32 votes

The one law inherent to society

Do not harm another.

This one law naturally restricts (governs) the behavior of the individual.
All behavior that does not harm another is naturally permitted.
All behavior that harms another is naturally forbidden.

The only rightful use of non-consensual violence is to defend against those individuals, groups, institutions, and governments who violate this one law.

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Who cares? People care when it suits them and don't care when it doesn't. Humans are basically evil, we do harm, well, as best as it can be defined in this era. But basically, who cares?

Who cares?

At least...the individual getting harmed care. Plus those who believe a precedent could be set for them to be likewise harmed care.


Until they can benefit from the harm, then they usually like the harm, ta-da, government!!!

You nailed it

government is not society-Ta Da!
The one characteristic that distinguishes Government from society, is that it claims the power to harm others with legal impunity.

My point

Is that humans hearts are as black as cole, that's why governments suck, they're made of people.

I know that's your point

And I couldn't disagree more. :)


If there was one government made of people that didn't suck, you could use that as an example. But I have history on my side.

My mistake

I meant to say that I couldn't disagree with you more about the nature of the human heart being as black as coal.

Each individual is utterly unique.

However, your point about the dark nature of man is another reason why no man ought to be able to harm another with impunity.

The one characteristic that distinguishes government from society (or individuals in government from those in society) is they have claimed the power to harm others with impunity. And they do. Is this because the nature of man's heart is black as coal...or does power corrupt the heart of man? Either way, government is a super minority of people and I don't know how you can determine the state of one man's heart by the actions of another man.
Thanks for making me think.

The one (intrinsic) rule

The one (intrinsic) rule inherent to a (free) society has already been codified and developed by the likes John Locke and later classical-liberal thinkers

The one rule that matters is - non-violation of private property

The one definition that matters is -
Private Property: Everyone is the proper owner of his own physical body as well as of all places and nature-given goods that he occupies and puts to use by means of his body, provided only that no one else has already occupied or used the same places and goods before him. This ownership of "originally appropriated" places and goods by a person implies his right to use and transform these places and goods in any way he sees fit, provided only that he does not change thereby uninvitedly the physical integrity of places and goods originally appropriated by another person. In particular, once a place or good has been first appropriated by, in John Locke's phrase, 'mixing one's labor' with it, ownership in such places and goods can be acquired only by means of a voluntary – contractual – transfer of its property title from a previous to a later owner.

The right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and fundamental speech, right to arm and everything else derives from non-violation of private property.


Wouldn't it be nice if there was some reason anyone should believe this was true?

As this concept

plays itself out, it becomes apparent that it is not sufficient, because fraud and other manners of disputes are not included in "non-violation of private property."

egapele's picture

Perfect example of the KISS theory

Keep It Simple Stupid.

Great post.

The term law has to go ...

It is a fairy tale to think there are any man made so called laws that apply to all men. It is dishonest and irresponsible to pass a belief in the fairy tale of law to children. I have no interest in deceiving people into believing any law no matter how good it sounds.

I am interested in defining force and when its use(s) ought to be tolerated, if ever.


That is very thoughtful. Thanks.

All rights reserved and no rights waived.

Thanks Everyone

For the participation.

Even if the concept was new to you or you disagreed, I appreciate having a place to go to where the people are at least thinking along these lines and have enough courage to talk about them in a rational and civilized manner.

I learn from each of you every time we converse, and for that I am thankful.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you

for your participation, your thoughtfulness, and your respect.

I agree with you.

He's the man.

Thanks Michael

More to come.

Where That "One Law" Falls Apart

"Do not harm another" does not apply to sado-masochists in society.

In case you think I'm just being contrary, this video gives an exhibition of how the "one law" became null and void for two men in a society:


I watched the intro and got grossed out, can you

give me the cliffs notes version and tell me how it conflicts with my thesis?

I didn't watch the entire 40 minute show, but it sounded like two men engaged in strange, deranged, CONSENSUAL violence with each other.

Assuming that's the case, none of my beeswax. If adult men want to eat each others penis's so be it.

To personalize it:
I go to a karate class a few times/week, and I've broken my arm, had my tooth chipped, ribs busted, nose broken, sternum fractured, knees, toes, ankles sprained, and I am sure that many others would declare my hobby to be strange and deranged also, but it is consensual and it satisfies ME. Who out there qualifies to intercede between me and my training partners?

Just a thought

I like Richard Maybury's two

I like Richard Maybury's two rules in his "Uncle Eric" books:

1. Do everything you have agreed to do.
2. Do not encroach on another person or their property.

I like that too

How would you make yourself whole though, if say, we agreed that I was going to brush my teeth this morning, and then I didn't do it, and it had zero affect on your life...

I would be breaking an agreement, but no harm done to you.
So I don't know how me breaking that agreement would give you the power to extract anything from me or interfere with my will.

I suppose the point being, there are all manners of agreements/behaviors that get broken but have zero net affect to another;
only those agreements/behaviors that result in another getting harmed would give rise to the standing necessary to extract property from the harmer so the harmed could be made whole.

Something to think about.

I don't like the first one as a law

The first rule is based on the promise theory of contract, which has many problems. Most libertarians prefer the "title transfer of property" theory of contract.

To be fair, the first rule is great as a moral rule, in the same vein as "be nice to people" or "don't lie" are good moral rules. It should not form the basis of a legal or political principle, however.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Harm No One

"Harm no one and let no one harm you," is the full law. Love and individual
freedom manifest when the "law" is in full force and the people are secure in their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

loved your book

would enjoy discussing some topics with you.


Harm no other and let no other harm you.-?

Well sure

But the trick is defining "harm". Does there have to be blood, or is hurting your feeling harming you ? Do I have to steal the possessions that you have now, or can you also defend future earnings ?

Defining harm is individual

Harm is as unique as the individual who perceives oneself harmed.


wouldn't that come apart in short order? It sounds great on paper, but like so many other ideas, theories, etc., once human action is introduced, it comes apart and eventually turns into the opposite of what it began as. Just take one look at the "I'm constantly offended by everything" crowd.

No matter what anyone says, thinks, or does, someone is going to feel like they're being harmed by it. There are people who feel the word 'derp'-- a nonsensical word that is akin to Homer Simpson's catchphrase 'd'oh', is "offensive", "abelist", and "targets the mentally challenged".

So, where does the line get drawn? For me, it's the use of physical force. I know some of the diehard believers in the NAP believe that intimidation counts as force, but again, there will always be those who'll claim to feel threatened/intimidated/oppressed by just about anything.

A signature used to be here!


Aren't there countless other ways you would draw the line:
1. Theft when you're not around
2. Fraud
3. Poisoning your land, air, water
4. Lying about your character to squish a business transaction
5. Ad infinitum...

This gives rise to:
All behavior that harms another is naturally forbidden
-As determined by the harmed and confirmed by 12 of the harmers peers.

The line gets drawn...

by one's ability to get 12 of his peers to unanimously agree with him.

By the by, this is the standard we have right now.(unless you are the government)

In order to bring a cause of action against someone you must demonstrate:
1. Duty
2. Breach of Duty
3. Causation (which directly and proximately caused)
4. Injury (harm)

So...if your opponent is a goofball, and their claim is goofy, or otherwise hair brained, then they may find themselves having a hard time convincing 12 of your peers to agree with them.

As someone being persecuted, you get to defend yourself by summoning 12 of your peers and forcing your opponent to convince all 12 of them that their feelings getting hurt harmed them and their claim for a bazillion dollars is valid.