My LRC article today, “Taxes and Slavery: A Parallel,” has generated quite an email response by its readership. I would like to add a couple of additional clarifying observations. Libertarians must truly today become the new abolitionists. We must never concede the moral high-ground of our position that taxation is equivalent to slavery. This slavery sustains the American welfare-warfare state and its empire (enabled by the Fed) which encircles the globe. Slavery has sustained empires throughout history. In my article I defined slavery as the forcible confiscation and ownership of other human beings and the fruits of their labor. As Murray N. Rothbard brilliantly delineated in his magnum opus, The Ethics of Liberty, (.pdf copy) all human rights are property rights. The state, by its treatment of its chattels in regards to property and income taxes, asserts a bogus principle of ultimate ownership of your person and property — to abuse, mistreat, molest, and dispose of as its criminal functionaries deem appropriate. This is clearly evident since the Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo decision regarding eminent domain and related rulings on civil asset forfeiture.
TSA tyranny at the nation’s airports further demonstrates this utter disregard for property rights and self-ownership of passengers and flight crews. Libertarians often point out that taxation is theft and a clear violation of one’s natural rights to life, liberty, and property. The great abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison enunciated this seminal principle in the Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Convention (1833), where he observed “That every American citizen, who detains a human being in involuntary bondage as his property, is according to Scripture (Ex. xxi. 16), a man-stealer.”
Taxation is slavery. It violates every canon of human morality and ethical principles. And like slavery, it must be banished from civilized societies. We must never cease to assert this fundamental principle in every argument concerning taxes.
The future provision of services currently provided by the state must meet this standard of justice — such services must be voluntary and provided for by the free market. They must be absolutely free of any coercion or violation of rights.
We are at a pivotal turning point in human history. We are on the precipice of a major global economic collapse and the demise of the American empire. The coercive state as we have known it for thousands of years is coming to a well-deserved end. What we replace it with is in our hands as Libertarians. We must make the moral case for individual liberty, property rights, justice, and humanity as never before.
Libertarian advocates and communicators, such as Judge Andrew Napolitano and John Stossel on the airwaves — Lew Rockwell, Jacob Hornberger, Karen DeCoster, Tom DiLorenzo, Justin Raimondo, Tom Woods, Sheldon Richman on the Internet — must lead the way. We must all become the new abolitionists, and lead the world out of the darkness of tax slavery to a brighter world of peace, freedom, and prosperity.4:37 pm on December 20, 2010 Email Charles Burris