot give informed consent, such as young children, the unconscious, the mentally disabled. In this case, consent devolves to their guardian. 

their property

goods belonging to a person, lawfully acquired through effort, exchange, inheritance or gift.


giving permission, allowing. Consent must be informed (ie consequences understood), explicit, freely given, preferably before witnesses, without fraud or falsehood.

Mychland (ML) proposition (Jimgee1000)

I'm of the view that both aggression and consent depend on a pre-existing theory of property rights.

In my imaginary scenario, there are a continuous series of simultaneous experiments in self-governance. Many different sovereign territories which are putting their theories of property rights to the (voluntarily-funded) test. There are also those who form a remnant of anyone who tried to subtly undermine the idea of the individual right to secede, but failed. This remnant is dwindling in number, due to an increasingly widespread reclamation of individual responsibility as an inseparable part of individual freedom. The currently-missing second side of the two-sided coin of liberty.

I would probably have in my seceded territory (call it 'Mychland' i.e. my chosen jurisdiction), a philosophical shorthand and a legal short-hand. 

The shorthand for the philosophy: 'individual freedom to prosper and individual responsibility to mitigate risk'.

The shorthand for the legal code: 'infringement of individual property rights constitutes a punishable crime'.

The process of unpacking/refinement each of: a theory of property rights, crime, and punishment for crime, would then begin.

In brief (and this requires a lot of work):

Property (all property would be private, so there would be no need for 'private' property):
- definitions:
- property: an individual's body and, by extension, acquired defined physical resources ;
- legitimate property acquisition: via one of the following means: a) original appropriation, b) contract, c) gift, d) inheritance e) restitution ;
- ownership: the legal right to full control of property.
- depriving a citizen of ownership ;

Defense(of property):
- force used in proportion to the crime for the purpose of halting the crime ;
- restitution to the extent possible ;
- additional penalty in proportion to the violation of property rights ;

Individual contracts may not reduce restrictions in the original Mychland contract i.e. only extend them.
Children and the law: Parents are guardians by default and responsible for their and their children's behavior, under Mychland law.

Weiman's Rule (WR) Gavin Weiman

New principle -
All individuals are entitled to live their lives freely and pursue their own ends provided their actions do not impact on the equal  freedoms of others. All human action that impacts on others must either be either a) blameless  or b) justified.

1. 'Blameless' means an individual cannot be blamed for the harm (or infringement) he causes another's person, liberty or property. Blameworthy actions (ie an individual can be 'blamed or is at fault) are actions that
a) intend to, and in fact cause harm to others or intend to cause harm to others or
b) negligently cause harm to others, or
c) cannot otherwise be justified

2. Intention to cause harm is to be assessed by evidence of the conduct of the person and the circumstances such that the only reasonable inference is that an actual subjective intention to harm actually existed when the harm was caused or attempted.

3, Negligent harm is caused where
a) a reasonable person in the actual factual context ought, in the context, to have foresee the harm, and
b) a reasonable person in the circumstances would take steps to avoid or mitigate the harm and did not and this failure caused the harm.

4. Three Justifications rendering otherwise blameworthy actions blameless.
In case of both 2 & 3 (i.e despite intent or negligence causing harm) the harm shall be justified and therefore not blameworthy if it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that,  
a) the harm was in fact consented,to or the person causing the harm believe, as the only reasonable inference from the all the actual facts and circumstances, that consent had been given or would be given, or
b) the party causing the harm was acting in defence of an attempt to harm that party (the harm not having been been consented to), or
c) in the  circumstances the actions that cause the harm were objectively necessary being i) proportionate harm and ii) the only practicable actions to prevent  or escape iii) immanent harm or death. 

This is concise, it appropriately applies NAP and consent and serves a basis for individual freedom and justifiable contains.

Golden Rule (GR) Traditional

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Silver Rule (SR) Traditional

“Do nothing to others you would not have done to you.”

Utilitarianism (UT) Jeremy Bentham
The greatest good for the greatest number.

See reference.

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