Karl Hess and the IRS

From Lila Rajiva’s blog. Hess really was one of the all-time greats.

“I am in total opposition to any institutional power. I favor a world of neighborhoods in which all social organization is voluntary and the ways of life are
established in small, consenting groups. These groups could cooperate with other groups as they saw fit. But all cooperation would be on a voluntary basis. As the French anarchist Proudhon said, “Liberty is not the daughter but the Mother of Order.” The precedents I look to are the participatory democracies of the Greek city-states, many Irish cities up until the British occupation, some Indian villages under Mahatma Gandhi and the town meetings right here in America. Each of those
anarchist societies produced great and honorable cultures. There is no way to achieve a free society that is national. The concept of a nation requires the subordination of the citizen because you must let someone else represent you. So your freedom is being exercised by another person. In a truly free society, there is no subordination of any citizen. Every citizen represents himself. The
nation-state is an abomination.”

–    Karl Hess 1976

The IRS story:

“Karl was a speech writer for Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign and was
credited with the famous, “Extremism in defense of Liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of freedom is no virtue”, from Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the 1964 convention. Actually it was given to him by Harry Jaffa and although he thought it was provocative, he did not expect
it would induce the spontaneous hemorrhaging in the body politic it did.

After Johnson was elected Karl was slapped with an IRS audit. When he asked the auditor/robber who was handling his case/theft if a certain perfectly legitimate deduction was right, he replied it didn’t matter if it was right because it was the law. Karl said he had never before met an American who thought there was a difference between right and law. The perfect Nazi soldier. He then notified them he wasn’t going to pay taxes anymore–ever and by way of explanation enclosed a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The IRS confiscated all his property except tools and clothing and
slapped a 100 percent government lien on all future earnings. He and his wife moved to West Virginia where he became a non union welder and sculptor living on barter.

Karl said, “It is curious to note that when, for reasons of conscience, people refuse to kill, they are often exempted from active military duty. But there are no exemptions for people who, for reasons of conscience, refuse to financially support the bureaucracy that actually does the killing. Apparently the state takes money more seriously than life”.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply