Quoth Ben Kingsley's character Harry Fertig in The Confession:
It's not hard to do the right thing; in fact, it's easy. What's hard is knowing what the right thing to do is. Once you know that, and believe it, doing the right thing is easy.
While it sounds wise and insightful at first blush, it is wrong. Knowing the right thing to do is, in fact, quite easy once you have recognized a comprehensive ethical principle such as the Non-Aggression Principle. Any time a vote comes up, any time a policy decision must be made, and every time a matter of contention arises with another person, the right thing to do is the action that is non-aggressive. It is as simple as that.
This provides a general guide to determining how to guide policy decisions, of course, with a clearly defined litmus test to apply to each decision. Sometimes the complexity of a situation may require some in-depth analysis to avoid acting in negligence; sometimes an examination of your own motives is necessary to ensure that spite and other malicious incentives are not guiding your actions. Taking a clear, honest look at any given situation should provide an easily discovered approach to choosing the right path, though.
To make this work, you need to cultivate a habit of such clear, honest examination of circumstances, which can be fostered in part through consideration of concrete examples of how the Non-Aggression Principle might be practically applied to controversial issues. Those who reject a comprehensive ethical principle like the Non-Aggression Principle as "impractical" might also simply be acting on indoctrinated assumptions that could be effectively disputed with concrete examples. Finally, of course, such concrete examples can help people prioritize their efforts to promote a society designed to operate in accordance with the Non-Aggression Principle.
For all these reasons and more, the following projects and essays provide example solutions to socioeconomic problems and analyses of hot-button issues, and how they may be addressed by consistent application of the Non-Aggression Principle.
- Covenant Project is an effort to describe and define the form of a hypothetical NAP-compliant society.