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Is taxation moral?

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Lakeside
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You are proposing some sort of contract that an individual must agree to or you are revoking his right to self-defense. As Jake pointed out, and I agree, that is an initiation of force. Thus, Jake's “What then?” And as you say, this creates a second class. (You point out that the justice system would still apply, but higher fees are charged, so I'm assuming the economic link is still in place.)

I will no longer defend the proposal to obtain explicit consent, that was just speculation and it has fatal difficulties as Jake pointed out. Instead I claim universal consent does exist as Ayn Rand does and as the reasoning went in the American founding era, and equality before the law for all. My claim then is identifying government as a contract, not proposing one. This does not revoke anyone's inalienable power of self defense, just the legal maneuver of claiming self defense against just enforcement of the law.

If it to be maintained that the services of government, justice and national defense, are to follow from financial support, then non-payers have two alternatives: they can either remain defenseless, or they can delegate their right of self-defense to a different agency of protection (or presumable start their own, or just DIY.) The second therefore reduces back to anarchy. You get around this by saying, no, they will have to leave the country because the Grames government retains its territorial monopoly. But I agree that this is a violation of that individual's right to self-defense and reduces to “do what I say, or get the fuck out.”
Compliance with all laws is mandatory and coercive so this is an objection to the existence of government itself. It is not a valid objection.

Therefore, a proper government, cannot fully maintain the link. I agree that they have no moral obligation to provide protection to those who don't pay, but I they should because it is in their self-interest to avoid anarchy. Thus I can only come to the conclusion that a proper government in the fully free society does not initiate force, is voluntarily funded, and its services apply to all within its territorial jurisdiction regardless of support. And I further maintain that boycotting of certain non-payers is morally legitimate because they are seeking the unearned. This maintains the status of government as an agent that must be paid, but an agent that does not initate force. The only objections that remain for breaking this proper government's non-initiation of force status is a. from your side, that not enough rational people will fund it or that voluntarily funding will be necessary for war debt (which I disagree with) and b. from the anarchist side that not allowing competing agencies of protection to offer services alongside the proper government is per se an initiation of force (which I also disagree with.)

You do not agree with me fully because I do not recognize the "free-rider problem" or attempt to solve it. It is not true that everyone must pay something, only that everyone must obey the law. Those who have very little or no taxable economic activity will pay less than others but still have full protection of the law. People in prison get full protection of the law (aside from being imprisoned).

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From "The Nature of Government"

There is an exchange here. A citizen "must consent" or "must accept" if he wishes to live in a free, civilized society and then the government is a servant or agent. There is a time element involved. Terms are specified in writing objectively in the form of a constitution. This is a contract because it has every feature of a contract.

I understand that you believe there is a contract. But you made the false claim that Ayn Rand argued that there was one. I was asking if you have a quote to back that up. The one you provided doesn't, it only mentions voluntary contracts between individuals, not a contract between the citizens of a country and its government.

As for the overall issue, I don't really wish to argue against your belief that taxation can be moral (it is of no consequence to me whether you hold that belief or not), I just wish to make it clear that it isn't the Objectivist position. I find it hard to grasp how you could possibly believe it is, when Ayn Rand made two things so perfectly clear:

1. "In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary."

2. "Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use."

How on Earth can those two quotes be reconciled with your arguments? You really don't think offering someone a choice between leaving the country and "agreeing" to your taxes is physical force, and that it would make paying those taxes involuntary?

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Of some relevance to this thread, Dr. Peikoff responded to the following questions in his past podcasts (links are to the podcast entry in the unofficial podcast index):

Episode 54:

09:32: "'If government requires payment for its services, would those who choose freely not to pay for government services not have their inalienable rights protected?' (...) [Questioner goes on to ask:] 'Doesn't that violate your inalienable rights for the government not to pay for it?'"

Episode 61:

03:18: "'How can' (...) 'an Objectivists realistically live ethically in the western world when paying taxes involuntarily is immoral, and avoiding taxes is illegal?'"

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In any tax system I can imagine that requires progressively more from people simply on the basis that they are greater producers of wealth or income violates the trader principle. In addition, a system based on your production requires you to disclose information about your private trading with other people that is of no business of the government. I can imagine a system where there is a set fee for the government services provided and the identities of those delinquent in payment are made to be public information. An objective society may properly scorn the freeloaders to a degree where they might find it more difficult (and expensive) to operate within the private markets.

The most general statment is that "Taxation is not necessarily an initiation of force." In the context of this thread which contemplates a free society and a properly limited government then I claim the strong form "Taxation is not an initiation of force."

As Ayn Rand pointed out in "Government Financing in a Free Society" the enormous amount of economic activity involved in credit transactions and contracts all is premised on the availability of the courts. Such trades are not completely private. A completely private trade would be a barter completed with a single transaction. If there is money involved, supposedly money redeemable in the form of some other commodity, then there is credit and contract law involved. Ayn Rand claimed that to not tax such transactions is to subsidize them, I further claim that a voluntary tax is not objective.

Flat percentage tax rates are proportional, and proportionality is a principle of justice and an application of the trader principle. The conclusion that flat percentage tax rates are somehow progressive cannot be justified.

Nevertheless, I cannot concede that people cannot be trusted to choose the good freely and that a government (required to protect the good) can, for all times, only be sustained by evil (i.e. force).
Human nature will continue to cause objectivity in law to be a necessity. Equating law enforcement with force and all force with evil, leads to the conclusion that law enforcement is evil. That is an error because not all force is evil. Even the concession that retaliation is a necessary evil is incorrect.
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1. "In a fully free society, taxation—or, to be exact, payment for governmental services—would be voluntary."

2. "Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use."

How on Earth can those two quotes be reconciled with your arguments?

Identifying government as a contract is implicitly within her reasoning, that there is consent is explicitly within her writing. Consent and contract together establish that taxation would be voluntary, explicit reaffirmations are not necessary.

Note that Ayn Rand's argument for the superiority of the principle of "tying government revenues directly to the government services rendered" seems to be epistemological; direct fees are more concrete and less abstract than taxes so people will more easily be able to understand the relationship between what they pay for and what they get (is this a "dark view of human nature"?). The necessarily collective service of national defense cannot be sold off piecemeal and must be dealt with in the abstract and funded indirectly, even in her speculative scheme. Any realistic estimate of the costs of war will lead to the conclusion that fees for ordinary government services will quickly be priced out of the reach of ordinary citizens if that is the only fundraising method available.

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You may wish to deny that there is a market in force, but facts are facts. People pay other people to do their dirty work. That is a fact. It is the right, also. I call it "division of labor". Each man is not a policeman, a judge, a prison guard, or a solider. We pay other people to do our dirty work for us. It is more efficient that way. Good thing too, because I don't want to get my hands dirty. I'd rather wear a tie to work.

That is a market in labor not a market in force. Try again.

Rebelling is a last desperate attempt to regain lost freedoms.
Like in the American Civil War? Rebellion must be justified. "I don't feel like paying my taxes" is not a justification. Try again.

You demand a blank check.
Strawman. Try again.
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I believe you are asking me to try again. Very well, I will try again.

You write there is a market in labor, not in force. Could you elaborate? If the labor consists of enforcing laws, or defeating enemy armies... why isn't this a market in force? Do you not discriminate at all? There are different types of labor. Labor isn't just labor. An executioner's labor is different from other kinds. A policeman enforces law. It is part of his labor. I think this is simple. You can understand and acknowledge the point I am making, can you not?

And why on god's green earth did you put "I don't feel like paying my taxes" in quotes? Who in the hell are you quoting?

Talk about a straw man, will you? Try again, only try to be less snide.

Edited by Brian9
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For any who are looking for an antidote to such nonsense, listen to Dr. Peikoff's one-hour lecture, "Why Should One Act on Principle?" You can find it on your "Registered User" page at the Ayn Rand Institute. (Along with that one-hour lecture, there's a second audio, 30 minutes, of the Q&A that followed his lecture.)

Also from Dr. Peikoff is "The Unity in Ethics and Epistemology" where he discusses where principles come from. From my Notes on lecture 2 of that course:

Notes on "Unity in Ethics and Epistemology" Lecture 2

Not a transcript. These notes paraphrase the speaker's points and are not accurate quotes unless in quote tags. {Curly brackets denote my comments}

Lecture #2 Unity between Philosophy and History

Which of these two subjects comes first? A case can be made in either direction.

Philosophy --> History

Hierarchically, philosophy makes all knowledge possible. Without the grasp of the idea that we live in a stable, causal universe, a natural universe in which laws obtain, it would be useless to study any aspect of reality including the past. There is a prerequisite metaphysics. Some awareness of the issues of method in thought, that error and falsity are possible, that objectivity is necessary etc..; that is the prerequisite epistemology. Even in ethics the pursuit of secular knowledge must be motivated by some value; and in politics there must be some degree of freedom in order to pursue knowledge.

History --> Philosophy

Where did the philosophical ideas come from? Some axioms are self-evident and other points are implicit but no philosophical system is self-evident. Philosophy consists of much more than just the axioms. Ayn Rand got Objectivism from {ultimately} reality, that is the only place it could come from. But she did not study the stars or the tides, philosophy (apart from some early metaphysical axioms) is essentially the study of man from the normative perspective. Ayn Rand held that one could not study man except by studying men throughout history.

Nietzsche (paraphrase) wrote that it is not possible to discover the nature of man by simply abstracting from the nature of the men around you because you could not distinguish between what is the nature of man and what is the pervasive mood of an period. Example: Looking around today would lead to the conclusion that man is anti-intellectual, amoral or a religious nut, and in every country including America is essentially statist. The 'irresistible' conclusion can only be resisted by examining history and finding an era that was pro-reason and pro-individualism (ancient Greece and the Enlightenment era).

History is the great laboratory of philosophy. Consider the question "can man combine reason and religion?" Aquinas's reintroduction of Aristotle to western civilization resulted in the secular elements that exist today, but is the current trend back toward religion proof that the combination is unstable? It is insufficient to have a theoretical technical argument, you must examine instances when that was attempted. Simply deducing from the definitions of reason and religion is rationalism.

Ayn Rand majored in history in college. LP asked her why she did that when she was always concerned with what man ought to be. She answered "How am I supposed to discover what they ought to be?"

History is not just the illustration of known a priori philosophic principles but is the inductive source and ultimate validation of those principles.

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Taxation is removing an innocent's property against his will. It is immoral. End of discussion, really - how can anyone with a working understanding of individual rights debate the point?

One might (out of distrust in the prevasiveness of reason among the populace) argue that it is a "necessary evil". One might ask how to fund a legitimate government. But seriously, argue the morality of theft? Violating someone's property rights is a crime, why you do it or what you do with the goods is immaterial.

Legitimate governments are funded voluntarily - by donations made by people who understand the alternative and wish to avoid it. They are not funded by taxation (give me money or I take it by force) and they are not funded by a protection racket (give me money or I will not protect you from criminals/fraudsters).

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A tax is a compulsory, enforced, non-voluntary contribution to state revenue. A tax stands in distinction to a voluntary contribution. There's no such thing as a voluntary but compulsory contribution to state revenue.

Compliance with all laws is mandatory and coercive....

In other words, compliance with all laws is non-voluntary. And that is true; even if an individual agrees that a law is just, his compliance with the law is not voluntary; it is compelled; it is enforced.

Surely Miss Rand was aware of the distinction between compulsory and voluntary.

"In a fully free society, taxation - or, to be exact, payment for governmental services - would be voluntary." And, "A program of voluntary government financing would be amply sufficient to pay for the legitimate functions of a proper government." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

Apparently however, such a fully free society is not possible until and unless the rest of the world is fully free as well; as long as we are facing threats from statist societies, a fully free society with it's government supported voluntarily - without resorting to taxation or conscription - is not possible.

Ayn Rand majored in history in college. LP asked her why she did that when she was always concerned with what man ought to be. She answered "How am I supposed to discover what they ought to be?"

History is not just the illustration of known a priori philosophic principles but is the inductive source and ultimate validation of those principles.

"The more capitalistic countries" have voluntarily [?] instituted tax regimes and conscription to win their wars, which they won because they had a lot of money and the power to earn more as long as they had superior sea power.

We do not "know this is false" because it has never happened in history that [a] country with no taxation and no conscription fought off a country with both.

I think Union victory was a justification for both coerced taxation and conscription. The South already had slavery so it was natural for them to resort to conscription first. The Union needed to respond with their own conscription law to win.

Individual Rights (The Ayn Rand Lexicon) "The concept of individual rights is so prodigious a feat of political thinking that few men grasp it fully—and two hundred years have not been enough for other countries to understand it. But this is the concept to which we owe our lives—the concept which made it possible for us to bring into reality everything of value that any of us did or will achieve or experience." "A Nation’s Unity," The Ayn Rand Letter, II, 2, 3.

"Men would pay voluntarily for insurance protecting their contracts. But they would not pay voluntarily for insurance against the danger of aggression by Cambodia." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

But, perhaps Miss Rand was one of those "people who argue from first principles without bothering to reconcile their theories with facts and history that are difficult to convince" that "taxation is not an initiation of force" and neither is conscription if one's enemies have resorted to such violations of rights.

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Grames, all of that exists in the real world. Armies for hire have always existed. Competing police forces have always existed. Competing court systems have always existed. Competing systems for the incarceration of prisoners have always existed. I think somehow people imagine that competing police forces would have to be shooting at each other all the time for control. Most people have a difficult time fleshing out the concept of competition in any sphere of life and when force is involved, it doesn't make the task any easier I will grant you. But competition exists all the same. Competition is a law of nature. I compete with my local policeman for my own protection for instance. The more I can rely on myself, the less I need him. If I hire private security, I need him less. The FBI and the CIA compete, don't they? All levels of government compete with one another. One policeman competes with his partner for the promotion. States compete for population. Yes, it is true that government often tries to grant monopoly rights to certain agencies. It does this all the time. It never works. Prison systems compete with one another I'm certain. You can think of a thousand way in which the laborers in force compete. They compete with the laborers in other markets as well, because competition is pervasive and goes across all boundaries. So, what do you think? Are you ready to concede that there is a market in force?

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And governments are consumers of other goods. The whole market is an integrated whole. Any agency of force has technology costs, transportation costs, you name it. They have to integrate with the rest of the market in an intelligent and efficient way. As time marches on, some ways are shown to be better than others. One can't snap one's fingers and say, we've figured out the business of governance. Everyone send your checks to us and we'll get the job done. It doesn't work that way. You have to compete. You have to be good at the job and who is the judge of that? Not you. Because anything you can do, I can do better.

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A tax is a compulsory, enforced, non-voluntary contribution to state revenue. A tax stands in distinction to a voluntary contribution. There's no such thing as a voluntary but compulsory contribution to state revenue.

In other words, compliance with all laws is non-voluntary. And that is true; even if an individual agrees that a law is just, his compliance with the law is not voluntary; it is compelled; it is enforced.

This is no paradox. Holding an individual to his end of a contract voluntarily entered into is precisely what is the individual's relation to the government.

"In a fully free society, taxation - or, to be exact, payment for governmental services - would be voluntary." And, "A program of voluntary government financing would be amply sufficient to pay for the legitimate functions of a proper government." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

Apparently however, such a fully free society is not possible until and unless the rest of the world is fully free as well; as long as we are facing threats from statist societies, a fully free society with it's government supported voluntarily - without resorting to taxation or conscription - is not possible.

You got this part right, at least in regard to the larger statist societies which are capable of being threatening. It is only since the advent of the Industrial Revolution and especially flight that capital expenditures can be substituted for bodies, rendering conscription unnecessary for rich countries. But capital expenditures still cost money and no one can predict how much a future war might cost.

But, perhaps Miss Rand was one of those "people who argue from first principles without bothering to reconcile their theories with facts and history that are difficult to convince" that "taxation is not an initiation of force" and neither is conscription if one's enemies have resorted to such violations of rights.
Given Ayn Rand's focus on her vision of an ideal man in her literary and philosophical efforts, and that like everyone else her efforts were finite, it is no great defect or surprise that she did not study specialties such as military history and the economics of war and the philosophy of law. She even wrote the caveat to her own conclusions: "The question of how to implement the principle of voluntary government financing—how to determine the best means of applying it in practice—is a very complex one and belongs to the field of the philosophy of law." There is room for improvement here which goes beyond Ayn Rand's conclusions and yet does not fundamentally contradict them. My arguments have that character.
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Taxation is the initiation of force by government against its own citizens. As such, it is an improper method to pay for rational government.

The alternative is not just "donations," which means gifts, hand-outs, bequests and the like, where the link between payment and goods/services received is tenuous, idealistic, or vague. Of course, donations are acceptable, but I do not advocate that one rely primarily on them to run rational government.

First of all, understand what the purpose of government is - the means by which to uphold and enforce the law. So, you have to have a rational objective set of laws, the very foundation of which is: no one has the right to initiate the use of force.

And by no-one - that means not even those employed in the various branches of legitimate government.

I think it is a matter of identifying that which can be properly offered "value for value" by government, and which can be purchased such that it not only provides a good or service but also provides the means to provide the government protection.

Yes, you are buying protection - of one kind or another. The vital difference is that on each occasion, with each transaction, there is the option not to purchase the insurance, or the piece of paper, or the registration of the agreement as between you and another person. Not buying such insurance could cause you a problem IF there is a dispute that arises in your dealings with others, if no copy has been registered with the government, and nobody can produce a copy for the Court to use in settling the dispute. Or if you decline to obtain a card certifying you have reached the age of majority, and thus find it more difficult to obtain employment or be allowed to buy alcohol or what-have-you because you cannot prove your age.

The idea behind "voluntary" does not mean "charitable donations." It means that you have the choice to pay the fee, the premium, the costs involved in obtaining the good or service you want from the entity that is legally empowered to provide it.

And - in the case of contract insurance for instance - not buying it would mean that should you wish to initiate legal proceedings, you would have to pay for it from your own pocket; you would not have a policy of litigation insurance to turn to. If you were impecunious but had a very good case, you would be able to find a lawyer willing to work on "contingency." If you couldn't find such a lawyer, consider that you probably haven't got a case, and drop the matter.

Point is - the government is at root the law, and objective law is what governs. APPLYING the law to an individual situation/set of circumstances does take money - the cost of the judge's time, the court clerks and other support staff, even if both parties are self-represented.

Contract insurance is a very good idea proposed by Ayn Rand, which clearly needs to be enlarged so that people have a really good sense of how it might work in practice. What you are buying is two things with one payment - the peace of mind of knowing you have coverage in case you need to go to court to enforce a contract PLUS the knowledge that a portion of the premium you pay is going towards the day-to-day costs of the "infrastructure" of government at the domestic level anyway - i.e., the cost of the courts and of the police.

It is truly time to stop trying to make the case for tax. It is irrational and immoral as well as unworkable & corruptible.

There are non-coercive methods of paying the costs of rational government, and the sooner we start looking for them, the sooner we will find them. Charity/donations are not the only alternative.

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This is no paradox. Holding an individual to his end of a contract voluntarily entered into is precisely what is the individual's relation to the government.

Just what are the specifics, the relevant specifics in principle in relation to taxation and conscription, of this "contract voluntarily entered into" which you claim exists? And when and how do individuals voluntarily enter into it?

Given Ayn Rand's focus on her vision of an ideal man in her literary and philosophical efforts, and that like everyone else her efforts were finite, it is no great defect or surprise that she did not study specialties such as military history and the economics of war and the philosophy of law. She even wrote the caveat to her own conclusions: "The question of how to implement the principle of voluntary government financing—how to determine the best means of applying it in practice—is a very complex one and belongs to the field of the philosophy of law." There is room for improvement here which goes beyond Ayn Rand's conclusions and yet does not fundamentally contradict them. My arguments have that character.

Her caveat was not to the principle, but to the implementation of the principle. You are implying otherwise; do you not understand the difference?

Rand was against both taxation as a means of funding the government, as immoral (See Taxation in the Lexicon), and she was against conscription, as immoral as well. (See Draft in the Lexicon) And she was right. But then she was not a pragmatist.

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The alternative is not just "donations," which means gifts, hand-outs, bequests and the like, where the link between payment and goods/services received is tenuous, idealistic, or vague. Of course, donations are acceptable, but I do not advocate that one rely primarily on them to run rational government.

...

The idea behind "voluntary" does not mean "charitable donations." It means that you have the choice to pay the fee, the premium, the costs involved in obtaining the good or service you want from the entity that is legally empowered to provide it.

...

There are non-coercive methods of paying the costs of rational government, and the sooner we start looking for them, the sooner we will find them. Charity/donations are not the only alternative.

I agree.

Taxation:

"The question of how to implement the principle of voluntary government financing—how to determine the best means of applying it in practice—is a very complex one and belongs to the field of the philosophy of law. The task of political philosophy is only to establish the nature of the principle and to demonstrate that it is practicable." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

"[T]he principle of voluntary government financing regards the government as the servant, not the ruler, of the citizens—as an agent who must be paid for his services, not as a benefactor whose services are gratuitous, who dispenses something for nothing." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

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The alternative is not just "donations," which means gifts, hand-outs, bequests and the like, where the link between payment and goods/services received is tenuous, idealistic, or vague.

You are adding non essentials to the definition of the concept. A donation is a voluntary unilateral transfer of property. Period.

The reason why selective enforcement of rights, as you propose, is incompatible with legitimate government is that it effectively makes rights conditional to payment. In effect, you have no rights unless you pay up - therefore rights are bought from the government. Imagine that for a moment - you don't pay your "protection fee", you get mugged. You can't chase down the robber, beat him up and take your stuff back (presumably the government won't let you extract compensation yourself) and the government won't protect you either.

Now you can't argue here "you should have paid your protection money". The victim of robbery here may have been a free rider - but his property was his none the less. He has a right to it. Your system denies him the means to have that right protected (unless your government covers pre-existing "conditions"?).

Also, you cannot count on after the fact fees ("Hello sir, retrieving your wallet and jailing the mugger will be $500, would you like to purchase that?") because crimes, by their very nature, are a net destruction of value - frequently the value destroyed is far beyond the means of either criminal or victim to compensate (i.e. after an arsonist burns down my house and car, I won't exactly have excess money to "buy" an investigation nor is he likely to have money to compensate me if he is caught).

So government does have to defend everyone's rights regardless of payment - or the very idea that rights are natural and not granted or bought goes out the window.

That does not mean, however, that we have to be dumb about it. My own preferred system, which I have mentioned in a similar thread, is to use the format of the sales tax but make it voluntary. The country would have a federal rate, each state its own state rate, each local government its local rate. When you buy something the clerk may ask you "and would you like to add the government funding to that?" and you can answer "yes", "no" or "only federal please", "only local please" or whatever combination you prefer (as you agree/disagree with what each sphere of government is doing, for instance). Establishments are not forced to offer funds collection. You can refuse to deal with them if they don't (or if they do - if you are an anarchist). Establishments can refuse to deal with you if you don't want to fund the government, if their owners choose so. No one is forced to pay anything.

The effect of this arrangement is that if you choose not to support the government people will know. You see, you have a fundamental right to keep every cent you make but you do not have a right to keep your free riding secret. No rights are violated, funds are voluntarily collected at a somewhat controlled and somewhat adjustable rate, free riding is checked by peer pressure and the most powerful natural check on government that can be imagined is put in place: people only pay for what they think is worth it.

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I want to make the following point and digression before I returned to replying systematically. I'm not skipping anybody.

"[T]he principle of voluntary government financing regards the government as the servant, not the ruler, of the citizens—as an agent who must be paid for his services, not as a benefactor whose services are gratuitous, who dispenses something for nothing." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

I have found this sentence to be remarkable from Rand, an exception to her usual style. The relation between government services and taxes paid is abstract compared to the relationship between fees paid and government services rendered as needed. Although abstract, it is not incomprehensible. Why is Ayn Rand advocating special consideration for the concrete bound mentalities that cannot grasp that taxes are payments to servants?

I have been charged with having a "dark view of human nature" in presuming people will be too irrational to the right thing on their own, meaning give their money away without immediate return. And yet Rand's principle of voluntary funding is justified by the superiority of the direct relation between the payment and the service received over the abstract relation. This is exactly the same kind of "dark view of human nature" I have been accused of, in that it presumes people are too stupid to grasp the abstraction between a tax paid and a government service provided.

Is this actually an epistemological argument, as I have classified it, or is there an assumed premise lurking about? Perhaps something about the possibility of corruption? Why wouldn't she state it?

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You are adding non essentials to the definition of the concept. A donation is a voluntary unilateral transfer of property. Period.

I missed that, and I agree.

The reason why selective enforcement of rights, as you propose, is incompatible with legitimate government is that it effectively makes rights conditional to payment.

...

With respect to the rest of your comments, you might find what Dr. Peikoff says in a couple of his podcasts to be interesting. See my post #129 in this thread.

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Grames, I'm looking forward to what you think about my posts - I believe #139-140. I made a strong argument for why, contrary to your expressed opinion, market in force exists. You have other people to respond to, so I'll wait patiently, but I'm looking forward to it.

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"[T]he principle of voluntary government financing regards the government as the servant, not the ruler, of the citizens—as an agent who must be paid for his services, not as a benefactor whose services are gratuitous, who dispenses something for nothing." ("Government Financing in a Free Society")

I have found this sentence to be remarkable from Rand, an exception to her usual style. The relation between government services and taxes paid is abstract compared to the relationship between fees paid and government services rendered as needed. Although abstract, it is not incomprehensible. Why is Ayn Rand advocating special consideration for the concrete bound mentalities that cannot grasp that taxes are payments to servants?

I'll just respond quickly since I'm here now.

I don't find the same statement troubling, but perhaps I'm missing your point. I see it as simply her, as a philosopher, pointing out a fundamental principle of the relationship between the individual(s) and their government, as well as combating the ever-present altruistic code by stressing that the relationship is not only voluntary, but that one should pay for what benefits one gains from the service of others, such as the police, the military, the courts, etc. (It's voluntary for all parties.)

As Dr. Peikoff says in his podcast Episode 54 (09:32), in response to the question, "'If government requires payment for its services, would those who choose freely not to pay for government services not have their inalienable rights protected?'", "In principle, yes, if you don't pay for the services, there is no obligation on anyone to provide you the unearned. The people who pay, get the services. The people who don't, have no right to them, have no claim to them." (There's more to his response.)

This following quote from Miss Rand is perhaps helpful in relation to your arguments that without taxation (or perhaps the draft) the government would not have the means needed to successfully defend the nation against an aggressor nation in war. It's from the "Draft" entry in the Lexicon:

"It is often asked: “But what if a country cannot find a sufficient number of volunteers?” Even so, this would not give the rest of the population a right to the lives of the country’s young men. But, in fact, the lack of volunteers occurs for one of two reasons: (1) If a country is demoralized by a corrupt, authoritarian government, its citizens will not volunteer to defend it. But neither will they fight for long, if drafted. For example, observe the literal disintegration of the Czarist Russian army in World War I. (2) If a country’s government undertakes to fight a war for some reason other than self-defense, for a purpose which the citizens neither share nor understand, it will not find many volunteers. Thus a volunteer army is one of the best protectors of peace, not only against foreign aggression, but also against any warlike ideologies or projects on the part of a country’s own government." ("The Wreckage of the Consensus," Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 226.)

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I have found this sentence to be remarkable from Rand, an exception to her usual style. The relation between government services and taxes paid is abstract compared to the relationship between fees paid and government services rendered as needed. Although abstract, it is not incomprehensible. Why is Ayn Rand advocating special consideration for the concrete bound mentalities that cannot grasp that taxes are payments to servants?

She's not advocating for taxation, she's talking about voluntary contributions. It's not just that I haven't seen anything in Miss Rand's writings to suggest she was in favor of taxation, out of all the people I've talked to or read from who have shown a good understanding of other areas of Objectivism, you are the first one to suggest such a thing.

No one else thinks she advocated for taxation. That is the point that must be addressed, everything else you wrote is based on that premise you accepted and everyone else is vehemently rejecting. You won't be able to have a constructive conversation about any aspect of Objectivist Politics, until that issue is resolved.

The two ways it can be resolved is either you reexamine your premises, or you manage to convince everyone else (not everyone on this forum, but everyone studying Objectivism) that you are right. The latter would be a huge task, and I don't think you have come up with any convincing arguments to help your cause (just accepting the premise and building on it, which you've been doing, isn't going to help convince anyone - to be fair, it's not the only thing you've been doing, but you've been doing a lot of it, and it is a waste of time unless you make progress on having the premise be taken seriously).

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Grames, I'm looking forward to what you think about my posts - I believe #139-140. I made a strong argument for why, contrary to your expressed opinion, market in force exists. You have other people to respond to, so I'll wait patiently, but I'm looking forward to it.

You, individually, I'm not responding to simply because you bore me. You are making elementary mistakes that have been refuted over 9000 times on other threads by other people. I'm just not interested.

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