imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Tax Slavery

by Tibor R. Machan Friday, Jul. 11, 2003 at 6:05 PM

If the Government takes as much, or more, from you in taxes as a Feudal Serf are you any free'er than that Feudal Serf?

[Posted April 13, 2000]

The only good tax is no tax. Why? How would we fund government without taxes? Those are good questions to ask. But first let's understand what taxes are.

Throughout most of history, governments--usually monarchies headed by kings, emperors, pharaohs and other major or minor tyrants--actually owned everything under their rule, including, believe it or not, the people. In those regimes the population had been regarded subjects, not citizens.

That means that the people were treated as the underlings, subjected to the will of the ruler. In these social systems the institution of taxation was a cruel measure of outright subjugation, perpetrated by rulers upon their subjects. Because the rulers owned everything, when the subjects lived on the land owned by the rulers, they had to pay for this privilege.

No, they had no legal right to the land they worked; they had no legal right to their own labor; none of the basic rights of individuals were given legal protection. The law affirmed the full power of the rulers, period, until gradually this absolute power began to be checked and contained.

In time the idea gained prominence that those who made up governments were human beings, not gods. Thus it dawned on many that they had no (divine) right to rule anyone at all other than themselves. Indeed, the idea began to gain headway--between the 11th and the 18th centuries--that every human individual had the basic, natural right to his or her life, liberty and property. Anyone wanting to gain the benefit of another's work or other assets would have to ask for it.

Sovereignty had to lie with individuals, not with governments--that is the central point about being a citizen as distinct from a subject. This is the significance of the well known phrase "consent of the governed." This consent must be obtained if one is to govern a citizen, unlike it is the case with a subject.

And in a fully free society there is to be no exceptions. John Locke, the English political philosopher, went the farthest--though still not all the way--toward the development of this idea and its implications.

All the while, of course, the point had been resisted vehemently by those who felt they knew how others ought to live their lives--conduct themselves and make use of their properties--and insisted that they could know it much better than the persons on whom this "knowledge" is to be imposed. They fought tooth and nail, with force of arms, with references to tradition, and, of course, with fancy but mostly sophistic arguments. And the debate is still going on.

But not widely enough and there is a reason. Like all extortion, taxation is difficult to fight. Furthermore, in the case of taxation the very people on whom we call to resist criminal extortion are the enthusiastic, loyal extortionists.

Judges, politicians, police officers, all kinds of agents of various levels of government--all those part of the system the Founders of the American Republic had called upon "to secure these rights"--have remained, as in feudal times, the very people who perpetrate the extortion: they have, as a matter of fact, become worse than extortionists who, after all, admit they are criminals.

Those in government and their supporters who defend its supreme role in society often believe, sincerely, that their institution is a necessary, albeit coercive, agency.

These folks are convinced that what they provide is so vital to us all that they do not have to ask for permission to provide it, so long as some sizable portion of the citizenry--via some kind of democratic process (but one to which not all have consented)--backs them up.

No, they may impose their public services, never mind whether consent has been obtained from all those who are to be benefited and from whom payment, namely, taxes, are confiscated. If the American Founders had all along been preached to by the intellectuals who enthusiastically defend the institution of taxation, well, there would be no United States of America, the bastion of individual liberty in the world, and no glimmer of hope of extending its ideas to further regions of human life.

That is because from the start the leaders of this country had the revolutionary gall to call for more liberty for its citizenry than those in other countries had. This call has by now been seriously eclipsed by the call of our current leaders who do not even see the point of mentioning, let alone expanding, the protection of individual liberty as one of government's central tasks.

Of course, calling for liberty didn't always suffice, which is why slavery had to be abolished, for example, and why there is so much more work to be done along lines laid out in the US Declaration of Independence. All in all, despite compromises and failures, the call for more individual liberty has been one of the cornerstones of America's uniqueness.

The call for abolishing taxation, heard only here and there and mostly expressed in demands for tax cuts, is just a further step in the direction of living up to the promise of the American revolution.

Ultimately taxes need to be replaced with a form of payment for government services that is fully, uncompromisingly consistent with the principle of "the consent of the governed."

Barring such a development, all we have is the chance to press the point: reduce taxes, privatize services, and through this make us all more free.

------------

Tibor R. Machan teaches business ethics at Chapman University and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

Two outstanding books on taxes are For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization and Those Dirty Rotten Taxes: Tax Revolts in American History, both by Charles Adams.

Read a piece on taxes by Charles Adams: The Dark Side of the Tax State.

Also read Ralph Reiland's Taxed to Death.

For an Austrian view of taxation, see Jeffrey Herbener's The Preferred Tax Type (a .pdf file), where he writes: "The effects of government activity are analogous to those of the protection racket. Taxes are involuntary payments extracted by the threat or use of force. If not, individuals would gladly make these payments voluntarily and could voluntarily withdraw them. Taxes cannot exist in the market, but are always invasions into the market. As with any other form of violence, taxes disrupt the effectiveness of voluntary activity."

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Oops forgot to include... Diogenes Friday, Jul. 11, 2003 at 6:10 PM
Double Ooops - getting tired Diogenes Friday, Jul. 11, 2003 at 9:07 PM
Tax Lie FluxRostrum Saturday, Jul. 12, 2003 at 11:30 PM
To the degree that... Diogenes Sunday, Jul. 13, 2003 at 3:38 PM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy