A Natural Law Justification For Certain Forms Of Anarchist Violence

June 26th, 2011   Submitted by Kevin W. Cornell

Note: (1) The following piece is meant to be read as a follow up to my polemic A Manifesto of the Private Property Anarchists published on The Libertarian Standard website. (2) The male pronouns in this text are interchangeable with their female counterparts.

As I stated in my manifesto, an individual may legitimately use force to defend himself against an attacker and to obtain appropriate compensation from someone who has violated his property rights, granted that he does not violate the property rights of innocent persons in the process. Moreover, an individual may use the voluntary assistance of others in order to exercise these rights.

Also, as I previously wrote, governments are entities that violate property rights and commence political conflict, and are thus always manifestations of tyranny.

From these two premises it follows that (1) individuals threatened by any government have the right to defend themselves. More specifically, if a government tries to subdue and/or imprison an individual who has not violated anyone’s property rights, that individual has the right to forcibly resist arrest, and if a government agent points a gun at him, the individual has the right to intentionally kill him in self-defense, in the same way that a store owner has the right to shoot to kill an armed robber; and (2) victims who have been assaulted by a government have the right to use force to obtain appropriate compensation or retaliate in equal measure against the government agents responsible for the violation of their rights. Moreover, the victim may utilize the voluntary assistance of others in his exercise of these rights if he so chooses.

However, it should be noted that just because a person has the right to do something does not necessarily mean that he or she should do it. Even though the natural law on which private property anarchism is based allows for an action, it does not necessarily mean that such a given action will net positive utilitarian consequences, or that it will help advance the cause of anarchism.

Although the vast majority of libertarians are loathe to advocate any kind of violent revolution, they are completely mistaken if they think that libertarianism is incompatible with all acts of revolutionary violence for the reasons stated above. Violence is most certainly compatible with radical libertarian doctrine if (1) it is directed at tyrannical parties and only goes so far as to violate a commensurate amount of property rights thus violated and (2) it does not infringe upon the property rights of innocent parties as collateral.

The Limits to Free Speech

Although the allowance of free speech is widely considered a cornerstone of a free society, even the most ardent defenders of free speech condemn calls to violence against innocent persons as impermissible and criminal. Still, most defenders of free speech are statists in some form or another and often openly advocate for government, which is violent in its very nature (i.e., give me some of your money in the form of taxes or we will imprison you), to commit acts of aggression. This is a blatant contradiction of which these people seem to be totally unaware, for if one is advocating for government coercion one is also advocating for violence by necessity. Therefore, if calls to violence against innocent persons are criminal, and calls for government coercion are calls to violence, then those who advocate for government coercion are criminals themselves.

What can justifiably be done against these criminals is a topic for another day. However, if routine calls for violence against innocent persons (i.e., one neighbor threatens to do x, y, or z to another) warrant violent, defensive action and/or justify retaliation, then so do calls for political violence against the populace (i.e., a public commentator advocating for increased taxation or imprisonment of innocent persons, etc.). Such are the logical implications of radical libertarian thought.


2 Responses to “A Natural Law Justification For Certain Forms Of Anarchist Violence”

  1. PhilNo Gravatar says:

    It is true that defensive force may be used by an individual or group of individuals against those that aggress against them. The state (a group of people using force to enslave others) claims to be the apparatus of getting revenge against common criminals who violate the law (statute). The advance of freedom and individualism does not include calling for or encouraging acts of defense against the state. Not that self defense is not justified only that this is a battle of the mind. Only thru mental freedom can one have physical freedom. The indoctrinated minds of the masses still view men in costumes (Batman, policemen) as being deities to be worshiped and bowed down to. If individuals stand up while not acting out this will be a more effective tool to combating the government (mind control). Refusing to bow is more effective then fighting back. Just ask the man claimed to be Jesus. A good parable for being in a superior state of mind. Not a christian or trying to push that ideology but if one looks at the story of the crucifixion and the state of mind the man known as Jesus was in during the torture and murder of his flesh one could see the pure mental freedom that was expressed. Death is an illusion if you fear it you will be controlled. Peace.

  2. I. M. PericlesNo Gravatar says:

    We are living in a world of mentally retarded and violent sociopaths created largly by government public schooling and TV programming…Do not let these voting parasites own you! To be free you must be mobile so that you can leave a farmer’s barnyard (aka, Country) at anytime. Democracy is just tribal warfare amoungst the retarded parasites and an intelligent man does not involve himself with these violent and primative animals…Even if they are “Family” (Family being any collective).