Brent DeRidder: Taxation Is Theft

Taxation is theft because words have definitions. Words evolve so perhaps one day taxation will not be theft. However, the idea will be the same despite having to be expressed using different words.

Taxation is theft even if you buy me something nice with the money.

Taxation is theft even if you buy someone else something nice with the money.

Taxation is theft even if you give me some of the money back.

Taxation is theft even if you steal the money from businesses instead directly from individuals.

Taxation is theft even though we’ve been doing it for a long time.

Taxation is theft even if you can’t come up with a way to fund something voluntarily.

Taxation is theft even if you steal the money when I’m buying something instead of when I’m earning it.

Taxation is theft even if you want to use a more descriptive term like extortion because extortion is a type of theft.

Taxation is theft even if you come up with a really really good reason to do it.

Taxation…Is…Theft

This fact might make you upset. It is still a fact. It’s not debatable. It’s not my opinion. It’s not something we can agree to disagree on. I can agree to be right and to let you be wrong because taxation is factually theft.

So, how do we pay for all the things we need without taxation? The answer is voluntary funding. This may sound like wishful thinking at first but that’s only because we’ve been taught to believe that we can’t survive without the state. The fact of the matter is that communities come together all the time to voluntarily fund things like fire departments, animal rescues, food banks, homeless shelters, and countless other community programs.

As a matter of fact, most goods or services in existence are voluntarily funded. The grocery store you shop at is voluntarily funded. So are Netflix, the gas station at the end of my road, Vlassic pickles, the Miller Brewing Company, even Nickelback is voluntarily funded. Surely if we can find enough people to voluntarily fun the band like Nickelback, we can come together as a community to fix the potholes.

In reality, of the millions upon millions of goods and services that are available to us today, only those provided by government are funded involuntarily. Is it because people wouldn’t voluntarily pay for the things they use on a regular basis? No, people do that all the time. Is it because people wouldn’t take care of the needy? Clearly not. We come together on a regular basis to feed and shelter the homeless or to find homes for stray pets or to raise money for a neighbor in need.

In fact, we are so charitable that government feels a need to regulate how we give back to our communities by stopping us from serving food or setting up housing options.

So, why is compulsory funding necessary? Much like the mystery of the Tootsie Pop, the world may never know…

This article was first published by Brent DeRidder on Facebook.  Brent DeRidder hails from Woodside, North Carolina and is active in the Libertarian Party and in the LP Radical Caucus.

40 thoughts on “Brent DeRidder: Taxation Is Theft

  1. Just Some Random Guy

    I’m not sure why this was posted. This is supposed to be about covering third parties, right? This isn’t coverage of a third party, it’s just a random op-ed written by a guy who happens to be in a third party. Maybe if it were someone of a high position in a party I could see it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here, as all it can say about the author is that he is “active in the Libertarian party.”

    In regards to the article itself, it’s not a very good article, because it doesn’t really offer any argument, it simply presupposes its argument and then rants a bunch about it. Its lengthy “taxation is theft even if ______” doesn’t do anything to actually support its claim, because it presupposes it’s true without any offering much of any argument for it.

    The ONLY argument it offers in favor of its central thesis is “because words have definitions.” That’s really not a sufficient argument. I can understand someone may not want to devote the entire article to such a thing, but more than that is necessary. But sure, let’s go with definitions. What does it say theft is? “The action or crime of stealing.” Okay, so what is stealing? “[To] take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.” The government, like it or not, certainly has *legal* right to tax, so therefore, going by definitions, taxation is not theft.

    So even the sparse argument it does offer, if one can even be generous enough to call that an argument, fails. Like I said, if you’re going to write an article like this, at least bother to support your central claim with more than four words.

    (Note that the above should NOT be taken to be a criticism of the general assertion that taxation is theft, which I am actually sympathetic to, simply a criticism of how this specific article does a really lousy job arguing it)

  2. dL

    I’m not sure why this was posted.

    Concur. The site just had a recent post/lengthy commentary on the same topic. To claim it is “not debatable” is not much of an argument. I assure you one can find willing adversaries to take the other side.

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos

    If either commenter thinks they have better articles in mind, please feel free to volunteer as editor. We could use the help.

    Second, since the LP passed a taxation is theft resolution, it most definitely IS relevant to third parties, and as the LP is a grassroots bottom up organization, it is relevant as an active member.

    I for one do not care to only hear from “higher ups” – I am a “higher up” and I can assure you, I ain’t special.

  4. dL

    Second, since the LP passed a taxation is theft resolution, it most definitely IS relevant to third parties, and as the LP is a grassroots bottom up organization, it is relevant as an active member.

    Yeah, and I believe the chambers were emptied recently over a commentary RE: that exact topic. Has nothing to do w/ “the higher up status” of anyone.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    A hot topic. There is no limit to hot topics. If you don’t like the article, don’t comment.

  6. wolfefan

    I don’t see what’s wrong with commenting to say you didn’t like or disagreed with an article.

  7. David Pratt Demarest

    If words are important, and they are, let’s be more precise. Taxation can be theft, extortion or armed robbery. Most taxes are, in fact, extortion. If you don’t pay your taxes, they will throw you in jail at the point of a gun. If you take offense at being incarcerated at the point of gun for not paying your taxes and rightfully resistinh arrest, they will shoot and kill you (murder).

    Asset forfeiture is, in fact, armed robbery. Words are important. Let’s use our words accurately, boldly and courageously. Taxation is worse than theft and deserves an appropriate response and solution that gets beyond mere complaining.

    Taxes are necessary to fund the enforcement of our compulsory territorial majority rule enabled by our permission for government maintenance of a coercive aggressive force monopoly that those who govern allege is necessary to protect our inalienable rights. Rubbish! Taxes are necessary to fund government that exists solely for the benefit of those who govern. Governments have always been by far the worst violators of inalienable rights and were responsible for the slaughter of over 200 million people in the twentieth century alone.

    So, what to do to eliminate the evil of taxation? If we remove our permission for the aggressive force monopoly that enables compulsory government, their evil empire will collapse like a house of cards. Do you have the courage to do that? Wonderful! Let’s move beyond complaining about “taxation is theft” to serious root cause analysis, accurate descriptions of the statist evils we face, and get the Libertarian stuff done that will be necessary to achieve freedom, nothing more, nothing less.

    Thoughts?
    ~David Pratt Demarest – March 5, 2017

  8. Robert Capozzi

    dpd, a solution to coercive taxation is to give citizens the option of opting out of the State. I’ve termed them Nonarchy Pods. If a person objects to any and all taxes, a person could secede onto his or her property.

  9. paulie

    Articles by rank and file party members are welcome, as long as they are identified as such to make the alt party connection clear. Please also include an above the fold image when posting articles. There are certainly no shortage of “taxation is theft” images, or you may use a photo of the author, etc.

  10. Carol Moore

    Someone did explain to me that there is a larger context within the Libertarian Party – organized groups? trying to push support for various tax policies? If this is a push back effort against that, it would be helpful to identify it as such. There always have been flat tax and sales tax people on the periphery. Are they now in the leadership?

    However, if it’s just some strategy to make this the main message of the LP, it’s definitely an annoying obsession which this article does little to alleviate.

    We are NOT so dumb we only can be PROPAGANDIZED by memes. Sure I’ve made a bunch my self showing half naked guys and supporting self-ownership abortion rights. With a Secession Tax is Theft meme to come. That’s for fun.

    But a little more intellectual context and an idea of what the promoters think libertarians and the party should go from here would be helpful. We’re free thinking libertarians, not “yes, sir whatever you say” socialists or christians or other cultists.

    PS: Paulie. One of these days if I ever am free of having to defend women’s rights to control their bodies from other “libertarians” I’ll update my secession.net page and write you a real good article about “WHY LP SHOULD ADOPT A DECENTRALIST SECESSION POLICY”. 🙂

  11. David Pratt Demarest

    True, the solution to the elimination of coercive taxation is to achieve the option to opt out (secede). However, in order to gain the right to secede, we must first remove our permission for government’s coercive territorial aggressive-force monopoly.

    How should we go about removing our permission? From my perspective, that challenge should be our primary Libertarian imperative if we are to reverse our accelerating downward spiral toward cronyism-induced bankruptcy before it is too late.

    Thoughts?

  12. robert capozzi

    dpd, it strikes me as far too difficult to remove our permission for government’s coercive territorial aggressive-force monopoly. It’s also highly risky and could lead to far worse outcomes, given the military power the government possesses.

    Nonarchy Pods would also be difficult to institute, but it would allow those incensed by the existence of government to exit the State. In a sense, that would end the coercive territorial aggressive-force monopoly on a few patches of land. Think micro Lichtensteins, which might be walled in by the State. It would, however, allow for pronounced malcontents to conscientiously object to the State.

  13. NewFederalist

    Geez… Lichtenstein is 62 square miles! Perhaps more like Monaco which is only 370 acres. 😉

  14. paulie

    There always have been flat tax and sales tax people on the periphery. Are they now in the leadership?

    Well, the last three presidential tickets have pushed the “fair” tax. Weld was on record for a continued income tax. There are any number of people in leadership who support various coercive taxes. I would not say they are on the periphery.

  15. paulie

    write you a real good article about

    You are free to submit articles you wrote, old or new, at any time. Whether they get published is up to whether any particular IPR editor feels like posting it at that time and has time to do so. We have no story assignments or editorial board meetings other than to discuss site policies. Individual article selection is up to individual IPR editors at their own discretion. Anyone can also apply to become an IPR editor themselves.

  16. David Pratt Demarest

    What is the process to submit articles and become an IPR editor?

  17. realpolitik anarchist

    I agree, taxation is theft. And anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

  18. dL

    And anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    No, anti-racist does not equal the vapid bromides of white nationalist victimhood identity politics.

  19. paulie

    What is the process to submit articles and become an IPR editor?

    To become an editor just ask in the comments. I can sign you up. I’ll screen people I don’t know, but I know you so it’s not a problem. There are several ways to submit an article:

    1) Once you are an IPR editor you can submit it to our email list. Of course at that point you could also post it yourself.

    2) Link it in a relevant discussion or in the open thread.

    3) Email it to the IPR editors who have provided contact info in the About IPR tab at the top of the page, or any you are personally in touch with.

    4) Facebook message, call or text IPR editors you are friends with,

    and so on.

  20. paulie

    Chip,

    Sorry, I don’t know you, your writing or your judgement well enough at this point. I suspect that you might be another Nathan Norman character, but you could be a real person. We’ll see as time goes by. Do the people whose articles you post on your wordpress blog know you?

  21. Andy

    “paulie
    March 7, 2017 at 07:42
    Chip,

    Sorry, I don’t know you, your writing or your judgement well enough at this point. I suspect that you might be another Nathan Norman character, but you could be a real person. We’ll see as time goes by.”

    I was wondering the same thing.

  22. Carol Moore

    The big problem with national leadership is it is expensive. It takes money to get to those LNC meetings. And even the conventions.

    And people with money to do it without a sweat tend to be more conservative types. (Some of whom may be one way or other benefiting off the state, usually through some professional licensing, government contracts, etc.) So not surprising they are pro-tax.

    But the question is do they make it a temporary measure or permanent and how loudly do they say temporary?

  23. Andy

    “Carol Moore
    March 7, 2017 at 21:55
    The big problem with national leadership is it is expensive. It takes money to get to those LNC meetings. And even the conventions.”

    I have been saying for years that LNC meetings could be conducted via videoconference. They already have some of the LNC meetings via phone conference, so there is really no reason for them to meet in person. I could see the LNC meeting in person at national conventions, and state chairs conferences, but that’s it.

    Several people who have been on the LNC who have posted here over the years have agreed with me on this point, yet nobody has done anything to change it.

    Having all of those unnecessary in person meetings just wastes everyone’s time and money. It also places an artificial limit on who is able to run for the LNC, because lots of people can’t do it because they don’t have the time and/or the money to run around the country to attend meetings which could be held online or via telephone.

    There is importance to the in person conventions. It is good to have a social gathering from time to time, and the conventions also help the party get publicity.

  24. George Phillies

    Phone meetings with 17 people are unmanageable, for Roberts’ style meetings. With video, and a chair who can actually mute and unmute each person, they might work.

  25. paulie

    The LNC did have a couple of combined phone/video/web interface conferences which included votes and managed fine. I favor having a lot more of those – maybe a 2-3 hour meeting of that sort every week or every other week, rather than a weekend 3-4 times a year in different parts of the country. They could still have social weekends to build comraderie but those don’t have to involve conducting business.

  26. paulie

    Several people who have been on the LNC who have posted here over the years have agreed with me on this point, yet nobody has done anything to change it.

    They have done something to change it, just not fast enough for some tastes, including mine. There have now been a couple of virtual meetings with votes. They did work out some technical bugs but managed to get their business done. I hope to see that model expanded. Naturally, it’s not easy to change institutional culture, but the ice is breaking.

  27. paulie

    But the question is do they make it a temporary measure or permanent and how loudly do they say temporary?

    Many of them don’t say temporary at all. And I have encountered a lot of the same views at regular in-person meetings around the country, not only from those who can afford to be on LNC.

  28. paulie

    Yes. I’ve met them at party meetings. I’ve been very active for the past ten years.

    Great. Get them to email us some references for you and I’ll be more likely to consider your application as time goes on.

  29. paulie

    What is a Nathan Norman character? I wanted to be in theater in high school but every-one in the club made fun of me be-cuz I am over-weight.

    A troll who often comes on here playing various characters and then gets kicked out repeatedly when those characters become deliberately annoying, or preemptively when it becomes clear that they are him. He also claims to be a presidential candidate. He has his own blog which he says is “better than IPR” where his various personalities talk to each other (I will not link it here, but you can do a search if you want to see it).

  30. M11S

    It’s not theft if you give your consent. Which you do every time you sign a government form (contract). It involves a legal tactic the tech sector has made great use of, “default opt-in”. That’s not it’s legal name, but it conveys the idea. Legally their just contracts, think “terms and conditions”. But, just like with “shrink wrap contracts” and “click wrap contracts” in the tech world where presumptions are made under the law, presumptions are also made about your citizenship. Most people are completely unaware that there is both federal citizenship and state citizenship.

    “There is a distinction between citizenship of the United States and citizenship of a particular state, and a person may be the former without being the latter.” [Alla v. Kornfeld, 84 F.Supp. 823] [(1949)]

    And as some are aware congress has unlimited authority to legislate within Federal jurisdiction, but must abide by the Constitution in the 50 states.

    Explore here for more info: (pdf) http://sedm.org/Forms/10-Emancipation/CitizenshipDiagrams.pdf

  31. Andy

    “M11S
    April 17, 2017 at 23:00
    It’s not theft if you give your consent. Which you do every time you sign a government form (contract). ”

    It is still theft if you signed the “contract” under duress. Also, the government uses fraud to make people think that taxes that don’t legally apply to them do apply to them. That’s fraud.

  32. Victor Hood

    This kid sees it for what it is, why is the rest of the country blind to it?

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