Golden Rule Philosophy. Marc Victor and Keith Knight.

by | Apr 8, 2020




Summary of Live and Let Live Philosophy (3LP) from

Live and Let Live Principles


Competent adults own themselves. They are entitled to be the sole rulers of their bodies, their property, their money and their time. Self-ownership is the foundational principle of freedom. If you don’t own yourself, you simply can’t be free. If someone else owns you, then you are a slave. Owning your property, your money and your time follow from owning yourself. These items of property are things you can peacefully acquire through trade or as a result of applying yourself and investing your time. As such, you own your money and your property which you have peacefully acquired.

Government’s proper role is to act as our agent in a non-coercive way to protect our rights to both define and peacefully pursue our happiness. Legitimate governments are instituted to secure our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As such, rights do not come from the government; they exist independently of government. Individuals voluntarily grant government the right to act as their agent to assist them in securing their rights. As an agent, the government cannot legitimately assume powers the principal does not have to delegate. Individuals have the legitimate right to control themselves. They do not have a right to control or coerce other competent adults. As such, individuals cannot legitimately use government to control others; only to protect themselves to the extent they could on their own.

Competent adults ought to be free to engage in any voluntary and peaceful contracts they see fit with other competent adults. They also have a right not to trade if they so choose. Peaceful agreements between consenting adults are their own business. So long as no other person or another’s property or money is involved, whatever two or more competent adults decide to do with their bodies, money or property is their own business. Just because something is legally permitted does not mean others must approve of the agreement or hold it to be moral. Nonetheless, in a free society, free, competent adults decide for themselves how to live their lives. Moreover, just because free people are free to trade does not mean they are compelled to trade. Free people can abstain from trading with any person for any reason.

No adult has a right to live at the expense of another adult without either a contractual or fiduciary obligation. Free people are in charge of themselves. They can decide to help others in any manner, at any time, in any amount they choose. Free people are also free to choose not to help others. Many free people voluntarily choose to assist others. This is a moral question that free people are at liberty to resolve for themselves. However, no person has a legal claim to the peacefully acquired property of another person simply because of their need. In a free society, property rights are strictly respected and protected. The need of one person, however dire, does not legitimately permit that person to trespass on another’s rights.

The free market is the best way to raise standards of living and to create and deliver goods and services to those who want them at the most efficient price. I support free-market capitalism. Free market capitalism is the only economic system that is compatible with a free society. Indeed, free-market capitalism is the default setting in a free society. In a free market, people are allowed to venture their capital to pursue their own interests in an effort to create wealth. People who do a good job are rewarded economically and those who don’t are punished economically. The free market of consumers determines winners and losers. A truly free market always raises standards of living in a society. The government shouldn’t intervene to help or hinder business unless force or fraud is involved. In a free society, individuals are always free to choose a socialist system and pool their resources so long as it is voluntary among the participants. No person should ever be forced to join a collective.

Competent adults have a right to defend themselves against aggressors. I support the right of competent adults to peacefully own, keep and bear arms. Self-defense is a basic human right. No person is obligated to have a weapon or to defend him or herself. However, if a peaceful competent adult chooses to have a firearm, no other person has a legitimate right to interfere. People who initiate force with firearms should be punished.

I do not support the initiation of force against non-aggressors. The use of reasonable and appropriate force is always legitimate in defense of one’s self or another person or property. However, the intentional initiation of force against a non-aggressor is the hallmark of criminal activity and should always be prohibited. Sometimes determining who the aggressor is in a given situation can be challenging. Nonetheless, the principle remains that intentionally initiating force against a non-aggressor is a wrong that the law should always prohibit. A free society requires that peaceful people are free from having force imposed upon them.

In a free society, competent adults ought to decide for themselves what substances to put into their own bodies. However, no person has a right to endanger another for any reason. Being free necessitates being in charge of yourself. Prohibiting a competent adult from ingesting a substance merely because it is harmful to himself or herself is in contradiction to the mandates of a free society. Free people own themselves and are free to use or abuse their bodies in any way they choose so long as they do not endanger or trespass on the rights of others. So long as competent adults do not endanger others and continue to meet their obligations to any children they have, they should not be prohibited from ingesting any particular substance into their own bodies.

Free people ought to be free to worship in any manner they see fit or not to worship at all. The government should not interfere with religious beliefs or be involved in any way with religion. A free society requires that people determine for themselves what religion, if any, they will subscribe to and how they worship, who they worship or if they worship at all. A free society must be entirely legally tolerant of the peaceful religious or non-religious views of others. Religion is a private matter not involving government in any way. As such, the government must neither advance nor inhibit any particular religious or non-religious views. Free people are free to promote any religion publicly or to discourage it. Private property may be used as the owner sees fit to advance or discourage any particular religious view. The government must remain strictly uninvolved.

The government should not be involved in sanctioning marriage. Competent adults have a right to marry one another regardless of their sexual orientation, race, or religious beliefs. Marriage is a private matter between free and competent adults. The government should have no role whatsoever in marriage. If free and competent adults want to be married, they are free to observe or create whatever ceremony, traditions, vows or rules they see fit to employ. Free people can utilize whatever marriage contract they voluntarily agree to honor. However, just because people assert they are married, does not require anyone else to accept their assertion or to adhere to their definition. No private person or private organization is required to recognize any marriage that fails to comply with their rules and requirements.

All victimless ‘crimes’ should be abolished. The justice system should deal with people who trespass against others by force or fraud and with people who recklessly subject others to risk of harm. Victimless ‘crimes’ are simply attempts to legislate morality. Moral issues are private matters that free and competent adults are entitled to consider and resolve for themselves. It is not the proper role of government to impose any particular morality on another free, competent adult. However, just because an act is legal does not mean anyone is required to accept it as moral. Indeed, people are free to attempt to try and persuade others to accept their particular moral code and discourage others from engaging in any particular act. Free people are at liberty to entirely reject the moral judgments of others and to attempt to persuade others to accept their moral judgments, so long as there is no coercion or initiation of force.

Free people are allowed to express any opinions they want. I support free speech and the free marketplace of ideas. People are free to accept or reject any ideas they choose. The government should not censor speech. Free and uncensored speech is another hallmark of a free society. It is also a deeply rooted American principle. All speech, including offensive, unpopular, disrespectful, racist and other varieties of offensive speech should be strictly protected. Supporting the right to free speech does not mean one agrees with what is being said. It simply confirms the notion that the government has no right to censor the opinions of a free person however unpopular. However, no person has a right to trespass on another’s private property for any reason including to express an opinion. No person has a right to force others to listen to their opinions.

I am interested in helping advance the cause of freedom. Free People are not required to do anything, in particular, to help advance the cause of liberty. However, being interested in helping advance the cause of freedom means that you have an interest in doing something to help promote a free society. Some people vote for pro-freedom candidates or even run for office. Other people write articles, speak to groups, donate money to pro-freedom organizations, or simply advocate for freedom with their friends and family. The Arizona Freedom Network is comprised of pro-freedom business people who are willing to act in some way, however slight, to assist in the great and worthy cause of fighting for human freedom. Freedom is worth the effort.   To be a member of the Live and Let Live Business Directory you must freely and voluntarily support the principles in the Live and Let Live Pledge above.

Live and Let Live Principles

About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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