The Non-Aggression Principle As Aggression

Featured in The Burning Block Issue 4

So many manners, so many ceremonial gestures have been devoted precisely to the exclusion of large groups of people. It is all the better if a swifter exclusion can be measured economically. It is no mystery that one needs not have an ounce of culture in order to have money, but then, money becomes its own singular culture. Just as socialism requires that one man care about the well-being of another to give a piece of his portion to him, a truly free market, if it is to be more than a metaphor, requires that each man not pay for some violence to be done to another man on his behalf. But wherever there exist men who want to commit violence and men who want violence done but couldn't be bothered to do it themselves, the monetization of violence will take place. The ethics of non-violence can only ever act as an alien supplement to the native conditions of perpetual war which the world has always known. The free market doesn't minimize violence; it simply fractures it, so that even mutually assured destruction is localized to the point of being globally attenuated. Faith in the fruits of a provided service overlooks the propensity for men of some cunning and who aren't allergic to force to pull strings behind the scenes. Men don't have to be called politicians in order to run the show, but how would men who did such be any different from politicians? This is why all anarchic circumstances are dictated invisibly. A state, like the devil, would have to convince people it didn't exist to function most effectively. One can apply different names but if it is describing the same behavior, what good does changing the words do save providing an emotional placebo?

Non-aggression, exalted to the realm of a principle, assumes an agent who will uphold it as an applied standard. The standard, even if upheld culturally, leads to the exclusion and, ultimately, the extirpation of people who are felt to be committing an aggressive act. The free market, however, will ever determine anew who is acting aggressively. This is precisely what libertarian ethics assumes wrongly: that the principle will be embedded so deeply into the economy as to be contemporaneous with it.

Rather, the market appropriates desires, packages them and redistributes them into forms by which consumers are made to feel that such complicated pleasures cannot be had save at the expense of time and money. The very expenditure of energy in the market assumes more time than what would allow them to cultivate such complicated pleasures. The non-aggression principle, discursively, assumes the role of a passive force-the empty space in the hub of a wheel on which the wood that it is created from is dependent. Aggression's roots are not bothered with; only its effects, which forces aggression to move further into the background, as it already does in modern politics, even at its very best. The non-aggression principle simply treats aggression as a whole as an active force, a theological concept not unlike original sin, an immanent plain which only manifests itself publically, which can only spark and set fire in a single action. In fact, aggression is not so simple. It is a composite of mechanical actions that are as informed as much by economics as they are by ethics. A single action may be the eventuation of a long series of historical contingencies whose origins one would be hard-pressed to trace. I see the non-aggression principle as an engine of ethics first, a matter of gospel second, and third, as an absolute, inarguable function of life at any cost. The propensity to misdiagnose events in its name will be the fruit of one's need to find a satisfactory answer, and the satisfactory answer will be the one which is prohibited and named as a transgression throughout the different institutions which make up the market. The consumers, necessary for the free market but to whom the free market has also become a necessity, will shape themselves to the demands which are required of them to keep up with the way businesses run. Morality becomes competition, as companies become better at tracing the origins of aggression, to what degree they are effective at discouraging aggression, and to what degree they can do this whilst providing some kind of pleasure or satisfactory answer in exchange for the consumer's money. Absorbing morality itself, the free market will absorb purpose, spirit and nobility.

It would only be a matter of time before companies in command of coming into contact with the origins of cultural reality would require the reification of their services as an entity independent of them; a divine visitation like the holy spirit on the day of Pentecost. The most effective service of the market, having buried its own origins so deeply in an attempt to abrogate aggression, will become a divine event-its catalyst divine itself. However, it may go by some other name than ‘divinity.' It may go by the name of ‘freedom,' or whatever complicated state of comfort man will have created by then. You end up with something similar to what we have now, only grounded more in the ethical determination that what we have today lacks.