Many libertarians are obsessed with their hypothetical presentations, meme generations and backfiring discussions on “Taxation is theft”. It’s a very rare opportunity to behold the specific solutions or alternatives to taxation, in their discourses. I am not questioning the social media activities of these “Taxation is theft” libertarians or anarchists, but however, it adds more value to our discussion with the pigeons (statists) when they are frequently looking out to shit over our chessboard.
It is splendid to behold my amigos “triggering” the pigeons about consent, choice and coercion. Without this activity, it is impossible to counter the hallucinating culture. This activity is a prime example of peaceful education, which the statists must understand, because libertarians or anarchists are not using force, violence or government to put forward their premises. In this whole saga, triggering action is a password to unlock the cognitive revolution. It should ratiocinate the whole point with solutions, because statists are not intellectually fit to take their own discretion in suggesting the alternatives.
In this blog, I am not spending much time in explaining “why taxation is theft?” as there are many memes, blogs, podcasts, debates, etc. available online. But, you may still reuse my short youtube video (graffiti art) on the whole crux:
Taxation is not a good mean (not meme) of exchange because tax collection does not involve consent. It enlists force and fear. To suggest that “taxation is a better alternative” is to submit ourselves to the government. In this whole so-called give-and-take policy, the size of the government cannot get smaller. Therefore, it is a moral duty to disobey against this injustice, inequality, idiocy and imbecility.
Taxation system is a manifestation of the imposed order. In this order, the unaccountable government enjoys monopoly on expropriating your labor and wealth. Your tacit expression, at the cost of others’ liberties, isn’t a valid evidence to legitimize the nannyism of the government. Got a social contract? Well, alternative to the imposed order system (statism) is a catallaxy of spontaneous order (free market voluntaryism), which is more scopic to uplift the mankind from the shackles of modern slavery.
Taxation isn’t a guarantee of economic freedom because only one entity (government) is privileged to decide the budgetary-allocation processes. The decision is surely not under your will or discretion once you have paid the taxes (after wondering “who will build the roads?”). Whereas, free market voluntaryism is like a catallactic order in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market (unlike Venezuela) and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government (price-setting monopoly) or other authority. It is a result of a need being, then the need being met.
Taxation is a fantasy, which is backed by a stock of unreadable legislations to make it look ‘real’. If at all taxation is a good idea then why would moral ideas like taxation or welfarism require force or collective violence? On the other hand, free market voluntaryism is not a robotic science. People are willing to buy and sell their goods or services without imposing their statism because the whole exchange is mutually beneficial to all the parties involved. You won’t trade if you dislike the good or service. You will choose some other ‘better’ entity, whereas taxation guarantees you to use and reuse your benevolent potholes, inefficient public goods and the public debt.
My blog “Who will build the roads?” explains the political economy of spontaneous order. One must read it to understand the maths of free market. When it comes to other externalities in our economy, I don’t think that it can be addressed by the government because the omniscient-omnipotent-omnipresent entity cannot even “internalise the cost of externalities” without resorting to taxes, fiat money or guns. Therefore, it is coherent to state that “there’s nothing called market failure”. In fact, market failure is a paradox.
Without government, there can be many ‘competing’ private or social agencies which would take care of our external needs without using force or violence. These voluntary organisations, unlike the government, would easily raise money without coercion; that refrains from telling consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs on how to run their businesses and their lives; and that does not prevent competitors in the fields of arbitration and protection services from competing with itself on the free market.
But then the question arises, how would such private organisations fund themselves if they have no power to force people to surrender their savings? There are three general ways a private or voluntary organisation can raise revenue, according to my comrade Alex Peak, and they are as follows:
> User fees,
> Lotteries, and
> Endowments or general donations.
It is a general belief that any function of government that we believe is vital to civilisation can be provided for by the free market, so let us first consider user fees. Of course, if there’s demand for a certain service, then there’s money to be made. Someone will naturally create a supply.
Let’s take for instance something most people generally agree is a necessary service of government: police protection. Could the free market handle this? In fact, the free market has already handled this in some areas where the government was doing an overly poor job. Protection agencies can easily be created, since there is undeniably a demand for protection from rape, theft, and murder. And, it’s quite arguable that such a private system would function even more efficiently than our current system.
Consider, what happens in our current system, if the police do a poor job and crime rates rise: People say, “We need to give the police more money.” If you were to get paid more, when you don’t do as well, what incentive would you have to improve? Competing protection agencies, for example, know that if they don’t do a good job, they’ll lose you as a customer, that you’ll purchase the safety provided by another agency. So, to ensure they get as much money as they can, they’ll provide the best police protection they can. Desire for profit (what some decry as “greed”) is an amazing motivator.
Lotteries are easy to understand. People buy lottery tickets in the hopes of winning a cash prize. The government or organisation pays out the cash prize to the individual that wins, and the rest of the money collected goes toward funding the activities the organisation or government wishes to pursue. People, of course, have an incentive to play even if they do not care about the organisation’s operations because playing affords them the opportunity to win some amount of money. But, the governmental administration would even tax your prize. Thus, alternative to taxation in this matter could also be a lottery system wherein the agencies would succeed in allocating the services efficiently (without resorting to ineptocracy).
Endowments or general donations
War is the health of the government. You need war if you are a nationalist or eleutherophobic. I don’t think that war is a solution. Yes, conflicts would be there, but to resolve it or to minimize it is to take the means of trading, exchanges and companionship. If you cannot trust people with economic freedom then how can you easily trust people with reckless power? The burden of proof is on the statists to answer this question.
Private or other collective agencies would also find ‘war’ to be an unaffordable activity. But, however, there could be some statists who would be surely unwilling to change their beliefs for the sake of egotism. In his book Libertarianism in One Lesson, David Bergland writes that one way to pay for defence without having to resort to taxation…is to set up a Defence Endowment. (Personally, I am more persuaded by the “War Destruction Insurance” idea that Bergland also discusses, but I digress.) With such an endowment, people could donate to the cause of defence and self-defence, and know that their money will be spent on that purpose, and not diverted to other unproductive activities. In this matrix, the features of NAP are also vitally valid.
I would request you to also look up Hans Hoppe take on the most difficult subject in economic and political theory: the provision of security. He argues that the service is better provided by free markets than government, while addressing a hundred counter-arguments, here.
Not everyone who supports the abolition of taxation is an anarchist. Objectivists (devotees of Ayn Rand), for example, correctly argue for the minimization of taxation, recognising it for the unethical violation of property rights it is. However, they usually do not draw the conclusion that the state itself necessarily violates natural law.
Ultimately, the anarchist’s primary goal is to abolish the entire state apparatuses. The state, as I understand, in this piece, is any organisation that requires the use of aggression (the initiation of force) in order to exist and attempts to maintain a monopoly on the use of force within a given region. Such an organisation is necessary criminal, even if it is voluntarily funded, for the same reason a voluntarily-funded gang of rapists is naturally criminal. Merely abolishing coercive taxation will not alone, therefore, abolish the state, although it is certainly a desirable interim measure nonetheless. You may start with agorism for now or with other peaceful means to counter the inflationary fascism of the government. Thus, it stands to reason that the anarchists or libertarians naturally support the replacing of taxation at gunpoint with voluntary alternatives such as user fees, lotteries, and endowments.
About the Author
Prof. Jaimine Vaishnav is an anarcho-capitalist based in Mumbai, India. His hobbies are about defending the liberties of all his dissents without charging any fee.