NAP violations are no big deal ;)


NAP violations are no big deal ;)

To expound on an insight of Manual to Humanity, NAP violations (or property violations), though technically immoral, are usually no big deal. The vast majority of property violations are very minor, negligible infringements that mostly go unnoticed, or are immediately forgiven, like brushing someone’s shoulder passing on a crowded street. Yes, I’ve touched that person’s shoulder without their consent, that’s a property violation, so, they have a claim against me. If I pat someone on the back in congratulations, yes, I’ve done something to their property without their consent, that’s a violation, and they have a claim against me. 

That’s the philosophical principle. 

The reality is that most people simply don’t care enough to seek damages over tiny violations. Even if they did, the chances that an arbitrator or dispute resolution agent would award damages that would make the claim worth pursuing aren’t good, or if the claimant sought the damages himself, would the risk be worth it. Not only that, but anyone who did pursue such claims, would open themselves up to similar claims, since virtually everyone commits violations like these all the time. It’s really when damages rise to a level subjectively deemed “worth it” would they pursue them. Otherwise, they simply forgive them. 

In fact, people who understand and advocate for the NAP, may consciously violate it assuming that they’re going to be forgiven by the property owner. Now, they open themselves up to a claim, but if one borrows his friend’s car without his permission, assuming that his friend wouldn’t have a problem with it, he’s violating his friend’s property by using it without consent, but chances are that, even if his friend gets angry about it, he’ll probably let it go with no further repercussion. This kind of thing happens all the time. 

There were a few things about MtH‘s development that surprised me, and this is one of them. I’d thought of property violation only as a philosophical no-no and an uncivilized practical misdeed. Really, though, the NAP, though a moral and philosophical imperative, isn’t as rigid in practical application. NAP violations are black and white, but the results of those violations aren’t. We all should try to avoid violating the property of others and have that as a guiding principle, since civilization depends on it, but we’re not going to be able to be 100% consistent with it. So, we should be as ready to forgive as we are to be forgiven of our trespasses against others and I think that we are ready and willing to do so because that’s simply the nature of human relationships.

Conceptual logician, libertarian philosopher, musician, economist, almost-ran businessman and other stuff.
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