Debunking Libertarianism: "Taxation Is Theft! Abolish The Income Tax!"

  
Via:  john-russell  •  6 months ago  •  72 comments

Debunking Libertarianism: "Taxation Is Theft! Abolish The Income Tax!"

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


This is a long article, I am posting just a small portion of it. 

https://askepticalhuman.com/politics/2018/12/20/debunking-libertarianism-taxation-is-theft-abolish-the-income-tax



Perhaps you'll remember this moment from one of the 2012 GOP presidential debates where Ron Paul was asked how his system would deal with a person in need of serious medical care:












Wolf Blitzer: "Let me ask you this hypothetical question: A healthy, 30-year old young man, has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not gonna spend 200 or 300 dollars a month for health insurance, 'cause I"m healthy, I don't need it. But, something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's gonna pay for it if he goes into a coma, for example, who pays for that?"

Ron Paul: "In a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him. What he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would [be to] have a major medical policy, but not be forced."

Wolf Blitzer: "But he doesn't have that. He doesn't have it, and he needs intensive care for 6 months. Who pays?"

Ron Paul: "That's what freedom is all about: Taking your own risks! This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody!"

Wolf Blitzer: "But, Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?"

Multiple audience members: "Yes!!"

Ron Paul: "I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa hospital in San Antonio. And the churches took care of 'em! We never turned anybody away from the hospitals, and we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it."












Now I don't want to go too off the rails here responding to this, but the reason I think this was worth showing is that it beautifully—or perhaps I should say hideously—illustrates the libertarian mindset in this area: Expect charities, friends, neighbors and churches to help people out when they're in desperate need, but when that's not good enough, "That's what freedom is all about: Taking your own risks!"

Sure, people might be needlessly dying in the streets, but at least I'll be able to keep a little bit more of my paycheck every two weeks! Libertarianism is political and economic selfishness on steroids.

And you heard the audience members: Cheering and saying "Yes, society should just let him die." Maybe not all libertarians are so callous and forthright, but when the voluntary social support isn't there, this is what their ideology demands.

"This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody!" Bah! How absurd! Taking care of your fellow citizens in need...What is this, a civilization or something?

Robert Nielsen writes the following in an article entitled "Why Taxation Is Not Theft":












"The problem with most libertarian arguments is that [they assume] we have only rights but no responsibilities. [They assume] that we have no duties to the poor, the sick, the elderly or even to children. If a man was starving and a libertarian had two loaves of bread, he wouldn’t share it with the man unless he felt like it. That is not a political ideology but a mental problem called sociopatho logy."












The libertarian approach to the income tax also fails to take into consideration the contribution that the society around them has made to their success. They constantly talk about how "the government is taxing the fruits of my labor." They talk about themselves as if they're this completely self-sufficient generator of revenue that the government is simply parasitizing and getting in the way of. In reality, the government actually enables your success in countless ways.

Robert Nielsen makes this point when he writes the following :












"Libertarians make the mistake of thinking of people as isolated individuals isolated from the rest of the world. They act as though, I and I alone earned my wage and therefore it belongs to no one else. In reality, we are hugely dependent on others and society. Would we earn anywhere near enough money if we did not have public roads, education, health, energy etc?

I did not create everything myself, but instead built on the work of previous generations and worked alongside other members of society. No man is an island and there is no such thing as a self-made person, in reality we are standing on the shoulders of giants. We got to where we are today due in large parts to the society we live in, so it is only fair that we pay something to support it."












"Noun boy" makes this point very concisely in a YouTube comment :












"Taxation is theft? Ok, don't pay taxes. But you can't use our roads, sewage system, power grids, police, firefighters, libraries, schools, etc etc etc."












The hard-working libertarian drives to work on public roads. His computer is hooked up to the power grid. He can focus on his work because he's not battling cholera thanks to water treatment plants. He doesn't have to spent all day fighting away enemy forces thanks to our police and military. He can spend more time working because he doesn't have to personally handle sewage and trash disposal. The list goes on and on.

Without government and without the income tax to help create and improve the world that he lives in, the libertarian would not be able to do what he does, not be able to spend his time the way that he spends it, and earn the money that he earns. So since he lives within this society that supports him in so many different ways, it's only fair that he pays some taxes to maintain this society.














Let's recap some of the key points made in this video. Contrary to what libertarians argue, taxation is not theft, because it's something that a majority of people tacitly agree to every time they step into a voting booth. We are largely taxed with our consent, and this money is used to benefit us and the world around us.

Sometimes taxpayer funded programs do cause harm, but if you're opposed to certain government programs, the solution is to try to end or modify these programs—not to take the extreme approach of trying to do away with the income tax itself. The usage of force by the government to compel you to pay your taxes is an absolute last resort, and you're given opportunity after opportunity to pay your fair share before you get thrown in jail.

It also doesn't make sense to opt out of paying at least some of the income tax because you can't opt out of living in the society which is made possible by these tax dollars. Eliminating mandatory taxation and expecting people to voluntarily fund government programs is a pipe dream, because many people are short-sighted and expect others to be responsible for solving problems.

Finally, when libertarians talk about the government taxing the fruits of their labor, understand that the growth of these fruits is only made possible by our taxpayer-funded government.



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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    6 months ago

The topic is libertarianism. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  seeder  JohnRussell    6 months ago

One of the better videos I have seen on this topic. It is a little long (13 minutes) but well worth it for the information when you get the time. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @2    6 months ago

The "Free Market"...

One of Capitalism's greatest victories in America has been to brainwash the public into believing that Capitalism and free markets go together... despite all historical data and all economic theory going right back to dear old Adam Smith!

No corporation ever accepts willingly to play in a free market. A free market limits profits, because any high-profit sector automatically attracts new capacity, thus driving down margins.

So... no true Capitalist will ever submit to a free market. The automatic reflex is to collude on prices, to organize oligopolies, to fix "standards", to bribe the buyer, ...

A "free market" is the corporation's worst nightmare.

Libertarian belief in the "free market" is in complete contradiction with the history of capitalism, which subverts the "free market" at every opportunity. Libertarian belief in the "free market" is also in complete contradiction with game theory and experimentation, which show that "convincing others to share while not sharing oneself" is the most effective strategy.

Libertarianism, basically, is in contradiction with reality.

But then... reality is s-o-o-o-o overestimated...

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
2.2  Freedom Warrior  replied to  JohnRussell @2    6 months ago

You consider 13 minutes long?  Seriously?   I have taken in hours upon hours turning into days dealing with this topic.  

We are well aware of how frightened people become of Freedom.

 
 
 
CB
2.2.1  CB   replied to  Freedom Warrior @2.2    6 months ago

Well, freedom warrior, you have the 'stage' and our attention: How will you use the time?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.2.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Freedom Warrior @2.2    6 months ago

I hope you can do a better job representing your utopian fantasy than one of your presidential candidates , Darryl Perry could. That was pitiful. 

The truth is libertarianism is the most debunked political ideology in history. Maybe tied with communism. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  seeder  JohnRussell    6 months ago

Ranting person in  this video was a Libertarian Party candidate for the party's presidential nomination in 2016. 

The thing they are debating is how one would establish property rights under a libertarian system. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
3.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @3    6 months ago

Amazing...  jrSmiley_30_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.1    6 months ago

Darryl Perry ran for president in 2016 as a Libertarian. He cannot answer a simple question about how property rights would be established in a libertarian system. 

Libertarianism is not evil, it is a utopia. It is NOT achievable or in a practical sense desirable. In theory, sure it would be a way for people to live.  The problem is we have many people, especially on internet forums, who pretty constantly espouse libertarianism. 

 
 
 
epistte
3.1.2  epistte  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    6 months ago
Libertarianism is not evil, it is a utopia. It is NOT achievable or in a practical sense desirable. In theory, sure it would be a way for people to live.  The problem is we have many people, especially on internet forums, who pretty constantly espouse libertarianism. 

Libertarian economic ideas do not and cannot work in a modern interdependent society.  Its an ideology for people who never matured beyond their teens and accepted the idea that they are not part of a larger group.

 Greed is not freedom.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
3.2  SteevieGee  replied to  JohnRussell @3    6 months ago

Simple.  The land belongs to the guy with the biggest gun until it doesn't.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4  Bob Nelson    6 months ago

The Libertarian Quandary

1) Libertarianism is total individual liberty.

2) That equates to zero government, since all government action impinges on someone's liberty, somehow.

3) Pushed to its ultimate end, libertarianism is zero government -- anarchy.

4) Since anarchy is obviously not acceptable, libertarians fall back from "zero government" to "minimal government".

5) The problem then becomes "what are the acceptable minimal government services?"

6) If libertarians accept that this question be answered democratically, then their message is "smaller government is better government" -- identical to the GOP.

7) If libertarians decree that some services should be proscribed because they are beyond the "acceptable minimum", then those libertarians are recognizing that they refuse democracy as a means of choice, that they are in fact authoritarians bent on imposing their own criteria on society, via government -- and that is the direct opposite of their stated philosophy.

So:
 - A democratic libertarian might as well be in the GOP... or...
 - An authoritarian libertarian betrays the theme of liberty that is supposed to be fundamental.


I've posted this several times. No one has ever found a flaw in the reasoning. It gets trashed, of course... but hey! This is NewsTalkers...

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Bob Nelson @4    6 months ago

You are exactly correct Bob. Libertarians for the most part do not want no government, they want government that conforms to what THEY want.  In other words they want to force the majority to accept their preferences. How is that "freedom"? 

 
 
 
Steve Ott
4.2  Steve Ott  replied to  Bob Nelson @4    6 months ago

Have you read Anarchy, State and Utopia?

 
 
 
CB
4.2.1  CB   replied to  Steve Ott @4.2    6 months ago
Anarchy, State and Utopia?

Nozick argues in favor of a minimal state , "limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on." When a state takes on more responsibilities than these, Nozick argues, rights will be violated.

—Wikipedia

I have not read the book, but I pulled this out from the site.

Question:

  1. What is inside words like, "and so on"?
  2. Who writes the laws in a Libertarian 'system' of governance?
 
 
 
Steve Ott
4.2.2  Steve Ott  replied to  CB @4.2.1    6 months ago

To which I would say, read the book.

What is inside words like, "and so on"?

This can be said of any political system.

As to who writes the laws? Read the book. The best analogy I can think of is that of contract law.

 
 
 
CB
4.2.3  CB   replied to  Steve Ott @4.2.2    6 months ago
What is inside words like, "and so on"? This can be said of any political system

That is the point I am pointing to; "and so on" is a wide-open lane for any/all who know how to use/exploit it —even in libertarian ideology.

Sorry, I do not have time to read the book page by page. But I am trying, Steve! Let's try this point me to the appropriate page in the book and I will try to reach it. How about it?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4.2.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  Steve Ott @4.2    6 months ago

No. The Wikipedia page doesn't give me any desire to do so.

I found nothing to clarify a basic problem: expecting enlightened behavior without any means /mechanism to ensure it.

I don't see why the gobbledygook cannot be boiled down to "the biggest gun wins", and that's 180° from desirable.

 
 
 
epistte
4.2.5  epistte  replied to  CB @4.2.1    6 months ago
Nozick argues in favor of a minimal state , "limited to the narrow functions of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts, and so on." When a state takes on more responsibilities than these, Nozick argues, rights will be violated.

—Wikipedia

I have not read the book, but I pulled this out from the site.

I have read the book. Nozick is simplistic bull(bleep). I align with John Rawls.

https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Rawls

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4.2.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  epistte @4.2.5    6 months ago

From your link:

(1) Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.

(2) Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity.
Economic rights and liberties, such as freedom of contract or the right to own means of production, are not among the basic liberties as Rawls construes them.

Clause b of principle 2 provides that everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to compete for desirable public or private offices and positions.

Yup!

 
 
 
epistte
4.2.7  epistte  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.2.6    6 months ago

 
 
 
epistte
4.3  epistte  replied to  Bob Nelson @4    6 months ago

Libertarians are anarcho-capatalists, but they want to hide behind the ideas of claiming that they are classical liberals and stand for freedom. These people want the benefits of a modern society but they don't want the responsibility of it.  How many more times do we have to witness what happens when capitalism is under-regulated and the effects on society when that under regulation leads to crashes and depressions?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4.3.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  epistte @4.3    6 months ago
Libertarians are anarcho-capatalists

The biggest gun wins.

How many more times do we have to witness what happens when capitalism is under-regulated and the effects on society when that under regulation leads to crashes and depressions?

Some people find such concerns laughable:

original

 
 
 
CB
5  CB     6 months ago

Can we clear the air on this: Government can become bloated, slow, confusing, and unwieldy. (Did I miss something? It's possible!)

But this is because of 'us' who want government to: 'tack' this down, 'string' this up, 'place' this in, 'insert' this through, 'shine' this on,' and 'spray' this with, -here are many varied forms, kinds, and types of ideas and cultural interests from every original 'tribe' immigrated to this country.

We are both of these: All the same people and different people.

Our expanding government is 'naturally-occurring alongside our population. The question I have is this:

  1. Is it productive or 'stunting' to this nation to keep it artificially limited in size and scope?
 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @5    6 months ago

Good post.

People don't think very deeply. They want things to happen... but don't want any agencies to have the authority needed to ensure that those things do happen.

People want magic!

Newsflash: magic doesn't exist. Making things happen requires people, procedures, equipment, ...

We can pay for it, and give lots of money to people who do nothing at all for us (privatized public service)... or we can just pay for it (public service).

Big administrations/bureaucracies can grow cumbersome. This is just as true of private organizations as of public ones. Attention must be paid to keeping them lean... in both cases.

There are people who "know" that a private company will be more efficient than a public service. I have never seen any proof of this.

My own take is that it's easy to keep organizations "lean" when they are in competition. The proof is that they will do everything possible to subvert that competition.

 
 
 
CB
5.1.1  CB   replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1    6 months ago
There are people who "know" that a private company will be more efficient than a public service.

Therein lies an inherent problem, private companies work for profit and efficiency is borne out of the classification: Such enterprises do not operate for the good of all the people.  (Which government inherently does (when it is at it 'best').)

What gets me is the categories are already clear and well-defined and still some people try to ignore it.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @5.1.1    6 months ago
efficiency is borne out

I have not observed that.

And of course, a private contractor takes a profit which a public service does not take.

 
 
 
CB
5.1.3  CB   replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.2    6 months ago

Efficiency in terms of being able to change out staffing without cause in some cases, to buy material resources narrowly tailored to tasks, and so on.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @5.1.3    6 months ago

You have a point.

Foresight is required to meet the unexpected. If an activity is characterized by important fluctuations, the organization must be able to absorb them. There are several ways to manage this.

The problem is exactly the same, public or private.

 
 
 
CB
5.1.5  CB   replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.4    6 months ago

Except the government (bureaucracy) is designed to work by various administration policies and laws and so forth. Government must work for the people interminably, thus it must be suitably staffed (although Trump is working with a skeleton team I hear.) Whereas, beyond it own survival instincts, a private enterprise can shut its doors and cease to be.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @5.1.5    6 months ago
Except the government (bureaucracy) is designed to work by various administration policies and laws and so forth.

I certainly hope that private companies also obey the law... And if they don't have procedures, they're going to fuck up.

There's no magic. The same constraints apply.

Government must work for the people interminably, thus it must be suitably staffed

I'm not sure what you mean here. All organizations (public or private) must be able to absorb fluctuating charges. There are several ways to manage this.

Again... there's no magic. There's no filter, separating effects between public and private. All organizations have the same problems, and (oh, surprise!) the same solutions.

... beyond it own survival instincts, a private enterprise can shut its doors and cease to be.

Bankruptcy is always possible. And there unsavory personnages who intentionally use bankruptcy as a method to screw their partners / customers. I don't think these should be considered an option.

 
 
 
CB
5.1.7  CB   replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.6    6 months ago
Government must work for the people interminably, thus it must be suitably staffed

Our Government will exist as long as this country exist. A private business can voluntarily or involuntarily cease to exist.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1.8  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @5.1.7    6 months ago
Our Government will exist as long as this country exist. A private business can voluntarily or involuntarily cease to exist.

Yes.

I don't see what that has to do with the relative efficiency or the public and private sectors.

 
 
 
CB
5.1.9  CB   replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.8    6 months ago

Yes. I have no clue what you are failing to get from my statements. Honestly. I have no interest in 'beating' this point to death or turning a passing remark into a sticking point for this discussion.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
5.1.10  Bob Nelson  replied to  CB @5.1.9    6 months ago

OK. Let's drop it.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
6  Freedom Warrior    6 months ago

This article is largely an intellectually dishonest distortion of how most Libertarians apply the underlying principles of the philosophy in modern society. So no there is no legitmacy to any self proclaimed debunking occuring here.

Naturally it comes from those who we can far more easily formulate reductio ad absurdum arguments to mock their approach to taxation.

Taxation can virtually by definition be considered theft if does not manifest voluntarily.  Ask the Queen of England.

 
 
 
CB
6.1  CB   replied to  Freedom Warrior @6    6 months ago

Voluntarily? Please share a scenario of how that could work. I am confident you have several well-thought out plans to choose from and present. We, I, do want to understand your philosophy better.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
6.1.1  Freedom Warrior  replied to  CB @6.1    6 months ago
We, I, do want to understand your philosophy better.

One minute they say they have it all figured out then in the next sentence they say they want to actually understand it.  I don't believe either is true.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Freedom Warrior @6.1.1    6 months ago

I understand libertarianism fine. It is a completely impractical and unworkable way to organize a modern society. Yet "libertarians" won't stop talking about it. 

Not only does libertarianism fly in the face of human nature , by assuming that masses of people will voluntarily not only be non aggressive, but will also forego greed, cheating, and generally treating their fellow human beings like shit or with contempt, but it is also totally a non starter in a country of 320 million people.  If you want a libertarian society find a deserted island and bring a few friends along.   Human beings organize into societies for THE COMMON GOOD, not your good. 

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
6.1.3  Freedom Warrior  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1.2    6 months ago

That entire comment is woefully ignorant of how Libertarians generally apply the underlying principles of the philosophy in modern society.  Those straw man arguments are out coming out the wazoo at this point.

 
 
 
CB
6.1.4  CB   replied to  Freedom Warrior @6.1.1    6 months ago

Sorry, what are you accusing me of?

 
 
 
CB
6.1.5  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @6.1.2    6 months ago

There is a qualified reason the U.S. Marshall Service was formed.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
6.1.6  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Freedom Warrior @6.1.3    5 months ago

How about you just answer a single point such as the simple question of how Libertarianism deals with basic human greed?  

What John outlines is exactly to the point as to why there are laws and regulations.  No straw man arguments, but drive at the heart of human nature.  Don't be a candy-ass.... Step up to the plate and make your points.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Freedom Warrior @6    6 months ago

Enough with the word salad. 

 
 
 
CB
6.2.1  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @6.2    6 months ago

I agree! So far this libertarian has not shared any point to consider.

 
 
 
JBB
7  JBB    6 months ago

Anarchy is not a viable form of government. If men were angels we would not need governance. Men are not angels. Since time immemorial men have desired ever more effective, more efficient and less corrupt forms of governance. Each for themselves is not a viable way of organizing a functioning modern society...

 
 
 
Steve Ott
8  Steve Ott    5 months ago

Another YouTuber explaining to me in 10 minutes or less how life works.

If only I had had You Tube in 1954 to explain how life is.

About Anton Dybal
("A Skeptical Human")

I'm a writer and YouTuber who focuses on politics, religion, science, critical thinking, current events, and more. I try to refute flawed arguments and false claims as convincingly and thoroughly as I can. My goal is to make people more rational and informed, whether they agree with me or disagree with me at the outset.

I have only one issue with the above, I can find no statement where he tells me what he does believe. So far, I have had to infer his beliefs from this writing. At best, I have to believe he thinks the state is an entity unto itself and has some type of uber-role to play. Rather like a god.


So, lets see how it is that he debunks libertarianism.

First off, I can only presume that he believes if he debunks one particular stand, or plank, of libertarianism, he debunks the whole philosophy. But that isn't how it works. I can easily debunk Jefferson's beliefs on native american assimillation, but that does not negate the whole of Jeffersonian thought.

The idea of taxation is of course founded on the idea that the Westphalian state was the only feasible outcome of feudalism. (Or if not the only outcome, at the very least, the best.) Simply because we have been living with the idea of the sovereign Westphalian state does not mean that it is the correct idea. What are we to make of the idea of a sovereign nation? Since 1990, there have been some 30 sovereign nations arise out ot the territories of sovereign nations. Just how sovereign is a state then? Certianly no more sovereign than the individuals living within a certain territory wish it to be.

So let's just jump right into the discussion of taxation is not theft shall we? Of course it isn't theft, the state can't live without it and neither can you. So there you dumbass. And of course, the state can't be held to the same moral standards as an individual. It is more than the individual, (a belief which has to be inferred from his argument as he makes no statement as to his actual beliefs or platform from which he argues.) The libertarian argument is that, of course the state can be held to the same moral standards. It is individuals who constitute and are the state. If you really believe that the state is not accountable to the same moral standards, then you have reverted back to the divine right of kings.

So, the libertarian ideas on taxation flow, not from some obscure Delphic oracle but from an entirely different view of the state. This basic premise though is never addressed by these type of You Tube debunkers. Most likely because they are incapable of actual philosophical debate, or debate of any kind really.

The state rightfully has the authority to punish people when they commit crimes.

The state is acting on behalf of the individual. What the state has done is say that you do not have the right the take an individual to court for a criminal act, but we will act on our behalf. Why should this be? The state hasn't been harmed by a criminal action, the individual has been harmed. Yet the state wants to say I do not have a right to prosecute except in civil cases. Why should this be? Isn't his nothing more than state usurpation of individual rights?

So the case of taxes goes back to something more fundamental. We have to begin with the very notion of what the state itself is. It is no use arguing the pieces if you do not understand the fundamentals.


 
 
 
JohnRussell
8.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Steve Ott @8    5 months ago

Steve , we have 320 million people in America. 

How would a libertarian society work in the United States, as a replacement for what we have now? 

 
 
 
Steve Ott
8.1.1  Steve Ott  replied to  JohnRussell @8.1    5 months ago

It isn't as if libertarians are looking to immediately overthrow the government, but rather to change people's concept of government. To empower individuals to live their lives according to their and their communities values. It isn't government that gives individuals rights, individuals have rights with or without government. The question is, as Nozick put it, how much room do individual rights leave for government. My position, is little to none.

But it will be a process, not an overthrow. The czars, the USSR, the British and even the Romans, found, that there comes a time and a place where you cannot force individuals into your mold.

My personal vision, which is not a conventional libertarian vision, would look more akin to how the indigenous peoples of the world lived. Hopefully with less violence. Smaller, interconnected, communities of more or less homogeneous groups. It wouldn't be a nation-state of 320 million. It might be part of a continent with 320 million, but not a single nation-state.

Now one part of Mr Youtubes statements I did not address was his quote about libertarians thinking that individuals do not have responsibilities. This is absolute rubbish. Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. This is something we all teach our children, or should.

Now, let me ask this. There is a revolution coming. A second industrial revolution. Which is more likely to be less disrupted by such an upheaval? A nation, or a community?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
8.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Steve Ott @8.1.1    5 months ago

How do you know what your rights are, unless they are set out somewhere? 

I think there is basically one natural right, which would be the right to not have to do what someone else tells you, or asks you,  to do.  In other words we can elect to be free. But we don't totally have that right if we are participants in a society that restricts rights in any way. So if you are an American, you have to follow rules and laws that apply here in America. If you don't want to you are free to leave. 

Smaller, interconnected, communities of more or less homogeneous groups. It wouldn't be a nation-state of 320 million. It might be part of a continent with 320 million, but not a single nation-state.

320 groups of 1 million? 640 groups of 500,000?  64,000 groups of  5000 ?  Why do you think that none of these new groups of this size wouldn't need "government"? 

Libertarianism strikes me as an intellectual exercise with very little connection to reality. 

 
 
 
CB
8.1.3  CB   replied to  Steve Ott @8.1.1    5 months ago
Smaller, interconnected, communities of more or less homogeneous groups. It wouldn't be a nation-state of 320 million. It might be part of a continent with 320 million, but not a single nation-state.

Two things come to mind:

  1. President Lincoln would not 'split' this union of the states under no circumstances. Thus, we had a civil war. ("More violence.")
  2. A 'divide continent' would not have many 'cords' unified into one; and, a greater weakness will invariably occur. "Fragments" have a tendency to chip away at themselves.
 
 
 
CB
8.1.4  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @8.1.2    5 months ago
320 groups of 1 million? 640 groups of 500,000?  64,000 groups of  5000 ?  Why do you think that none of these new groups of this size wouldn't need "government"? 

Steve says these communities will have internal homogeneity and self-actualization. Realistically-speaking this can be called, "banding," "tribes," and "countries." Where and in what contexts have we read and heard these words use (usually pejoratively) of people in history?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
8.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  CB @8.1.4    5 months ago

I was kind of wondering about his "homogeneous" comment myself. 

 
 
 
CB
8.1.6  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @8.1.5    5 months ago

Meaning"associated" people/groups that can jell together for short, long, or indefinite periods (usually to accomplish some goal). My statement about the pejorative nature of such connectiveness is they tend to exclude, label, and worse IDENTIFY outsiders (on sight) as alien bodies to the host! Then the hatred and battles start!

 
 
 
Steve Ott
8.1.7  Steve Ott  replied to  JohnRussell @8.1.2    5 months ago

Let me ask this. Do you know anything of the ideas of Locke, Hume, Kant, Nozick, Mises, etc? Have you read any libertarian philosophy?

I stated above, this was my vision of libertarian thought. It doesn't fit in neatly with left or right libertarianism. It isn't quite anarchy or agorist, but more; call it indigenous utopianism if you wish. I really don't care.

I, nor anyone, can explain an entire philosophy in 100 words or less. It is something that must be read and studied and thought over. But let me give it a try.

Republicans: Corporatism

Democrats: Bureaucratism

Both are forms of statism.

There, I covered all of Republican and Democratic thought in less than 10 words. WRONG. There is a little more to either than that, but it is nicely succinct don't you think?

Libertarianism wants neither. You have to think outside of what you think is the only possible way to live. If the state is so sovereign an entity, how is it that over 30 new sovereign states have come to be in the last 30 years? Just how sovereign is a state? If a state cannot stay together, what can? It has been the communities of individuals. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a better way that individuals can live together. Raven Wings people certainly seemed to be happy in their statelessness.

Below are some links to a vast trove of reading and thinking:

https://www.libertarianism.org/guides/introduction-libertarianism

http://c4ss.org/

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/libertarianism/

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nozick-political/

 
 
 
Steve Ott
8.1.8  Steve Ott  replied to  CB @8.1.6    5 months ago
Then the hatred and battles start!

So, do you believe you can legislate hatred out of people? That only inflames their hearts more.

Or perhaps, you would rather send them to re-education camps.

 
 
 
MUVA
8.1.9  MUVA  replied to  Steve Ott @8.1.8    5 months ago

Some on the left would put you in a box car and ship you off to a reeducation camp in a hart beat that's why I don't trust them.

 
 
 
CB
8.1.10  CB   replied to  Steve Ott @8.1.8    5 months ago
do you believe you can legislate hatred out of people?

Are more children of different backgrounds, stations in life, classes, ethnic groups, and races in life-long friends, relationships, and marriages because of Brown vs. Board of Education? Are more interracial couples married in this country, because of Loving vs. Virginia? Is Obergefell v. Hodges changing young and old hearts, and minds about homosexual marriage, homosexuality, and homosexuals in general?

Do laws and courts matter, yes? Can morality be legislated. Of course! Give it a generation or several and the world refreshes itself - depositing the past into the folder of time. If we allow it to, that is.

Who cares what any hard-case or collection of hard-casers think about any of this? They will get over their inner larceny of spirit or die encrusted in it. Gone on the wind, inevitably.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
8.1.11  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Steve Ott @8.1.7    5 months ago

I can respect those who want to and like to discuss libertarianism as a theoretical utopia. It is when they start suggesting that it is a practical solution for current political troubles that I lose interest. 

I understand the arguments of libertarianism , I just dont agree they will ever be effected on a large scale. Rather I am sure they wont be. 

 
 
 
CB
8.1.12  CB   replied to  MUVA @8.1.9    5 months ago

You took your shot! Wow!

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
8.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Steve Ott @8    5 months ago
The state rightfully has the authority to punish people when they commit crimes. The state is acting on behalf of the individual. What the state has done is say that you do not have the right the take an individual to court for a criminal act, but we will act on our behalf. Why should this be? The state hasn't been harmed by a criminal action, the individual has been harmed. Yet the state wants to say I do not have a right to prosecute except in civil cases. Why should this be? Isn't his nothing more than state usurpation of individual rights?

Then, only those with either the financial means or knowledge of the law would achieve justice.  Might (financial, intellectual, or otherwise) would make right.  If a poor man is attacked, he may well lack the ability to prosecute, so the state does it for him.  Ideally, although it does not happen in practice, the state would apply justice impartially - not swayed by the wealth or social/political status of either the victim or the suspect.  If prosecution were up to individuals, the poor could not seek justice for crimes against them, and the rich could seek harsher penalties when they are wronged.

 
 
 
CB
8.3  CB   replied to  Steve Ott @8    5 months ago
Yet the state wants to say I do not have a right to prosecute except in civil cases. Why should this be? Isn't his nothing more than state usurpation of individual rights?

Exactly what "right" do you want to be able to execute on the person of another? There can be no uniformity of action where hundreds, thousands, millions, handle 'cases' differently. It has been tried before and resulted in vigilante justice and the death of innocent people in droves.

No one man or woman can be an authority unto themselves in researching and findiings of fact sufficient enough in every case to execute each individual act of justice he/she seeks. It is impractical (for an assortment of real and imagined reasons).

 
 
 
MrFrost
9  MrFrost    5 months ago

That whole, "no social services or EMS" thing worries me. Worked with a guy that believed that all forms of taxes should be abolished. When I asked him who he was going to all when he had a serious injury/medical event at home he just stared at me. 

We need taxes, as much as we all hate to pay them, they do keep our society running. 

 
 
 
tomwcraig
9.1  tomwcraig  replied to  MrFrost @9    5 months ago

Okay, if taxes pay for EMS, why do you have to subscribe to them?  You know pay a fee to be picked up by an ambulance in case of a medical emergency?  Every single community I have lived in has never had a fully-taxpayer funded Emergency Medical Service.  ALL of them have you subscribe for a fee to the ambulance service.  In 2010 and 2016, I had to use an ambulance service.  In both cases, I ended up paying out of my own pocket.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
9.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  tomwcraig @9.1    5 months ago

Our county provides EMS services supported by taxpayers.  If you're transported, there is a fee, but for things like welfare checks and calls without transportation (happens pretty frequently), there's no fee.  Same with fire services.  No subscription fees.

 
 
 
tomwcraig
10  tomwcraig    5 months ago

Any true Constitutional Libertarian should be easily able to argue why the income tax is theft and unnecessary.  First of all, the Income Tax at the Federal level was not legalized until 1913 a little over 100 years after the Constitution was originally written. Before the Income Tax, the Federal government only made money through sales taxes and tariffs.

At the time the Income Tax that was enacted, it wasn't theft; since it did not take a person's money until after they had already gotten that money.  It became theft in the 1960s when Withholding became commonplace.  Withholding makes it theft as it is taken out of your paycheck BEFORE you even get to see it and hold it or deposit it into your bank account.  Also, Withholding actually laid the foundation for out of control Federal spending as they get money interest free from people whom overpaid their taxes due to what was actually withheld AND because the taxes are collected immediately upon worker's paychecks being processed.  So, instead of every April, the US Federal government collecting ALL of the income taxes; they are collecting portions of the income taxes just about every 2 weeks.  This means, in the minds of Congressional members, the money NEVER runs out as it is constantly coming in.

If you actually take the time to THINK about it, you would have to wonder how did the Federal government survive for 100 years without an income tax.  Also, how did the spending remain so in control until Withholding was enacted in the 1960s?  That was around 50 years of having an income tax where spending was relatively within the bounds of what was actually coming in or maybe just slightly above the actual income.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  tomwcraig @10    5 months ago

Everyone is required to pay income tax, if the income meets the designated threshold.  It is not optional. Therefore withholding is not theft. It would only be theft if the payment of income tax was optional. 

If you don't like our federal income taxes you can relinquish your citizenship and move somewhere else. See, you're free to go. 

 
 
 
tomwcraig
10.1.1  tomwcraig  replied to  JohnRussell @10.1    5 months ago

If it is not optional, why is there a threshold?  If it is not optional, why is there an exception for filing a tax return?  And, since it is, in your opinion, not optional, why is it the equivalent of holding a gun to someone's head and taking their money? You see, even those people whom are working and do not meet the requirements of filing a tax return still have money withheld from their paychecks to pay taxes that they are not required to pay.  Remember, any tax paid over what is calculated as to what you "owe" is returned to you without interest despite it being taken before you see it and essentially without your permission since you get that money "refunded" to you.  It's like taking a book from the local library without checking it out and then returning it at a later date and refusing to pay any fines due.  And, there is a word for that: THEFT.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  tomwcraig @10.1.1    5 months ago

Not paying interest on money that was collected for taxes and then returned as a refund is not theft, it is an additional tax. Do you really think this should invalidate the concept of income tax? 

Why are libertarians so cranky? 

 
 
 
tomwcraig
10.1.3  tomwcraig  replied to  JohnRussell @10.1.2    5 months ago

Overpayment of taxes and then refunding that overpayment is in fact BORROWING money from people, but without people being given the option to ask for interest.  Yet, when we borrow money from the government, we have to pay interest, or did you forget about the Federal Reserve, which was created at the same time as the Income Tax?

 
 
 
CB
11  CB     5 months ago

C.18c-Homefront-taxation.jpg

By early 1943, Congress had raised income taxes radically to finance the war and also imposed income tax on millions of Americans who had not paid it before. But polls showed that few Americans now subject to the tax for the first time were saving to make their payment.

With a March 15 tax deadline looming (not April 15 as now), the Treasury Department worried about the prospect of massive tax evasion. To the rescue came a man named Beardsley Ruml, an executive for R.H. Macy & Co. and an advisor to Roosevelt.

At Macy’s Ruml had observed that customers didn’t like big bills. They preferred making payments bit by bit, even if they had to pay interest to do so.

So Ruml devised a pay-as-you-go plan for taxpayers whereby employers would retain a percentage of taxes from every paycheck and forward it directly to Washington’s war chest. Withholding, as we know it today, was born.

http://ww2cartoons.org/march-1943-pay-as-you-go-taxation-2/

 
 
 
CB
12  CB     5 months ago

I watched the video attached to the seeded content: Excellent!

 
 
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