One Simple Rule Our Schools will Never Teach Our Children

The one rule we should teach at the core of all ethics in our schools but never will is called the Non-Aggression Principle (or NAP).  The non-aggression principle is simply an ethical stance that asserts that aggression is inherently wrong. In this context, “aggression” is defined as initiating or threatening any forcible interference with an individual or individual’s property.

To put it simply I have no right to use force, violence or coercion on you to make you do what I want you to do or to take your rightful property.  My one true obligation to you as a fellow human being is to leave you alone to peacefully pursue happiness so long as you follow that same rule with myself and others.

I would like you to consider that if we taught that to our children we don’t really have to worry about so many issues others seem worried about constantly.

  • But what about gay kids?
    Answer- The NAP applies to all people.
  • But what about people of color?
    Answer- The NAP applies to all people.
  • But what about ____?
    Answer- The NAP applies to all people.

The NAP is the modern golden rule, JUST ONE RULE that if followed would eliminate every single crime (given that any real crime must have a victim) on the planet.

One simple rule that offers perfect and total respect to every person, no matter their color, gender, religion, etc. One simple rule that is at the core of most religions but yet remains universal to all of humanity. From the atheist to the devote theist anyone who is honest with themselves can understand the NAP is how we should treat each other.

One simple rule that allows people to form groups around any idea, theology, concept, etc. yet compels no one to join them or follow along.  Each man, women and child free to pursue their dreams, in their own way, with one and only one requirement, respect this in all other individuals.

Let’s look at dealing with a hot button issue in schools, bullying if we teach the NAP as the core of ethics in school.  Let’s say a teacher catches Johnny and Mike picking on Mark.  The entire corrective action is “Johnny you and Mike are violating Mark’s rights, stop it”.

You think that is an over simplification?  Children generally accept concrete reasons for things a hell of a lot better than something abstract.  Additionally there is power in any social situation, no one wants to be the bad guy, save for the small portion of society that are actual sociopaths.  When you have one sacred rule, “you do not interfere with the property and freedoms of anyone so long as they do the same” and that is taught as a core ethic, everything is abundantly clear to everyone.

So why won’t we teach this in our schools?  We can’t, because the entire institution that is the state and thereby the state run school system is, in and of itself, a constant violation of the NAP.

School itself is compulsory with parents threatened with jail time over truancy and worse.  School itself is paid for taxes that are taken against the will of those paying them, and the state will absolutely use force, violence and coercion to collect said taxes, etc.  Many times a child being bullied (having their right to the NAP violated) will want to change schools but can’t do so because of school district rules.  This is insane but it is the way we have allowed the system to be.

Some of you reading this right now are having the typical reaction and thinking, “but with out taxes how would we build roads and schools”, etc.  There are many answers to such questions, but we are NOT going to have to solve that problem any time soon.  So can I ask you to put these concerns on the shelf just for now, and get though the last bits here today, please?

I simply want to ask you, does the NAP on its own make sense to you?  Does it feel right that I do not have the right to use violence, force or coercion to compel you to make the choices I want you to or to take your property from you?  Great then let me ask you if you also agree with this statement, “all men (people) are created equal”?

Likely that statement is written into the core of your being, it is part of our Declaration of Independence isn’t it?  Democrats, republicans, libertarians, political atheists, etc. all tend to agree with this statement of fact.  And the reason is clear, it is a statement of fact, not opinion.  Equality here of course applying to rights, freedoms and the freedom to pursue happiness, not equality of ability in any particular area.

So if all men are created equal and I do not have the right to use violence, force or cohesion to compel you to make the choices I want you to or to take your property from you, who does?

What you are dealing with right now is some level of cognitive dissonance, looking back at that shelf where we put the “but how can we _____” issues.  Please let it go, just for today, it will still be there tomorrow, I promise you.    I do want to point out that the reason you feel this conflict at this point is due to the fact that in your heart you know that these are fundamental truths.

So what do you do now, accept the truth, speak the truth and teach it to others.  Above all we need to teach this one fundamental set of truths to our children.

Right now with the recent school shooting in Florida all political arguments seem focused on guns.  I however recently looked at this question differently, I simply asked, how many of our children of school age are choosing death over life.  Not just those that harm others but those that simply choose to end their own life.

What I am about to give you are facts with rounded off numbers to avoid arguments over exact numbers.  But again these numbers are facts, not opinions.

In the last ten years for all the claims that “children are being gunned down daily”, less that 220 people have died in school shootings.  This number includes adults and the shooters themselves.

In the same period of time, 54,000+ children chose to take their own lives.

Oh don’t you dare gloss over that number, it hurts, I know, but let it hit you like the hammer of reality it is, read it one more time and really take in in.

In the same period of time, 54,000+ children chose to take their own lives.

I keep hearing words like “political will”, “the time to take action”, “put armed guards in schools” and of course, “think of the children”.  Yet I wonder why no single politician, activist or member of the media has told you what I just did.  That while the death of a few hundred is tragic the death of 10s of thousands in the same period of time is more so.

Do you really think these two groups are unrelated?  Do you really think every school shooter is just an unbalanced sociopath who was sooner or later going to commit acts of murder no matter what anyone did?  Or is it more likely that in most instances these shooters chose a sick and twisted form of suicide by cop?  Given this recent shooting was one of the very few times we ended up with a mass shooter in custody, don’t you think saying these murders are also suicide by cop seems pretty accurate?

So knowing that 54,000 other students took their own lives, it is really shocking that say if you have 500 people pushed to the point of being willing to take their own lives, that one in 500 might try to take others with them, perhaps those they blame for their pain?

Now this is hard to face isn’t it?  Much easier to blame bad parents, video games, guns, drugs, anything but ourselves for these problems isn’t it?  As long as it is a thing, that is apart from us, we can be sad that so many died but we can be comfortable that it is someone else’s or something else’s fault.

Yet if we taught children the principle of non-aggression and enforced that one rule in our schools, how many of those tens of thousands of people might still be alive today?  The principle of non-aggression and the concept that all men are created equal are truths, I simply feel it is time for our nation to grow up and have a conversation about these inherent truths.

It won’t be easy, but the truth is never easy, it is however, always, dramatically simple.

25 Responses to One Simple Rule Our Schools will Never Teach Our Children

  1. damn Jack.  that stat hits hard. Too hard.

    There really IS a crisis and yet…crickets.

    I wonder, how many of those kids who killed themselves were under a pharma drug.

    • Modern Survival

      I don’t now how many, I do know how many of the mass shooters were though, all of them, every single one.

  2. That makes perfect sense to me Jack, but in the meantime, how is it that there were 3200 (give or take) people in that building and 5 or 10 of them couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t act to physically stop this kid?  I know that’s a large bit of armchair quarterbacking, but I know from personal experience ‘way back in my high school days that when a kid came into our school with a knife to fight another over a girl a group of guys overpowered him and that was the end of it.  Yeah, I know; less lethal situation.  I still don’t get it, though.

    • Modern Survival

      May be someday you will get a chance to intervene when someone is trying to kill you and others and at a time when you are unarmed.  When that happens you can tell us what it is like and if you have the courage to act.

  3. Jack,

    This article speaks to a big part of your point.  Thank you for showing us how to hold on to the Truth.

  4. Excellent post Jack, as always. I wish they DID teach that, but then they’d have to do the same thing, and that won’t do. Such a mess.

    And as someone who still (40 years later) has issues from being picked on and bullied and all that, I can see why kids kill themselves to escape it. And I hate it. This society is SO messed up.


    And just because, I laughed at your auto-correct typo, “no right to use force, violence or cohesion” I visualized “If you don’t obey me, I’ll superglue myself to you!” I love fun typos 🙂

  5. I appreciate what you’re saying, but I have a problem with the title. At the risk of going off on a tangent, this shouldn’t be taught in schools, it should be taught at home. Our schools/teachers aren’t meant to be babysitters or surrogate parents.

  6. In 1980, the Supreme Court (Stone V. Graham) struck down a Kentucky law requiring the posting of the 10 Commandments in public school classrooms. In a bid to replace them with something not connected to any religion, The Way to Happiness was written. As of this writing, that booklet is available in 114 different languages and roughly 100 million copies have been printed.

    It is considered to have been a key tool (though never mentioned by the press, to my knowledge) in getting the government of Colombia to negotiate with the FARC rebels instead of continuing to fight them.

    The Way to Happiness has made it into some schools in some forms, but it also has its opponents. The real problem, it seems, isn’t religion; it’s sanity. There are people on this planet, some quite influential, who are very scared of really sane people.

    Your NAP is a perfectly sane idea. We have a Bill of Rights and a Universal Declaration of Human Rights that say very similar things. They are all good things to teach our kids. But what do you tell your kids when they ask, “But why are people’s rights being violated all the time?” “And what can I do to make things better?”

    The basic problem in society as I see it is that insanity exists and we don’t know how to handle it. It causes little kids to kill themselves and all sorts of other horrific events. Psychiatry has had its chance and decided, since they couldn’t beat them, to join them. That still leaves the rest of us. At this point all we need to do is decide to be ethical enough to do what is necessary to handle the situation. We do now understand insanity well enough to handle it. And the insane are terrified that we will find that out!

    • Modern Survival

      You are on something there, I am very much not for putting prayer back into public school because I do believe in separation of church and state. But I said last night to my wife, the problem is when they took prayer out of school they didn’t put anything back from an ethics stand. I guess they did at first, in my day we called it “citizenship”, but lets be honest it was simply code for good behavior.

      We need ETHICS in our schools and I am sick of people saying, “its the parents job” and other stupid shit. So you fuck up the American family, you glorify say single motherhood, now a woman has two boys and since she isn’t a waste of skin she kills herself at work, doing 10-12 hours away from home a day to feed her children. You rob her of thousands of dollars a year in taxes to “educate” her kids and say, all ethical teaching is her responsibility? What fucked up world are we living in?

      If we are going to steal billions annually and say it is to educate children, then educating them to simply treat others with decency should be job one. Of course that doesn’t mean I want schools to be 100% responsible for this role, but I expect them to do something. My ideal is NO MORE STATE SCHOOLS, but I am also a pragmatist.

  7. Thank you for this article Jack

  8. Nice thoughts Jack, butt, as long as there are psychopaths such as those infesting our Government (who very dangerously wants to have a monopoly on force) and it’s supplicants, the NAP as you term it cannot and will not be applied.  I have an obligation to protect my loved ones and my property.  I will aggressively continue to do this.  I also swore an oath to defend the constitution, I will aggressively continue to do this as well.  It’s sad, butt that’s the human condition.  I apply the Golden Rule wherever and whenever possible.

    • Modern Survival

      Instead of just applying, try adding teaching and talking about to your to do list.

    • Modern Survival

      I think you might be confused, the NAP does NOTHING to prevent self defense or defense or others. I think you are confusing the NAP with pacifism. The two are perhaps distant cousins, but they are not twins, they are not even brothers.

  9. Early on we teach our kids “no hitting” but then on tv all the heros duke it out.
    It’s in our history: “Speak softly but carry a big stick”
    Pop culture is filled the “Might is right” mentality.
    I think the non-aggression principle is going to be a tough sell. As crazy as that sound, that the way I see it.

    • Modern Survival

      Well the article did state they would never teach it in school right in the title didn’t. I swear I am hearing so much defeatist language lately. It is up to us to teach this to our kids and just to get a conversation stated about it. Can we try that?

  10. Over 60 million lives have been prematurely ended since roe vs wade. I believe the NAP applies to those victims as well.

  11. Scott Atherton

    Folks, you need to apply this in the same way as everything else we’ve discussed here. In your circle of influence. Don’t worry about what others do or don’t do, or say it won’t work because…
    Just teach your children, grandchildren, whoever you have influence with.

    • Modern Survival

      THANK YOU, I figured since the title clearly said the schools would not do it, that this was implied, it seems I still have a lot of work to do.

  12. This article came across the feed today:


    “More than 2 million Americans are now hooked on some kind of opioid, and drug overdoses — from heroin and fentanyl in particular — claimed more American lives last year than were lost in the entire Vietnam War. ”


    Prohibition, regardless of what the object to prohibit is, doesn’t work, folks.



  13. Will Montgomery

    Hey Jack, great read.
    Question/favor: I’ve been in the process of trying to compile some hard data that coincidentally goes hand in hand with this. Either on this thread or via email would you share your source for your numbers? I’ve been dissecting CDC and other gov and “independent” sources, and I’m getting a lot closer to your figure than the CDC’s posted numbers, but I’m running out of avenues.
    Thanks for all you do.

    • Modern Survival

      What will likely help you is to know the figure is for ages 0-24 because that is consider “college age” and college shooting are considered “school shootings”. It takes a lot of weeding though and adding up to get the number, almost like they don’t want you to have it or something.

  14. Great article and the numbers shocked me. NAP is a great principle.

    You write about the school shooting. Most of the shooters are men/boys that have grown up without a father from broken homes. We need NAP and we need the families back.

  15. Jack,

    Those statistics are staggering and I have no reason to doubt you.  I have referenced them in conversation and would like to back them up with your reference to the CDC.  Can you provide a link to where or how you got those numbers?


    • Modern Survival

      You have to dig though multiple reports and know my numbers are up to age 24 since they include colleges in “school shootings” I went to what is considered college age for the top. There is no one place to get the number you have to assemble it in pieces parts. Almost like they don’t want to talk about it.