Legendary comedian Jack Benny, known to be a skinflint, was met one night by an armed thug.
“Your money or your life,” said the thug.
Benny was silent. The thug said, “Well, what’s it going to be?”
I’m thinking…I’m thinking!” was Benny’s reply.
Taxation is theft, ladies and gentlemen. If there is the slightest hint of compulsion in taxation, it’s theft. Your money is taken from you under the threat of either loss of freedom of loss of life.
Taxation in the USA is a protection racket. If you pay your taxes willingly and meekly, the government is likely to leave you alone for the remainder of that year. But refuse to be taxed and reject government protection and you will meet with a fate worse than meeting with an armed robber.
Paying taxes is akin to meeting an armed robber…but government is at your door, not in some dark alley. They work in similar ways, but I’m here to tell you that, given the choice between an armed robber and government, always choose the armed robber.
To offer proof, let’s look at some ways that an armed robbery is superior to government taxation.
An armed robbery might occur while you are in your car, your home, a city street or country lane. He might brandish some weapon and relieve you of your wallet, purse or other valuables. He might steal your car. He might even shoot you if you resist, even unto your death. But at least your encounter with an armed robber is customarily between individuals of a small number. Then, he usually goes on his way to seek out his next victim, or maybe to spend the spoils of his robbery.
The government does not act in such a manner. Government robs you in a far more despicable and cruel way. If you are an employee, government reaches into the coffers of your employer and collects the money it wants even before you receive it (can you imagine an armed robber showing up at the payroll office of your employer and demanding a portion of your wages?). If you are self employed, government wants their “cut” monthly. If you own property, you’ll either pay your tax or government will confiscate your property and sell it for the tax they think they are due.
The robber understands the crime he commits, its danger and the possible consequences of his own act. He doesn’t assert a position that he has some prior claim to your money, or that he is going to use your money to benefit you. He is simply an armed robber and nothing more. He hasn’t offered a protection plan in exchange for the money he stole from you against your will. Once the robber takes your money, he usually leaves you alone. He does not follow you wherever you go, proclaiming that he is your master because of the protection he provides to you with the money he stole from you. He does not require your obeisance, homage or loyalty into the future…only your money today. He does not consider you to be his slave or servant. He does not force you to do this thing, or prohibit you from doing that. The robber does not usually come back to you over and over for more money. And if you dispute his authority, the robber does not label you a traitor and his enemy. He does not have other of his armed minions arrest you, charge you with felonies, throw you into his jails or kill you if you resist. In addition to robbing you, the robber does not try to convince you of his good intentions, or try to make you into his slave. A robber is too honorable to perpetrate these heinous acts on individuals.
No, the armed robber cannot be compared in any way to the thieves and murderers known as the “government.”
Government robbers and murderers, unlike the armed robber, do not accept responsibility for their acts as individuals. They hide within the anonymity of the government. They choose certain of their minions, like those of the Internal Robbery Service (IRS) to commit the robberies on the government’s behalf. They bestow law enforcement authority and weapons on these toadies and give them their orders.
In essence and in practice they send forth “swarms of officers to harass the people and eat out their substance” (from the Declaration of Independence). They assert that the government needs the people’s money for its endeavors. If an individual resists, telling the government that he never contracted with the government for its protection or its endeavors, they will inform the individual that he will pay and be protected whether he likes it or not. If he further refuses to comply with their demands, the toadie thugs will at least seize enough of the citizen’s property to sell in settlement of the government’s demands. And that’s just this year’s take.
If the citizen still resists and defends his property, and in that effort, kills any minons, the citizen will either be captured or killed himself. If captured, he will be tried and imprisoned or put to death. Should the citizen enlist the efforts of others of like mind to resist the demands of the government, they will all be labeled “tax cheats, kooks, rebels, traitors,” or any other pejorative moniker that government can use to besmirch their names. But government would also enlist greater forces to put down this armed rebellion, even if hundreds of thousands of rebels took up arms against the government. But happily, one day the tax rebellion could reach a critical mass that was greater than the government’s ability to crush.
And all of this action and consequence flows from one person just wanting to be left alone and resisting aggression from others. The citizen commits no force or fraud upon others…he only seeks to live his life as he sees fit.
All government has the potential for tyranny. The way to minimize tyranny is to create governments with very limited powers and strictly police their actions.
That is one of the reasons I’ve written in past articles about creating a new nation in the model of a corporation, and using only sales tax as the sole method of taxation. The corporate model of government creates a legal written contract between the citizens for the operation of their country. And, as sales tax is the least oppressive and most voluntary form of taxation, it is the best solution to raise revenue to pay for the new nation’s functions.
Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?
DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.
© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
“but it would nice if other libertarian sites and writers had more to write about than taxation and free markets.”
Hear, hear! That stuff just makes libertarians sound like Republicans. Libertarianism=Anarchism for conservative suburbanites who don’t want taxes impeding their upward mobility. What could be more boring and less inspiring of genuine radical action than that? Actually, I always found all that stuff to be the least interest aspect of libertarianism.
I’d rather pay taxes than be subject to armed robbery, but maybe that’s just a lack of true rugged individualism and ubermenschen courage on my part. 🙂
“For instance the whole Mcdonalds thing that Jeremy wrote about a few months ago in response to the Mises madness. How is it possible that these staunch “individualists” who never bought into the franchise, are defending the utter mass distribution of highly replicated bullshit? We’re talking about the same seriality that has made the entire world over in its image. The identical process, the nested embeddedness and serial sequence of almost everything in society, everything looks the same.”
Yes! The first time I ever went to Europe one of the first things I noticed was the landscape where 800 yr old architecture is blended with McDonald’s golden arches and portraits of Colonel Sanders from KFC.
Pointing out the impact of corporate monoculture and PC totalitarianism on genuine cultural diversity is one of the strongest arguments we can make.
There are so many worse injustices going on than taxation. My discovery of how bad the family court system corresponds with my movement away from a neo-Objectivist view that the US is basically free, but its vice laws, economic regulation and tax system need to change. My eyes have been opened. Conditions are far worse than the conditions Objectivists complain about.
I realized years ago that the mainstream libertarian movement would never go but so far as it is basically a philosophical movement that tries to convert people to its ideology en masse. That won’t work because most people are not intellectuals and the majority of people do not seem capable of independent critical thinking on a substantive level at all. In fact, I think that’s a pretty well-established principle of social psychology. In practice, libertarianism is just another conservative, middle class movement crying about taxes. Nobody is going to go to the barricades for that.
In fact, I’ve noticed in recent years that it’s become increasingly trendy for “movement conservative” types to call themselves “conservative-libertarians” and all that. I’ve even heard Rush Limbaugh describe himself that way. It’s just a total co-optation of libertarianism by “conservatives” who are really just dupes and stooges of the plutocracy and military-industrial complex. Even more serious libertarians who don’t fall into the “conservative” trap often seem to end up just being sectarian ideologues (like a lot of an-caps), ideological purists with no practical political sense at all, or dupes of the Left (like many, though not all, of our left-libertarian friends). Reading over all of the different libertarian-oriented blogs and websites, can you really imagine any of those people actually fighting the cops in the streets? They’d either be too worried about hurting themselves, or damaging their careers, or simply too fat and lazy or stoned to be of much use in a real emergency situation. In fact, the “Will to Riot” is probably the primary redeeming quality of the left-anarchists. Libertarians are better thinkers, but the left-anarchists are better rioters. 🙂
Ron Paul is performing two very valuable services. First, he’s rallying an audience that is relatively similar to the one we want to reach against the state which as I’ve said is a prototype for a more radical movement in the future. Second, he’s shown that “working within the system” doesn’t go but so far. The Republican Party leadership would never allow him to get the nomination. They wouldn’t even let him into the convention hall without an escort back in 2008. If he miraculously got the nomination, the press and the political class, left and right, would engage in a relentless campaign of vilification trying to make him look like the most evil man who ever lived.
If he were elected, the overlords of the system would move to subvert or nullify the election results. They could manipulate the Electoral College into not electing him. They could have the SCOTUS step in an nullify the election on the basis of some trumped up legal contrivance. They could find an alleged deranged loner to pull a JFK on him, or they could simply organize a Pinochet-style coup. They’ve done all that and more in states that are US vassalages so certainly they would go to any ends to protect the empire in the mother country.
“Reading over all of the different libertarian-oriented blogs and websites, can you really imagine any of those people actually fighting the cops in the streets?”
““Reading over all of the different libertarian-oriented blogs and websites, can you really imagine any of those people actually fighting the cops in the streets?”
Exactly. That’s why I don’t mind pissing off the left-libertarians and anarcho-leftoids to the degree that I do in spite of many common areas of agreement. They would be not only worthless but a major liability in a real world struggle. It was realization of this that in part led me to the conclusion that the anti-state movement would need to find constituents outside the usual anarchist milieus. Hence, the ten core demographics: http://attackthesystem.com/2010/06/25/the-ten-core-demographics-of-alternative-anarchismpan-secessionism/