The world is run by rules that determine how we interact with other people. A baseball team has rules on how it interacts with its players, a husband and wife have rules on how they interact with each other, and freedom has its own rule.

The non-coercion principle is the one rule of freedom because it is, as its name implies, when a person does not force or coerce in any way how another person acts. This allows each person to exist in a state of freedom since they are free to engage in any behavior they want without any other person having any say otherwise. This principle does not limit a person’s own choice over themselves but completely inhibits their choice over what other people do. The only right that is denied by this principle is the right to dictate what other people should do.

This principle forbids us from using our worldly powers from denying other people their choice of what they want to do and it also denies us from attempting to use any kind of coercion against them. This implies that we can not manipulate them, force them, or even deny them the right to think as they want since it forbids us from doing that. It is the one ethical rule that we should live by because when this is done the natural liberties we have emerges since no other person has the power to remove our freedom from us.

In some ways we, as human beings, cling to whatever power we have over other people in the same way Frodo in the Lord of the Rings held onto his ring of power. He could not give his ring in the end which seems to be our fate as well and the result is humanity is not living in their natural state of freedom from where goodness and harmony exist.

Just like all evil on middle-earth was the byproduct of the ring all evil on the real earth is the byproduct of our own power. Conflict between any two parties is the violation of the non-coercion principle since it was one party demanding another party comply with its wishes. Larger and more dangerous conflicts between nations exist when one nation wants another to do something but if each nation gave up the idea that they could force the other to comply with its wishes then their would never be a need to go to war with each other.

All other evils are just the result of not living by the non-coercion principle. An act of theft definitely violates the non-coercion principle because one person forces the other to give up something they have. Deception and manipulation violates this as well because a person who is tricked into doing something they would not have freely agreed to do if they knew the truth. Murder, rape, and all the worst evils happen can’t happen where the non-coercion principle is in play since those acts requires a person’s voluntary participation in order for those to occur.

It is said that money is the root of all evil but the truth is that evil exist because of the violation of the coercion principle. This makes the root of all evil an assumption of power over the individual which is a denial of someone’s individual liberty. The non-coercion principle nullifies that assumption which nullifies all evil.

It’s time to save humanity and throw away our rings of power.

Edward Browning Bosley
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