Do Not Worry About Paying Taxes

June 8th, 2011   Submitted by valhelion

Some old roman guy, Marcus Tullius Cicero to be wikipedially exact, said that the sinews of war are infinite money.  The state’s minions only have three ways of getting the money that their war machine needs to stay strong; debt, currency debasing, and taxation.  There isn’t anything we can do about the first two. But when it comes to taxes, a common theme I have seen in the liberty movement is to avoid earning money altogether to avoid paying into the system.  This might be a worthwhile strategy.

If you are fresh off the boat and have only recently stepped foot onto the stable intellectual territory of voluntaryism, you might be anxious as hell to learn that you are a milk-cow with giant, pink teats.  I know I was.  If you aren’t anxious, then puff, puff, pass please.  I became a nervous wreck when I disembarked the badly listing Ship of Statism for the first time.  I saw that the financial storm was starting to ravage the ship back in ’08, and that rattled my worldview enough to where I set out looking for a life-raft of answers.  If you would have told me that I would eventually wind up on Anarchy Isle, I would have laughed at you, and then probably called the cops, as were my evil, statist ways at the time.  I’m sure they could have found you guilty of something, especially if you just took my advice on the puffing and passing.

When I first learned about self-ownership, individual sovereignty, the non-aggression principle, the subjective theory of value, and especially where those flimsy green pieces of paper with crusty old guys’ pictures on them come from, for the first time in my life, I saw “the farm” as Stefan Molyneaux says.  Everywhere I looked I found coercion, intimidation, and confiscation.  I soon became a worthless employee as it made me feel guilty to work for a business that only survived because the car companies and banks got bailed out.  I began thinking it was my moral duty to be unproductive and do everything I could to stall the “machine.”

I had many dreams at the time, some of which I thought could really make me a lot of money.  My dreams have always focused on some economic niche that seemed obvious, but unexploited.  Most ideas required too much capital as it were and capital was something of which I have never had much.  But when I learned that I was a piece of human livestock, meant to support people in power, the thought of making millions and handing over a large chunk of it galled me.  Loopholes aside, a corporate tax rate of thirty five percent on a million bucks is three hundred fifty thousand Fed notes.  Why in the world would I have to give those thugs that much money, for no good reason at all?

When I was a statist, I was happy to fork over my tax dollars because I thought that was the price of “society.”  I felt like I was doing my part to keep things humming along. Being a part of the most kick-ass nation on the planet meant I was morally obliged to contribute for all those awesome aircraft carriers and stealth bombers.  Man, I felt like I was somebody special.

But when I realized that all of those aircraft carriers and stealth bombers were pissing off the other six billion people, and that some of them were motivated enough to blow themselves up just to kill a few people that lived in the same pasture as me, I really saw my “contribution” in a whole new light.  I felt dirty and rotten and I didn’t want to do “my part” anymore for the most ass-kicking nation on the planet.

And that is what this post is about: guilt.

These idiots who fancy themselves to be the high potentates of the Bald Eagle Tribe depend on your continued guilt to keep things humming along.  You see, all of their schemes depend on you forking over your hard won effort.  So naturally, when I realized that these people were sociopaths, the last thing I wanted to do was hand them any more of my flesh.  They want you to feel guilty for not paying your “fair share.”

I eventually turned this into a kind of virtue where I imagined that if I stopped paying my debt, got on welfare, engineered unemployment, or even went to jail, I could help hasten the demise of this beast by starving it of what it needs.  Every time I saw a patrol car sitting sinisterly behind the bushes awaiting its next victim, I would get angry, and would spend the next twenty minutes of my drive engaged in a verbal shouting match with no one at all about how evil that cop was for preying upon people who hadn’t harmed anyone.  I can only imagine how funny it must have been to the people in the other lane.  Or maybe they thought I was completely nuts.  My guilty feelings about paying these vampires overwhelmed me and I was perpetually anxious.  It didn’t do any favors to my health. That’s for sure.

But, as is the case with life, I was wrong to feel guilty.  The truth is, I am a captive on their little game preserve and they are gonna get their meat and trophy antlers one way or the other.  I’m gonna lose no matter what I do.  Either I lose a portion of the wealth I create to the strong-box of those fiends, or I lose the opportunity to take care of myself and everyone else.  Everything has an opportunity cost, even inaction.

As Viktor Frankl, a nazi death camp surivor said, “when we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

We can’t stop the state from robbing us blind, and throwing us under the tank tracks when it no longer needs us, but we can choose how we are going to live, faced with that fact.  Any work I perform will benefit me much more than some bureaucrat in an office.  For each round of ammo, medicare pill, or ear of subsidized corn my stolen dollars fund, I gain much more opportunity from the remainder to get out and tell people the truth.  I could start a company and make a film about liberty, or buy up some land for a liberty settlement, or even create some television ads.  Those outcomes are much more worthwhile than me digging around at home in the dirt trying to scratch out a life just to avoid paying a tax.  If you want to convince your soft statist neighbors and friends of the righteousness of voluntaryism, do you think they are more likely to listen to you if you are wealthy, or destitute?

So don’t sacrifice yourself, not even to starve the state. Because any money the state takes from us at this point is just a speck of dust compared to the universe of debt this monster has created.  The paltry amount of wealth you’ll hand over in taxes will only delay the death of the state for a fraction of a second, so don’t feel guilty about making money to live and prosper with. Guilt allows them to control how you react.  Don’t let them. It will benefit you, me, and the liberty movement much more to earn, save, and prepare for when the old dragon finally breaths its last, puny puff of smoke.

So, get out there and make some damn money for yourself!  Once you start earning you will start learning about how to keep it out of their grubby, little hands.

24 Responses to “Do Not Worry About Paying Taxes”

  1. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    A dissenting opinion, for sure, but one made respectably well.

  2. KathyNo Gravatar says:

    I really enjoyed this article! Very clever language and I thought the writer made his point well. If one can create a business and thrive without feeding the State, all the better. But to starve just to make a point doesn’t work. The State couldn’t care less, frankly, since we know taxation is only one form for them to generate revenue. Thrive in spite of the State and commit a portion of your income to bringing it down.

  3. BrettNo Gravatar says:

    As Murray Rothbard said in The Ethics of Liberty, you have the right to resist a thief, but the expediency of it is another question. You are not responsible if someone robs you and uses your goods to harm others. They are responsible for it. Morally, you aren’t responsible. However, if you want money and you want to keep it away from the government, you have to take a risk and practice civil disobedience. If you want to be safe and keep the state from funds, then be poor and risk not being able to make a positive difference for liberty…and so on. Know you aren’t morally responsible for the state and simply understand the trade-offs.

  4. AndrewNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Rothbard that we cannot be held morally culpable for how the state uses the property it robs from us.

    But I do disagree with the author’s notion that those who avoid earning FRNs to avoid paying taxes contribute less to the cause of freedom than they would otherwise. We have no way of predicting how our actions will affect our friends and associates as regards the “righteousness of voluntaryism.” Whether they are likely to listen to us may have less to do with demonstrable material wealth than with aspects of character such as personal integrity, leadership by example, humility, and philosophical consistency. Think Thoreau.

    A somewhat minor, but relevant editorial note: If the author is concerned about the intellectual quality of his impression on his ‘statist neighbors and friends,” he should be careful to use proper English throughout the article. Repeated use of slang contractions such as “gonna” is annoying and distracting to serious readers. This is a written essay, after all.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      If there is any poor grammar or slang in this article I take full responsibility, being the editor and all. But I have no idea what you’re talking about here. I don’t see the word “gonna” written anywhere in this article, nor other slang words for that matter. Could I be missing something?

      • AndrewNo Gravatar says:

        The author has a flair for writing and I meant no criticism of his overall skill. But here is what I saw in the paragraph fifth from the end.

        “The truth is, I am a captive on their little game preserve and they are gonna get their meat and trophy antlers one way or the other. I’m gonna lose no matter what I do.”

        This detracts IMHO from an otherwise commendable piece.

        Sorry if I seemed overly harsh.

        Regards.

        • valhelionNo Gravatar says:

          Thanks for the criticism. I tend to prefer flavorful language and I like to write as if I were having a conversation with someone as opposed to sounding more professorial. If it is distracting, however, I’ll tone it down in the future.

        • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

          I see now. I must have read right through it and not even noticed. Normally, I would have changed that to “going to.” Does anybody else have any opinions on the matter?

    • MoTNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve seen “serious” essays on major web sites with numerous errors. But no matter what you should direct your comments in private rather than play the part of grammatical gate keeper. What is more important? The spirit or letter?

      • AndrewNo Gravatar says:

        The spirit, of course, is more important. However, our honest friend valhelion says that his use of “flavorful, ” more conversational verbiage was a conscious choice, not an unintentional error.

        Whenever I submit written material, I want my errors, grammatical or otherwise, to be corrected, whether publicly or privately. Constructive editorial criticism is especially appreciated, but even if a response seems negative or disrespectful, I still want to hear it. Emotionally honest feedback supports my own simple-minded struggle to improve my ability to articulate thoughts and feelings as succinctly and convincingly as possible.

        Since we mostly preach to the choir in these dialogues, one of SK’s objectives, I assumed, was to help each other become stronger exponents of truth and freedom.

        Regards.

  5. valhelionNo Gravatar says:

    Also, why is my comment picture angry? I’m not angry! Really!

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      These wavatars crack me up, especially the ones where the person looks soooooooo depressed. Brutal.

  6. charley hardmanNo Gravatar says:

    most will not detect the rot at the foundation of the post. the post was written not as advice to voluntarists, but to assuage and protect the author’s psyche now that he’s apparently decided to treat systematic robbery as less than exceptional robbery. the first part of the post is why i retired at 40. recognizing state supremacist thievery as worse than “honest” thievery is why i stay retired.
    filling out “your state paperwork” is at least the equal of inviting hooligans into your home and presenting your ass. acquiescence, however occasionally necessary, is never noble — should never be treated as glibly as here. it sucks.

    • valhelionNo Gravatar says:

      I treat all robbery the same; as an act of aggression.

      The point of the article, is to share the idea that it might be wise to consider opportunity costs when contemplating how to respond to state aggression.

      It seems that you are blaming the victim and imply that to submit to coercion is comparable to coercion itself and is therefore to be repudiated.
      The notion that it is a normative ‘moral’ duty to disobey is an impossible standard. It is not merely difficult, it is impossible because it would require one to separate oneself completely from all economic contact with statists and the territory they claim.

      You must realize my goal isn’t to defy the state; it is rather to convince people I come into contact with that statism is the worst way to achieve a peaceful and prosperous society for everyone. Before they will hear me, I have to at least have their respect and attention.

    • BrettNo Gravatar says:

      I’m not so sure, obviously we all (including the author) regard the state’s thievery as incredibly immoral and down-right disgusting. Perhaps more disgusting is that the money is then used to destroy so many lives. Surely, we all feel some sort of moral imperative to do what we can to limit the suffering of others as best we can.

      “Remember, we are talking about criminal gangs. Surely, the only relevant issue for libertarians is to reduce their depredations by the greatest degree possible, and to undermine their much-vaunted authority. It matters not one whit, then, which level of this criminal conspiracy undertakes which act; the only desiderata is to reduce statism to the greatest degree possible.”

      However, the misconception that we are responsible for these gang of thieves puts unnecessary weight on the shoulders of the innocent. It would be highly unfortunate if the least responsible for the actions of the government (those of us who are openly against it) also end up being the people who feel the most guilty about it. When someone keys your car, never blame the key.

  7. charley hardmanNo Gravatar says:

    It seems that you are blaming the victim and imply that to submit to coercion is comparable to coercion itself and is therefore to be repudiated.

    you made that up. i blame those who encourage others to have dual standards for aggression — one for that of state sociopaths, the other for that of lesser, “private”, sociopaths. while recognizing the opportunity costs of fuller opposition, recognize the sickness of the necessity. always. nobody alive and on the internet is a pure voluntarist. not news.

    most of your reply is to a straw man you composed.

    • valhelionNo Gravatar says:

      Most of my reply was to the meaning inferred by this statement,

      “filling out “your state paperwork” is at least the equal of inviting hooligans into your home and presenting your ass.”

      The inference here is that performing an act under a threat of force is the same as doing something that makes one a target for aggression(the absurdity of your colorful example notwithstanding).

      Or more plainly, Don’t comply with anyone who threatens you because its the equal of being a victim of aggression.

      Of course you contradict that inference in the very next sentence by stating that,
      “acquiescence, however occasionally necessary…”

      If that is not what you meant by that statement, then please clarify.

      As to the rest of your reply, telling people it might serve their interests better to weigh the outcomes of their possible responses to coercive forces and to not feel guilty about being a victim does not encourage a dual standard. Whether a thug on the street mugs you and steals your wallet or the IRS threatens to cage or kill you if you don’t prove you paid them the extortion they demand are both acts of aggression and are equally vile. No dual standard there.

      • charley hardmanNo Gravatar says:

        The inference here is that performing an act under a threat of force is the same as doing something that makes one a target for aggression(the absurdity of your colorful example notwithstanding).

        that’s what you infer. the first example is correct. the second is not an accurate paraphrase. further, i implied that the first is at least as dishonorable as presenting one’s ass to hooligans. it’s designed to be dishonorable and emasculating. it worked.

        Or more plainly, Don’t comply with anyone who threatens you because its the equal of being a victim of aggression.

        again, laughable straw man, thus the alleged (invented) “contradiction”.

        want explanation? return to the very title of this post. i hope it’s somewhat facetious, though the post heads cozily in that direction. “taxation” should never be treated frivolously, or even lightly. it is among the vilest depredations inflicted on the peaceful by sociopaths. any banter attempting to skirt that truth should be pissed on. this post reeks of sitting down at the computer and attempting to compose from nothing that holy grail of the liberty movement: “but what do we do?”

        Whether a thug on the street mugs you and steals your wallet or the IRS threatens to cage or kill you […]

        don’t worry about being mugged. hey, you’re gonna get mugged! except the state is the mugger you’re supposed to be wrong to defend against. and this post may as well have been pulled from the state’s propaganda handbook.

  8. Tana LuersNo Gravatar says:

    What a beautiful automobile! I’m particularly impressed with the photo under the hoodthe firewall is so shiny it looks as though a mirror has been set behind the engine! I’m sure this one will go for a LOT of dough!

  9. When the the fedral prison system finally slams us cowardly gators at least we will make the sports page for a change. No one seems to write about us or even discuss us other than the crime reporters. What the hell man….we are NOT better than Duke and they made SportsCenter once last season.

  10. newenglandsunNo Gravatar says:

    You should look into anarcho communism. It does away with all wages and the monetary system.

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