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Friday, February 06, 2004

LIBERTARIAN ACTIVISM


When I finally have some money behind me (!) I intend to indulge in some serious activism. The greatest libertarian activist of recent history (i.e. any period of histroy post the US Revolution, Henry David Thoreau, and lots of other cool activists!) was Karl Hess. I intend to come a close second, though!

My first plan is to find a libertarian Lawyer, and prosecute the government for theft. Lets finally have this "taxation is theft" thing out. OK, the legal definition of theft is "removal of a person's property without their permission, with the intention of permanently depriving them of it." Taxation is, according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary a compulsory levy on income and property (my income is surely my property?). In order to be compulsory, my consent or permission must be irrlevant, and I know I haven't given it, or even been given an opportunity to explicitly give it anyway. So I think I have something of a case.

There are legal techinicalities. Firstly, the defendant may try to show that I wasn't permanently deprived of my property through taxation, since I got all these wonderful things (that I could have got better and cheaper through the free market) back. However, I would point out to them that this would be establishing a dangerous precedent whereupon it would become legal for people to take other people's property and use it to give their victims something else. I'm sure that if I take somebody else's bike and trade it in for a pair of roller skates, which I then give to the owner of the bike I could still be successfully prosecuted for theft! Moreover, redistribution has occurred - I may well not get back the equivalent of what was taken from me, but less, since the object of a welfare state is to distribute wealth disproportionatly between rich and poor. And I defintiely know that I didn't want my tax money back in the form of whatever nebulous benefits came from the invasion and conquest of Iraq, and yet my money was spent on that, whether I like it or not!

More difficult technicalities abound, which can only be answered by a lawyer. Firstly, is taxation theft, or is it robbery? Or is it extortion? Maybe I can prosecute under all three just in case!

Secondly, and tougher, has the government actually ever taxed me? Sure, I have paid income tax, and I have paid VAT. By the time I have some money behind me, I may well have paid capital gains taxes, corporate earnings taxes, and stamp taxes. However, sticking to income and sales taxes, my income tax is deducted not by the state, but by my employer. Likewise, it may be argued that sales tax is deducted by the vendor, not the state. (Actually, is may be argued that sales taxes are paid by producers, not consumers at all, but I'll leave that aside). So there is a question of exactly who is guilty in the theft. I think that since both my employer and those who have sold taxable goods to me are required to deduct my taxes under threat of legal retribution, then the government should be held responsible. I might also encourage my employers to prosecute the government for slavery. After all, if they are deducting my taxes from my income, then they are serving as unpaid tax collectors for the state, and do so under threat of punishment - clearly forced labour.

I only know one libertarian lawyer, David Carr. I reckon he may be amused by my plan, and yet he'll probably be scared. One of the scary things for him is, of course, that he can lose it. I can't, since I am an anarchist. He is a minimal statist though, so he can. Want me to explain? Well, if it is found that taxation is theft, then I would have won. Hurrah! However, if it is found that taxation is prefectly legal, I simply fall back on my anarchism and the knowledge that any objectivity in the law is impossible whilst a single agency is able to interpret and apply it, and so is able to judge in its own cases. In other words, if I win, cool, if I lose, well, its because government is biased, right? David is a minimal statist, so he can't fall back on the anarchist position.

So, sue the state, that is plan one.

Another plan is to go off an pitch a tent on my local RAF airfield. This I'll leave this 'til after my "crazy" lawsuit against the state, so that the media can all say, "that loopy proffessor Garner [I'll be a prof. by then!] is at it again." I'll homestead an airfield, on the grounds that it is legitimately owned by no one. If a legitimate owner comes forth to contest my claim, then we'll take it to court. If the legitimate owner turns up in the form of the RAF, or any branch of government (the MoD, perhaps) then I'll say that public property is bought with taxes, which are theft, so it is not rightfully owned by them. If a legitimate owner cannot be found to contest my claim, well then the airfield is mine and I'm gonna turn it into a bowling alley, roller-skate rink, and car park.

Smashing the state loudly!!!
BRING ON THE ENTERTAINMENT!


OK, I haven't blogged in like, a week, and its mainly because I am lazy. I went to see my old band, the Ballistics, play in Derby, supporting Red Flag 77, and I was gonna write a review, but I quit half way through because looking up links to the bands and the venue was too boring. I promise I will give a report. Plus I will be going to see Capdown, tomorrow, one of the best punk rock bands in the UK (others, perhaps, being Four Letter Word and Red Flag 77), so I'll try and review that.

I also tend to be entertained in a civilised manner on Sunday. I will have an egg breakfast in bed, in front of the TV. Then I will clean the public areas of the house. (We will be having a girl looking round available rooms next week, so the house must be clean. She needn't see my room, so I'm not cleaning that!) Then I will go out for a late lunch at The Pit and the Pendulum, of nachos, and sedately eat and drink whilst reading a book (I am reading Brian Lumley's Necroscope: Invaders, though Murray Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty just got to me. Plus I have some reading for my Phd. I shall look quite the intellectual, reading, sipping beer, and nibling nachos!

Then I'll go to the Cinema. That's another point of laziness - I saw Paycheck before my cinema card got nicked, and I haven't revenued it for you my (few) readers. Again, its because I was lazy. What can I say - Uma Thurman obviously cam straight from the set of Kill Bill, right down to even having the same haircut, and was so tanned that she was orange! All the acting was pretty average, nothing standing out, though Ben Afflek was the worst. The story, though, was brilliant, since it was based on a book by Philip K. Dick, who gaves us Blade Runner ("Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep") and Minority Report.

So, I'll go to the cinema. I won't eat jellies, no matter that they tempt me so, because I am a vegetarian, and I will review what I see for you!

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