I’m glad discussions on policy are happening across the country. I had more than a little concern that policy would fall off the radar after the elections and during the holiday season. Fortunately, I have observed everything from concerns over the fate of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to quite a lot of discussion on taxation. Taxation is especially important to me.
I am an advocate for a fully voluntary society, free of governmental compulsion wherever possible. For instance, I support a completely draft-free, voluntary military. Those who want to serve and possibly go to war are free to do so. Those who do not wish to take on the possibility of fighting a war they might oppose are free to sit on the sidelines. I like US policy on military service.
I hold the ability to withhold participation in accordance with one’s conscience as the hallmark of freedom. The more a government allows you to choose to sit on the sidelines, the freer the society.
I oppose the use of force to achieve political goals. To use the same example’s flipside, I oppose impressment into military service. Aside from the practical considerations of the effectiveness of troops made to fight against their will, there is the more important consideration of the will of the individual citizen. Is this person merely a subject? A pawn to be used at the discretion of another human being?
No. Not in a truly free society.
The question of taxation can be a vexing one. I’m not an anarchist. I do believe that there are a good number of a society’s functions that are best managed collectively, and I do believe that these need to be paid for. At the same time, I hold that most of the functions of most of the governments in the United States (whether federal, state, or local) are outside of the parameters of those best managed collectively.
For the person who believes completely that all of the things your taxes pay for a justified and correct, keep on paying those taxes and wear that grin.
But, if you oppose having to pay for those things you do not believe in, shouldn’t you get to opt out? Must you be forced to pay, even though your conscience and your best judgment tell you the funding should be withheld?
In today’s political climate, we are told that those who wish to keep all of their income rather than to surrender it to taxation are greedy.
I cannot help but think of slaves, who are denied any measure of the fruits of their labor while another man appropriates that wealth. Of course, that’s a 100% proposition. What about the middle class family that suffers a 50% appropriation at the hands of the government?
Isn’t greed better described as wanting to take from man what he owns and to use it to achieve a political goal that the man suffering confiscation doesn’t even share?
To those who would use force to achieve their political goals- I’m talking about Progressives and Socialists especially here, but also the vast majority of Democrats and a slim majority of Republicans- answer me this:
What makes slavery wrong? What principle makes it abhorrent?
The principle is self-determination. Self-ownership.
Note to everyone: this means, you own your body.
Clarification for those on ‘The Right’: This means, you can do what you want to do with your body, no matter how stupid it seems to someone else. You can pump drugs into it, sell it to be used sexually, take it to any country you wish it to visit- anything, so long as you do not initiate force or fraud on another human being.
Clarification for those on ‘The Left’: This means, when you use the body to earn money, you earned it, it’s your money. By the way, the mind is part of the body.
It always has mystified me how people on ‘The Left’ can get that government has no place telling people how to use their minds and bodies in the home, but yet insist that government has a rightful place telling people how to use their minds and bodies in commerce. Similarly, ‘The Right’ can get that the mind and body should be free in commerce, so long as it isn’t commerce that may satisfy the mind or body for pleasure at home. Talk about cognitive dissonance.Powered by Sidelines