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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Slavery’

July 4 Is The Anti-Abe Lincoln Holiday, A Perfect Time For Purebloods To Stand Tall

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2022

By Allan Stevo

If you thought the case fatality rate of 1-in-1000 from Covaids was bad, you should have seen what the case fatality rate of having Abraham Lincoln as a President was like. 

About 3% of Americans died in the 4-year period from 1861 to 1865. 

They weren’t just any Americans who died. It was often the most capable members of society — young and male. 

They died because 1.) Washington DC could not play nice, 2.) Washington DC was very arrogant, 3.) Washington DC refused to allow states to dissolve a dissolvable compact. 

Sound familiar ? 

Abraham Lincoln Was The Antithesis of July 4

Monday, July 4, some bozo will inevitably put on an Abraham Lincoln costume. 

In fact, approximately 10,000 bozos will do that across the country. 

In a bozo’s head, it is all one patriotic brou-ha-ha: Constitution, July 4, the Air Force, and hot dogs. And who can blame him because that is what the schools teach, but truthfully, Abraham Lincoln was not George Washington 2.0; he was King George 2.0. 

Lincoln was holding the central government intact, rather than letting the thing devolve into its appropriate component parts. He was a centralizer, not a decentralizer. He held people captive by force rather than letting them make choices through their state governments. He was more of the spirit of 1787, rather than the spirit of 1776 — a lot more about the controlling and centralizing spirit of the US Constitution than the freeing and decentralizing spirit of the Declaration of Independence, which is commemorated on July 4th. 

But What About Fighting Slavery — That Is Freedom

And was slavery the central issue that motivated the war? No. That might make for a pretty romantic story, though. Surely that topic played a role for some, but fifteen percent of American fighting age men did not perish in the first half of the 1860s for the purpose of squabbling over slavery. There were lots of prickly issues — taxes among them, which makes for a lot less sexy of a story. Unfair legislation was a big issue — boring. Agricultural versus mercantile interest was a repeated theme — YAWN-fest!!! 

Some even considered it to be a Second American Revolution, more local autonomy from a far-off, out-of-touch, practically foreign, and corrupt central government.

You can imagine how even the most well-intentioned school teachers, historians, authors, and film-makers, trying to convince future generations to care about the Civil War from the victorious Union perspective, might make it about slavery to simplify the issue and make it more appealing. Within twenty years, that was taking place. 

It was hard to convince someone born in 1866 why he should give two hoots about some old dead guy with a squeaky voice named Abe Lincoln, or why he should care about a war he never had a thing to do with. 

The World War Two Narrative Contains Similar Lies 

World War Two, we are told, was about saving the Jews. In reality, there might have been more decision-makers in Washington DC in the 1940s than in Berlin who were happy to see the Jews go bye-bye. 

Literally. 

Literally. 

Do you get that? 

Being Jewish was not pop culturally cool in 1940 the way it is in 2022. 

That part of the story somehow got appended way later. And truthfully, it is an easy to dramatize part of the story. The salvation of the Jewish people was not at the top of the casus belli for Americans in the 1940s. 

Two Fun Source Texts For Your Fourth of July Enjoyment 

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Slavery

Posted by M. C. on June 29, 2022

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/slavery

Definition of slavery

noun

the condition of being enslaved, held, or owned as human chattel or property; bondage.

a practice or institution that treats or recognizes some human beings as the legal property of others.

The average taxPAYER has 1~3 months of hard earned wages confiscated by the master before even having a chance to touch it.

Sounds rather like slavery.

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On Slavery @ 9:30 to 11:00

Posted by M. C. on May 26, 2022

~You can’t say slavery is wrong unless you also believe in individual sovereignty and individual intrinsic value~. Marxist/progressive rants on slavery can’t make sense other than to score political points.

This episode was recorded on April 4, 2022. I discussed gratitude, faith, and suffering in this conversation at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. How can we be sure that pain is a solid guiding principle as we navigate the world? What is the underlying structure of pain, and what does it point at? We also touched on a myriad of topics around those central themes, such as sin and the symbol of the snake, giving advice, resurrection, the relationship between faith and suffering, evil, the effect we have on others, and sunsets.

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The Problem With Tearing Down Statues…

Posted by M. C. on May 3, 2022

In this episode, Douglas Murray and I discuss the current assault on the West, slavery, gratitude, racist mathematics, whiteness, (non-Western) accomplishments, and individual sovereignty. Douglas Murray is the associate editor of The Spectator and the bestselling author of seven books, including The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam; The Madness of Crowds, and The War on the West.

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Watch “Facts About SLAVERY They Don’t Teach You at School” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on February 8, 2022

This is an excerpt from ‘Intellectuals and Race’ — https://amzn.to/3rknNP4

https://youtu.be/3_3wyRaCD34

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Slightly Up From Slavery – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2021

The US government will prove no more able to deal with a rapidly evolving economy than was the Soviet government. More and more Americans will see the government as meaningless and irrelevant, as serving no useful purpose.

https://internationalman.com/articles/slightly-up-from-slavery/

by Doug Casey

slavery

To eliminate misunderstanding as to what taxes are, it is helpful to define the word “theft.” One good definition is “the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another.” The definition does not go on to say, “unless you’re the government.”

There is no difference, in principle, between the State taking property and a street gang doing so, except that the State’s theft is “legal” and its agents are immune from prosecution. Many people do not accept that analogy, because the government is widely viewed as being of, for, and by the people, even though it’s also acknowledged as acting badly from time to time.

Suppose a mugger demanded your wallet, perhaps because he needed money to buy a new car and threatened you with violence if you weren’t forthcoming. Everyone would call that a criminal act. Suppose, however, the mugger said he wanted the money to buy himself food. Would it still be theft? Suppose now that he said he wanted your wallet to feed another hungry person, not himself. Would it still be theft?

Now let’s suppose that this mugger convinces most of his friends that it’s okay for him to relieve you of your wallet. Would it still be theft? What if he convinces a majority of citizens? Principles stand on their own. Even if a criminal act is committed for a good purpose, or with the complicity of bystanders, (even if those people call themselves the government), it is still an act of criminal aggression.

It is important to establish an ethical viewpoint on the matter, even if it doesn’t change your reaction to the mugger’s (or the State’s) demands. Just as it’s usually unwise to resist a mugger, it’s usually unwise to resist the government, which has a lot of force on its side.

That’s not to say it’s easy to swim against the tide. Every year at tax time promoters of big government haul out an assortment of nostrums to sedate the lambs as they are shorn. One of the worst is “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” a statement of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It is a splendid example of how, if a lie is big enough and is repeated often enough, it can come to be accepted.

Actually, the truth is almost exactly the opposite. As Mark Skousen, economist and author, has pointed out: “Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state is a complete failure of civilization, while a totally voluntary society is its ultimate success.”

Taxes are destroyers of civilization and society. They impoverish the average man. They support welfare programs that anchor the lower classes at the bottom of society. They underwrite a gigantic bureaucracy that serves only to raise costs and quash incentive. They pay for public works programs (once called “pork barrel projects,” but now rechristened “infrastructure investment”) that are usually ten times more costly than their privately financed counterparts, whether needed or not. They maintain programs that cause huge distortions in the economy (such as deposit insurance for banks). And they foster a climate of fear and dishonesty. The list of evils goes on. But the simple truth is that anything needed or wanted by society would be provided by profit-seeking entrepreneurs, if only the tax collector would retire.

Protesting against taxes because they’re a costly or inefficient way of providing services, however, is in good measure futile. It’s like saying that the mugger shouldn’t rob you because there might be a better way for him to get what he wants.

How serious is the tax problem in the long run? I believe it will become less, not more serious, despite the government’s increasingly high tax rates and draconian enforcement measures. The major long-term trend of society is toward decentralization and smaller-scale organizations. The US government will prove no more able to deal with a rapidly evolving economy than was the Soviet government. More and more Americans will see the government as meaningless and irrelevant, as serving no useful purpose.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, most people have no idea what really happens when a government goes out of control, let alone how to prepare…

How will you protect yourself in the event of an economic crisis?

New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team just released a guide that will show you exactly how. Click here to download the PDF now.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Equality in Slavery

Posted by M. C. on August 10, 2021

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/august/09/equality-in-slavery/

Written by Ron Paul Monday August 9, 2021
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The Senate Armed Services Committee approved last month a National Defense Authorization Act that includes a requirement that women register with Selective Service on their 18th birthday. If the bill becomes law with this provision included and a military draft is reinstated, women will be forced to join the military, and America will have equality in slavery.

Proponents of drafting women argue that since women can now serve in combat it makes sense to make the draft “gender neutral.”

Some conservatives have made moral arguments against drafting women, saying that women should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to serve in the military. It is certainly true that it is immoral to force women into military service, but that is because it is wrong to force anyone into military service.

Forcing young people, regardless of their sex, to fight, kill, and even die in war is the worst violation of individual liberty a government can commit. Those who support the military draft implicitly reject the Declaration of Independence. How can someone support forced military service and still claim to believe all individuals are endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

While commonly thought of as a “left-wing” position, opposition to the draft has historically united Americans across the political spectrum. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater both opposed the draft while running for president. Russell Kirk, the scholar who helped popularize the term “conservative,” opposed conscription.

Some progressives oppose a military draft but support other forms of mandatory national service. These progressives fail to understand that forcing someone to serve the welfare state is just as immoral as forcing someone to serve the warfare state.

Some conservatives join progressives in supporting mandatory national service. These conservatives claim that mandatory national service provides young people a way to “pay back” the debt they owe society. But these are moral obligations owed to families, churches, and communities, not legal obligations owed to, and properly enforceable by, the government.

Libertarians are consistent opponents of all forms of mandatory service. This is because libertarians apply the prohibitions against violence, theft, and fraud to governments as well as private citizens. So, if it is wrong for your neighbors to force your children to mow the neighbors’ lawn, it is wrong for government to force your children to serve in the military or perform any other type of “national service.”

The nonaggression principle is why libertarians oppose taxation, nationalized healthcare and education, and military crusades in the name of “democracy” or “human rights.” It is also why libertarians oppose laws telling people how to raise their children, limiting access to “extremist” websites, telling business owners who can and cannot use what bathrooms on their property, or prohibiting someone from gambling online, smoking marijuana, or drinking raw milk.

Some libertarians urge their liberty movement compatriots to not talk about the nonaggression principle. These “pragmatists” think the focus should be on making the “practical” case for liberty. But those who embrace liberty because it “works” better than statism will make “exceptions” if they think an authoritarian idea like mandatory national service is a more practical way of achieving their political, economic, or social goals. Only those committed to the moral case for liberty can be counted on to defend all liberty at all times.


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Rejecting the ‘Proposition Nation’ | Chronicles

Posted by M. C. on April 24, 2021

The left’s ‘1619 Project’ and the conservative 1776 Commission both rely on a distorted picture of the American founding.

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/rejecting-the–proposition-nation-/

By Brion McClanahan

0421-PROPOSITIONNATION-2

In January, Donald Trump’s President’s Advisory 1776 Commission released its 45-page “1776 Report,” which, according to The New York Times, is “a sweeping attack on liberal thought and activism that…defends America’s founding against charges that it was tainted by slavery and likens progressivism to fascism.” Joe Biden scrapped it the day he entered office, and the report has since been scrubbed from all government websites.   This is perhaps for the best. However noble the intentions of the Commission’s members, their document is a profoundly flawed vision of American history, one that places the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln at the center of the American experience. That Lincolnian vision is now the accepted “conservative” consensus regarding American history.   American conservatives looking for an intellectual home should avoid claptrap like the 1776 Commission and its intellectual sibling, “The 1619 Project.” They are in reality two sides of the same coin. Both rely on a fantasy about the founding that Lincoln invented at Gettysburg in 1863. Accepting the assumptions behind either view of America is tantamount to a coin toss in which the rules are heads they win, tails you lose.   Trump created the 1776 Commission in September 2020 to combat The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which paints American history as a story of black slavery and white supremacy. However, his appointments to the Commission led its report down a predictable path.   Trump tapped Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn to head the Commission and appointed 17 other academics and politicians to serve in advisory roles. Vanderbilt University Political Science and Law Professor Carol M. Swain and Hillsdale Constitutional Government Professor Matthew Spalding served as vice-chair and executive director, respectively. Swain’s prior publications focused almost exclusively on race and the dangers of “white nationalism,” including tomes fully in accord with the credo of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Spalding penned the popular We Still Hold These Truths (2009), a book steeped in neoconservative deceit.   Other appointments included Thomas Lindsay, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, who drafted most of “The 1776 Report,” as well as conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson. While Hanson has recently bemoaned the effects of cancel culture on American history, for years he never found a Confederate statue he did not want removed.    Consider the required reading recommendations for American students from “The 1776 Report,” which include the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration calling for women’s suffrage, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Stanton looked to the form and substance of the Declaration of Independence in crafting the Declaration, and King asserted that the Declaration and the Constitution constituted a “promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”   No contemporary of Stanton or King would have confused either for a “conservative.” Stanton sided with the Republican Party during the 1850s because she perceived it as a conduit for reform, and complained loudly of betrayal when it refused to back women’s suffrage following the Civil War. King flirted with communism, and like the academics who crafted “The 1776 Report,” viewed the Declaration’s “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal” as a foundational promise betrayed by bad actors in American history, mostly from the South.   Not to be outdone by King, the 1776 Commission blames John C. Calhoun for modern identity politics, for the distortion of the true founding principles enshrined in the Declaration, and for the deaths of the 600,000 men who perished in the Civil War. If not for Calhoun, “The 1776 Report” authors seem to suggest, the United States would today be a utopia of free-thinking nationalist egalitarians dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”   Can you guess who else holds similar views? To name two: leftist Civil War historian Eric Foner and Nikole Hannah-Jones, the lead journalist for “The 1619 Project.” In his book The Second Founding (2019), Foner writes:

See the rest here

Brion McClanahan

Brion McClanahan is editor of The Abbeville Review and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers (Regnery, 2009) and The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution (Regnery History, 2012).

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The Cleansing of the American People – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 24, 2021

Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s not your oppressor’s fault that you are so oppressable. It is not the oppressor’s fault that you have so little fortitude to hold the line, to storm the breach, to impose your will, to defend your values.

If you do not fill that space as a righteous and steel-spined leader, it will be filled by those who mean to do you harm. Grave harm will befall that person. Children know no better than to be children.

What is your excuse?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/allan-stevo/the-cleansing-of-the-american-people/

By Allan Stevo

40 years he walked them through the desert, this Moses. 40 years. Two generations. Until a nation of slaves who knew how to abide, and perhaps even prosper, under Egyptian slavery, had become a people hardened by the trials of the wilderness and eager for prospering in a land of their own, and to live lives of faith.

Lives of faith. Not lives of fear. 40 years he walked them through the desert feeding them manna as they moaned about how wonderful the agriculture of Egypt was, how pleasant the servitude was, how easy it would be to just turn back. 40 years, until the moaning generations were replaced by those who couldn’t stand the thought of slavery.

41 years they lived under the communist yoke in Czechoslovakia. 41 years, two generations, until the people had become a people able to cast off that government and live lives without that government’s every totalitarian input in every aspect of their lives.

41 years in East Germany (1949-1990). – Details)

40 years in Hungry (1949-1989).

42 years in Poland (1947-1989).

41 years in Romania (1948-1989).

44 years in Bulgaria (1946-1990).

47 years in Yugoslavia (1945-1992).

Some places were worse and longer.

74 years in the USSR (1917-1991).

Other places continue that trial.

62 years in Cuba (1959-present).

72 years in China (1949–present).

73 years in North Korea (1948–present).

There is no intrinsic limit to how long it goes. The limit is on how long it is allowed to go. When a backstop exists, it will come to an end, a backstop of people who refuse to act like a slave any longer, who demand better.

40 years they walked through the desert until a nation of slaves turned into a nation of people who wanted more and would strive for that, doing whatever it took to get it.

How long will the American people walk through the desert?

How long will you walk through the desert?

Because your decision to live a free life is not dependent on anyone else’s decision.

Are you ready for a better life or are you eager to continue the childish antics, the self-infantilizing ways of the slave?

In slavery, yes, you labor under another man’s command, but you need never worry from whence your daily bread comes. You need never concern yourself with that worry or with that risk. You need only grumble from time to time when the bread ration gets too small. The grumble may cause you to risk being whipped. Those are the great risks in life: That you go beg for more crumbs from the table and might take a whipping.

Anyone who has walked a day in the shoes of a free man knows that the risks of life are much greater than taking a whipping from master.

In slavery, you long not for greatness. That’s part of the deal. Master protects you from the pitfalls of wanting greatness. He reminds you, yes, once in a while, an entrepreneur succeeds, but oh how they fail and in such plentiful numbers. 95% of all small businesses go under within 7 years, master reminds you. Is that the kind of failure you want to return to? Or do you want the riskless existence of working in community and having your daily bread guaranteed?

Master reminds you how good it is to fear risk, how liberating it is to not trouble the mind with the possibilities of risk and reward.

You may also have the slave hobbies: Those that feel good and do not edify. The more vile and debasing, the more titillating and corrupting, the more demoralizing and destructive to you, the better it is for master. Be ye children all your days. Laugh and play like children, only with adult bodies. Bodies that can do adult things. Enjoy your lives. You only live once. Life is short. Try anything once. Be ye children and the better it is for master, because children cannot rise up. The demoralized cannot rise up. They have no strength, no fortitude. Demoralization is the process of dispiriting a people by removing morals, customs, ways, traditions.

Oh, how good it is for master.

You might also trade in slave money — that controlled and debased fiat currency, devised to pay all the bills in the most conniving of ways, that lends itself not only to the debasing of the currency, but debasing of all aspects of life. Use the slave money child. It comes with no risk to you.

At least two generations have known nothing but slave money.

Just sit back and act like a child for as much of life as you can, is what master wants you to accept. And so many people confuse that with freedom, but at some point, it stops being possible to blame master for your decisions.  Maybe at 10-years-old, maybe at 15-years-old, maybe at 20-years-old, you can’t blame master or anyone else anymore, by that point, your decisions are on you.

By that point “confusion,” “influence,” “deceit,” “oppression,” “control,” words like these carry little weight when spoken by a person with agency trying to convince others that he is not to blame for his own choices.

Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s not your oppressor’s fault that you are so oppressable. It is not the oppressor’s fault that you have so little fortitude to hold the line, to storm the breach, to impose your will, to defend your values.

If you do not fill that space as a righteous and steel-spined leader, it will be filled by those who mean to do you harm. Grave harm will befall that person. Children know no better than to be children.

What is your excuse?

America is headed towards slavery and can barely find a single righteous man who will rise to lead otherwise.

The allure of carefree daily bread, the allure of childlike nights and weekends of childlike carefree splendor, and in exchange for mere obedience. This is too great an allure for the man who has been demoralized.

And that is why master likes it when you have no morality, no tradition, no customs. That is why master likes it when you won’t commit. That is why master likes it when you have no responsibility, when you have no spouse, when you have no children, when you have endless joy and little more.

Master wants you to have endless joy. What’s so bad about that?

If that sound pretty good to you, perhaps you’re part of the problem.

But the choice is yours.

All you need to do is to take a knee.

You might love the next 40 years. 400 years. 4000 years.

Master will welcome you with open arms.

And if you simply commit to never taking that knee, if you simply commit to never being a man’s slave, then so much more is possible.

Stop that obedience now. The bestselling “Face Masks in One Lesson” by Allan Stevo plots a different course. Read Stevo’s LRC writings, sign up at RealStevo.com, and drop Stevo a note if you need help plotting a different course, but of greatest importance is that you demand better of yourself than the life of a slave. It starts with the face mask. It ends with you being the finest example of human freedom that anyone has ever known. So many need that of you. The only question then is: Will you demand that of yourself? 

Allan Stevo [send him mail] writes about international politics and culture from a free market perspective at 52 Weeks in Slovakia (www.52inSk.com). He is the author of How to Win America, The Bitcoin Manifesto, and numerous other books.

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Taxation and Forced Labor | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2020

The way the example applies to income taxes is obvious. When the government taxes your income, it is taking away the product of hours of your labor. Just as I would be appropriating your labor if I forced you to work several hours for me without paying you anything, the government by taxing your income is seizing hours of your labor.

Moore considers an interesting objection to his argument. If you don’t want to pay income tax, couldn’t you avoid this by working less or for lower pay, so that your income fell below the minimum income for taxation? But why does the government have the right to put you in this unenviable position? Moore considers, in elaborate detail, a number of variations of the case, in each instance concluding that the government acts improperly. These I’ll leave to interested readers to examine for themselves.

https://mises.org/wire/taxation-and-forced-labor

David Gordon

When the government taxes you, it is taking away your money without your consent, and this is theft. This argument is well known, but there is another, though related, problem with taxes on income that you earn. By taking away part of the money you earn, the government is forcing you to work for it. Robert Nozick advanced this argument in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, and what I’d like to discuss in this week’s column is a defense of Nozick’s argument by Adam D. Moore that was published this year in the Southern Journal of Philosophy. It’s especially timely to discuss Moore’s article now, because Moore uses a famous argument by the philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson, who passed away last Saturday.

Thomson asks us to consider this case: “Violinist: You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own.” The violinist will die unless you remain hooked up to him for nine months. Do you have the right to detach yourself? Thomson thinks it is obvious that you do. You didn’t consent to the arrangement, and your body isn’t at the disposal of others, even if they need it in order to survive. (Thomson uses her example to defend the permissibility of certain cases of abortion, but that isn’t relevant here.)

Moore varies the example in order to make it more relevant to his own argument. “Where in the original case Thomson has you hooked up for nine months, I will suppose that you are hooked up each day for several hours. Each day, the Society of Music Lovers kidnaps you and attaches the violinist. In five years, the violinist’s kidneys will be healed, and no further kidnappings will need to occur.” Moore says you would still be justified in detaching yourself, because the Society is using your body without your consent. He goes on to present a case of his own in which someone on an island has to work extra hours to support someone else unable to work. Here again Moore says you aren’t morally required to do so. It might be a nice thing to aid the person unable to work, but someone can’t be compelled to do this.

The way the example applies to income taxes is obvious. When the government taxes your income, it is taking away the product of hours of your labor. Just as I would be appropriating your labor if I forced you to work several hours for me without paying you anything, the government by taxing your income is seizing hours of your labor.

Moore considers an interesting objection to his argument. If you don’t want to pay income tax, couldn’t you avoid this by working less or for lower pay, so that your income fell below the minimum income for taxation? But why does the government have the right to put you in this unenviable position? Moore considers, in elaborate detail, a number of variations of the case, in each instance concluding that the government acts improperly. These I’ll leave to interested readers to examine for themselves.

But isn’t Moore’s argument open to another objection? The government isn’t just taking away your hours of labor. It also provides you with benefits. Of course, most government programs are detrimental or at best useless, but never mind that. Moore responds by using another point that Nozick raised. People can’t confer benefits on you without your consent and then demand that you pay for them. “Nozick writes, ‘One cannot, whatever one’s purposes, just act so as to give people benefits and then demand (or seize) payment. Nor can a group of persons do this. If you may not charge and collect for benefits you bestow without prior agreement, you certainly may not do so for benefits whose bestowal costs you nothing, and most certainly people need not repay you for costless-to-provide benefits which yet others provided them.’”

Most readers will already know how to answer the objection that the taxes aren’t imposed by a dictator but are the outcome of a democratic election. You can’t be forced to labor for others, even if your partial slavery is the result of a majority vote.

The rejoinder that I am drawn to at this point is one word: democracy! In democratic societies we vote about how to share the benefits and burdens of social interaction. Everyone gets a vote, and the will of the majority decides the appropriate share of benefits and burdens. The idea is to join together two factors, accruing benefits and democracy, that will justify taxation and redistribution. But, imagine our original Violinist case and add in a small village where the principles of democracy and majority rule have been in place for centuries. After a brief campaign to get out the vote and save the violinist, the village votes unanimously–1 (your vote) to hook you up and begin your daily sessions with the violinist. I warrant that this would be immoral independent of the vote and the benefits.

Moore with great ingenuity responds to a number of other objections, and I’ll mention just one more:

Taxes are justified because citizens agree to them as part of a social bargain. In return for the benefits that society bestows on the fortunate—and by using the goods and services offered by society—these individuals are indebted and agree to this contract…[but] no one has actually signed this social contract. Minimally, for a contract to generate moral and legal norms it must take place in conditions that are fair and where the parties to the contract have enough information. For example, withholding crucial information (the “car” you are about to buy is a shell with no internal parts) or threatening someone (pointing a gun at someone to ensure they sign the contract) would invalidate whatever moral norms that might typically arise in a proposed contract. How would any of this work related to a social contract? Moreover, there may be individuals who simply “don’t use the facilities” so-to-speak. Not only have they not agreed to pay any taxes, but they also do not consume any societal benefits.

We are greatly indebted to Moore for his fine analysis. But we don’t owe him any money for the benefit he has conferred on us, because we have signed no agreement to pay him. Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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