Are there any libertarians that are critical of the Non-Aggression Principle?

This is a bit of a hot potato IMO. In the U.S., there is a somewhat myopically individualistic and self-referential version of libertarianism that not only embraces the NAP, but expands it (via Murray Rothbard) into all property, treating individual ownership as an extension of one’s person. This is a pretty extreme distortion that imposes a tyranny of private property equally on all, thereby depriving all of significant liberty. So, in this context, the answer to your question would be a resounding “most libertarians;” meaning most libertarians outside of the U.S. (and indeed most throughout the history of libertarian and anarchistic thought) would reject the application of the NAP to property as U.S. Libertarians tend to do. Of course, there are also left-libertarians (libertarian socialists) in the U.S. who also take exception to the…er…aggressive application of the NAP to property by right-libertarians. As I said…a bit of a hot potato.

As for the underlying sentiment of non-aggression, I think that is more widely shared by anarchists and libertarians of most persuasions. But even here what precisely constitutes “aggression” (or coercion, compulsion, etc.) is widely debated. Where right-libertarians seem to see all actions of the State (and sometimes even community-level government) as executed “under the threat of force,” a minarchist libertarian socialist would defer to collective agreement around a given issue to assert its persuasive legitimacy, and not view it as coercive or oppressive in the same way. In other words, for a right-libertarian individual sovereignty tends to be the central compass for defining non-interference (negative liberty), while the left-libertarian views collective cooperation as a preferred standard for facilitating liberty for all.

I think all of this orbits around the question of political obligation, and I write more about that here:

(From Quora question:


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