Monday, July 10, 2006

Why taxation really is theft.

I often tell people that "taxation is theft". They give me horrified looks.

But, assuming you'll agree with me and the 56 million people killed by their own governments in the 20th century, it's fairly easy to arrive at that conclusion. Firstly, it must be recognized that government has no inherent moral authority. Examples abound of why this was true: our own government supported and condoned racism and slavery up to the 1960s, at least, for example.

If government has no inherent moral authority, it is therefore not qualified to make an infallible judgement as to what is right and what is wrong. Since government does not use its own property to accomplish its ends and thus cannot be permitted to have free will (hence voting), it cannot be permitted to use other people's property in a way which is not infallibly correct. Since this will never happen, government should not use other people's property, and taxation is wrong, and a form of theft.

OK?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Kris Overstreet said...

Congratulations- you've just made the argument that both laws and government should be abolished.

Since, by your argument, government has no moral authority, and since it therefore cannot and should not make decisions on what is right and wrong, it therefore should not be allowed to make laws- and certainly not to enforce them.

The problem there is, any organization which makes and enforces laws is de facto a government.

But no government, no matter what, can be allowed to make or enforce any law, because no government, no matter what, can ever hold any moral authority.

Every man for himself!

Thankfully, your base premise is flawed. Government derives its morality, or lack thereof, from the support of the people. If the people act immorally, the government they construct and elect cannot help but be immoral... and the people shall continue to be immoral with or without any government at all.

Therefore, morality is at best irrelevant to the question of government. Governments are tolerated in order to secure individual rights and to enforce the rules that allow human beings to live together without killing one another. If only a moral government can do this, then no government can do it- because people, in the aggregate, are hopelessly immoral.

I view it from a different perspective. Government provides certain services- the recognition and defense of certain rights, the establishment of a currency of exchange in the marketplace, the establishment of rules for that marketplace, and courts and other agencies to remedy the violation of rights. As with any service, government is entitled to charge a fee for its services- else it cannot support them.

A person who wishes to do without these services, however, chooses to decline the government's recognition of and protection of his rights- which means that, by libertarian principles of only getting what you pay for, the government is under no obligation whatever to refrain from removing that individual from society.

A person who demands government's protections without paying the price government asks is trying to get something for nothing- an immoral act, by libertarian standards.

We have, in theory, a government which allows us to complain that the price is too high, to vote for candidates who seek to lower that price, and to petition the elected government to have that price lowered. However, the securing of your rights is a commodity- and like all commodities, it must be paid for.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Nigel Watt said...

Since when is the majority in posession of a moral authority? The majority has approved of some of the most heinous acts in the history of humanity.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Free American said...

>>I view it from a different perspective. Government provides certain services- (1) the recognition and defense of certain rights, the establishment of a currency of exchange in the marketplace, (2) the establishment of rules for that marketplace, and courts and other agencies to remedy the violation of rights. As with any service, government is entitled to charge a fee for its services- else it cannot support them.<<

1. what are those certain rights?

does it include the right to associate without restriction? what about the right to ingest harmful substances? What about the right to thoughts, speeches, and acts that do not infringe on another's rights? Does government need to recognize those rights?

1. what rules would that be?

if individual liberty includes the rights to property, any acts that deprive another of his property without his consent is a violation of that individual's liberty.

How is the application of individual liberty in the marketplace any different that in the home or the street?

In other words, why would government need to establish a separate set of rules for the marketplace when the rules of individual liberty cover everything?

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Digg it:

http://digg.com/business_finance/Why_taxation_really_is_theft

10:02 PM  

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