by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist
Theft is defined as the illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s freely given consent. The pertinent word in the context of whether taxation is theft is the word “illegal”.
If I take your watch, car, money without your permission it is pretty clearly theft. It is “illegal”. It is also immoral.
So if the government takes money from a citizen, or many citizens, without their permission, is it theft, or has it somehow been made “legal” (and moral)? Does an Act of Parliament that “legalises by legislation” what would otherwise be clearly illegal, make it properly legal? And does this apply to any taking of property without a person’s freely given consent? Can the Parliament thus make legal that which was previously illegal merely by enacting a piece of legislation?
Now there are some Constitutional constraints on what a government in power can do, but these seem to be pretty ineffective when it comes to the government taking what it wants to take, without the permission of the person whose property is thus stolen. If the Constitution clearly stated that “The Parliament shall enact no law that violates the property of a person or group of people”, then it would seem pretty clear that taxation is theft.
So we are left with a Constitution that allows theft, and other violations of person and property, simply by the passing of a piece of legislation that “legalises” it. Acts that would be illegal and immoral under any concept of natural law are made “legal” by the stroke of a parliamentary pen.
And so it is with “slavery”. It is clearly illegal and immoral for one person or group to enslave another and force them to do what they would otherwise not want to do; but if the government wants to get people to do what they might otherwise not do (like go to war and kill people), then all they have to do is enact a piece of legislation that allows, and makes compulsory often, conscription in an army, whence the conscriptee becomes, by any definition, a slave, perhaps also a murderer. Thus government by the stroke of a parliamentary pen legalises slavery.
We live in a Democracy, a Constitutional Democracy, whereby the people vote to elect the government (and in Australia voting is compulsory, so is this not another example of “legalised” slavery?), and so it is held that such theft and such slavery is legal because a majority have elected a government that enacts the laws that make it so.
But what about the people who did not vote for this party and government? Are they, too, bound to be slaves and victims of theft? Does the very act of voting legitimise the government to rule over even those who did not vote for it?
Can something that is clearly illegal, unethical and immoral (theft and slavery) be legitimised and legalised by legislation? And can it too be thus made “moral and ethical”?
The government clearly tries to legitimise and make moral and ethical its Tax Laws by calling people “tax cheats” who don’t pay what they decree to be “the right amount of tax”. People who, through wanting to keep what they feel is rightfully theirs, or through ignorance of the ever-changing tax rules, can be labelled tax cheats, tax evaders and be forced to pay their “Fair Share”.
Those in the government, politicians and bureaucrats, don’t pay tax. They think they do because they are subject in this respect to the same tax rules as everyone else, but what they are really doing is “paying back” some of what is taken from real tax-payers, the tax producers. Those in government are tax consumers. Should these tax-takers be the ones who are labelled “tax cheats”?
- Welcome from Neville Kennard
- Think Tanks Don't Work
- "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
- The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
- Corporate Welfare
- Citizenship for Sale?
- I Don't Vote
- Voting: Right or Privilege?
- Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
- Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
- Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
- Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
- Government Likes War
- Collusion is Our Right
- Why Not the Drug Olympics?
- Unconventional Wisdom
- Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
- Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
- Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
- Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
- Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
- Separating Sport and State
- Your Home is Not an Investment
- Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
- A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
- Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
- Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
- What is a good Australian?
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- The Market Failure Industry
- Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
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- The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
- The Tannehills
- Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
- Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
- Minarchy vs Anarchy
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- Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
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- The Tyranny of the Majority
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- The Immorality of Trade Unions
- "America" vs "The United States"
- Sweet Anarchy
- The Illusion of "Job Creation"
- Gold Is Money
- Guilty Capitalists
- Prosperity vs Growth
- Capitalism vs Democracy
- More people = More fun
- Self-Ownership - the very idea!
- Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
- The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
- Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
- My Journey to Anarchy:
From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
- Government Needs Bad Guys –
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- What Is Obscene?
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- Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
- Neville Kennard Obituary