Co-Creators of the Zero Aggression Project: Jim Babka and Perry Willis
NOTE: The Zero Aggression Project is an initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation (DDCF), a 501(c)(3) organization.
DDCF Board of Directors: Kent White, Chair – Jim Babka – Laura Carno
DDCF Corporate Officers: Jim Babka, President – Linda Slack, Treasurer
Management Team: Jim Babka & Perry Willis, Executive Managers – Rick Wiggins, Senior Counselor
Staff: Kandy Cowling, Office Manager – Lisa Talcott, Production Assistant – Susanne DiPuccio, Office Assistant
Support Team: Landon Cahow, Webmaster – Jo Vaccarino, Graphics
Additional Programming: Shortcreek Strategy
Honorable Mention: Chris Wagner, Joe Flynn, Mike Neuliep, and Franz Honer helped program aspects of the Zero Aggression Project. John Markley and James Leroy Wilson helped develop some content.
These important documents may answer some of your questions . . .
Technical and Site Usage FAQ
If you’re having difficulty, we’re eager to help. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org clearly explaining your issue.
1) How do I unsubscribe from your email list?
At the top of each Zero Aggression newsletter, in the section we call the header, you’ll find the address to which we delivered the newsletter. At the bottom, in the section we call the footer, you’ll also find a link that you can click to unsubscribe.
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Zero Aggression Philosophy and Strategy FAQ
- Why don’t you go on The Tonight Show (or whatever show the person asking this question likes)?
- Are you Republicans or Democrats?
- Where does the Zero Aggression Principle come from?
- How is the the Zero Aggression Project funded?
1) Why don’t you go on The Tonight Show (or whatever show the person asking this question likes)?
We’d like to get on The Tonight Show, and every other show too. But doing that lies more in your power than in ours. TV and radio shows are like any other business — they tend to do what their customers demand. We can spend lots of money on press releases and booking agents making phone calls in an attempt to get ourselves on shows. But none of that is nearly as effective as you calling, or emailing, or writing a letter to a particular show and saying, “Please interview Jim Babka of the Zero Aggression Project.” In fact, a few calls or letters to a talk show can have far more impact than the same amount of pressure on Congress!
Press availability is handled through the offices of DownsizeDC.org. Please have producers or hosts contact PressRoom@DownsizeDC.org.
2) Are you Republicans or Democrats?
We’re legally non-partisan, but we’re temperamentally anti-partisan. We want to persuade people that…
- Partisanship and cults of personality are both toxic to honesty and critical thinking
- Power-brokers rarely give up their power voluntarily
- Political parties exist to divide up the spoils of power
Political parties, by their nature, oppose the Zero Aggression Principle. All political parties believe that if only they had the power, they could do good with it, and not be corrupted by it. We think this is a delusion.
Trying to change things through politics has a better chance of changing you.
Positive change can only come when you win the battleground of your neighbor’s mind, the district of their heart, and the precinct of their conscience. Our current corrupt system requires public support. When those around you withdraw their consent from things like political parties, that ancient system will falter.
3) Where does the Zero Aggression Principle come from?
The Zero Aggression Principle is a more vibrant and vigorous term for what is more commonly known as the Non-Aggression Principle. ZAP is also more electrifying acronym compared to NAP, which suggests the need for rest.
The non-aggression principle has a long history in libertarian thought. The “Zero Aggression Principle” is a new label for that principle coined by writer L. Neil Smith, perhaps best known for the trilogy of Lando Calrissian novels and The Probability Broach.
We first discovered this label through Kent McManigal, who provided this rather thorough definition by Smith…
“A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.”
Smith also believes that libertarians should say ZAP, because it sounds less passive than NAP. Some people “assume” that the NAP is pacifist. In our increasingly vast experience sharing this phrase, Zero sounds at least as pacifist. But we at the Zero Aggression Project are okay with that, because it opens the door for further clarification and conversation. And we address the pacifism objection with one of our Mental Levers.
We started the Zero Aggression Project because we noticed few libertarians were using the NAP. It was a “sleeper idea,” hidden behind the pragmatic, issue-by-issue arguments libertarians were using most often.
We wondered why libertarians weren’t leading with this powerful moral principle? It seemed to address and solve so much!
After talking to many libertarians, we concluded that there were two primary reasons libertarians fail to use this principle in conversations, even if their mind was actively utilizing it.
We believed we had some innovations that would encourage people to begin moral conversations around this idea instead of hiding it. These approaches have worked for us, and we wanted to share them.
We wanted people to give ZAP a try as their lead and key argument. The ZAP is a very powerful argument waiting to be used correctly.
To bring the right energy to the project, we adopted this label, Zero Aggression Principle. In fact, like greeting a friend with a blessing such as Shalom, we’re fond of saying, “ZAP The State, and have a nice day.”
4) How is the Zero Aggression Project funded?
For now, the Zero Aggression Project is an initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, public education organization. Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible for those who itemize deductions.
We accept no government funding, because we believe that money was largely extorted. We are funded entirely by voluntary contributions from mostly small, one-time donors, monthly credit card pledges, a few larger donors, and even fewer contributions from other foundations.
Our budget is modest. We are very frugal. We share office facilities and staff with DownsizeDC.org, Inc. (Gary Nolan, Chair). We spend less on basic operations in a year than most organizations spend in a month.