The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), is what many right-wing libertarians consider their moral code. It promotes the idea that aggression is inherently illegitimate. Aggression in the NAP is defined as initiating or threatening the use of any or all forcible interference with an individual’s property or an individual. The NAP is one of the main lessons that is taught in life. Violence, stealing, and bullying are bad. However, the government follows none of these principles. The nation-state uses violence in order to force people to pay taxes, steals the money that you earn, and threatens you to make you believe that this is the price we must pay for a civilized society.
Addressing the problems people have with the NAP
The chief concern people point to in the NAP is that any retaliation against any aggression will always be acceptable. Here is how it is broken down. If a stranger came up to me and stroked my hair without permission, I would be allowed to kill them. This is somewhat correct. Stefan Molyneux puts that the “You’re a dick” and “Good luck in court” policies would be applicable here. You may have had justification to kill that person, but it makes you a “dick” for doing that. Your reputation in society would be horrible and in the market and you would not be able to find a job. Nobody would support you and nobody would hire you. This is why private property owners do not sit holding their guns waiting to shoot anyone who tries to come onto their property. Their reputation would be gone. These situations would likely never happen. An anarcho-capitalist society would not have everyone out to kill.
Why the NAP is better than government morals and is the one true code of conduct
The difference between the government and the NAP is a hierarchy. The NAP would be consistent in a society no matter what. But with the government, they get to choose if something violates a moral code and how it would be beneficial. The government has a monopoly on violence with police and military. Robbing somebody of their money is taxation. Land theft is not theft if the government does it because it is referred to as eminent domain. Breaking and entering is a raid and there are many other examples too numerous to list.
These are all violations of the NAP, but if the government does it, nobody bats one eye. It is obvious that ignoring morals is beneficial to the government. All of these examples revolved around being aggressive, but if the government followed the NAP there would be no issue. Morality is subjective, but organisms want to thrive and survive. Within the NAP, aggression is retaliated against and any form of aggression makes the aggressor vulnerable to society. Don’t be aggressive if you don’t want that aggression back. Many people follow the NAP while others ignore it. It is even found in nature with wolves. If you are in a wolf pack, you would not kill a wolf in the same pack if you didn’t want the pack to turn against you. Even people who are against this moral principle follow it. The message just has not resonated with people enough to recognize that the government is against such a fundamental principle.