The Sacred Nonaggression Principle, Part 1
Cutting the Gordian Knot of politics

Many of us have heard the term “meme,” which was created and popularized by Richard Dawkins in several books, particularly The Selfish Gene (1976).  A meme is a replicating piece of information.  In culture, a meme can represent a behavior pattern that people adopt.

Just as genes become successful through a natural selection process, it is sometimes useful to think of memes becoming successful through first becoming fashionable then almost universal.  A good example of a successful meme is “we don’t smoke indoors at the office anymore.”  That’s why we see all these people smoking cigarettes around doorways nowadays.

I propose we self-consciously make a meme of the Sacred Nonaggression Principle (SNaP).  What will it take to make such a meme successful? 

Well, most of the people we know in RealWorld aren't inclined to see abstract ideas as compelling.  Americans, in particular, have a well-deserved reputation of being anti- or at least non-intellectual and sentimentally religious.  So to spread the meme quickly in the States we're going to have to tug on people's heartstrings, while minimizing abstract reasoning.

The good news is the ideals of reason and liberty seem to be rapidly occupying the intellectual vacuum that infuses mass culture.  Given time, the average Joe Bob on the street will be in our corner.  But the problems from aggression are so advanced, we need to accelerate the normal process of ideological change.

Indeed, that's why I began exploring the whole notion of the SNaP as a killer meme. 

Salvation Nation

Let’s take a short cut to the hearts of real people with an essential, urgent appeal for their salvation.  The word salvation—meaning survival in this context—has an opportune religious connotation.

It won't seem a big leap of faith for most people to see salvation (survival) as a Holy Grail, outweighing other ideals.  Then we package freedom—the nonaggression principle in practice—with salvation and make the whole thing sacred, i.e. “worthy of the highest respect and veneration.” 

The SNaP Defined

  The simple nonaggression principle holds nobody (or
  groups of bodies) initiates force against another for
  any purpose.  The simple NaP becomes sacred as we
  collectively assert of it, "There is none higher."  

May sound extreme on the surface, but on a person-to-person level, people have a biological aversion to stealing or to hitting someone over the head with a club.  As street libertarians show to RealWorld people that such behavior is aggression, which of course it is, we're off to the races.

The simple nonaggression principle is built into every moral code ever conceived, e.g., “Thou shalt not steal.”  That’s our leg up on the competition, e.g.:

    “Look, Joe Bob, you know faith and force are destroying
  the planet—like junk food leading us to an early grave.  We
  gotta lay down the guns, man, like now.  Quit stealing and
  beating people up.  SNaP out of it, man!
    “Dunno, dude, I’m a school administrator, and look at that
  Taj Mahal High School they just built for me down the road
  with all that money taken from the tax slaves.  I hate to let
    “But Joe, you know what Jesus and the SNaP teach: those
  who take the gun get wasted by the gun.  If you want
  freedom you have to share it.  Besides, you’re the biggest
  doper I know; it’s just a matter of time before the popos
  pay you a house call, send you up to the motel with bars on
  the windows.  You want that?”
    “Nope, guess not.  I’ll go with the SNaP, then, make an
  honest living.”
    “Right arm, dude.  That’s why they call it sacred.”

As the SNaP meme threads its way into general awareness, literally millions of such conversations will occur.   In part two, some technical issues.


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