To “live and let live” means what it says. “Live” is an encouragement to live your life. Competent adults are in charge of their own lives. Being in charge of your life is to be in charge of your body, property, money, and time. To “Let Live” is simply to acknowledge the rights of others to be in charge of their lives in exactly the same way as you are in charge of your life. Said another way, the, “Live and Let Live Principle” most fundamentally means to take charge of and responsibility for your life by both defining and peacefully pursuing your own happiness while honoring the equal rights of other competent adults to do the same.
This does not mean we should not care how others live their lives. The Live and Let Live Movement promotes two simple rules: 1. Don’t be an Aggressor and 2. Be a Good Human. Rule #1 is a legal principle that prohibits all aggressions by all people, groups, corporations, and governments; on all issues, and at all times. There are no exceptions to Rule #1. We define “aggression” as the initiation of force, fraud, or coercion as well as any activity that puts another person or their property in danger. In essence, Rule #1 prohibits aggression while recognizing the fundamental right of reasonable and responsible self-defense to defend against another’s use of or substantial threat of aggression.
Rule #2, is a moral principle that encourages others to simply be a good human by inspiring them to adopt aspirational values such as open-mindedness, tolerance towards others, voluntary kindness, civility, building high levels of trust with others, and truth, justice, and rational thought. The overall goal of Rule #2 is to optimize human happiness and well-being while decreasing suffering. While the Live and Let Live Movement strongly encourages people to adopt Rule #2, people should remain free to entirely ignore Rule #2 so long as they comply with Rule #1.
There are many different reasons why people conclude aggression is wrong. Many people agree based on their religious beliefs. Indeed, most religious and moral traditions hold that aggression is wrong. Others agree based on a variety of other reasons including a natural law analysis, social contract theory, economics, or objectivism. Many people simply agree with the basic common decency and mutual benefit that naturally flows from legally prohibiting the initiation of force, fraud, and coercion. It’s the first thing reasonable people who disagree on everything else will readily agree on.
The Live and Let Live Movement does not take a position on why a person concludes aggression is wrong. That a person concludes aggression is wrong is what matters to the Movement. Upon reflection, most people will conclude aggression is wrong and should be outlawed in all cases.
There are also many similar reasons why people conclude encouraging others to be good humans is a worthy moral goal. Again, why a person arrives at this conclusion is irrelevant to the Movement. That a person arrives at this conclusion is what matters to the Movement. If achieving a free, peaceful, and prosperous world is important to you, this is the best reason to agree with the Live and Let Live Principle.
The Live and Let Live Legal Principle prohibits aggression whether it is initiated by an individual, a group of individuals, or a group of individuals who work for, and act at, the direction of a government. There are no exceptions to the rule prohibiting aggression.
A world where individuals, groups, and governments act in accordance with the Live and Let Live Legal Principle is a main goal of our Movement. Exactly how a person defines the word, “government” is irrelevant to the Live and Let Live Movement. We are against aggression in all cases. As such, the Movement welcomes people who prefer big governments, small governments, or no formal government at all. Whatever government does is entirely compatible with the Live and Let Live Legal Principle so long as government, and all individuals working in the government, are held to the same standard of non-aggression as is everyone else.
The Live and Let Movement is anchored to the Live and Let Principle as its basic foundational principle. The Live and Let Live Principle can be sub-divided into a Legal Principle and a Moral Principle. The difference between the two is that no person, group, corporation, or government should be free to violate the Legal Principle while the Moral Principle is advisory only.
The Legal Principle, which outlaws all acts of aggression, is derived from the basic common denominator of the most widely accepted moral, philosophical, enlightenment, and religious traditions. Opposing aggression while promoting freedom and peace are the most basic values of the Movement. Much of the Movement’s efforts seek to align all substantive laws to be in harmony with the Live and Let Live Legal Principle.
The Live and Let Live Moral Principle advocates for a virtuous and peaceful society by promoting aspirational values such as open-mindedness, tolerance towards others, voluntary kindness, civility, rational thought, building high levels of trust with others, and a commitment to pursuing truth, justice, and rational thought. We promote these live and let live aspirational values to optimize human happiness and well-being while minimizing suffering. Our ultimate values and goals are to facilitate and achieve global peace, prosperity, and human progress.
The Live and Let Live Movement welcomes members of all political parties and people who are entirely non-political. The only requirement to be a member of the Movement is to accept both The Live and Let Live Legal Principle and The Live and Let Live Moral Principle. Both Republicans who value individual liberties and classical liberal Democrats generally already accept both Principles. It is entirely possible to advocate and promote the Live and Live Movement from within either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party.
The Live and Let Live Movement is open to people who prefer and promote free-market capitalism as well as to people who prefer and promote voluntary socialism. Nobody should be forced to do anything other than to comply with the Live and Let Live Legal Principle. As such, the Movement is open to people who personally prefer either economic system or a mix of both. Competent adults should be free to choose how they peacefully live as well as how they peacefully acquire, hold, trade, and dispose of their property.
Both Capitalism and Socialism have versions that violate the Live and Let Live Legal Principle. Arrangements accurately referred to as “crony capitalism” and “involuntary socialism” each violate the Live and Let Live Legal Principle because they aggress against peaceful people. As such, neither of these arrangements is compatible with The Live and Let Live Movement. All voluntary transactions between consenting adults are in harmony with the Live and Let Live Legal Principle, while all involuntary transactions violate The Principle.
The Live and Let Live Legal Principle applies the same way to all issues. If The Principle is being violated, the conduct should be illegal. If The Principle is not being violated, the conduct should be legal. This analysis yields a legal conclusion only. The question of what conduct should be legal is an entirely different question from what conduct is moral. If the conduct violates only the Live and Let Live Moral Principle, we would strongly discourage that conduct while also strongly defending its legality. Moral judgments should not be imposed on others through the law. We should strive to convince and inspire others to act morally. Indeed, this is the purpose of the Live and Let Live Moral Principle.
As an example, to analyze the question of whether prostitution ought to be legal, we need only conclude that the adult prostitute and the adult customer each fully own themselves and are acting voluntarily which is to say the Legal Principle is not being violated. While minors also own themselves, they are not fully competent and therefore have guardians such as parents. If both the prostitute and the customer are competent adults, then each owns and gets to make decisions over, himself or herself.
Therefore, so long as The Legal Principle is not violated, we can conclude the conduct should be legal while also being free to conclude otherwise morally.
Had either the prostitute or the customer not been a competent adult, or had force, fraud, or coercion been involved, then the conduct would violate The Legal Principle and should be illegal. Said another way, all voluntary transactions between consenting adults should be legal even if they are determined to be immoral. A victim, for purposes of the criminal justice legal system, is someone who has suffered a violation of the Live and Let Live Legal Principle.
As with all issues, competent adults should have the right to do whatever they want so long as they do not violate The Live and Let Live Legal Principle. As with all issues, we simply seek to fairly and honestly determine whether The Principle has been violated. If so, the conduct should be illegal. If not, the conduct should be legally permitted even if determined immoral.
As with all other issues, unless and until a competent adult who possesses a gun violates The Principle, that person should be left alone. As such, the peaceful, responsible, competent, adult gun owner has a right to be left alone.
However, people who are not competent to safely handle guns and people who have a history of violating The Legal Principle reasonably pose a substantial risk of violating The Principle. As such, because they violate the Legal Principle by simply possessing a gun, they can properly be legally prohibited from possessing guns.
As with self-defense, people are not required to wait until another’s fist hits their face before using appropriate force in defense. Likewise, it is always appropriate to stop or prohibit a substantial threat of violating The Legal Principle.
As such, laws could appropriately prohibit gun possession by minors, incompetent adults, and violent felons. Precisely defining the contours and edges of words such as “substantial” “minors” “competent” and “violent” may reasonably vary by community as they do now. We analyze all issues around compliance with The Principle.
The Live and Let Live Legal Principle applies the same way to all issues. We first determine who is the owner of the property at issue. We then apply the Live and Let Legal Principle to analyze whether The Principle is being violated. If The Principle is being violated, then the conduct should be illegal. If not, then the conduct should be legal.
The issue of taxation involves the government taking money from individuals who own it. Because the owner of the money has no choice but to comply, we can adjudge this transaction as involuntary. Because The Principle applies the same way to individuals, groups, and governments, it is easy to conclude that by involuntarily taking an individual’s money, the government violates The Principle by taxing.
The Live and Let Movement advocates for a world where all aggression is illegal. We believe a civilized, productive, and virtuous society can be achieved without legally permitting aggression for any purpose including taxation. Helping others less fortunate is a moral issue that should be outside the law. Indeed, voluntary kindness towards others is an aspirational value contained within the Live and Let Live Moral Principle.
Creative people have always found non-coercive solutions to problems. That aggression (i.e. taxation) may be the easiest way to envision realizing a particular goal does not make it permissible. We oppose aggression in all its forms and for all purposes. Therefore, we should always strive toward a world without taxation.
We recognize that not all taxes can be immediately abolished. Indeed, taxation currently supporting national defense, police protection, courts, and vital infrastructure should be among the last to transition to voluntary funding. We recognize we may never realize this ultimate goal for a variety of reasons. Additionally, how best to transition from a world replete with taxation to a world without taxation is a complex question upon which reasonable minds can disagree. Neither utopia nor perfection is among our available options. Nonetheless, while we work towards a world without aggression, we should cheer and support any move towards less aggression in any area such as taxation.
What Type of Movement is The Live and Let Live Movement?
The Live and Let Live Movement is a global peace movement that seeks to peacefully win enough hearts and minds, based on the logic, reason, and morality of the Live and Let Live Principle, to improve the world for all people. It is a global movement open to all people who value freedom and peace by opposing aggression. This is the essence of The Live and Let Live Legal Principle.
We also promote The Live and Let Live Moral Principle which advocates for people to be good humans by voluntarily adopting our aspirational values such as open-mindedness, tolerance towards others, voluntary kindness, civility, building high levels of trust with others, and truth, justice, and rational thought.
We most value the high character of a person without regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religious inclination, or any other immutable characteristic. We celebrate human diversity.
Through discussion and debate, the written word, numerous conferences, and festivals, political action, and the peaceful efforts of like-minded people, the Movement seeks to inspire enough people to eventually achieve a free, peaceful, and prosperous world that optimizes human happiness and well-being while decreasing suffering.
Regardless of whether one prefers to think globally, we now live in a global community that is here to stay. Global trade, global travel, global data tracking and surveillance, and multinational corporations are increasingly common. Our economy is now globally connected. We face many serious issues that require global solutions such as war, the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons, synthetic biology and biological weapons, the development of artificial intelligence, computer hacking, and cyber-terrorism, environmental issues, global pandemics, species contraction, gene replication, and modification, as well as many other issues both foreseeable and unforeseeable.
Because of rapidly increasing technology, smaller groups of people with bad intentions are now more easily able to inflict greater harm on others located anywhere on the planet. We cannot expect to solve these questions locally while ignoring what occurs globally. We are all at risk from countless threats than can emanate from virtually anywhere in the world. We need global cooperation to both arrive at and implement global solutions.
We urgently need to stop fighting each other and better coordinate ways to peacefully live together while rationally, effectively, and justly dealing with the upcoming issues that threaten us as a species.
The Live and Let Live Movement is open to all people who accept the Live and Let Live Principle. To accept the Live and Let Live Principle is to accept the Legal Principle, which outlaws all forms of aggression for all people, groups, corporations, and governments, as well as the Moral Principle, which simply encourages people to be good humans as defined by the aspirational values. The Movement welcomes people of all countries, all races, all national origins, any economic status, any sexual orientation, all faiths and people of no faith. Any person who truly accepts the Live and Let Principle is welcome and encouraged to join the Movement.
It is important to signal your agreement with and support for the Movement by formally joining the Movement which can be done from the website. There is no cost to simply join the Movement. People who join and promote the Live and Let Live Movement are a varied group necessarily possessing different skills, talents, preferences, and inclinations. Some people are well suited to write and speak to promote the Movement. We encourage and are happy to assist people with most writing or speaking projects. We are also happy to coordinate efforts with people desiring to start or join local chapters or to hold conferences or festivals to promote the Movement. We host a blog on our website to facilitate discussion. We have a wide variety of live and let live merchandise available for purchase on the website.
Simply encouraging people in your social network to visit and share www.LiveandLetLive.org for more information is also strongly encouraged. People can support our Movement by donating money to help promote the Movement. 100% of all donations are tax-deductible in the United States and are used solely to promote the Movement. More people living their lives in accordance with the Live and Let Live Principle is our best advertising as well as our ultimate goal.