Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Enemy Class will maintain control

The latest post at the Libertarian Alliance blog is the rough minutes of a speech by Sean Gabb to a Conservative Association: it is excellent and worth reading in full. Of most interest is Sean's contention that the Constitution of this country has been deliberately and irrevocably destroyed.
I disagree [that this has been a bad government]. Oh, if you want a government that defends the country and provides common services while keeping so far as possible out of your way, the Labour Government elected in 1997 has been a disappointment. This does not mean, however, that the Blair and Brown Governments have been a failure in their own terms. They have, on the contrary, been very successful.

The purpose of the Government that took power in 1997 was to bring about a revolutionary transformation of this country – a transformation from which there could be no return to what had been before. The English Constitution has never been set down in a written document, and there has never been any statement of fundamental rights and liberties that was protected from change by ordinary legislation. Instead, these rights and liberties were protected by a set of customs and institutions that, being legitimised by antiquity, served the same purpose as formal entrenchment. It can be hard, in every specific case, to justify trial by jury, or the rule against double jeopardy, or the idea that imprisonment should be for a specified time and no longer, or the right to speak freely on matters in the public domain. There are principled arguments that satisfy in the absence of strong passions. But, strong passions being granted, the best argument has always so far been that these things have always been in England, and that to change them would be to break the threads that tie us to the past.

It would be childish to argue that the Ancient Constitution was in good health until 1997, when it was suddenly overturned. Unless there is an catastrophic foreign invasion, constitutions are not destroyed in this way. Ours had been sapped long before 1997. To say when the tipping point was reached, and by what means, would take me far beyond my stated theme. However, what remained of the Constitution has, since 1997, been dismissed as a set of “outmoded” relics, and large parts of it have been swept away. Those that remain have been transformed beyond recognition.
...

On any normal assumptions, the country has been governed very badly since 1997. On the assumptions of the Government, things have gone very well indeed.

The rest of it is in the same excellent vein, and very much worth cogitating on—I am even being swayed by the republican argument.
On Friday the 16th October 2009, I spoke to a Conservative Association in the South East of England. Though I did not video the event, and though – on account of the heated and not always good natured debate the followed my speech – I was asked not to identify the particular Association to which I spoke, I think what I said is worth recording.

Yes, I can imagine that many Conservatives would find this speech unpalatable—but then they are concerned only with power and not with the rights and liberties of the people of this country.
We shall probably have a Conservative Government within the next nine months. But this will not be a government of conservatives. If we want a preview of the Cameron Government, we need only look at what Boris Johnson has achieved during the past year as Mayor of London. He has not closed down one of the bureaucracies set up by Ken Livingstone and his Trotskyite friends. The race equality enforcers are still collecting their salaries. The war on the private motorist continues. Rather than cut the number of New and Old Labour apparatchiks, he is currently putting up taxes. David Cameron will be no better. He may be forced to make some changes and to slow the speed of the transformation. The transformation will continue nevertheless.

Indeed it will: if you believe in freedom and so place your hope in Cameron then you are a fool. To refuse to see that makes you a knave.

I understand that many people will vote Conservative on the Barbary Ape principle. Fine: go ahead. I may even have some sympathy for that position—it is difficult to imagine that Cameron and his merry men could be quite as bad as NuLabour. But as Sean points out, he will be—essentially—no better.

Over the last few decades, we have seen a steady and gradually acceleration of our serfdom; increasingly, we are no longer free individuals, but slaves living under sufference—we are grudgingly allowed to retain a small proportion of our liberty and our possessions only as long as we continue to accept the jackboot of the statist upon our necks.

This is a war, and it's time to pick the side that you fight on: are you a totalitarian or a libertarian?

29 comments:

North Northwester said...

"Yes, I can imagine that many Conservatives would find this speech unpalatable—but then they are concerned only with power and not with the rights and liberties of the people of this country."

Come on - you can do better than that. Or at least try to indicate which conservatives are exclusively concerned with power, compared with those that put principles of rights and freedom at the centre of their politics. There are plenty - but they aren't in charge.

I'm still not voting for them mind, because their leadership needs bringing down a peg or two and because the mainstream Tories need to realize they've allowed the 'leader' and his ilk to perform an amputation [a partial lobotomy, in fact] on the party of Thatcher, Tebbit, and Powell.

Wossat? said...

If the Tories dire record in Opposition is anything to go by then there is no way they are getting my vote.

What fucking motive do the arseholes have to get us out of the shit barrel they helped put us in?

Letters From A Tory said...

I suspect that your call to (blogging) arms might fall on deaf ears when the cries of 'Can we please kick Labour out of office now!!!!!' ring loudly in everyone's ears next June.

Anonymous said...

Thing is ,the way it is going ,the way the Political classes are behaving towards the proles ,soon they will become prisoners of their own stupidity.
I would not care for their voluntary incarseration all be it a comfortable one due to the fact that everyone hates their guts so much they cannot go out in public for fear of recieving the ritcheous kicking they so amply deserve ?
If that's what they want let them have that but I would not care for it.
If you dont change it will be more than paint and eggs ,there are plenty of violent people who react violently to injustices I would not want to be around when you meet one .
I have seen to much violence and trust me it's quite stomach churning.
Do yourselves a favour ,ease up on the Stalinist stuff .
Then you may find interacting with the rest of the human race is generally a pleasant experience.

Budgie said...

LFAT - what part of "Cameron and his merry men ... will be—essentially—no better" do you and other Tories not get? The sort of Tory party I would vote for would have to be radically different. With the transfer of so much power to the EU, and the establishment/quangos/big business running the country we have lost democracy, democratic accountability and civil rights.

We are serfs, fending off a barrage of statist, rat-maze, control freakery. Cameron does not begin to understand, let alone have any sensible remedies.

lilith said...

Having trouble with your blog (404) except through cache :-(?

Anonymous said...

go to devilskitchen.blogspot.com

Lee said...

Thank fuck for that, I thought he had been black bagged for insulting The One Eyed, Mingy, Nut Sniffing, Jocko, Fucktard of an Arse Dribbler Brown and his Doctor killing cronies

Pavlov's Cat said...

War? How much am I meant to read into that?

Come to think of it, on a bit of a tangent, which would the the libertarian side of an EDL/UAF fight?

Mr Ecks said...

Said it before--will say it again-however "stomach churning" it may be, freedom will come down to fighting in the street with the scum who are the states thugs and enforcers. Beat the thugs and the talkers can Westminsterwank and Brusselsbullshite on until their lungs dry up. Now,at this point the thugs have the edge. Libertarian thought must be directed at how to remove that edge, not wasted upon endless sterile speculation as to how milk rounds would be organised in the hoped for utopia.

Maturecheese said...

I agree that the Conservatives will probably be hardly any different to NuLabour, that's pretty much widely agreed on, what troubles me is the statement you make.

'This is a war, and it's time to pick the side that you fight on: are you a totalitarian or a libertarian'

What if you are a Patriot, A believer in the old fashioned values of Queen and Country, someone who thinks that the old institutions were the glue that kept things ticking along with some integrity. What if one believes that the Liberal Left have torn all that down and wrecked this country and that's why we are in the mess we are. I'm certainly not a totalitarian but also not a Libertarian as I do not believe in open borders and I do believe in helping our less fortunate. I also believe we should put our own countrymen first and not be hung up on helping everyone under the sun. Alas I seem to be a mixture of Libertarian and Nationalist or maybe Liberal Right instead of Liberal Left.

Budgie said...

Maturecheese - I am with you on your comment. Totalitarianism and statism must be vigorously opposed but I feel there is a streak of intolerance in libertarianism. So the side I choose is 'liberal'. (UK definitions used, btw).

neil craig said...

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."Henry Louis Mencken

In those terms Labour have been very successful in using the nonexistent hobgoblin of global warming & barely existent one of al Quaeda. Regretably there is little sign the Conservative leadership are much different.

FrankFisher said...

I'm just hoping the proper conservatives leap forth once they've won. But I doubt it. In truth, the mainstream have, as Sean says, sold out this country. We have been stripped of rights, stripped of power, stripped of optimism, stripped of self confidence, stripped of patriotism, stripped of our arms...

None of it was an accident, no more than our dumbed down educational system was an accident. Our country has been stolen.

But it is *not* irrevocable. we can take it all back, on any day we choose. We can simply take it back. If we have the stomach for what is necessary.

Roger Thornhill said...

Gabb does tend to speak the uncomfortable truth. I am glad he spoke it and to that audience. The problem is going to be dealing with the ingrained Fabian dirt, the State Tumour. The enemy is not outside our gates, but have been let in, rebuilt the walls, changed the locks and now used the fortifications to keep us in.

The Fenceposts are almost all in place. Gabb is right in that the best thing to do is revoke the original 1970's EU act and be done with it. What to do with Chuck (who will call himself Henry IX, I believe to avoid the Jinx of Charles) while (IMHO) retaining our history and pageant is not easy.


@Pavlov's Cat: "which would the the libertarian side of an EDL/UAF fight?"

We would be the bookie. ;-)

@ Maturecheese: "but also not a Libertarian as I do not believe in open borders and I do believe in helping our less fortunate."

You forgot 4 words on the end. Let me supply them for you: "with other people's money".

Libertarianism gives MASSIVE scope for YOU to help others, for we do not presume to tax your charity away (thus rendering it no longer charity). Under a Libertarian government you would be able to really get involved and make your own choices as to whom you wish to help, or, if you want to, hand it over to an intermediary of your choice to do it for you. What you will NOT be doing is vote in some bully-boy to force others to comply under force of law with your decisions, passive or proactive, which is what happens now.

Think This said...

Only two parties can win the next general election: Labour or the Tories.

To vote for anyone else is a fools game. It achieves nothing.

If you want the government to go, the only way you can achieve that is if the Tories gain enough seats to overthrow them.

The Tories are far better than Labour on the record of the free markets and individual liberty. Thatcher was as close to a libertarian as we will probably ever get in government.

Considering also that it is only 'the big two' who win elections and will continue to do so, I see efforts on any other political parties as a total waste. If you want to influence the governments direction you must use the existing power structures in the form of the Labour of Tory parties in order to bring about change.

Libertarians should join the Tory party to make it more libertarian. This is the only chance of getting a libertarian sympathetic government.

Maturecheese said...

Roger Thornhill,I will try to answer your comment on 'Other peoples money' and just to make it clear this is an income tax paying household.

We have always had a form of tax and income tax has been around since around 1800 (William Pitt) so if we were Libertarian around a hundred years ago, we were also paying income tax. I am all for personal responsibility, laws being obeyed (sensible ones that is and I'm thinking of PC and Health and safety when I say that),crime being punished, borders secured and as small a state as possible but we do need a state to implement these things. We also do need to spend some of that taxation on the unfortunate. The problem we have now is none of the former things I mentioned are in place therefore making the 'unfortunate' artificially big. I think pure Libertarianism is a theory that can't work in practise. (duck)

Budgie said...

Think This said: "To vote for anyone else is a fools game."

No. To vote for either of them is a fool's game. Because they are the same.

Roger Thornhill said: "You forgot 4 words on the end. Let me supply them for you: "with other people's money"."

Assuming you accept an international defence (armed services) and an internal defence (police) you have already conceded the principal that all citizens should pay by universal taxation for state services. So, too, to prevent people starving in the gutters. You cannot guarantee that private charity will be sufficient.

Roger Thornhill said...

Maturecheese,

If Income Tax is abolished, then you are free to continue to donate the money uncollected. I am quite certain that it will do twice as much good per £ than the State ever could, by the fact that you will take care about who gets it directly or indirectly and they know they need to respond to real people and not dance to some abstract political tune. The point is not that YOU want to donate, but that YOU think others won't and so you want to force them to.

Budgie,

I do not concede the "good", but just the necessary evil of taxation. You try and use defence of the Realm internal and external to bootstrap in people "starving in the gutters" which is non-sequitur. You say private charity will not be enough. There is NO SUCH THING AS PUBLIC CHARITY, so the term "private" is meaningless. Who would be responsible for a lack? Look in the mirror. The Libertarian view is about self-responsibility. Those who pay income tax currently can feel false comfort about their abdication and turn back to the TV secure in the thought that they are "doing their bit". This is how we are being dehumanised. The Left rail at Libertarians as if they are somehow selfish and inhuman, which is ironic and hypocritical as the Left are certain that everyone IS, so "They" need to coerce "us" to "behave". Libertarians know most people are basically law abiding, decent and charitable. Charitable if they are not first robbed at gunpoint and see the the fruits of their labour wasted and squandered on all manner of lobbied causes.

The disconnect between giver and receiver (or as it is taxes we should say the taken and the given) dehumanises, nationalises and to all practical and emotional purposes ends any hint of real charity.

If you think private charity will not be enough, get off your backside and go out and ask each individual for more, not vote in some Extortioner In Chief to kick down the doors of working people to make you feel like you "care".

Sorry, I am sounding a bit harsh here, but it has to be said in such terms as so many people just do not understand that the disconnect, the abdication, does not permit one to say they "care" - it is about as phoney as a railway announcement apologising for a delay.

Budgie, I shall presume you are a decent charitable person. What makes you think you are so special. Maybe you are not charitable. If so then don't tar the whole population with the same brush.

Libertarians are basically against forced collectivisation and Nationalised 'charity' is just that. Being a Minarchist I can see the benefit of State run national defence, police, courts. I can also see the need for some years for State involvement in Healthcare and Education FUNDING until people adjust themselves to being self-reliant and exercising their charitable muscles if they wish to to bridge the gap for their fellow Man.

What is not on is Gordon Brown grandstanding and handing over other people's money and acting as he is being "benevolent". It is obscene.

Budgie said...

"You try and use defence of the Realm internal and external to bootstrap in people "starving in the gutters" which is non-sequitur."

It is not a "non-sequitur" because the logic was not a "sequitur" in the first place. You have already conceded the principal of state provision (for internal and external defence), that is the material point. So state charity cannot be rejected in principal, only on pragmatic grounds. All you can do is argue for less of it. And there are very good arguments for less. And I would probably agree with many of them.

"There is NO SUCH THING AS PUBLIC CHARITY, so the term "private" is meaningless."

What complete tosh. Of course there is public charity. Universal taxation to stop people starving in the gutter is public charity. Yes, taxation is an imposition, but so is my having to give twice as much in private charity because you won't give any (for example).

"Those who pay income tax currently can feel false comfort about their abdication ..."

You do not show why the comfort is "false" or why it an "abdication". I would, in fact, vastly reduce the size of the state but taking away the provision for state action other than defence is arbitary (you have already conceded the principal) and cruel (humans like fairness and charity).

All political ideologies are dangerous. And all of them are substitute religions, giving their adherents the warm feeling of belonging and superiority. It is true that libertarianism is no where near as awful as socialism. But libertarianism is the creed of rationalism extended to the limit of mechanistic ridiculousness. We are social animals, prone to sickness and fallibility, who crave family, society and nationhood. Libertarianism only suits the young, healthy and those intolerant of weakness.

North Northwester said...

Maturecheese, you're on exactly the right track now: if I spelled better I could have written your first comment - and the great thing about this traditional conservative lark is that there's so much of it to go at.
Why not come over to my blog for the kind of social conservatism that only a REAL man can give?

;-)

Sean Gabb does indeed speak the truth - and it hurts because he's the sort of libertarian who recognises where liberty actually comes from and therefore how to preserve it, and it's going to take a lot more than messing with the marginal rates of income tax and some helicopters to fix.

Our enemy started in earnest decades ago with Gramsci, and has been destroying our institutions by subverting our countrymens' minds. I would agree that Maggie (PBUH) was as close to a libertarian as we're likely to have for generations - but have come to realize that we need to fight another kind of war against them.

Think This "Only two parties can win the next general election: Labour or the Tories.To vote for anyone else is a fools game. It achieves nothing."

Actually. I think that it would. I think that limiting Mr Cameron's 'Conservative' majority would indicate that his throwing the Right-wing baby out with the bathwater - and then throwing away the bath ISN'T a recipe for electoral strength.
Under this ultra-Left leadership, they have abandoned millions of true-blue voters and many activists. If they win and win big, then Callmedave'll be able to say "Abandon all principles, ye who enter here, and look at the huge majority it won."
Which will mean that every conservative vote for his premiership thereafter will be wasted.

A UKIP vote is brake on that - and a warning: the Americans aren't the only people wjho can make tea.

indigomyth said...

Budgie said,

//Of course there is public charity. Universal taxation to stop people starving in the gutter is public charity. //

But that is not charity. Would you call it charity if I mugged you in the street, using threats of force, but then gave all the money I took from you to feed a starving person? Would that be "charitable" on your part? On mine? Would it be right for me to mug you to feed someone else? I would argue not. Or do you think taking someone's money, earned through hard work and dedication, using threat of imprisonment or force, is a morally good thing?

//humans like fairness and charity//

I like freedom much, much, much more.

//We are social animals, prone to sickness and fallibility, who crave family, society and nationhood. Libertarianism only suits the young, healthy and those intolerant of weakness.//

Yes, and libertarians recognise that we are social animals. That is why all libertarians support free association. The only difference is that libertarians believe that the association should be voluntary and consenting; not mandated by a central power through threats of violence.

And, if you are correct that we are social animals then it should not be necessary to force people to give money. If people are inherently social, then why do you need to force people to give money? If people inherently care about the sick, weak and frail, then why do we need laws to make people give money. It is quite simple; either people are inherently social animals that care about each other, in which case laws mandating payment for care are unnecessary, or people are not inherently social animals that do not care about each other, in which case imposing laws are a violation of their nature, their liberty, and their freedom.

To be honest, I would permit making national defence an optional payment. However, that only works once we stop making private ownership of guns and weapons so legally difficult. Look at the Michigan militia, an armed resistance group. I have often thought this before; if it really is a choice between an authoritarian society, and anarchy, then I choose anarchy.

Roger Thornhill said...

Budgie,

Your statement IS sequitur for your logic for one you presume means another is so as a natural progression. You believe it is of a lump which is just not true, even if you wish to believe it so.

State "charity" is different from defending the realm. Do you actually wish to argue the toss over THAT? Please.

As for your assertion that Public "Charity" is "charity", how can it be when it is not by consent? Where is the human connection between giver and receiver which is the essence of charity? I will not accept the disingenuous answer that "democracy" - Tyranny of the Majority (and often as now, a minority) means consent is somehow granted. It is not.

Further, it is no "imposition" upon you to pay more - how dare you suggest so, btw - for you to do what YOU want to do and what YOU think you should do while another might not. Your talk is of the ghastly collectivism, "social rights" and its bastard offspring "social justice" vein that JS Mill so rightly condemned as monstrous. Your talk is Totalitarian and Authoritarian. You confuse the "should" with the "must". And to make it clear I think people SHOULD look after the weak, but that is my personal opinion and I would not insist they MUST - it is for me to do and encourage when I can, not demand.

"You do not show why the comfort is "false" or why it an "abdication". I would, in fact, vastly reduce the size of the state but taking away the provision for state action other than defence is arbitary (you have already conceded the principal) and cruel (humans like fairness and charity)."

I think I have - people feel that if they pay taxes, then welfare of one group or another is covered, sorted by that. I speak about the disconnect. Maybe you should re-read. It is also not "cruel" as that is a proactive word and implies malice aforethought which is absurd.

You keep banging on that I "concede the principal" (sic)* as if I am some ideologue. You could not be further from the truth. Rather, you are demanding I comply with your ideology under pain of imprisonment.

As for your para on Libertarianism, you sound like you are talking about what some kind of Randism or some such. Yes we are social animals, NOT slaves, not property, chattel, or obedient of the State, but sovereign individuals who wish to engage in freedom of association and to help the other when they can. Are you demanding we have no choice over who that other is and when that help is extracted? Yes, I think so via your nationalisation of the process.

As to the last:

"Libertarianism only suits the young, healthy and those intolerant of weakness."

In your dreams. A nice convenient lie (for you) to demonise and then feel better about your own views. Your weird definition of Libertarianism would mean that it would not "suit" me at all. But seeing as you are utterly wrong, it does.

What is laughable is that a Libertarian government would not concern itself as you get on with your own view on social provision just as long as you did not use coercion to achieve it. Can you say the same? No, most certainly you cannot.


* I wish my bank would.

Budgie said...

Indigomyth, Roger Thornhill ...

Once you have accepted the principal of universal taxation for a state service, that principal logically must apply to any service. Your only recourse is pragmatism.

Moreover, you see the word 'social' and forget the word 'animal' - we are not machines so do not take kindly to ideological absolutes. Thus the general tendency of your arguments only reinforces the truth of my statement that "libertarianism is the creed of rationalism extended to the limit of mechanistic ridiculousness."

Typical of those in the thrall of an ideology you complain that I am coercing you, without realising that your ideology would coerce me. Rigidly imposed libertarianism is quite as totalitarian as any other ideology. If the majority prefer to live in a society with universal taxation, what are going to do? Force them to stop?

indigomyth said...

Budgie,

//Rigidly imposed libertarianism is quite as totalitarian as any other ideology. If the majority prefer to live in a society with universal taxation, what are going to do? Force them to stop?//

Yes, but the majority have no right to theaten the minority by force to give up their property. I notice you did not say whether you thought mugging someone and then giving their money away counted as charity, yet that is what taxation is; state organised mugging.

Yes, I believe it is entirely permissable to force people to stop taking my money, without my consent. Just as I would viciously defend myself against a mugger, it is an individuals right to protect themselves against the will of the majority.

It is absurd to say that stopping the majority from enslaving the minority is, itself, enslavement.

Here is a question for you: if the majority want to live in a world where black people are treated like cattle, and where woman are killed for speaking out of turn, do you think that the majority has the right to do that?

//Once you have accepted the principal of universal taxation for a state service, that principal logically must apply to any service.//

I can't speak for Roger, but I have said that I would consider getting rid of all taxation. To return to your example about defence spending; what right has the majority to demand from a pacifist conscientious objector, money to pay for killing machines? That is just more mugging of the individual.

Indeed, I cannot think of any state-provided service that I would not at least consider making voluntarily to supported.

//Moreover, you see the word 'social' and forget the word 'animal' - we are not machines so do not take kindly to ideological absolutes.//

I do like ideological absolutes (freedom and liberty). I guess I am not an animal then, am I? The fact that other people may be too animalistic to appreciate liberty, does not give them the right to threaten me with force to give them my money.

Simple question to you; do you believe it is permissable / right to use violence to take what does not belong to you?

Budgie said...

I could not believe you meant to be serious when you claimed that (universal) taxation was "state organised mugging" so did not bother to refute it. By any dictionary definitions of the English words, 'taxation' is clearly not 'state mugging'. Satisfied? I thought not - but re-defining your words to make your 'clever' point is neither logical, right, nor sensible, and does not convince me.

If you do not accept the necessity of internal and external defence your wonderful libertarian 'society' (will it be a society at all?) won't exist for 5 minutes. Once the principle of taxation/state services are accepted you cannot argue in principle against them, only pragmatically.

And, yes, forcing me to give more in an individual act of charity to save someone starving in the gutter, because a libertarian will not give any, is just as much coercion as universal taxation. Indeed more so, since an individual refusal to give charity wrongs both the supplicant and those who do give.

Perhaps I should stop talking about your religion for a moment and get back to everyday reality? Our current state wastes taxation by the bucket load and worse pays out our money to prop itself up. The state also engages in 'tax and hand back' to extend its power. These are wrong for sound pragmatic reasons and it should be the aim of good government to eliminate them. A minimalist state that taxes in a fair and proportionate way for agreed state services, taxes by consent. But how minimal a minimalist state should be is a matter of pragmatic argument, not a matter of ideological absolutes.

indigomyth said...

Budgie,
//And, yes, forcing me to give more in an individual act of charity to save someone starving in the gutter, because a libertarian will not give any//

And what definition of "force" are you using? Will someone be threatening you with imprisonment or violence if you do not give money? No? Well then how are you being forced to give more money? The fact that your feelings compel you to give more is not another persons responsibility; try taking responsibility for your own emotions! Indeed, you are forcing yourself to give the extra money. Or perhaps the person starving in the gutter is forcing you to give the extra money. But me? Not a jot.

//I could not believe you meant to be serious when you claimed that (universal) taxation was "state organised mugging" so did not bother to refute it. By any dictionary definitions of the English words, 'taxation' is clearly not 'state mugging'. Satisfied? I thought not - but re-defining your words to make your 'clever' point is neither logical, right, nor sensible, and does not convince me.//

Define exactly for me how, in reality, taxation is not state approved mugging? I have shown logically how it is like mugging, I have highlighted the similarities, in terms of the relationships between the people involved. You have yet to show one iota of logical proof that it is definitely different. So, one person takes my money using threat of violence against me, and that is theft; if thirty million do it, that is taxation. Yet the threat of violence is still the same, as is my unwillingness to give it. So how does it differ, in reality?

What the dictionary says is irrelevant in terms of the moral lessons and ethical considerations and comparisons between taxation and theft. My dictionary (OED, of course) says that tax is "money that must be paid to the state, charged as a proportion of personal income and business profits...". It defines taxation as "the imposition of tax". Now, I do not know about you, but when you "impose" (OED: 1. introduce something that must be obeyed or done: 2. FORCE something to be accepted) something, you do not do it by consent. If I impose upon you, then I do so without your consent.

Interestingly, the OED definition of "steal" is, 'take something without permission and without intending to return it". Well, from what I can see, the definitions of "steal" and "taxation" seem to be rather complementary, don't you? (I anticipate you saying that we get some of the money back - that may be so, but the state still keeps some, so it becomes like a mugger who takes your wallet, credit cards and car keys, but gives you back the loose change. Gee thanks!)

//If you do not accept the necessity of internal and external defence your wonderful libertarian 'society' (will it be a society at all?) won't exist for 5 minutes. Once the principle of taxation/state services are accepted you cannot argue in principle against them, only pragmatically.//

Hmm, you missed my point about armed individuals and groups like the Michigan Militia. It seems like the armed people in Afghanistan are resisting the coordinated efforts of the most advanced militaries in the world.

If I could own an M16, I am damn sure that most people would think twice before trying to impose their will on me. And get a gang of me and my friends, who just want to live in peace and harmony together, and arm us against coercion and force, then see how much we can resist being subdued.

//A minimalist state that taxes in a fair and proportionate way for agreed state services, taxes by consent.//

No it does not, because if it was by consent, then everyone would do it voluntarily, and no law would be needed. The fact is that it is not taking the money of everyone by consent, therefore it is robbing them.

indigomyth said...

I want to add that I would be quite prepared to give a portion of my salary to go towards helping the less fortunate. What infuriates me is the state compulsion to do so. I recognise that some people will not contribute to the pot, but it is their right to do so. It just means that they will not reap the benefit of the investment.

HarryTheHorse said...

I want to add that I would be quite prepared to give a portion of my salary to go towards helping the less fortunate. What infuriates me is the state compulsion to do so

Then move to a state that does not require you to do so. I believe some oil rich principalities have no income tax. Of course some of their other practices may offend your libertarian sensitivities; but, hey, utopia doesn't and can never exist.