Thursday, December 30, 2010

There Are Two Ways To Acquire Wealth. Earn it or Steal it.

You'll have to excuse my terrible photoshopping skills,

Harper: Re-elect me and I'll let you go! Well... I'll let you go a few feet away. Probably keep you handcuffed so you don't go too far. But I'll give you more breathing room than the opposition!

Iggy: That tax money is mine!

Layton: That tax money belongs to me, er, I mean poor Canadian families!

...So I was a little bored. Point is -- all taxes are theft.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is my favourite novel. Here is one of my favourite lines, said by Professor Bernardo de la Paz, a self-proclaimed 'rational anarchist' speaking to the newly formed congress (the book is about a libertarian revolution).

"Comrades, I beg of you do not resort to compulsory taxation. There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."


  1. The great German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer pointed out that there are two mutually exclusive ways of acquiring wealth; one, the above way of production and exchange, he called the "economic means." The other way is simpler in that it does not require productivity; it is the way of seizure of another's goods or services by the use of force and violence. This is the method of one-sided confiscation, of theft of the property of others. This is the method which Oppenheimer termed "the political means" to wealth. It should be clear that the peaceful use of reason and energy in production is the "natural" path for man: the means for his survival and prosperity on this earth. It should be equally clear that the coercive, exploitative means is contrary to natural law; it is parasitic, for instead of adding to production, it subtracts from it. The "political means" siphons production off to a parasitic and destructive individual or group; and this siphoning not only subtracts from the number producing, but also lowers the producer's incentive to produce beyond his own subsistence. In the long run, the robber destroys his own subsistence by dwindling or eliminating the source of his own supply. But not only that; even in the short run, the predator is acting contrary to his own true nature as a man.
    We are now in a position to answer more fully the question: what is the State? The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the "organization of the political means"; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory

    from The Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard

  2. An amazing essay/book. One of the few that, upon completion, I went back to the first word and started reading again.

  3. No doubt a sage thing to do. Me, I could not pause, driven ever onwards by the man's prodigious output. So many essays, so little time.