Voluntary Mayhem

From: N
Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2017 2:47 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Another question about the NAP
Good morning, Professor Block: Thanks for answering my previous question https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/murder-save-entire-human-race-steal-prevent-starvation/, I found your answer very useful. Now, my query is this: well, as libertarians, we must oppose to initiate violence against another man´s person or legitimate property. There can be no contemplation for murder or theft. But what happens when those violations are agreed upon? For example, a person asks someone (a friend, a relative, whoever) to kill her, she wants to end with her life but is not capable of committing suicide, so ask for “help”. The other person agrees. Here clearly a murder is being committed, but should we see this act differently considering that the victim did want that fate? Another example, one person asks another to break her legs. Obviously it is a grotesque act and constitutes an aggression but, again, it is consensual, so does it deserve special treatment? Not only by the law, but by those simple spectators like us who defend the NAP. Thank you. Sincerely, N

Dear N: If these acts of mayhem are agreed upon, then there can be no crime involved. Whether it is assisted suicide, or voluntary “leg breaking,” it would not be illicit under the libertarian legal code. Of course, great care would have to be taken to ensure these acts of violence were indeed welcomed by the “victim.” We need not resort to such fanciful examples as leg breaking. When boxer A punches boxer B in the nose, the latter may not accuse the former of assault and battery. That is because both agreed to be punched, above the belt that is.


11:06 pm on November 6, 2017