The death of taxes

Saturday, 28 June, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The only coherent argument in favour of that particular form of robberyi which shuns its proper nameii comes to us from Nick Szaboiii : inasmuch as productivity of labour on one hand and security for that productivity on the other hand are the practical restraints which drive all human society, along with its institutions and generally speaking cultural and civilisational productioniv ; and inasmuch as security is a collective affair (productivity being in all places and times an individual matter), it then follows that taxation is not merely inevitable but perhaps also a good thing.

That "perhaps" tail is definitely weak - no robbery is ever a good thing, no matter how spun around. For one thing, it de-individuates the victim, creating first the possibility and down the road the suffocating actuality of philosophical zombies : entities that while human in every outer aspect, are nevertheless not human in any sense that matters. For another thing, it creates perverse competition and perverse incentives : as a master of a harem of women that are willingly my slaves, I should have empty field all around, commensurate with the relative frequency of people that are equally able. I should not have to interact with (which obviously means destroy) groups of people who act as-ifv, but are actually devoid of the if, because this simply wastes everyone's time (theirs, mostly).

But leaving the "perhaps" tail aside, it stands as truth that for most of human history (specifically, since the Marian reforms 21 centuries ago, when a country the size of the entire world composed out of independent landholders who also served in the military as independent soldiers was restructured as Parthian satrapyvi) it was in fact more effectual to run security as a collective rather than as independent individuals.

This is long ended now. It is unclear when the end came, the world works much like a Kafka novel - you do notice at some point you're way, way off but you can't really pinpoint the exact moment in the past when the story dived off a long plank. Perhaps it was the rise of nuclear warfare a century ago that did it, for the first time a large mass of army became a major liability. Or maybe it was the rebellion of the English western colonies, when red coats and English discipline proved a major liability.

Whenever it may have been, by now it's a fact, and quite indisputable. The United States have just expended 7 trillion in repayment obligationsvii, a decade of effort and more human life than the war on tobacco has saved to try and fight what they perceived as their enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the end result that their enemy now has more materiel than it did a decade ago, and the vain eagle is scrambling to safely demolish its embassy in Baghdad. A worse defeat could not be imagined, and it speaks to the entire principle : three hundred million people paying 23`333 dollars each - each , each, every last child, pregnant woman, homeless convict of them yet failing to defeat, over the course of a decade, hardly a million opponents.

Security is no longer a collective concern. They readily managed to destroy the Iraqi state, but what of it ? Afghanistan didn't even have a state in the first place. So what of it ? What use the state, in a world where security is not to be attained through the traditional workings of the state ?

Security is no longer a collective concern, and so the last possible argument in favour of that kind of robbery which shuns its proper name is herewith gone. Why collect taxes ? To equip the enemy ? How about no, how about forget it.

It has been said that Bitcoin makes taxation impossible, and this is very true. It is also not particularly interesting : long before being made impossible, taxation had been rendered useless. That's all that matters really, even if some might find themselves inclined to shoot the messenger, upset that without it being made impossible, however pointless taxation might have continued as a thing for just long enough for them to end their life "in peace", which is to say, dreaming their dream instead of living in reality.

I guess some people will be very upset. So what of it ? They weren't people in the first place, dreamers never are. Who's going to have the time to seriously consider the feelings of philosophical zombiesviii over the coming years ?

  1. The process by which a group (whether through its "representatives" or not) removes valubles from most individual members under threat of violence is nothing else but robbery. There's no pre-written argument, nor is there any recourse, so it's not a contract ; there's no will on the part of the despoiled so it's not a donation. At this point it could be either theft or robbery, but the fact that the victims know about the missing goodies and the quite present threat of violence solve the dilemma.

    There is nothing more to say on this matter, notwithstanding the garrulously insipid efforts of a whole legion, from Hobbes (who - in line with any Chinese and Russian slave-peasant since the dawn of history - declares that as there's a yoke clearly there should be one) to Rousseau (who, smarting a little the day after, decides that instead of thinking himself a rape victim he'd rather pretend like there exists a marriage contract somewhere, that somehow nobody can find nor remember). []

  2. All other robbers gladly announce : "This is a robbery!". Not these guys, they have a whole conceit going, calling themselves "taxmen" and so forth. []
  3. History and the Security of Property []
  4. We follow the distinction that cultural productions are all the items produced that have no physical existence, but exist merely in the ideal - software, if you wish ; whereas civilisational productions are all the items produced that do have physical existence - hardware, if you wish. It can be certainly argued that the software is evident in the hardware (and it has), and moreover many of our ideas of the software of meanwhile extinguished groups comes from an examination of the still extant hardware. Nevertheless, this does not reduce culture to civilisation, irrespective of how much culturally sterile failed groups (such as the one currently inhabiting North America) would like to convince the world so as to convince themselves that there's no place besides Iowa. []
  5. This is covered in an older Romanian article, "Tara ca un hotel, sau o schimbare de perspectiva" :

    So we understand each other : John is some poor and kinda stupid kid from some ghetto in some indistinct townlet. One day, Mircea the Bad comes there on whatever business, sits down in the bar with his two bitches curled up at his feet and drinks a rum or something. The girls from the ghetto, for love of their country (in our example, that sad ghetto) pick John up forcibly, sit him down at the table next to mine and curl at his feet, just like the other two. They're definitely not slavegirls, they have neither the training nor the skills nor in the end the needs or structure of that relationship, and no marble columns, no gardens where water sprinkles among the cypress nor artesian fountains springing forth marzipan await them at home, but instead the nude concrete walls, the [low class mass produced kitsch wallhanging stuff], the bedbug infested pressed shitboard nightstand. But indifferent to all these points, they play a role to support a theory : the theory that here too, in the assghetto of shit "we got fine stuff", and a John who, even if only four letters long, is still quite as great as any Mircea come from afar.

    Well, that's patriotism, the girls in this example show "love of their ghetto" and that's the thing upon which socialist Romania was built, if you're curious - a structure otherwise borrowed from Carlist Romania. Totul pentru patrie!


  6. Yes, I share the classical authors' disdain for the East. []
  7. About two trillion in cash, which they propose to repay over fifty or so years, coming to roughly 7 trillion. []
  8. Ever since I discovered how this term can be recycled to proper use, I love it.

    To explain myself : the "philosophical zombie" is a paralogic construct which socialistoid thinkers use as a formalised appeal to ignorance in what they imagine is refutation of non-socialistoid thought. The great thing about nonsense, of course, is that it can be equally applied every which way, once you prove that 1 = 2 there's little to stop me from using your proof to prove 1 = -1, and so here we go : the same zombie is perfectly useful to destructure any conceivable attempt at intellectually considering any point of socialism.

    Irony. []

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35 Responses

  1. Your argument is pretty convincing.

    Though it could perhaps be said that the US is merely a bad example of collective security, and not necessarily indicative of how it should go.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 28 June 2014

    So you just lost 7 trillion playing forum investments, and someone says "forum investment is fail". To which you retort "but it could be said forum investments are fine, it's just these bums I picked that are rotten" ?

    Sure, if you got another 7 trillion stashed away somewhere. Nobody does, so the matter is moot.

  3. Who's to say it takes seven trillion? And couldn't it be said the exposure of said trillions is central to the failure itself? I don't suggest the same recipe that yielded burnt spam be tried again in a different oven. Merely that cooking in itself isn't necessarily a lost cause.

  4. But how will we secure ourselves from Mircea?
    The real threat is always the one you don't see coming.

  5. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 28 June 2014

    @pletzalcoatl Then you're held to construct a meaningful difference between what you call cooking and what you call burning. So far they're the same thing.

    @Chett Inasmuch as Mircea has a point, there aren't enough angels in the heavens to secure yourself from him. Inasmuch as he doesn't... who cares.

  6. You REALLY like the expression "inasmuch".

  7. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 2 August 2014

    Hm lessee.

    SELECT * FROM x WHERE y LIKE '%inasmuch%'
    Showing rows 0 - 24 (599 total, Query took 0.7420 sec)

    Meanwhile Trilema word count is a little over 11 mn, so I guess it's a decent 50ish ppm :p

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