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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Do You Have the Right to Steal?

If you aren't convinced of the merits of anarchy and agorism, consider the following argument.

Do you have the right to steal from me?

If you believe that you have the right to steal from me, then you're hopeless. I will use as much trickery and violence as I can to avoid having to deal with psychopaths like you.

Suppose that you believe that you do not have the right to steal from me.

In that case, how can you authorize other people to steal from me on your behalf? If you don't have the right to steal from me, you don't have the right to delegate your right to steal to someone else. You do not have the right to vote for a government that will use force to steal from me via taxes. You do not have the right to authorize policemen and tax collectors to steal from me.

You cannot, by voting, delegate a right that you didn't have in the first place. You, as an individual, don't have the right to steal from me. Therefore, you cannot authorize other people to steal from me on your behalf.

Of course, the details are pretty thoroughly abstracted away. Most policemen and tax collectors are not aware that they are accomplices to a massive crime. They sincerely believe they are doing the right thing. Most policemen are not selected for their intelligence; they are selected for their ability to blindly follow orders, even if they're wrong.

It does not matter whether taxes are approved by 51%, 75%, 99%, or 99.999% of the population. All forms of taxation are theft. An individual is justified in using any form of violence and trickery to avoid paying taxes. Of course, the red market bad guys have superior weapons and resources. It isn't possible to win a direct violent confrontation with the bad guys at this time.

Fortunately, there are plenty of possibilities available to those who are willing to risk trickery. If you trust your trading partners, you can perform work without reporting it to the red market. If the red market agents don't find out about your economic activity, how can they tax it? By avoiding taxation and regulations, your productivity rate will be raised by 50%-95% or more. You can trade anonymously with a fair monetary system, based on gold or silver. I think the Social Credit Monetary System is the best choice. You can even trade anonymously with Federal Reserve Points, provided you trade them for hard assets as soon as possible. If you hold Federal Reserve Points, their value will be stolen via inflation.

Without compulsory taxation, it's impossible to fund a government. If you believe the axiom "I do not have the right to steal from other people.", then anarchy and agorism are the only possible conclusions. If you believe that you have the right to steal from me, I'm going to take every possible countermeasure to defend myself.


Matt said...

If you acquire property that was at one point stolen, does that make it yours?

Owning property is inherently theft. Be it physical or otherwise. At one point in time, the property you own was either seized from someone or "claimed" by someone who had force to protect others from claiming it. The entire human race is playing an "I call dibs" game on the earths resources and we're all playing along. The U.S. government is doing now what all governments and social organizations have done for ages, they are taking what they want by force from all who don't cooperate when they ask. The government is just confiscating from you what you have stolen in the first place, by power of a superior military force.

As long as you play and buy into these socio economic games, you will remain a slave to them.

Tony said...

A logical argument is formed by taking one or more hypotheses, transforming them with the operations provided by logic, and producing a conclusion. Such an argument is sound if 1) the operations performed are valid and 2) the hypotheses are sound.

In your argument, you assumed quite a number of hypotheses - only one of which you state explicitly: "Suppose you believe you do not have the right to steal from me." More important the unstated hypothesis: "And further assume that taxation is stealing."

There seems to be some variance amongst dictionary definitions of the word "steal," but a fairly common theme is the illegality of the action, as in the entry in Wiktionary which states: "To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away." Of course, "illegally" implies a legal framework, which, in the United States of America, permits the government to levy taxes upon residents of the country in order to provide its inhabitants with services. Since, moreover, the organization of our government permits the majority of its enfranchised citizens to vote on such issues, the laws are, by a perhaps circular definition, just.

If that argument is not entirely satisfying, consider an analogy. Your landlord does not steal from you when he or she comes to collect your rent. Rather, he or she receives his or her due for the services provided - namely lodging and whatever other services were specified in the contract you both signed at the commencement of the lease. Should you at some point decide that the rent is no longer acceptable, you have a simple, completely legal recourse: you can move elsewhere.

It is thus with taxes in a town, county, state, or country. If you find yourself at odds with the overwhelming majority who have voted to authorize the current system of taxation you can (in addition to lobbying for change), emigrate. That you will be hard-pressed to find a country on this planet in which there are no taxes suggests that your view of the - not illegality, clearly, but perhaps immorality? - of taxes is not universally shared.

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