Book Review: Nonaggression 101 (SNaP Module #2: 2010)

Liberation Technology User's Guide: Nonaggression 101Lesson on the nature of aggression and non-
by Brian Wright

Previous Installment: SNaP #1: Kindergarten Rules

Nonaggression 101 is the second installment of a series of seven that describe and advocate the Sacred Nonaggression Principle (SNaP)—my book evangelizing that we hold the nonaggression principle (banning the initiation of physical force) as the highest standard in social systems.

Audience of Book

This particular book—which is actually a 28-page, easy-to-read booklet—follows on from the first module (Kindergarten Rules) of the SNaP series and provides a thorough understanding of the nonaggression principle. It is a bit technical, yet straightforward; I start by restating the definition and ideal of the nonaggression principle:

The simple nonaggression principle holds no human being—or organization of human beings—shall initiate the use of force against others.

Astute readers will note that a society that consistently implements and maintains the nonaggression principle (NaP) is a society in which liberty exists. The NaP is simply a less ambiguous term than liberty. Module #2: Nonaggression 101 provides the most complete description of key subconcepts of the NaP, as well as its straightforward benefits to humankind.

Publishing Method and Context

The modular concept for the SNaP is a new idea for marketing the content: to bring the core ideas of the Sacred Nonaggression Principle to the marketplace. I made the decision to break the SNaP book—first published via Lulu—into seven distinct “modules…” for the younger, who do not like to read long stuff, and for the older, who find it difficult to read long stuff. These are the seven standalone modules, each approximately 28 pages:

  1. The Kindergarten Rules—“Don’t hit, don’t steal, don’t lie.” The nonaggression principle comes from simple truths, core values.
  2. Nonaggression 101—The fundamental rule of live and let live, and why it needs to be sacred. NaP knowledge and subconcepts.
  3. The Roots of Nonaggression—Psychological qualities that promote a society without coercion, the sine qua non of enlightenment.
  4. The Barrier Cloud (this book)—Addresses main causes of obstacles to movement along the Nonaggression Vector.
  5. Breakthru Strategy—Grand and petite strategies for busting through the Barrier Cloud.
  6. Productive Action—Taking it to the streets: undoing the state and asserting our natural freedom to live our lives.
  7. Nonaggression Faith—Undoing state coercion by developing and practicing a belief system that worships the SNaP. References.

The book size is now 5.5″ by 8.5″ (vs. std. ‘paperback’ 4.250 x 6.875) and text size was also increased to 13 point Times Roman, with plenty of spacing. Then, in keeping with the whole goal of approachability and usability, I conceived of the set of documents as a series of stepped- learning training manuals, each addressing a fundamental area of understanding and/or action about the SNaP. Hence, the tongue-in-cheek title for the series: Liberation Technology User’s Guide. Finally, I changed publishers from Lulu to Amazon’s Createspace, to take advantage of automated ISBN assignment and much wider distribution.

Nonaggression Basics and Details

Most people still have a very dim understanding of what aggression is and is not. Module #2 addresses several of these misunderstandings, and the principal objection to the SNaP: the PANG Theory. PANG = People Are No Good. PANG has several variations but basically goes as follows: human beings are either too evil or too stupid to abide by the Kindergarten Rules, to live in a society that recognizes the NaP; you need to have a powerful central state to make them behave.

Note that the PANG theorist’s argument is self-defeating: if people aggress unless there is a central state to force them not to aggress, then a) the theorist implies that nonaggression is his ideal, and b) how do you get a nonaggressive government from an aggressive people? Plus we know from common experience that the vast majority of aggression in society is performed by central states or other criminal govt gangs against the people, who if left to their natural consciousnesses and the moral codes of all major religions and belief systems, accept that “to live and let live” produces the best social outcomes.

I spend some time in Module #2 developing the more formal NaP from the Kindergarten Rules of Module #1. What aggression is and is not is spelled out (in a simple table of examples); the virtue of ‘sacredizing’ the NaP is established; and I note the benefits of the SNaP:

  • World peace—countries do not war when people practice the NaP
  • Safe streets—crime is exceptional when people practice the NaP
  • Abundance—a society without aggression is materially well-to-do

Toward the end of the module I discuss the traditional political spectrum, followed by a description of the famous Nolan Chart, ending with my own three-dimensional ‘SNaPstrip,’ which is a conceptual tool for understanding the psychological causes of movement toward an aggression-free abundant society. The SNaPstrip is essentially a 3D Nolan Chart; it is a theoretical foundation for helping to understand where we are and why we are with respect to aggression/nonaggression. The SNaPstrip provides insight into the roots of nonaggression, which is covered in the next module: #3: Nonaggression Roots.

Value of Module

As a standalone set of information, Module #2: Nonaggression 101 covers several concepts that will be new to many readers. Yet they are simple concepts proceeding from an intuitive appreciation of political reality. An interesting rule presented in Module #2, but not mentioned above, pertains to political struggle: I call that concept the Four Horsemen of the NaP, which stipulates the following foundation for nonaggression in society:

  • No compulsion
  • No prohibition
  • No privileges
  • No exceptions

By setting these radical requirements for a society without coercion—if any given society SunFLOWerdoes not incorporate them all, it is not a free society—I am tipping my hand as one who is on the streets making the SNaP happen, and making it happen to the maximum extent ASAP. For which I take no small pride, as do my co-committed peers in the grand struggle for liberty.

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