There are many books, and articles, on libertarianism. Most of them seem to fit into two basic genres: 1) deep libertarian theory/thought and 2) collections of anecdotes illustrating the abuses of government. While the second genre seems to be somewhat popular for mass consumption, the general public tends to ignore the first genre. Horror stories of government abuse, such as those found in John Stossel‘s books and “Lost Rights” by James Bovard (which I just got finished reading) make people angry – but they don’t do a good job of educating people as to the basic tenets of liberty. Much is assumed and people rely on their innate sense of right and wrong. Unfortunately, that sense has been compromised through generations of government education and trashy television.
Here I just wanted to remind people what “money” really is and why taxation equals slavery. If I perform a service for somebody, I get paid in “money”. So, in this sense, “money” is just a means to store credit for my labor – to be used at a later time. If we had agreed, instead, that the beneficiary of my labor would repay me with his own labor, then money would not be necessary for this transaction. It is only because I wish to use my labor-credit later on (or with somebody else) that money is used in this instance. Whether I get paid in precious metal, coins or pieces of paper, the value of that “money” is only symbolic. In the final analysis it is only an IOU. It holds the value of my labor for later use.
When I use that money later on, I am actually trading my labor. What if I got that money for goods instead of services? It’s the same thing. The goods can only be created via labor – either through transforming them from raw material into a useful product or by transporting them to those who need them. Either way, labor is necessary. If I used money to buy those goods and then resold them, it still all goes back to labor no matter how many times the original labor is removed. “Labor” can be hard, back-breaking physical work or it could be talking or writing. It’s all still labor. I can receive the labor of somebody else through gift or inheritance.
If somebody takes my money, then really they are taking my labor. If somebody steals my money, it’s the same thing as stealing my labor. It means that I had worked for free. If I consent to such takings, then I would be volunteering my labor – doing the other party a favor. If the taking is not by my consent, then it turns out that I was being forced to work for free. In other words, I was a slave.
We often hear people claim that they consent to taxation. That they consider their contribution to be a sign of good citizenship. I believe that most of them are lying because their actions say otherwise. They do anything in their power to minimize their taxes, spending countless hours finding imaginative techniques to increase their “deductions”. Most people would avoid paying taxes altogether if they could. There are some taxes that almost nobody actually pays because it is so easy to hide those taxable activities from the government. Use tax is a good example of this.
Many will ask, “how could society function without taxes?”. Much has been written to answer this question and I will not address it here. But, even if taxation is necessary, we could reword the question thus: how could society function without slavery? I’m sure some ancient Romans asked the same question. Slavery is slavery, whether it is “necessary” or not.