Sheldon Richman on Non-Aggression, Natural Rights, and Human Flourishing


Ludwig vos Mises Institute

What do libertarians mean by "non-aggression principle" (or axiom, or maxim, or principle) and how do we arrive at it? Sheldon Richman looks back on economist Murray Rothbard's comprehensive popular presentation For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. Rothbard claimed that natural rights are the basis for non-aggression and "in one form or another, has been adopted by most of the libertarians, past and present." This is key to the ultimate good—human flourishing— which is, so to speak, baked into the very enterprise of doing ethical and political theory, and indeed of all action.