The Taxation Is Theft Hangup and Panarchism

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I always hear the following libertarian argument against panarchist libertarianism: “I would point out however that your view fails due to that fact that all public options are funded through taxation, which is theft.”

My reply: Taxation is theft only when it is imposed on me as an involuntary payer who doesn’t consent to it.

There are people who willingly consent to governments and taxes. Let them have them if they want, as long as they leave me and you alone. This requires that the government not be able to force us to be a citizen, usually by enumeration within some borders.

Panarchism’s opposition to territorial monopolies is equivalent to a call for voluntary citizenship, or the right to decline to be a citizen with its attendant levies, rules, laws, duties, controls and regulations. It’s equivalent to a call for a right of personal secession and a right to subscribe (or not) to a set of laws.

The panarchist argument is perfectly sound. One of its virtues is to call attention to rights that are almost entirely ignored, such as the right to decline to be a citizen.

12:15 pm on June 6, 2013
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