Carlos

Taxation, Regulation and Government Programs in a Free Nation

388 posts in this topic

Let's summarize Carlos' view and then see how much one can agree with these points.

He begins the thread with

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, especially given the tremendous budget of modern Militaries. I therefore think it is completely proper for the United States to enforce involuntary taxation only for the essential services required in order to protect Freedom and individual rights within our nation. 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!

I have come to this conclusion (and several others concerning Fire Departments, emergency economic regulation, and public roads) from looking at History and practical thought experiments.

Following up with,

I'm not talking about coercing people to do the right thing--that's impossible--I'm talking about taking desperate measures to save my life and the lives of any good men out there in what is the most dire emergency situation possible.

Continuing:

When men get together to frame and build a proper nation, they do so with the view that the government is here for our benefit, not the other way around. So yes, the sole power and authority that a government may wield is granted to it by the very people whom the government governs.

And

I used to take a very passive interpretation of what it meant to be a citizen of a nation, but lately I've changed my view to that of a citizen being a very active role, because for the first time in my life I've begun to realize how awesomely serious and solemn of a thing it is to be the loyal citizen of a nation. When men form a nation, they are pledging that the lives of every single man, woman and child of this nation is going into this win or lose, and if this sacred civil bond is to work then it will require the duty of all its citizens. The men that form a nation consciously agree to this, and I think that every man born into a nation who continues to live in it as a citizen implicitly agrees to it as well.

I think that the duty a citizen owes to his nation could be paid by choice in one of three ways:

1: military service

2: paying taxes

3: being a public/government official

Continuing

Stressing that we focus on being practical isn't Pragmatism. Pragmatism is being unprincipled. Please look this up in the Lexicon before falsely accusing me of Pragmatism, as this has already been heavily discussed elsewhere.

Things get worse.

I'm not trying to justify the use of the violation of individual rights as a means to an end of protecting individual rights: I'm saying that right now I don't think it is necessarily a violation of individual rights to have involuntary taxation given the proper context and/or the proper government.

I think though there is a reconciliation between our two views in the manner of how the government would work that wouldn't require a compromise on principles, and it is something that I briefly stated before in this thread:

If you wish to be a citizen of a nation, you should either pay taxes, serve in the military, or serve as a public official. If you decline to perform any of these actions then your citizenship is suspended. You can still live in that nation, but you will not be guaranteed the benefits that a citizen enjoys--i.e., you can't vote or take part in Politics, the Police can reserve the right to refuse you service/protection, and the Courts can reserve the right to refuse you legal representation. I think this would be quite fair and practical.

More confusing:

I'm not saying that just because someone doesn't pay their taxes that it should be open season on them and their rights are suspended. What I'm saying should be suspended is the services the government offers to that individual for protection of his rights.

And more confusing:

I never said someone's rights were suspended for not paying their taxes, and I never said they became less human, and I even said that it would be insane for a policeman not to step in to arrest a lawbreaker.

What I originally meant was that a Policeman could reserve the right to refuse service because it is unfair to expect him to risk his neck for someone who isn't grateful enough to pay for his salary. So this would be a decision made at the discretion of the police men based on the situation.

Getting close to the payoff:

For now, absolutely no more arguments pertaining to the morality of involuntary taxation. I think arguing over the morality of involuntary taxation is both not achieving anything and pointless at the moment (we are going in circles really). Like I said earlier, for an idea even to enter into moral consideration in my mind, I need substantial proof that the idea is even going to be practical to begin with, so I want any and all future discussion in this thread to be purely focused on the practicality of involuntary vs. voluntary taxation.

And the payoff:

I think that person would be a fool who would only disrupt the natural peaceful order of a free nation, and deserves to be in jail, if not put to death.

The meaning of all this is quite clear. "Give me taxes or give them death."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no intent on piling on, Carlos, I just want to make a point regarding the practicality of zero taxation.

I think a few things should be kept in mind. In a proper system of government the government would have a very narrow range of things to do. It would not be the bloated behemoth we have now. Under such a system the economy would be incredibly more robust and people incredibly freer to innovate. This will result in much more wealth. With people this rich, the funding of a relatively small government would be easy, and in addition supplying the best high tech military equipment would be easy. It’s our freedom today that allows us to have a high tech military. We'd be much higher tech than today if we were all the freer. Who would we have to fight in such a world? Any country that would be our enemy would be a non-free country, those sorts of countries have no hope of keeping up with us militarily, and with a proper foreign policy, we wouldn't spend our time building soup kitchens for our enemies, we'd just obliterate them and forget them.

In addition, I think that such a morally certain country would change more of the world over to our way of thinking. In a world where a completely free America could be created, there would be the unabashed spreading of freedom everywhere. This could help us in innumerable ways.

Just to bolster the point more, keep in mind that our economy is being held down today by mountains of regulations and taxes. All of these are massive obstacles in the way of human creativity and yet lots of wealth is produced despite this. Imagine making people truly secure in their person and property. Imagine the sort of long range projects people will be willing to engage in that today are unrealistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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? And, if the conditions aren't met yet, does that make involuntary taxation a moral alternative, or a necessary evil?

It is a necessary evil -- for now.

As Ayn Rand wrote:

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

[...]

Any program of voluntary government financing is the last, not the first, step on the road to a free society—the last, not the first, reform to advocate. It would work only when the basic principles and institutions of a free society have been established. It would not work today. [Emphasis added]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding citizenship and duty, I think this recent article by Alex Epstein is relevant:

The Un-American Call for National Service

...the idea behind national service is that service to the state is a moral duty. The government, its advocates claim, should teach us that service is an integral part of American citizenship. Robin Gerber, a professor of leadership at the University of Maryland, writes: “Young Americans should be told they have an obligation to serve, a duty to actively support their democracy.” Conservative writer David Brooks endorses national service because it “takes kids out of the normal self-obsessed world of career and consumption and orients them toward service and citizenship.” Brooks favors military-related national service, because under it, “Today's children . . . would suddenly face drill sergeants reminding them they are nothing without the group.”

This collectivist belief in the supremacy of the group over the individual is the foundation of the national-service ideology, which regards the individual as a servant to the nation. The notion that people are “nothing without the group” and owe their lives--or any portion of them--to the state is antithetical to American individualism and freedom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so, the piling on Jordan continues. Look, I agree that the discussion was conducted diffusely and all over the board, but the basic point nevertheless remains: what Betsy said was right -- taxation should stay for now, it is a necessary evil, and it's not with her but with Ayn Rand that you should find issue if you disagree with that statement.

None of the people arguing against him have reconciled the suggested theories with the notion that taxation can only go away in the future. If only in the future, then what do you think ought to be its status now? Fine, Jordan was wrong on a couple of derived or superficial issues, but it all stemmed from his fundamental point that taxation can stay right now, which is entirely in agreement with Ayn Rand, and entirely in opposition to quite a number of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok so, the piling on Jordan continues.

I would hope that if any idea was posted on this board that contradicted reality as involuntary taxation does, forum members would not hesitate to add their arguments against it. The very fact of there being a "pile up" is no reason to discount the arguments or to take personal offense at them.

As far as Jordan's argument, I urge you to re-read the posts here and their counter-arguments. The idea that originated the thread was that involuntary taxation should be used within a laissez-faire government, not as merely a temporary policy to be tolerated until government is limited to its proper functions (as Ayn Rand argued).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok so, the piling on Jordan continues. Look, I agree that the discussion was conducted diffusely and all over the board, but the basic point nevertheless remains: what Betsy said was right -- taxation should stay for now, it is a necessary evil, and it's not with her but with Ayn Rand that you should find issue if you disagree with that statement.

Up until this point, my main focus was on the ideas that Jordon were presenting for a free nation that had imposed an involuntary tax. I find such a position as unacceptable. For you to take such an unjust government and use it as a justification for the present state of the United States is more despicable than anything that Jordon has proposed.

The United States is a welfare state engaged in a self-sacrificial war. We are no where near the form of government that Jordon has proposed. Show me where the line is so that I can demand that the government stop taxing me and still remain in this country and not have my assets seized or my body thrown in jail?

Frankly, Free Capitalist, I find your position on this issue to be in more contempt than either Jordon's or Jason's. The issue has never been about should we eliminate taxes today in the current situation. It is about the moral justification for a free nation to involuntarily tax its citizens. I submit that such a concept is invalid. You have taken this invalid concept, stolen it and used it as an argument to justify the present situation in the United States. Unbelievable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok so, the piling on Jordan continues. Look, I agree that the discussion was conducted diffusely and all over the board, but the basic point nevertheless remains: what Betsy said was right -- taxation should stay for now, it is a necessary evil, and it's not with her but with Ayn Rand that you should find issue if you disagree with that statement.

None of the people arguing against him have reconciled the suggested theories with the notion that taxation can only go away in the future. If only in the future, then what do you think ought to be its status now? Fine, Jordan was wrong on a couple of derived or superficial issues, but it all stemmed from his fundamental point that taxation can stay right now, which is entirely in agreement with Ayn Rand, and entirely in opposition to quite a number of people.

I do not think one person that stands against Jordan's and Jason's statements is stating that taxation should disappear today. What people are stating (and me specifically) is that taxation is immoral and unpractical in a "free society" which we do not have. Jordan seems to being stating something totally different than that and different from what you are trying to state that he is stating. I would advise that you go back and read Jordan's statements, or just read Pauls post that gives you a direct look at Jordan's statements. Also if you read my post and all the quotes from Ayn Rand that I have put into them you will see that I am in agreement with her not the other way around as you seem to be stating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FC said:

The relevance, again, is that all evaluation must be contextual. That's my point here. Earlier you requested of me situations when Objectivist virtues "would not apply" or something to that extent.

Actually, if you read what I wrote, I requested examples of situations other than life-boat type situations, i.e. situations not involving emergencies or duress or threats, where the Objectivist virtues do not apply. I have not heard any yet.

I gave you examples. Lying to a potentially dangerous man. That example was not concretely relevant, but the principle that all evaluations are contextual is relevant. My argument goes something like this -- if there are situations when we can condone lying, although we will still say "lying is bad", then perhaps there are situations when we can condone taxation while still saying "taxation is bad".
But those examples don't apply to the current situation. Yes, if an IRS agent is menacing you, it is acceptable to tell him you condone taxation. That doesn't mean you actually condone it -- it means you don't owe him the truth. In the present situation, you are sincerely condoning taxation, not faking it under duress or under some threat. So that example does not justify your position.
Ok if Ayn Rand's position was not to take away taxes right away, then by implication what do you think her stance must be about what to do with them right now? Please spell it out for me, and I think the answer contains four words.

What I object to is the inference you make from those four words. I object to your inference that Ayn Rand's acknowledgment that we cannot eliminate taxes immediately constitutes support, on her part, for their continuation -- thereby constituting support for your position that we should not oppose taxes but, instead, should "strongly support" them. I see nothing in her article on government financing or in any of her other statements to support that claim.

The fact that one acknowledges that one cannot get rid of an evil immediately, but instead must work for its elimination across time, does not mean that one supports the continuation of the evil in the meantime -- it does not mean that, in the interim one advocates the evil and advocates that it not be opposed; it simply means that one acknowledges that, in the nature of things, it will continue to exist until the work to eliminate it is successfully completed. And if someone finds a way to speed up that process, you support the new, faster way because the objective is to eliminate the evil as soon as possible.

If you have a cancer that you acknowledge cannot be cured until years of treatment have been accomplished, that acknowledgment does not mean that you support the continuation of the cancer during the interim; it doesn’t mean you think the cancer “should stay for now” and not be fought. You want the cancer gone as soon as possible and the sooner the better -- and if someone develops a way to get the cancer cured sooner, you’ll use the new, faster treatment.

I can see no reason to regard involuntary taxation as anything other than an evil that should be both eliminated as soon as possible and opposed in principle in the meantime -- even if we know that the "meantime" may consist of decades. I see nothing in Ayn Rand’s statements to justify any other attitude toward it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For you to take such an unjust government and use it as a justification for the present state of the United States is more despicable than anything that Jordon has proposed.
I'm not sure what this means. Perhaps you could reword it in a more accessible way (the first part, not the "despicable" part). If you could find an item of proof where I justify "the present situation" any more than Ayn Rand does, I will take the time to consider your point. There is no reason for me to consider it as it stands now.
Frankly, Free Capitalist, I find your position on this issue to be in more contempt than either Jordon's or Jason's. The issue has never been about should we eliminate taxes today in the current situation. It is about the moral justification for a free nation to involuntarily tax its citizens. I submit that such a concept is invalid. You have taken this invalid concept, stolen it and used it as an argument to justify the present situation in the United States. Unbelievable.
Here is how this discussion about now, the current state of America, has relevance to our talk about the ideal state, the free country.

A free nation is nothing but a set of laws, a political concept denoting only a certain political situation, a certain relation between the government and its citizens. It speaks nothing of the citizens. As you and I know, the politics cannot be a floating abstraction, it must be thouroughly grounded in the more fundamental principles, and in this case it must be thoroughly considerate of the people that are involved here.

What are we to say of the people of the Revolutionary America? What is their status in moral, historical, and other terms? Was Revolutionary America a "free nation"? I think we will agree that the men of that time are up there as the greatest of people, up to this point in history. Still even they, that state of mankind, required taxes as a sustenance for government and perpetuity of human society. That is why discussing the historical period of the Revolutionary war is so important to this discussion, because it is a concretization of our abstractions. I frown on those who find no reason to concretize their abstractions in anything.

The concept "free nation" speaks nothing of the citizens which are to relate themselves with their government. They may able to conceive of all the right political principles; but are they able to sustain a voluntary government? What if they're not? This is not an arbitrary hypothetical; Revolutionary Americans were practically able to conceive of all the right political ideas, but nowhere near being able to sustain a voluntary government. And that's what ties concrete and the abstract here. Taxation "can stay" for now, in today's day and age, fine; even the most diehard opponents are forced to agree to that. But the bigger point is that it must stay even for Revolutionary Americans! That it 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.

Because of all this, it is improper to evaluate governments or blame them if they tax their citizens. What is far more important as a goal, is the state of the people living in their "taxed" government, their state of virtue and orientedness towards reality. The proper goal is the betterment of men and their character, and tacit agreement with a society that they devise; even if we may have objections. The hope being that with due time that society may be more properly adjusted too. You see, it is a series of steps through history. Not a philosophical leap.

Unfortunately it is precisely this leap that I see expected from critics -- the demand that we jump to the last step right away. If someone says we can hold on taxes, they are pounced on, and the issue of taxation is a banner to rally against. I've re-read Jordan's opening post yet again. As you read it again, think of it as a more feasible real ideal to strive towards; absolutely nothing in it precludes further development.

==============================================================================

I would advise that you go back and read Jordan's statements, or just read Pauls post that gives you a direct look at Jordan's statements.
I think in that respect that you and Paul were more severe than the situation justified. Is a person allowed to make various statements, even in some conflict with one another at different times, while they attempt to flesh out truth in the middle of all this struggle? I don't know why it apparently is that a young person is expected to say the right truth instantaneously, or otherwise remain quiet and say nothing whatsoever.
Also if you read my post and all the quotes from Ayn Rand that I have put into them you will see that I am in agreement with her not the other way around as you seem to be stating.
I know, I did not include you in that statement; prior to your quotations of Ayn Rand your posts seemed to be with the 'there is no allowance to be made for taxation' gang, but afterwards you seemed to be siding with the opposite, so right now I'm not sure where you're at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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? 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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? 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.

(Bold is mine.)

Can you elaborate on this? What do you mean by a historical progression and what is the object that needs to be reached?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would advise that you go back and read Jordan's statements, or just read Pauls post that gives you a direct look at Jordan's statements.
I think in that respect that you and Paul were more severe than the situation justified. Is a person allowed to make various statements, even in some conflict with one another at different times, while they attempt to flesh out truth in the middle of all this struggle? I don't know why it apparently is that a young person is expected to say the right truth instantaneously, or otherwise remain quiet and say nothing whatsoever.
Also if you read my post and all the quotes from Ayn Rand that I have put into them you will see that I am in agreement with her not the other way around as you seem to be stating.
I know, I did not include you in that statement; prior to your quotations of Ayn Rand your posts seemed to be with the 'there is no allowance to be made for taxation' gang, but afterwards you seemed to be siding with the opposite, so right now I'm not sure where you're at.

Stating that people should be put to death is not severe enough to raise some condemnation from you? Never answering, by what principle they formulate their stand is not worthy of condemnation? I must disagree. Maybe you are willing to allow people to get away with statements as if they really did not mean them. But, from where I stand ideas have meaning which can translate into life and death consequences.

Just so you get it right, philosophically I am still in the no allowance for taxation but I understand that it is something that we have to deal with in todays context which is where I have been right from the begining. Just like I am philosophically against government grants for tuition for students, but I understand that is unavoidable for most students today to not apply and use them.

Finally, where I stand is not where Jordan and Jason seem to stand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do you mean by a historical progression and what is the object that needs to be reached?

It's sort of like blaming people for not having developed the theory of natural rights instantaneously.

That's what I'm referring to.

The object that we're trying to reach here is obviously the set of principles in society that would allow voluntary taxation to function.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...the basic point nevertheless remains: what Betsy said was right -- taxation should stay for now, it is a necessary evil, and it's not with her but with Ayn Rand that you should find issue if you disagree with that statement.

None of the people arguing against him have reconciled the suggested theories with the notion that taxation can only go away in the future. If only in the future, then what do you think ought to be its status now?

The "basic point" here has NOT been about "now" - ie has NOT been about funding an improper government (be it the US or others). As I noted, Carlos claimed "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..."(emphasis added). In other words the question is NOT whether "taxation should stay for now" or "what do you think out to be its status now". It is what should be the funding of a PROPER system of government. And as Miss Rand stated, voluntary financing is the proper method of funding such a government. Thus it is not with us "but with Ayn Rand that you should find issue if you disagree with that statement."

In other words, NO ONE here has claimed an improper system of government can be supported by voluntary financing. And that is because that has not been the context of the thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...
Brian, please read post 212, I addressed issues in your post there. As for the context of this thread, the context has been a little elusive -- the ideal nation, the nation as it exists now, the nation as it existed during the revolutionary period, etc. It isn't only the context that exists in the initial post, because I suppose Jordan tried to adjust what he was trying to say, and to look at his point from different sides (no contemptible endeavor).

Anyhow, I hope post 212 addresses the substantive objections in your post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stating that people should be put to death is not severe enough to raise some condemnation from you? Never answering, by what principle they formulate their stand is not worthy of condemnation? I must disagree. Maybe you are willing to allow people to get away with statements as if they really did not mean them. But, from where I stand ideas have meaning which can translate into life and death consequences.

I said I was through with the thread, and I meant that, but I won't allow such an astoundingly massive misinterpretation of my statements to be claimed and put forward over such a grimly important topic:

I said that even if I were morally against involuntary taxation, and strongly supported voluntary taxation, I would still despise the man who went vigilante against the system in present day America.

What I mean is this: an American resident named John refuses to pay his taxes, and the IRS come to his door to ask why he didn't pay his taxes. John confronts the man with a gun and threatens the tax collector to leave. Police come to arrest John, John violently resists with his gun, and a battle ensues that results in many deaths. I would strongly disapprove of such actions because they would only create anarchy, chaos and misery for all parties involved. Such a man should bear judgement from a United States court of law, and in a just universe, be sentenced to death. There is no valor in causing fruitless suffering and chaos in the name of a principle when there is no plausible and/or possible constructive end to be gained; it is mindless rebellion that can only result in mindless destruction, and should be treated as such.

The Founding Fathers didn't do destructive, vigilante acts. They made a unified effort towards creating a new and proper government that followed a rational order. There is a difference and I have explicitly stated such a difference. Do not dare imply now that I am some dictator bent on killing anyone who stands for freedom, as I have now stated my terms in such explicit of a manner that there is little room for the massive misinterpretation that has been excessively practiced in this thread.

I have reviewed the rest of my posts and I think they coherently speak for themselves though the order might have been rambling and not unified, so I see no need to post anymore. Please don't try to respond to my posts, as I don't care to take part in this discussion any longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...
Brian, please read post 212, I addressed issues in your post there.
I do not see how that post addresses the points I have made. Perhaps you could quote whatever particular points of mine you believe you have addressed and then quote specifically what is supposed to have answered those particular points.
As for the context of this thread, the context has been a little elusive...
It isn't only the context that exists in the initial post...
I am sorry you found the context of this thread to be "elusive". Speaking for myself, I did not find it elusive at all. The context is the one I have quoted at least twice now - ie that which was stated in the initial post. All the references to past and current governments have been made specifically within that context and to serve that context - ie as justification or refutation of the premise Carlos established right from the beginning. That context seems perfectly clear. And given the specific statements of those who have so far disagreed with Carlos, I am led to the conclusion they have understood that context clearly as well.

Now - you indicate that you consider the "basic point" here to be that current types of government cannot be funded by voluntary financing. As I have already indicated, no one has claimed otherwise. Thus you can consider us all in agreement on your "basic point" and we can put that specific issue to rest. However, that still leaves us in major disagreement over the "basic point" myself and others have been contesting since it was first raised in the initial post of the thread, and as it has been continually repeated throughout the thread - ie whether a proper system of government should be financed by involuntary means (and why).

Since your "basic point" has been taken care of, if you are so inclined you are quite welcome to join us in debate over our "basic point" :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have reviewed the rest of my posts and I think they coherently speak for themselves though the order might have been rambling and not unified, so I see no need to post anymore. Please don't try to respond to my posts, as I don't care to take part in this discussion any longer.

Putting aside the subject matter at hand, I must say that I have found the general tone of disagreement unfriendly to say the least. If one is faced with attacks that involve more than the arguments involved, I can well understand that some will be fearful to speak, or, as in this case, abandon the discussion with regret for having brought it up.

This is a Forum of like minded people, and I think that one should not feel fearful of putting forward an idea, in case that idea brings negative condemnations along with the arguments.

What I am saying, is that allowances should be made in Forum discussions such as these, that allow folks to feel their way without fear. Save the anger for the true enemies of freedom, not someone who is simply mistaken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have reviewed the rest of my posts and I think they coherently speak for themselves though the order might have been rambling and not unified, so I see no need to post anymore. Please don't try to respond to my posts, as I don't care to take part in this discussion any longer.

Putting aside the subject matter at hand, I must say that I have found the general tone of disagreement unfriendly to say the least. If one is faced with attacks that involve more than the arguments involved, I can well understand that some will be fearful to speak, or, as in this case, abandon the discussion with regret for having brought it up.

This is a Forum of like minded people, and I think that one should not feel fearful of putting forward an idea, in case that idea brings negative condemnations along with the arguments.

What I am saying, is that allowances should be made in Forum discussions such as these, that allow folks to feel their way without fear. Save the anger for the true enemies of freedom, not someone who is simply mistaken.

I, too, feel regret that someone feels threatened by adversarial comments. But my comments summarized Carlos' views. If someone puts forth Argument A and Argument B, and people point out the Argument B implies Argument non-A, it is illogical to maintain that Argument non-A does not follow from Argument B because Argument A was asserted. This thread has over 200 posts involving a subject that is minor with respect to Objectivism's political philosophy, and, as several have acknowledged, will have have little impact during our lifetime. I think posters have been very considerate for the most part by trying to demonstrate errors in arguments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian, before I go into a long rehash of what I said, let me see if I can address something in the meantime:

Since your "basic point" has been taken care of, if you are so inclined you are quite welcome to join us in debate over our "basic point" :D
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. 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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Founding Fathers didn't do destructive, vigilante acts. They made a unified effort towards creating a new and proper government that followed a rational order. There is a difference and I have explicitly stated such a difference.

The plans and execution for a new government in America came relatively late in the process of the revolt. Such violent events as the Boston Tea Party and the beginning of the Revolution at the Fight at Lexington and Concord in 1775 in response to increasing British belligerence occurred well before the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Most colonists thought of themselves as British citizens with the rights expected for British citizens and were seeking reform, not revolution and a new government. The purpose of the First Continental Congress in 1774, a response to the British "Intolerable Acts" closing the port at Boston, was to discuss the colonists' rights under the British government and how to get them restored, not independence, let alone formulation of how a new government would work. Even the Second Continental Congress in 1775, following the Fight at Lexington and Concord and at which a militia was formed, was still attempting reconciliation with Britain. Formation of a new American government was a last resort. The Consitution didn't take effect until 1788 to replace the Articles of Confederation adopted in 1781 between independent states in an alliance of sovereign nations. The refusal of the British King to address the colonists' grievances, followed by increasing belligerence, led to the revolution, independent states, and ultimately to plans for a new national government well after the violant outbreaks and war, not the other way around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites