Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken
“But, above all, the crucial monopoly is the State’s control of the use of violence: of the police and armed services, and of the courts—the locus of ultimate decision-making power in disputes over crimes and contracts. Control of the police and the army is particularly important in enforcing and assuring all of the State’s other powers, including the all-important power to extract its revenue by coercion.”
Murray N. Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty
Will Grigg provides an excellent example of what happens when you avoid paying the State its revenues. A Pennsylvania constable shot a man in Whitehall, PA while serving a warrant for unpaid parking tickets. The cop ‘feared for his life,’ which resulted in his violent attack on the ‘offender’. The man may never walk again. Of course, he can take solace in the district attorney’s call for constables to have more training and direct supervision. You know, more like the NYC police officers Grigg mentions further on in his post, who attacked and murdered a man when he resisted arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes.
You might argue: ‘These are isolated incidents. After all, in both cases the officers of the law were only doing their duty. If these men had only complied with the demands of the police, they would be alive and well.’ Regarding this claim, one must ask how complying with the demands of the police may be considered a voluntary act. There may be no direct reminder on April 15th of each year that anyone who avoids paying taxes will be met with aggressive force, yet this is exactly what will happen. After they discover your ‘crime’ – as if not volunteering to donate your property could be considered a crime – you will be arrested and fined. Should you continue to refuse to pay, the fines will increase and the period of incarceration will extend. I cannot imagine a person who believes that incarceration is not a coercive act.
“Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist.”
Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty
As it is incredibly obvious that incarceration as a violent act and also very simple to see that complying with the demands of the police is a survival mechanism rather than a voluntary act, why is it such a leap for some individuals to accept that taxation is theft? The answer is simple: they like the things the State does. Whether they benefit directly from a government program, are employed by a government agency, or believe government is looking out for the best interest of all people, they have bought into the government program. This begs our question for next week – is the State a Country Club?