[ExI] Consent by staying?/was Re: The Circle of Coercion

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue May 12 10:27:39 UTC 2009

2009/5/12 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:

>> So if I decided at age 18 that I don't want to obey the
>> unjust
>> taxation laws, for example, I could be expelled (to
>> where?), but for
>> those who accept citizenship taxation is part of the
>> contract they have entered into?
> For me, there is one glaring problem with this view: the state has no right to expell people simply because they don't agree to the state's policies.*  This is no different, to me, than any other criminal gang riding into town and then telling everyone, "If you don't agree with our rules, you're free to leave town."  (Granted, such a gang might be marginally more tolerable than one offering the choice of "agree or die.")  Just as with any criminal gang, the state has no right to demand obeisance -- in the particular case you mention, to demand payment of taxes.
> This would be entirely different if the state legitimately owned the country.  But, in that case, the state would really not be a state, but an owner.  (Note: in reality, all existing states have been nothing more than stationary bandits.  Yes, they may differ in the ways they interact with their subject populations -- most allow some voice options, just as any other long lasting criminal gang will not rely on the constant exorcise of brute force -- but they remain trespassers.)

The state owns the common property and has control of rules, including
rules about taxation. The rules are made by the people to whom they
apply (in a roundabout way). This is much better than private
companies owning the country, which is what would eventually happen if
free enterprise capitalism were allowed to run unchecked. Now it might
bring peace of mind to the libertarian if an immigrant could sign a
contract when he entered a country, so that he knew what the rules
were and agreed to them, but this can't really be done with the native
population. This would then mean that a native could refuse to obey
any rule whatsoever, even if everyone in the country agrees it is a
good one, on the grounds that he never agreed to it. For example, a
native could drive as fast as he likes with impunity, arguing that had
he been asked to sign a contract in which a speed limit was specified,
he would have declined.

Stathis Papaioannou

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