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 libertarians view politics?

Sociopathic Politics
KEY CONCEPT: Politics is inherently sociopathic.

A sociopath feels no empathy. Now consider people’s political behavior. They…

  • Vote for politicians who initiate force
  • Delight when their partisan enemies lose
  • Feel no sympathy for people who must submit to policies they hate
  • Endorse State actions they would normally consider criminal

In short, voters feel no empathy for the losing side. Instead, they actually feel joy when force is initiated against the minority view. This is sociopathic.

Reject this depravity. Embrace empathy-based Zero Aggression

  • Don’t initiate force, personally or politically
  • Limit government to defensive force only
  • Even voting should be for self-defense only, not to impose things on people against their will

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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 15

 

  1. I think our obsession with violent sports and the level of emotion generated in these contests conditions us to behave in a sociopathic manner.

  2. I started a Tea Party because of our government using more and more force to accomplish objectives of people who couldn’t have their way in the normal ways a republic requires things to operate.

  3. Our nation was founded on an attempt to be free of a ‘sociopathic’ monarch. Since that time, sociopaths of all stripes have been at work turning the new nation into the despotic evil it was created to avoid.
    If we are to ever be free of sociopathic behavior we must become smarter about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in simple rules everyone can understand and apply all the time, everywhere. The ZAP seems to be such a system. It would be wonderful if there was an example of this principle having been applied for several years, at least, in a relatively uncontrolled environment so people could see it in action.
    Does such a test exist? If so, making that known would be useful in evaluating and spreading this idea.

    1. One can observe an ongoing test of Zero Aggression, firsthand, by visiting an Amish community and studying the interaction. Since no one in the community believes they should force anyone to do anything, social interactions involve a lot of persuasion.
      They’ve been politically stable in North America for 300 years…longer in Europe. The fact that Amish people survived, proves that it is, in fact, possible, to survive without anyone compelling us to do things.

  4. “Social engineering” became a popular sport among intellectuals more than a century ago, promoting the Progressive Movement and war leaders like TR and Wilson. Sociopathy has governed since then (with an interlude under Harding/Coolidge). Hoover, of course, was an engineer.
    ZAP is based on the idea that “social engineering” – if attempted – must be done ONLY by persuasion and not by threats, fear, quotas, etc. I like the mention of the Amish communities, and the Quakers of another era (I don’t know anyone today in that community). But I admire great men like John Bright MP (1811-89).

  5. Sociopaths are usually quite intelligent so that negates Trump. He is purely a narcissicist . Hillary is socially conscious therefore neither a sociopath or a narcissist

    1. I’d be very surprised if all sociopaths were intelligent. And just because Hillary claims to be socially conscious doesn’t meant that she really is. I’m quite sure that she gives little thought to the victims of her violence-based policies. She knows what’s best for us, and those who disagree with her methods just need to submit. That’s her view. I would describe that as anti-social. — Perry Willis

  6. The Amish model likewise the Kibbutz in Israel definitely work for their small independent communities. However there is no successful example of it scaling up. It’s one thing to have a consensus of 300, but 3000, or 3 million unlikely. There is always something to covet

  7. Meh,

    I don’t get excited about politics. I have come to the conclusion that most humans are mostly insane when it comes to things like politics.
    I would support Republicans if they would get their heads out of their backsides and recognize women as sentient beings and not breeding stock.
    I would support Democrats if they would get their heads out of their backsides and recognize the need for self defense and the further need for tools that make self defense possible.

    I see no wavering in either major parties decisions in head in back sided ness.

    So I vote libertarian. It is a matter of principle for me. When it is not possible to vote libertarian I vote for the least damaging politician I can find. I almost always vote for the least experienced as they have had less chance to be corrupted by money and power. When voting I favor regular working people and try to avoid lawyers whenever possible.

    I tend to confuse people in both major parties but am amused that both parties feel I am working for the “other” side since I do not vote for “them”.

    I kind of feel like the atheist that gets denounced as worse than “whatever religion the person is most opposed to” and untrustworthy and immoral.

    I am often accused of being an “angry white man” without either side realizing it is possible to disagree with out being angry. Frustrated perhaps, but anger is a wasted emotion on the insane. Besides,
    anger might spoil my aim as I am defending a woman’s freedom of choice. (that was a sarcastic joke in case your sarcasm meter is not functioning)

  8. I’m a bit new but am drawn to many Libertarian points of view.

    My question is on how to design a group structure in which corporations cannot poison and degrade the environment, which they currently do for profit. The conflict of interest in current agencies, like “Regulation of Predators Chairman Wile E. Coyote” is one of the weakest points in our current structure, and I would want to see strict anti-conflict-of-interest regulations. This IS defensive, since insistence on dangerous medicines, pollutants, chemicals etc. is offensive against life. And allowing insurance for only the most profitable and conventional medical approaches while there are many more that are less invasive and better supported by outcome statistics is again, harmful generally.

    We cannot take a “live and let live” approach to those corporations that are harming the rest of us. How to work it out?

    1. Pollution is a crime of aggression. It, therefore, falls within the scope of legitimate governance. Perhaps our current system of governance would do a better job if it engaged in fewer acts of aggression against its citizens and instead focused on its defensive role.

      I disagree that entities such as the FDA are defensive. The FDA is a cartel-creation machine in the service of Big Pharma. I would feel differently if it were possible for doctors and patients to treat FDA determinations as advisory rather than prohibitive. Downsize DC has a campaign advocating this. The FDA, and similar bodies, should function on the same basis as Underwriters Laboratory. — Perry Willis

      1. Yes! Regulatory agencies as far as I can tell are a sham and actually are aggressive rather than defensive as they exist now, because of the conflict of interest and support of groups that are aggressive against life generally.

        I will read your campaign.

        It seems to me that if we are all to continue on earth we have to get very tough on the polluters and on those who monopolize “healing.” It makes me want to skip any other organizational measure and take over as Queen, with immediate strictures against the harmful groups, and liberties to the ones who are doing the real research and taking measures to repair the environment. How to get a result fast, in a world that has the existing structures we have? Everything I think of would sound utopian, but we don’t have infinite time for a slow evolution.

        1. Further to Perry’s argument, the major 20th Century pollution issues, both inside the US and globally, arose because politicians needed weapons of mass destruction to maintain themselves in power. As a result, vast social experiments, such as the deliberate release of radioactive fallout by repeated outdoor testing of nuclear weapons, exposed hundreds of millions of people to fallout. Leaded gasoline became mandated during World War II…there actually were differences of opinion between corporate oil refiners, with a group led by DuPont who advocated for leaded gasoline, and a group led by the Rockefeller family who created a lead-free gasoline that performed equally well as leaded…they even gave at a brand name, “S-O” for “Standard Oil”, and then labelled their East Coast and Canadian distributors “Esso”. Franklin D Roosevelt seized control of oil refining, implementing a rationing scheme, and commanded all the refining companies to use lead, because Army bombers and fighter planes needed the 100-octane fuel that could only be made using lead or alcohol…and alcohol, being oxygenated, contains 1/3 less energy per pound than leaded gasoline, so the use of alcohol would force Army planes to turn around sooner and leave much of Nazi Germany’s skies safe from Allied bombing raids.

          More recently, US politicians embargoed release of raw scientific data relating to global temperatures, asserting that spy satellite technology would be compromised if the raw data were ever released. On that basis, there’s been a political spin placed on climate data that’s released to civilian scientists. So for example, we know for certain that ocean levels have been rising for some reason. But the data released to civilian scientists about temperature distribution has been erratic. Not many years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev was talking up the idea of Nuclear Winter, that might result from all the dust and smoke dumped in the atmosphere by a nuclear war. US climate data released to US scientists was skewed, to create the appearance that a new Ice Age might result, and we needed to aggressively expand our use of coal, to counter this threat. Shortly afterward, the data changed, arguing that no, there’s a threat of runaway global warming and we must force everyone to use natural gas, oil, and renewables because carbon pollution is dangerous somehow. (These are the same political institutions that tried to tell us it was safe to consume radioactive iodine in our food, that got there from the H-bombs they detonated on the Nevada desert, which drifted thousands of miles downwind and settled out wherever it encountered rain clouds, usually over farmland.). Of course, the US dollar derives most of it’s value from it’s global use in trading oil and gas, so the anti-coal move had the effect of making China more dependent upon dollar-based transactions. George W Bush even said that there was a demand for Treasury bonds, so we ought to go deeper into debt to supply that demand! Essentially, the US Government runs something like the Enron scam, in which we take debts we can’t pay and print dollars against them, calling the unplayable debts, “assets”.

          Bottom line is that what started out as a serious worry about ocean levels rising, turned into a giant political argument over whether the Earth was warming up or cooling off, and the actual data that’s most useful for answering the question, has been kept from the public on alleged national security grounds.

          So when I suggested 5 years ago that we’d ignored a major factor in sea level rise, which is the volcanic activity underneath the Antarctic continent, a few people gave me very quizzical looks.

          It’s a question governments are not even trying to answer, in their bum’s rush to blame everything that happens in our environment, on human activities, so that they can tax and control people further. Antarctica is covered by ice that’s 2 miles thick. Near McMurdo Station is an active volcano, Mt Erebus, and there are hot springs nearby. But no one has looked under the 2 miles of ice, as it’s too difficult to make seismic soundings through it. A major eruption could shove a big chunk of that ice into the ocean, where it’s weight would push sea levels higher, but it’s cold temperatures would produce global COOLING as it melts! Did this actually happen already? Much of the confusion over climate change is very basic, in that the climate warms and cools in cycles and we don’t measure it very closely.

          There’s a basic problem with having a government that finances itself with paper money that’s backed by debts, and actually functions because people around the planet need the stuff to buy oil. That basic problem is that our government has too many possible motives to be dishonest in it’s dealings with the public. Industrial pollution in many cases, happened because government agencies needed the pollution so that they could fight wars, which gave them power to force other countries to use our paper money. To get honest government, we’ve first got to get honest money.

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