On June 23, at Porcupine Freedom Festival (“PorcFest”) in Lancaster, New Hampshire, economists David Friedman and Gene Epstein debated the resolution: “The right way to persuade people of libertarianism is to show them that its results are above their standards, without resorting to the imperfect non-aggression principle.”
Taking the affirmative, Friedman reviewed the main arguments set out in his 1973 book, The Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism. He views the principle of non-aggression, or NAP, as inconsistent and useless in convincing non-libertarians to accept libertarian solutions to societal problems.
Taking the negative, Epstein argued that what he prefers to call the Zero Aggression Principle, or ZAP, often plays a vital role in defending libertarian arguments for reform, pointing to arguments for abolition of drug laws and tariffs.
The debate was moderated by PorcFest organizer Dennis Pratt.
- Editing : John Osterhoudt
- Camera: Chris Silk