Saturday, January 14, 2017

Does the 'social contract' mandate paying taxes?

Social Contract: The myth - George J. Dance, Nolan Chart:

January 12, 2017 - "For a long time, libertarian thought was mainly ignored. Then came a period of articles making fun of those silly libertarians wanting to ‘privatize sidewalks’ and the like. Now it seems that we are definitely in the ‘fight’ stage. Not a week goes by without some article on the Web bitterly assailing libertarians and libertarian ideas.

"Normally I ignore; but a while ago I read a most remarkable article that calls for comment: “The Libertarian Delusion” by a Mr. James Luko. What is remarkable is not that Luko dislikes libertarian ideas – his biography does identify him as a career bureaucrat, after all – but how he argues against them.

"Luko takes umbrage with an earlier article,'The Delusion of Consent' by libertarian James Goodfellow, who argues that the power to tax is illegitimate because it is based on coercion; to which Luko responds:
this does not make it true just because Libertarians say so. There is a big difference in what libertarians assert as government being coercive and having a government which uses force legitimately…. If the government’s use of force was NOT legitimate – the author would be correct, but since it is legitimate then the author is incorrect.
"What makes government’s use of force legitimate, according to Luko, is something called the 'social contract':
“The Delusion of Consent” soundly ignores the theory of Social Contract, whereas the author asserts that collection of taxes is plunder, stealing, illegitimate coercion…. where coercive action is taken in relation to taxes, and the implicit threat of its use by the state, is NOT plunder nor illegitimate delegation of power – but rather “enforcement of a contract” that in return for government goods and services – one pays taxes…. The author’s argument ignores the theory of social contract, yet, that is what the author himself participates in.
"Indeed, if it were true that Goodfellow and other libertarians have all agreed to pay taxes, and even made a contract to do so, then they should just shut up and pay up. But, of course, a claim is not true just because Luko says so, either. So, since Luko urges us to 'separate rationalism from empiricism,' and since his claims that this 'social contract' exists and that we all participate in it are undoubtedly empirical, let us see what empirical evidence he offers for them. Before we do that, though, it may be useful to take a look at what exactly that 'contract' is supposed to be."

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1 comment:

  1. How comforting it must be for Luko to know (because he told himself) that he's not just a vicious totalitarian sociopathic bastard because everyone's consented to being cooked and eaten by and for the benefit of him and his cronies.