Slavery and Taxation

William Buppert

Lew Rockwell
March 29, 2009

That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support.

– Lysander Spooner

This essay is an incendiary device. My muse is  Wilberforce and the subject is the abolition of the last existing institution of slavery in America – taxation. Like Wilberforce, we may be generations from satisfaction of the dream of the end of the coercive state but if the seed is not planted, the goal will never be realized.

I despise the income tax. I loathe the property, excise, gasoline, sin, estate, capital gains and every other tax. I think the colonists got it backwards, I want representation without taxation. These are often derided as utopian but I would suggest they are dystopian notions. I see no possibility of perfection in this mortal coil, but risk and possible failure are the engines of progress and capitalism invigorates the most powerful economic engine of all – self-interest to serve others. Mises claims “[t]he member of a contractual society is free because he serves others only in serving himself. What restrains him is only the inevitable natural phenomenon of scarcity.”

I think it is loathsome for one man to own another and the involuntary tribute demanded by government is simply another form of owning another man’s wealth and labor. Taxation is the way collectivists practice their compassion by taking their neighbor’s money at gunpoint. It also violates the zero-aggression principle shared by many libertarians. Taxation and slavery have some very close confluences in definition. According to, a tax is:

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