Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'tax economic rent'.
I am referring here to the initiation of physical force and coercion. Under Objectivism this is considered immoral because, fundamentally, it violates the victim's right to their life. It prevents the victim from acting according to their own judgement of what is best for them. To accept the general principle of force initiation would be self-defeating for that reason. Force initiation can be overt, a robbery, seizure of property by the state, a murder, an invasion by foreign military forces. Here it should be easy to identify force has been initiated. Force initiation may be "covert". Some examples: - Imposing restrictions on free trade - Minimum wage regulations - Taxation - Fraud In the case of covert force initiation, the nature of the action is that they may be permitted by the victim. The act is not packaged in such a way as to make it's nature as force initiation immediately obvious. Some victims agree to the "crime" being done to them because they already consent to it willingly and don't recognise any involvement of force. Taxation may be used to fund infrastructure, schools, emergency services, welfare payments and much more. Many taxpayers will want to benefit from such services, and may think that life would be worse if the government didn't provide them. I have had debates with people who claim dropping welfare would mean to take us back to the times of Dickens, meaning cruel and inhumane treatment, terrible living conditions, no meaningfull access to justice for the majority. They scoff at the idea of charities providing welfare because they consider people to be fundamentally of bad nature and would not reduce suffering on a scale achieved by the government, however imperfect it may be or even though its achieved by force. Being forced to do "the right thing" is OK in their view. There is also the question of whether their can be cases of "consensual" force initiation. Where consent is implicitly rather than explicitly given. A notorious example from The Fountainhead is when Roark technically rapes Dominique. Is taxation in today's society ever a case of "consensual" force initiation? If not, why not? Is submission to tax the same as permission? If not, why not? What about implicit slavery, where one person is forced to work for another, but does not identify this as the true nature of the relationship. Is the slave still a slave or should we view it as a trader relationship if that's how both parties parse it? What are the indisputable grounds for identifying what is both explicitly and implicitly a true initiation of force? Thanks for your views