Carlos

Taxation, Regulation and Government Programs in a Free Nation

388 posts in this topic

As I point out in post #212, my basic point also extends to Revolutionary America. And, at this time, also as far into the future as the eye can see.
I do not see how stating such ideas addresses ANY of my actual points - which is why I asked you to quote those points and match them with your statements which supposedly address them. At this time, I will simply note that the 'extent' of your "basic point" does not address my statements - which were about the necessity of morality in guiding man's actions, and the immorality of financing a proper system of government at the point of a gun. As such, I await the requested linkage between your quotes and mine which supports your claim that you somehow addressed the points I raised in my previous posts.
Are you willing to speak for everyone and say that my basic point is settled in that context also? That you and everyone else will concede taxation in all of those pre-completely-ideal countries and centuries to come?
I will certainly "concede" that taxation existed in prior times. Who has claimed otherwise? And by what method would they claim it except by rewriting reality?

And I will "concede" that, without a major change in philosophy and government, taxation is not going away any time soon (though I will not at all claim that such a change must necessarily take an untold number of "centuries" to occur). Again, who here has argued that taxation is even close to disappearing in the near future?

If these are the positions you have been arguing against, I would suggest you have been arguing against straw men. Who do you believe is arguing against the fact that taxation existed in the past and against the idea that taxation will be with us into the future until we are able to establish a proper system of government?

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I do not see how stating such ideas addresses ANY of my actual points - which is why I asked you to quote those points and match them with your statements which supposedly address them. At this time, I will simply note that the 'extent' of your "basic point" does not address my statements - which were about the necessity of morality in guiding man's actions, and the immorality of financing a proper system of government at the point of a gun. As such, I await the requested linkage between your quotes and mine which supports your claim that you somehow addressed the points I raised in my previous posts.
Brian, I already told you that I will fulfill your request after I pursue a little clarification of mine.
I will certainly "concede" that taxation existed in prior times. Who has claimed otherwise? And by what method would they claim it except by rewriting reality?
It's not just to concede the fact of that taxation that I bring up the Revolutionary war example, but to concede the principle. Here, I'll repost from post #212:
the bigger point is that [taxation] must stay even for Revolutionary Americans! That [voluntary taxation] speaks about a state of mind that was unseen in history, and so therefore discussing it has far less application or real-world parallels; it may remain an ideal, not a Platonic ideal but a real one, but still an ideal that is too far removed to be talked about in any frequency.

So my concrete goal is to reach the state of the Revolutionary Americans -- with their taxes and the whole deal; that state of society and culture is the specific and real ideal that I have in my mind, while philosophically also knowing that there is something further.

So it's not just a mere concession of fact that I'm after, but even a concession of principle.
If these are the positions you have been arguing against, I would suggest you have been arguing against straw men. Who do you believe is arguing against the fact that taxation existed in the past and against the idea that taxation will be with us into the future until we are able to establish a proper system of government?
The "proper system of government" is an elusive term Brian. That's precisely what post 212 that I keep citing is about. Would you like me to quote specific parts? It may not come for unforseen time in the future. But what if good men will create another government like revolutionary america again? Will you be against taxation in that case?

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It's not just to concede the fact of that taxation that I bring up the Revolutionary war example, but to concede the principle. Here, I'll repost from post #212:
the bigger point is that [taxation] must stay even for Revolutionary Americans! That [voluntary taxation] speaks about a state of mind that was unseen in history, and so therefore discussing it has far less application or real-world parallels...
I must repeat: WHO is it here you are arguing against? WHO here has made the claim that the "principle" of taxation was not accepted at that time in history. WHO here has claimed that the principle of "voluntary financing" could have been accepted then, despite the fact that the philosophic principles which justify it had not yet even been identified let alone established? WHO here are you claiming is trying to rewrite reality in such a manner?

WHOSE argument here are you opposing?

...[voluntary taxation] may remain an ideal, not a Platonic ideal but a real one, but still an ideal that is too far removed to be talked about in any frequency.
No one is forcing you to talk about it. You are perfectly free not to talk about it if that is your view.
So my concrete goal is to reach the state of the Revolutionary Americans -- with their taxes and the whole deal; that state of society and culture is the specific and real ideal that I have in my mind, while philosophically also knowing that there is something further.
Good for you. Of course, again, WHO here has argued against the fact that changes in "society and culture" will have to be progressive rather than all at once?

I would truly like to learn WHO it is you think you are arguing against here.

The "proper system of government" is an elusive term Brian.
Not to Objectivism.
But what if good men will create another government like revolutionary america again? Will you be against taxation in that case?
I will be as much against taxation then as I am now. And like now, I will still be fighting to change government to its proper form - which necessarily includes identifying the nature of that proper system and thus the proper method of financing it.
Would you like me to quote specific parts?
No. I would like you to "quote specific parts" that you have already been asked to quote, rather than argue against positions I have seen NO ONE present. In fact, even before you provide those quotes I would like you to identify exactly WHO it is you believe you are arguing against here. Because if, after being asked multiple times now, you are unable to even point to WHO it is you are supposedly arguing against, then that makes your arguments simple non-sequitors.

In that case, I will repeat my invitation: if you wish to join us in discussing the "basic points" we are actually presenting, you are quite free to do so.

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Brian, I have no inclination towards shouting matches, so please attempt to restrain your posts with calmness; I am all for continuing the discussion of this topic, but have no desire for CAPS and BOLD statements that emotionally arrest as much as rationally persuade.

You repeatedly ask "who" it is that has argued such and such about the past, i.e. "WHO here has claimed that the principle of "voluntary financing" could have been accepted then". What you're missing is the context of what I mean -- that the revolutionary period is not only a time that is dead and gone never to return again, but also an ideal to strive for in the future; not only a fact, but also an abstraction and a principle.

So, ok fine no one has disputed the taxation during the revolutionary period; I haven't stated anything to the contrary. My point is that if we bring the revolutionary period back again, what is your reaction towards taxes going to be? Will you demand they abolish taxes, knowing what we know from Objectivism?

By knowing what their views, values, and moral status were back then, we can gauge what these kinds of men will think if they live again in the future. That's what this is all about, why historical concretization has the utmost value. Instead of arguing about detached absolutes only, we can debate having concrete people and values in our hands. In this case, the people under discussion are about as ideal as the world has ever seen, so we can discuss them and taxes with great profit towards our discussion.

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even if we know that the "meantime" may consist of decades.
Not decades AisA. Millenia. What are we to do in the meantime, blame every single society that comes forth? Blame even human nature?

What are we to do in the meantime?

Well, here is one thing we should do. This is Ayn Rand in the article, "How does one lead a rational life in an irrational society?" in The Virtue of Selfishness:

"I will confine my answer to a single, fundamental aspect of this question. I will name only one principle, the opposite of the idea which is so prevalent today and which is responsible for the spread of evil in the world. That principle is: One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment." (Emphasis in original.)

I refuse the sense of guilt that must permeate, according to you, until the final stage has been reached; or moral blame towards the object that has not reached the end of a historical progression; just like I have little blame for slavery towards those men and those cultures that brought about the current freedom.

I don’t understand this comment. Passing moral judgment on a practice or belief is a separate issue from passing moral judgment on those who engage in the practice or hold the belief. The conclusions we reach about the former do not necessarily dictate that we reach the same conclusions about the latter.

For instance, given the current level of knowledge available to virtually every conscious person in the civilized world, we can make the moral judgment that racism is irrational and thus immoral – and we can conclude that anyone today that makes moral judgments based on skin color is being irrational and thus immoral. However, if we evaluate Abraham Lincoln’s overt racism, we must temper our moral judgment of him based on the level of knowledge available to him at the time. We can fully condemn the act while acknowledging that some of the actors may be guilty of nothing worse than innocent errors of knowledge.

Likewise, while I condemn involuntary taxation as evil, I am not going to reach the same conclusion about the American revolutionaries who imposed taxes; they remain heroes to me despite their errors. (And yes, I think they were wrong to impose a tax, but then again I have the benefit of having access to a lifetime of thought by the greatest genius of all time and I would be remiss indeed if I failed to use that knowledge.) I am going to condemn, as evil, modern intellectuals and politicians who gleefully promote progressive involuntary taxation as a means of expressing and implementing their hatred of the good for being the good.

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So, ok fine no one has disputed the taxation during the revolutionary period
Okay - if no one has presented such a dispute, then your arguments do not address anyone's position here. They are non-sequitors to the positions others have stated.
My point is that if we bring the revolutionary period back again, what is your reaction towards taxes going to be?
That is not a point. That is a question. And it does not serve to address any of my points.
Will you demand they abolish taxes, knowing what we know from Objectivism?
This has already been answered multiple times now, in response to the many different ways you have asked the same thing. As I do now, I will argue for them to institute a proper system of government, which includes voluntary financing. As I have stated here, no one has suggested otherwise. Like your arguments about taxation during the revolutionary period, you are attacking positions no one here has put forth. That is why I keep inviting you into our conversation - because you are outside of anything we are talking about or referencing.
In this case, the people under discussion are about as ideal as the world has ever seen, so we can discuss them and taxes with great profit towards our discussion.
This addresses my points how?

I have been patient as you have spent time discussing points which are, at best, non-sequitors (since, as I have stated from the beginning, no one here has suggested that improper governments should be funded by means of voluntary financing). I would now appreciate it if you would actually support your claim that your post 212 somehow addresses the points I made in my first couple posts (as I initially requested and as you said you would indeed do).

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Will you demand they abolish taxes, knowing what we know from Objectivism?
... As I do now, I will argue for them to institute a proper system of government, which includes voluntary financing. As I have stated here, no one has suggested otherwise. Like your arguments about taxation during the revolutionary period, you are attacking positions no one here has put forth.

At the time of the Revolution, for all the emphasis on reason, individualism and freedom, they did not have Ayn Rand's epistemology and ethics. It's not at all clear that the Founding Fathers would have been open to arguments against coercive funding, especially considering their own history of imposing unpopular taxes despite protests like Shays' Rebellion beginning in 1786. That doesn't mean that the arguments should not alway be made, at least in the background, on the way to a proper government, but it raises the issue of what it would mean to get 'back' to that point to "create another government like revolutionary America again" and what else is required to do it right. It will be a long slow process, and in the meantime there are a lot more serious problems today in dealing with a crushing taxation burden and the ruthless tactics used to enforce it by agencies on a "mission" and which "interpret" the laws and create their own regulations to brutally grab what they can.

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I have been patient as you have spent time discussing points which are, at best, non-sequitors (since, as I have stated from the beginning, no one here has suggested that improper governments should be funded by means of voluntary financing). I would now appreciate it if you would actually support your claim that your post 212 somehow addresses the points I made in my first couple posts (as I initially requested and as you said you would indeed do).

Brian, I'm sorry but after 2-3 exchanges of posts, only now have you finally have answered my question that asked for a small clarification. I want to finally pursue your response here.

As I do now, I will argue for them to institute a proper system of government, which includes voluntary financing. As I have stated here, no one has suggested otherwise.

That's what I've been after from you for a couple of days. Because I have suggested otherwise. ewv is exactly right, that the Founding Fathers would not have found these arguments convincing. But we can't read their minds, even if they did the populace sure wouldn't -- insofar as people at large take exponentially longer to grasp an idea than a few select men who make it their business to think about ideas for a living. So if the Founders wished to support voluntary taxation, and implemented it, the society would fall apart, because the rank-and-file people wouldn't maintain the conditions that would allow it to exist.

So taking this back from history that's long dead and gone, if we bring back that early great nation and these virtuous people, they would not support voluntary taxation. In short, even then we would not reach that end which Ayn Rand says must be reached in human development before voluntary taxes could work.

So, I understand you want to bring me back into the conversation about ideal governments. My point, which you've been unable to see before, is that with all of the advances of Objectivism, even the highly virtuous revolutionary culture would not be able to support voluntary taxation.

Why is that important? Who cares what they would or wouldn't support? I care because I prefer to have specific concrete goals to strive for. My goal politically, right now, is to strive for the kind of political culture that was possessed by those revolutionary men. And I know that trying to say anything about voluntary taxation to them would be way out of the question; on my part.

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As I do now, I will argue for them to institute a proper system of government, which includes voluntary financing. As I have stated here, no one has suggested otherwise.

That's what I've been after from you for a couple of days. Because I have suggested otherwise. ewv is exactly right, that the Founding Fathers would not have found these arguments convincing. But we can't read their minds, even if they did the populace sure wouldn't -- insofar as people at large take exponentially longer to grasp an idea than a few select men who make it their business to think about ideas for a living. So if the Founders wished to support voluntary taxation, and implemented it, the society would fall apart, because the rank-and-file people wouldn't maintain the conditions that would allow it to exist.

So taking this back from history that's long dead and gone, if we bring back that early great nation and these virtuous people, they would not support voluntary taxation. In short, even then we would not reach that end which Ayn Rand says must be reached in human development before voluntary taxes could work.

So, I understand you want to bring me back into the conversation about ideal governments. My point, which you've been unable to see before, is that with all of the advances of Objectivism, even the highly virtuous revolutionary culture would not be able to support voluntary taxation.

Why is that important? Who cares what they would or wouldn't support? I care because I prefer to have specific concrete goals to strive for. My goal politically, right now, is to strive for the kind of political culture that was possessed by those revolutionary men. And I know that trying to say anything about voluntary taxation to them would be way out of the question; on my part.

But we can't literally go "back" and Ayn Rand did not write in such terms. If the country gets to the state of approaching a free society it will come from a new intellectual and cultural trend incorporating more and better knowledge of philosophy than was known in the Enlightenment. Even in pre-Revolutionary America it would have taken time to spread a better philosophy, not just political theory, among the population; an appeal to Thomas Jefferson with "Objectivist arguments" would not have been enough by itself whether he agreed or not.

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But we can't literally go "back" and Ayn Rand did not write in such terms.

Not only that, but she actually criticized the conservatives because they wanted to "go back". The problem with America is the principles it was founded on were not completely understood or explicit, which allowed altruism to eat away at the system gradually like a cancer. Wanting to go back to an earlier stage of the disease is not a cure.

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So, I understand you want to bring me back into the conversation about ideal governments. My point, which you've been unable to see before, is that with all of the advances of Objectivism, even the highly virtuous revolutionary culture would not be able to support voluntary taxation.

(Bold is mine.)

Nice try. The context of this thread has never been about ideal governments. It has been about a free nation imposing an involuntary tax. You are still arguing against a position that no one has put forth.

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My point [...] is that with all of the advances of Objectivism, even the highly virtuous revolutionary culture would not be able to support voluntary taxation.
How can we know what impact Miss Rand would've had on these people? Don't in-touch Objectivist scholars regularly express surprise at both the progress Objectivism is making and where it's not getting through?

Further, what would the acceptance or the rejection of a voluntary tax system at that time have to do with the work at hand?

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Will you demand they abolish taxes, knowing what we know from Objectivism?
... As I do now, I will argue for them to institute a proper system of government, which includes voluntary financing. As I have stated here, no one has suggested otherwise. Like your arguments about taxation during the revolutionary period, you are attacking positions no one here has put forth.

At the time of the Revolution, for all the emphasis on reason, individualism and freedom, they did not have Ayn Rand's epistemology and ethics.

Since I did not answer a question about the time of the revolution, but a time in the future when a govt similar to that instituted because of the revolution was put in place, this reply to my answer is a non-sequitor.

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Brian, I'm sorry but after 2-3 exchanges of posts, only now have you finally have answered my question that asked for a small clarification. I want to finally pursue your response here.
Actually, I provided the exact same answer to you in 228 . I am sorry you missed it.

Of course, I also stated it from the beginning too - which is why I have repeatedly indicated you are arguing against no one here.

As I do now, I will argue for them to institute a proper system of government, which includes voluntary financing. As I have stated here, no one has suggested otherwise.
That's what I've been after from you for a couple of days. Because I have suggested otherwise. ewv is exactly right, that the Founding Fathers would not have found these arguments convincing.
See my response to ewv. Suffice it to say, you have failed to accurately identify my position.
So, I understand you want to bring me back into the conversation about ideal governments. My point, which you've been unable to see before, is that with all of the advances of Objectivism, even the highly virtuous revolutionary culture would not be able to support voluntary taxation.
And I have never claimed otherwise, so you are still outside the conversation.

If you feel like actually addressing the points I made in my posts responding to Carlos, let me know. Until then, your statements have absolutely no relevance to mine (or anyone else's). They are merely a superfluous distraction from those points.

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In the heated discussion from the previous week(s) I over-looked certain aspects of what a government is created for. Yes, a proper government is created to protect one's rights. But, what is it that the government is supposed to be protecting a person from? The government is protecting a person from the initiation of physical force. The initiation from physcial force is what so many people seem to over-look when they push their "governement programs" whether publice roads, public health care, fire departments, libraries, public schools or any other "government program." That initiation of physical force also includes force from the government in the form of involuntary taxation.

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In the heated discussion from the previous week(s) I over-looked certain aspects of what a government is created for. Yes, a proper government is created to protect one's rights. But, what is it that the government is supposed to be protecting a person from? The government is protecting a person from the initiation of physical force. The initiation from physcial force is what so many people seem to over-look when they push their "governement programs" whether publice roads, public health care, fire departments, libraries, public schools or any other "government program." That initiation of physical force also includes force from the government in the form of involuntary taxation.

More basic than that, I think, is that a government provides a mechanism for the resolution of honest disputes when physical force may be required to resolve the dispute. Contract law and suing people for alleged claims of rights violation when no criminal activity occurred is an important function of government. Punishing criminal behavior is a relative small percentage of the overall activity of a government.

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Paul, I would think that a proper government sets up those specific government entities so that the initiation of force does not happen. If we did not have a court system to resolve our disputes than I can only think of what force would begin to be applied. I would say that all three parts of a proper government play a part in either stopping an intition of force or preventing it before it happens, as you example shows.

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Paul, one of the things that I was trying to demonstrate through my post (241) was that those improper government entities such as fire-departments, libraries and more have nothing to do with preventing or stopping the initiation of force. And, because they do not protect an individuals rights, they should not be a part of a proper government.

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Paul, one of the things that I was trying to demonstrate through my post (241) was that those improper government entities such as fire-departments, libraries and more have nothing to do with preventing or stopping the initiation of force. And, because they do not protect an individuals rights, they should not be a part of a proper government.

OK. I agree with that.

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If we did not have a court system to resolve our disputes than I can only think of what force would begin to be applied.

In fact, you can look at the difference between how business disputes in the alcoholic beverage trade are handled by the courts nowadays vs. how they were handled during Prohibition when those in the trade did not have access to the courts. You can also compare today's business disputes over liquor deals with business disputes over illegal drug deals. You either have access to courts or gang warfare.

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But we can't literally go "back" and Ayn Rand did not write in such terms.
Right, that's a good point. However there's nothing liberal or conservative here -- history shows that we as a humanity "go back" all the time. History is but a series of cycles, and the Revolutionary men and the set of values they espoused and cherished deeply in their heart is practically identical with the set of values espoused in Italy 2,000 years prior, or the rural (non-philosophical) Greeks 2,500 years ago. And I mean this with full seriousness, with everything I've read in history to back it up. When the Roman Empire fell, lazy and complacent, it was conquered by the much more vigorous Franks; the barbarian Franks in time became the over-civilized French, with their powdered-wigs and tea parties, and now are basically being taken over by the far more vigorous Muslims. In Spain, the aggressive and fanatical Moors conquered and settled down, turning to poetic arts and becoming languid, conquered in turn by the far more rude and vigorous Christian knights; who in time became the highly civilized Spaniards who led the world in culture; and by now themselves have become languid, passive, even self-doubtful.

History always moves in circles. The Roman Republic traversed the well-expected path from early years when the political order was still being settled, to unparalleled equality and full tranquility, finally to complacency and collapse; the Florentine and Venetian republics traversed the same exact path 1,500 years later. Aside from the statist qualities in America, as a political state it is experiencing exactly the same process -- the people who once followed Patrick Henry to storm the Virginian Royal House, who exalted to take part in government of the state in every way, now consider voting to be a questionable dubious burden; that jury duty is a frustrating and unwelcome chore; that the electorate college is silly.

On and on it goes. I raise all these facts not for a pointless reason, but to try to show the immutability of the fact noted by a Greek historian long ago -- that human nature remains the same, and mankind will traverse its steps over and over again. In 500 years from now, another people will be exactly like the Founding generation, exactly like the Venetian founders, exactly like the ancient Brutus of Rome.

And we as intellectuals need to know our position towards them, what we'll say to them when they're here. Brian Smith said he would advocate abolition of tax to them. My response is that that would spell disaster. We need to know what people can and cannot handle, and advocating an idea out of principle, dismissive of the consequences to the state, is destructive, and definitely not something Ayn Rand would blindly advocate either.

How does this bring us back to Jordan's original point? I submit that although the ideal society he proposes is not completely philosophically ideal in the fullest sense, it is at least a concrete goal; and it may well be a society we strive for, a society we admire, but one that'll still have taxes in it.

AisA raised a good point: "Passing moral judgment on a practice or belief is a separate issue from passing moral judgment on those who engage in the practice or hold the belief." I would add a similar point -- Knowing a philosophical point is a separate issue from actively advocating it at every instance possible. I may make a certain judgment about the nature of taxation, but will refrain from expressing it and advocating it, depending on the society I am living in. Advocating a principle blindly here, could only lead to destruction, which is why I think Ayn Rand chose not to do it here either.

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How does this bring us back to Jordan's original point? I submit that although the ideal society he proposes is not completely philosophically ideal in the fullest sense, it is at least a concrete goal; and it may well be a society we strive for, a society we admire, but one that'll still have taxes in it.

If I understand you correctly than why not translate your ideas from politics to individuals. In individual ethics, I guess we should not strive to be Howard Roarks or John Galts because it is not practical or concrete. I must disagree.

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How does this bring us back to Jordan's original point? I submit that although the ideal society he proposes is not completely philosophically ideal in the fullest sense, it is at least a concrete goal; and it may well be a society we strive for, a society we admire, but one that'll still have taxes in it.
FC's claim that some improper systems of government are better than other improper systems of government, and thus can be 'admired' more, is completely unrelated to CJ's claims that a proper system of government cannot be voluntarily financed and that he does not care about contrary claims based on moral principles. Nor is FC's claim in any way related to the argument presented against CJ's claims.

In other words, FC continues to make many posts, but his verboseness fails to address the claims which are actually in dispute here. Instead his words continue to rail against specters. As such, I repeat my posts so as to bring the focus here off of the phantoms he has created and back onto the actual claims in dispute:

---

I want to focus on the practicality because frankly I just simply don't care about the arguments presented from morality for the case of voluntary taxation, or against the case of involuntary taxation. This is because for now I see involuntary taxation as overwhelmingly more practical of an alternative for preserving civilization and freedom than voluntary taxation.
For now, I see the initiation of force as overwhelmingly more practical of an alternative for preserving civilization and freedom than voluntary interaction among men. I simply don't care about arguments presented from an objective morality for the case of voluntary interaction, or against the case of the initiation of force.

I simply don't care about the arguments presented from an objective code of values which guides man's choice and actions. I simply don't care about the arguments of this code which identify voluntary interaction as good and the initiation of force as evil.

I care about achieving my ends, not the morality of my means. My ends justify my means.

[The Pragmatists] declared that philosophy must be practical and that practicality consists of dispensing with all absolute principles and standards - that there is no such thing as objective reality or permanent truth - that truth is that which works, and its validity can be judged only by its consequences

--

At the moment I have come to the conclusion that voluntary taxation as a means to support the proper government of a free nation (Police, Military, Courts) is a virtual impossibility in reality
Well look, the question is not whether taxation has worked in the past, but rather is it something to hope to see go away in the future. I as much as any man would like to see it go away, provided that the conditions were met.
Realistically though, how good of a chance is there that the conditions could ever be met?
Realistically, how good of a chance is there that there will ever be a "proper government of a free nation"?

(Note that second quote here rejects as unrealistic the very context set by the first quote. By rejecting his own context, Mr. Jordan has rejected the very basis of question and thus the basis of the entire thread he created. Note also that the second quote indicates the value sought by Objectivist politics [the "proper government of a free nation"] is unrealistic - ie is unlikely "ever" to be achieved. Given such a premise, it is no wonder that the moral principles [the means] one must follow to achieve that value [the ends] would be discarded. If the ends are not "practical", then the means of achieving them are necessarily not "practical" as well.)

As a counter to the argument that involuntary taxation violates individual rights, I say that you are welcome to leave the USA (or worse yet, go live in the wilderness) any time you want!
If you don't like the initiation of force, you are welcome to try to flee from it. But do not argue I should not initiate such force.

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Brian Smith said he would advocate abolition of tax to them. My response is that that would spell disaster.
I would like to correct FC's claim here. I stated quite clearly on numerous occasions that, like Miss Rand, I advocate - and will continue to advocate in the future - a proper system of government which includes a proper method of financing that government. It is a violation of logic for FC or anyone else to misrepresent my position by claiming I have suggested advocating the abolition of taxes outside that context.

The claim that advocating a proper system of government (with all that entails) will somehow "spell disaster" is, to me as an Objectivist, a completely bizarre assertion.

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