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Taxes as slavery

There has been an interesting discussion on the Lew Rockwell site and blog, including Charles Burris and Michael Rozeff, about whether libertarians can accurately be described as tax-abolitionists. Burris starts with his article, “Taxes and Slavery: A Parallel“, which he follows with a blog entry. Rozeff then responds with his own blog entry. Burris argues that libertarians are tax-abolitionists, while Rozeff argues from a panarchistic perspective that a person could choose to be taxed, since many people seem perfectly happy with taxation (though I  feel rather certain that would change dramatically if it got around that people could opt out!)

I would like to weigh in with the following:

slave = taxed citizen
slaveholder = government

Mike, if you see the parallel Burris is talking about in the above way, panarchy is not contrary to tax-abolition, because acknowledging that ANYONE has the human right to be free from involuntary servitude (taxation) effectively enables ALL people to make that choice for themselves. Once there is the possibility for true consent by every individual, the very definition of tax as involutary servitude yields to tax as fee-for-service, and the very definition of government as “territorial monopoly of coercion” is no longer accurate. The semantic problem is that we always define taxation as being involuntary, while panarchy changes the definition of the term by restoring the idea that the power of government requires real consent by every individual. Any government that operates with the contractual consent of the governed does not inflict taxes, but operates on a fee-for-service basis. Panarchy is pro-tax-abolition if taxation is defined as involuntary servitude to a monopolistic government. The realization of panarchy would end taxation (involuntary servitude), replacing it with a system of fee-for-service. I don’t think you and Burris are really in disagreement about any of this.


Comments on: "Taxes as slavery" (1)

  1. Excellent post about Taxes and Slavery. This is precisely the type of tyranny that the first American immigrants fled Europe to escape. It is also the major reason for the Revolutionary War against the over-taxation and monarchy of the Imperial British Empire.

    What people forget is that taxes are legalized theft, and we as citizens are forced into paying for something we do not support than that is a type of tyranny.

    You are correct that a Panarchist system of taxation would radically change the landscape of America culturally, fiscally, and strategically. Ultimately, Panarchy is the ultimate system of personal freedom – even above true Libertarianism.

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