Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Theft by any other name still theft

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 15, 2016)

What do you call the act of taking property under threat of doing something unpleasant to any victim who refuses to comply? Obviously it is theft.

What do most people call an identical act when committed by government employees? Taxation.

Why the hypocrisy? Giving an act a new name doesn't change its nature. Taxation is theft.

Of course, I have heard some taxation apologists claim your money isn't yours at all- it all belongs to government and you should be grateful they allow you to keep any of it. What couldn't be justified under such an absurd belief system?

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. got it backwards when he asserted taxation is the price we pay for a civilized society. In truth a civilized society is what we often manage to create in spite of taxation. Allowing taxation to continue limits how civilized a society can be.

Some people eventually come to terms with the truth that taxation is theft, but still find ways to excuse it. They believe society can't function without taxation.

If you want something not popular enough to be voluntarily funded, you need to let it go. If your idea is good, why would you need to force people to go along, threatening them with prison- or worse- if they'd rather opt out?

If something is wanted or needed, it will happen without robbing your neighbors. It is wrong to force people to pay for things they won't fund voluntarily, and it is evil to force them to finance things they oppose. Things like war, prohibition, government schools, abortions, welfare, and government agencies such as the BATFE which are criminal by their very existence.

Is a parking lot mugging justified if the mugger promises to spend a portion of the money on things you need? Or if he is using the plunder to feed orphans and widows? What if the mugger promises to hire strongmen to patrol the neighborhood to prevent any other muggers from operating in his territory?

If you keep money safely hidden from the mugger in your shoe, have you committed mugging evasion? Do you owe the mugger?

Theft is theft even if you really want to use the money for something good. Taxation is theft even if it pays your salary. Theft doesn't magically become OK if you give a percentage of it back to your victims. And taxation is theft even if you can't imagine living without it.


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Being nice to violators

How nice should you be to murderers, rapists, and thieves? How nice should you be to their friends and family who support and approve of their nasty deeds? What if they have all been carefully brainwashed for a lifetime to not see their acts as murder, rape, or theft?

Does this excuse them and obligate you to overlook what they do? To be nice to them?

This is the exact situation with those who work for government.

It doesn't matter if you are talking about a kindergarten teacher, the janitor who mops the courthouse, or the cop who murders a jaywalker who he claims appeared to have a gun.

If you work for government in any capacity, you are doing wrong. You are harming rightful liberty. Do you still expect your victims to be nice about it?

I understand those who say they are undermining the State from the inside. And maybe this occasionally does some good. I also understand they need to not be noticed as infiltrators so as to not be kicked out. But if you put on the uniform and hang out with the bad guys, you must expect to be shot as an enemy. It's a hazard you knew and accepted when you chose that path, and it's no one else's responsibility to coddle bad guys just because you may be in their midst of your own free will.

I'm not talking about "collateral damage", but someone actively taking part in living undercover as a bad guy, even if you are trying to destroy them. If this is what you are really doing, and you can live this life without doing any harm, I hope you avoid getting caught up in it. And, I'm just talking about whether people should be nice to the bad guys, not about defense.

If you are one of the bad guys, I'm probably not going to be nice to you. Nor should you expect me to. You can whine or make up "laws" to try to force me to act like you want, but that just shows how bad and weak you really are. Good luck with that.


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