Mental Lever Page Description

Mental Levers are mini-articles. They answer key questions and present important libertarian and voluntaryist ideas in bite-size chunks that are easy to share. They are grouped in the following Collections:

How do we expand our liberty?

Don’t impede the happiness of others

People seek to increase their happiness. Happiness is a primary human goal.

Different people find pleasure in different things. Think about what makes you happy. Then ask yourself…

  • Are you happier when your conscience is violated?
  • Does your joy increase when your choices get restricted or removed?

Well, what is true for you is also true for other people…

  • My happiness is important in the same way yours is.
  • Our neighbor’s happiness is just as valuable to him or her.

Politics is an anti-empathetic assault on individual happiness.

Using threats of violence to make others obey your preferences does not expand the sum of human happiness. It contracts it. Please realize…

If you can use The State to impose your preferences on others, others can do the same to you, and thereby damage your happiness.

If we want to expand our liberty, increase our bliss, our only choice is to be empathetic. Respect that others have their own unique path to joy. Obey the Zero Aggression Principle — don’t initiate force against others or ask politicians to do it for you.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

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Show Comments 7

 

  1. Before we can get others to employ the Zero Aggression Principle all the time, e.g., in both private and public life, we need to get them to see they don’t, and then get them to admit that is a contradiction, and then get them to question whatever assumption they use to justify it. Nothing justifies a contradiction. It can only be explained psychologically. Therefore, either the ZAP must go, or aggression. It’s only logical.

    Unfortunately, most avoid logic when it is emotionally uncomfortable, just as they did math in school.

  2. How can we have HAPPINESS with the Social Engineering Power Monger Control Freaks always screwing with us. They also ignore us all the time but at election time.

  3. The U.S Government has been taken over by the State of Israel who have installed Zionists at key positions. The Government created to protect individual rights died when the world bankers took control of the money supply. Honest money is the key to restoring individual rights

  4. The big problem *is* empathy. (or the lack thereof) It manifests itself on both sides of the aisle, in the welfare/warfare state, taxpayer-funded abortion in the ‘good ol’ US of A’ and ‘abstinence from sex’ education for Africa, as well as aid to dependent dictators, the surveillance state and IRS witch hunts (on both sides). Not to mention the hypocrisy of aiding both the PA (who pays terrorists’ families who attack Israel and die in the process) and the state of Israel itself.

    “I think I want my money back, ’cause that’s not all, I know.” Sam (AKA) Leslie Phillips

    I do too.

  5. I agree that no one should interfere with another’s pursuit of happiness, although sometimes it’s an unintended consequence of our own pursuit. Also, I think happiness is a choice we make. We all know people who cannot be happy, no matter what happens. And then there are those who seem to be happy despite their circumstances. It’s all relative to the individual mindset. Yes, politics can be an impediment, but I refuse to let them make me unhappy.

  6. What’s curious about the replies to this topic, is that none of them discuss empathy and all three of them express anger. Two of the people are angry at Israel and one is angry at Control Freaks.

    These expressions of anger demonstrate the workings of the Statist mentality.

    Most of us would not engage in violence against the people we consider to be our best friends. Those we truly trust, rely on, depend on, are not people we would even consider harming. It’s obvious to us that if we harm the people who care about us, they will stop caring and start shunning us, leaving us alone and with no help from anyone if we happen to need it.

    Yet this great anger indicates another ugly truth.

    Many of us are so accustomed to being forced, coerced, and brutalized, that we don’t truly believe it possible to find a state of peace anywhere on Earth.

    That, folks, is the real problem with tolerating evil. If we tolerate enough violence to where it seems normal, children who grow up around it, will come to believe that violence is normal, and will lose all hope of ever seeing peace in their lifetime.

    We can’t stop all violence. There are enough fools out there, that some will continue initiating the use of force against others. But if we speak out against violence, and vote against violence, and refuse to permit those who do violent acts in our name, to pretend that we approve of such evils, we can and will diminish the total amount of violence that takes place.

    1. Bob:
      “…and vote against violence…”? Voting is authorizing violence. It is participating in a coercive govt. system that sacrifices rights to democracy, i.e., mob (majority) rule. But even that is an illusion. The majority does not rule. It picks reps, i.e., forfeits individual sovereignty, i.e., concentrates political power in the hands of a few who are supposed to rep the majority. They don’t. They can’t even if they wanted to. It’s impossible to know the constantly changing minds of the majority, as if that made coercion moral, which it doesn’t.
      See: “Neither Bullets or Ballots”.

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