Can Individuals Delegate a Right They Don’t Have to the Government? -Video

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Jan: Can you properly delegate a right you do not have?

Sen. Inoue: You cannot tax your neighbor, but you can authorize me as a senator to vote for programs that will tax your neighbor…

Jan: Then you think that you can actually delegate a right you do not have? …It is interesting to me how the agent can have more power than the principle. If the principles are the people, and the source [of power] comes from the people, the individuals do not have the right to initiate force against others-

Sen. Inoue: As individuals-

Jan: Well, if they get together then all of the sudden they have the right?

Sen. Inoue: If they authorize the government to do so, yes. If they authorize the government to enter into a war and kill people, that’s a right.

Jan: Where does this right come from if it doesn’t come from the people?

Sen. Inoue: The people through the Constitution.

Jan: The Constitution was made by the people right? So then the people are the source of all legitimate power, so if the people did not have the right to initiate physical force against anybody, then the government cannot have- It seems like there’s a contradiction there as far as if you say that all legitimate governmental power is derived from the people, and you agree that the individual citizens do not have the right to initiate force against other citizens, then it would seem clear that they cannot delegate that right to the government.

Sen. Inoue: Why don’t we just leave it this way, we disagree.

What Jan Helfeld is saying is that if a citizen does not have the right to do something as an individual (like rob their neighbor), then what gives the government the right to rob his neighbor on the citizen’s behalf? If the government derives its power from the people, where does this extra power come from, that the people can never exercise as individuals?

What is so magic about government, that suddenly they can act on an individual’s behalf in a way that the individual could never act on his own? What is so magic about a group of individuals that allows them to rob their neighbor, or initiate force, when said force would always be illegitimate as an individual?

There’s nothing magic about it. It is wrong to initiate force as an individual, and it is also wrong to initiate force as a group, even with approval of the majority. The only legitimate way to take someone’s money (time, labor, wealth) is for them to voluntarily hand it over to you. Otherwise it is theft, even if the government is the robber.

Charity versus taxation is the difference between sex and rape.


A Degree of Slavery: Words From Frederick Douglas

slavery

I’ve been criticized at times for likening taxation to slavery. As the above meme demonstrates, almost everyone can agree that 100% taxation is slavery. So then a lesser percentage of forced labor, as I have argued, is also slavery, perhaps to a lesser degree.

Whether a cent or a million dollars is stolen, we call it theft, unless we call it taxation. And if someone forces you to work for them 1% of the time, or 100% of a time, that is still slavery. We need to stop letting the government off the hook by softening the perception of theft and slavery and allowing them to use the term taxation.

Frederick Douglas was a slave, by any reckoning. So it is interesting to read his own words, on the same subject of having his rightfully earned wages taken by force. First, he laments the state of his servitude, that all his hard work is confiscated from him.

Besides, I was now getting—as I have said—a dollar and fifty cents per day. I contracted for it, worked for it, earned it, collected it; it was paid to me, and it was rightfully my own; and yet, upon every returning Saturday night, this money—my own hard earnings, every cent of it—was demanded of me, and taken from me by Master Hugh. He did not earn it; he had no hand in earning it; why, then, should he have it? I owed him nothing. He had given me no schooling, and I had received from him only my food and raiment; and for these, my services were supposed to pay, from the first. The right to take my earnings, was the right of the robber. He had the power to compel me to give him the fruits of my labor, and this power was his only right in the case. I became more and more dissatisfied with this state of things…

Frederick Douglas sees here what I see: that the only “right” the government has to take your money, is the right of the robber. Yes, they have enough power to force you to give them money, and that is the only thing that makes it “legitimate”. Douglas then muses about what conditions make slave-masters able to keep men enslaved.

To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate his power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery. The man that takes his earnings, must be able to convince him that he has a perfect right to do so. It must not depend upon mere force; the slave must know no Higher Law than his master’s will. The whole relationship must not only demonstrate, to his mind, its necessity, but its absolute rightfulness. If there be one crevice through which a single drop can fall, it will certainly rust off the slave’s chain.

And this is the same reason people accept taxation. We revere authority, and accept government as necessary, and still think we get some benefit out of our slavery. Of course people think this way, how often do you hear people support something because, “it is the law”. Is there no higher law than that which the government makes up for its own benefit, and then exerts through force? The will and force of government is the highest law we know.

But as soon as we realize that it is never okay to be robbed, no matter how small, the injustice is a potent demonstration that we are at the mercy of a thieving gang who has convinced most people that somehow in this case, theft and slavery are acceptable.

In case you are hung up on the percentage of stolen labor: it is interesting to note that Frederick Douglas did not always have 100% of his wages stolen from him by his masters.

I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master. When I carried to him my weekly wages, he would, after counting the money, look me in the face with a robber-like fierceness, and ask, “Is this all?” He was satisfied with nothing less than the last cent. He would, however, when I made him six dollars, sometimes give me six cents, to encourage me. It had the opposite effect. I regarded it as a sort of admission of my right to the whole. The fact that he gave me any part of my wages was proof, to my mind, that he believed me entitled to the whole of them. I always felt worse for having received any thing; for I feared that the giving me a few cents would ease his conscience, and make him feel himself to be a pretty honorable sort of robber.

How often do people squeal that the rich need to pay their “fair share”? It doesn’t matter how much any person earns, the government always wants to steal more. And somehow they have convinced millions of people that the thieves are the good guys, and the wage earners deserve to be enslaved and robbed.

We also shouldn’t feel excited when we get out tax refunds, we should be all the more infuriated. The government knows and admits that it is our money, that we earned, to which they have no right. Yet they still take it, and we still stand by as helpless slaves while being robbed? The worst part is, that the robber undoubtedly thinks he is honorable in our circumstances! Welfare, roads, a military to “keep us safe”: our robbers, our slave masters, want us to thank them for giving back cents on the stolen dollar!

But I won’t accept it. I won’t pretend with the rest of the slaves that it is just. Yes, I will give up my wages at the point of a gun, but that is the only right the government has over me, the right of the robber.

He exhorted me to content myself, and be obedient. He told me, if I would be happy, I must lay out no plans for the future. He said, if I behaved myself properly, he would take care of me. Indeed, he advised me to complete thoughtlessness of the future, and taught me to depend solely upon him for happiness. He seemed to see fully the pressing necessity of setting aside my intellectual nature, in order to contentment in slavery. But in spite of him, and even in spite of myself, I continued to think, and to think about the injustice of my enslavement, and the means of escape.

That passage strikes an eery tone to me, because anyone can see the government has the exact same advice for us, as Frederick Douglas’ master had for him. Just sign up for Obamacare, pay your taxes, vote, pay into social security, it will all be fine! Don’t worry, you don’t need anything but us to be happy and content. If people feel dependent on the government, they are terrified to be free! The government will take care of you, just as long as you abandon your intellect, and push away any thoughts of influencing your future. Leave your fate to the hands of government.

Frederick Douglas had incredible insight into the true nature of slavery. He was the self aware slave that every master fears. Frederick Douglas was at times even placed in the same type of slavery we find ourselves in today, where we have the appearance of freedom. But it is really the worst of both worlds.

I was to be allowed all my time, make all contracts with those for whom I worked, and find my own employment; and, in return for this liberty, I was to pay him three dollars at the end of each week; find myself in calking tools, and in board and clothing. My board was two dollars and a half per week. This, with the wear and tear of clothing and calking tools, made my regular expenses about six dollars per week. This amount I was compelled to make up, or relinquish the privilege of hiring my time. Rain or shine, work or no work, at the end of each week the money must be forthcoming, or I must give up my privilege. This arrangement, it will be perceived, was decidedly in my master’s favor. It relieved him of all need of looking after me. His money was sure. He received all the benefits of slaveholding without its evils; while I endured all the evils of a slave, and suffered all the care and anxiety of a freeman. 

Precisely. We are “free”! Just so long as you give the government protection money at the end of each work week. If you can’t find work, you still need to buy healthcare, you still need to pay your property taxes, you still need to pay sales tax, and so on and so forth. We have all the stress of free men, without the benefit! And the government has all the benefits of a slave-holder, without all the intricacies of owning slaves.

The criticisms that Frederick Douglas expresses of his masters are perfectly interchangeable with all the criticisms I have for government. Heed his words. Douglas was 100% a slave at times, 99% a slave at other times, and even at a point 50% a slave, according to how much of his labor was confiscated.

But he was still a slave. Don’t let the masters keep you a thoughtless slave.

Vehicle Inspection State Racket

The state of Massachusetts requires that you have your car inspected once a year. It costs about $30 and the state tells you if that protection money is enough to drive around, or if you must pay more for the privilege of using roads you already paid for.

Last year my dad spent $1,200 and dozens of hours to get his car a valid inspection sticker. The problem? A sensor was malfunctioning that made the check engine light continue to come on. He could have driven safely for the rest of the car’s life, but the state of Mass stole his time and his money in the name of safety.

But if the state is so interested in keeping us safe, you might think they would be accountable when they fail to keep us safe. In February I travelled with my sisters down to Florida in a mini-van that had literally been inspected and passed in the 48 hours prior to leaving.

Belts: check. They are safe. Fewer than 200 miles into the trip, the main belt ripped, and we cautiously drove for a couple more hours until repair shops were open. A few hours later we were on the road again.

Tires: check. They are safe. About 45 minutes after continuing our trip, the front left tire blew, for apparently no other reason than it was worn out. The snow banks were so immense that we were only a foot off the highway in the breakdown lane, and so we called AAA rather than risk our lives trying to fix it. We waited for over an hour as tractor trailers blew by just feet from our vehicle, where one twitch of the trucker’s arm would have killed us all.

Even worse than “keeping us safe” by force, is stealing our money under the pretense of keeping us safe. The state lulls us into a false sense of security by pretending they are taking care of things which they are absolutely not. It happens with security, education, and help to the poor; but it also happens with safety inspections, whether in a restaurant, or on our vehicles.

If the state has taken on the responsibility to keep us safe, why are they not accountable when they fail to do so? In essence, we paid the state $30 to make sure our car was safe to drive. So when they said it was safe, yet it was not safe, don’t they owe us something for their failure? This reveals that like so much else, state vehicle inspections are simply a racket to steal more money.

Now suppose there was a business where we could voluntarily have our vehicles inspected for $30 dollars, and if they pass it is like insurance against something going wrong. Then we would be paid based on the failure of the mechanics to find the problems with the belt and the tires. The state is not accountable however. If I made a big deal out of this, the state might end up shutting down the shop that inspected the vehicle, even though the shop probably thought they were being nice and saving us more money in tires, or on addressing a rejection sticker.

In reality, there wasn’t much indication that the belt would go, though we should have looked at the tires and realized they needed to be replaced. It is our personal responsibility to make sure we are safe. We purchase things like AAA as insurance for emergencies; we don’t need the state to get involved.

All the state does is two things: one, take our money, which makes  it harder for us to afford to look after ourselves. Two, convince us not to worry about certain things “because the state is taking care of it”, when in reality, we should be looking after those things ourselves.

We Are All Slaves.

If you were born in America, you were born on the American plantation. It’s not the worst plantation, and it is not the best. But we are slaves here, we have masters, and we cannot so easily escape… not without dire consequences.

Harriet Tubman said:

“I freed a thousand slaves, and I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves”.

Let’s start at birth, when the government gives us a social security number. This number will follow us throughout our lives. It is required to start a bank account, get a job, buy a house, get a loan, etcetera. If we work hard enough, we are told, and if we survive long enough, this number will be our key to a happy, prosperous retirement!

At the beginning, when the laws of Animal Farm were first formulated, the retiring age had been fixed for horses and pigs at twelve, for cows at fourteen, for dogs at nine, for sheep at seven, and for hens and geese at five. Liberal old-age pensions had been agreed upon. As yet no animal had actually retired on pension, but of late the subject had been discussed more and more. Now that the small field beyond the orchard had been set aside for barley, it was rumoured that a corner of the large pasture was to be fenced off and turned into a grazing-ground for superannuated animals.

That is an excerpt from Animal Farm, and spoiler alert, the horse Boxer doesn’t get to retire in the pasture, he gets turned into glue.

But anyway, suppose I make it through my slave training (public schooling) and decide the life of a slave isn’t really for me—suppose I think I don’t really have to work for the government my whole life. What can I do?

Can I go get a piece of land, set up shop, and forget about the outside world? Well first I will need to labour enough to earn $200,000. That would take about 8 years on a $10/hour wage, but with taxes it will take at very least ten years, saving practically every cent that isn’t taxed away. Ten years a slave, and I will be free! Now I am 28, and ready to start my life.

I got my land! I won’t take anything from society or the government. I’m just going to stay on my property, grow my own food, build my own shelter, not use outside electricity, not use outside water, and fend for myself, okay? Nope, I must earn some money to pay the property taxes. Well fine, at least I can minimize my slave labor to the state, and be a 92% free man. I manage to get a $10/hour job, and work only 4 weeks a year to pay the $1,600 property tax on my modest home.

But wait, if I am going to earn $1,600 per year, the state and federal governments need a piece as well! Even if I get my withholding back, the social security and medicare is still taken. Fine, whatever, I only need to work another 3 days to pay for those taxes.

Oh wait, since I need to get a job to pay my taxes, I will need a way to get to and from the job. I’ll just get a heap of a vehicle, spend only $2,000 which will take me 5 weeks to earn enough to buy. Just kidding, I will also be taxed on that income, so it will take me 6 weeks to earn enough. But actually, there is also a 5% sales tax, and a yearly excise tax of $50, so make that almost 7 weeks. If I am lucky, next year I won’t have to work so much for my vehicle, but chances are it will need repairs.

Okay, okay, I can deal with working 11 weeks per year as a slave to the government, just so that I can live on my own piece of property. I forgot about gas, damn it! Alright another 3 weeks of work per year (almost one third of that labour going to pay the taxes on the gas). I am determined to only be a slave to the government 14 weeks per year! And every second of that labour, and every cent earned is only to get the government “their” money, simply because I was born on one of these 4 million square acres we call America. It is slave labour so that the other 38 weeks a year you can be left alone on your property to somehow figure out how to survive.

Except… you kind of need a shelter, and cannot build one without a permit, unless you want to risk a steep fine, subjecting you to further slave labour. Uhg! $100 for a building permit? Another $100 to get a permit to keep animals? Fine. That’s another week when you figure in more taxes, gas, and taxes on the gas. So it looks like someone might conceivably be able to get away with being a part time slave to the government, only 29% of each year. The rest of the year will be that much more grueling to create enough to live on, since 1/3 of your time must be spent laboring for the plantation owners.

Isn’t There an Alternative?

How about I just move into the mountains, hunt and gather, and leave society behind? What? A Runaway slave, you say?! You will be arrested and imprisoned for living on government land in the national, state, or local parks. Or else you will be kidnapped and caged for living on someone else’s private property.

Well can I just choose a different plantation? Yeah, I guess… but my slave labor will not add up to much less, and possibly even more under the new slave owners. Oh right, it also costs $2,350 to denounce your U.S. citizenship. Work makes you free. Hmmm, where have I heard that before…

But I am sure I could find enough friends and strangers to lend me their land for hunting and gathering. Ha! Where’s your health insurance? You need to buy health insurance (another 4 weeks of slave labor at least) or pay the fine; currently only less than a week of slave labor. But alas, I cannot simply earn this money and be done, I must earn enough extra to pay the taxes, and get me to and from my slave job.

Not minding being a slave does not mean you are not a slave. As Harriet Tubman expressed, many people are not even aware that they are slaves. The master gives us a shack to live in, and scraps to eat, as long as we keep laboring away day in and day out in order to fund the plantation owners and slave masters. And if we are so uppity as to question why we must be slaves while others are masters, we will get lashings, or a cage, or our family will be split up, or we will be killed.

People stealing from you, and forcing you to labor for them is not okay just because they call themselves the government. I’m not claiming to be Harriet Tubman. I am simply a fellow slave trying to wake some of the other slaves up before she comes back around to lead more of us to freedom.

“Statists” “Parasites” and Other Accurate Insults

The following is taken from Larken Rose, on the subject of people considering accurate terms used to describe them as insults. I have posted in the past on the importance of defining words in order to have an informative discussion, and this is of the same vein.

The best kind of “insults” are those which are simply literally accurate descriptions. Most of the time, when it comes to bashing state-worshipers, being blunt and precise is plenty nasty all by itself. For example:

1) “Statist” has become an insult, when all it means is someone who advocates a state. The exact type and flavor of the state is irrelevant. Constitutionalists are statists just as much as fascists are. If you’re not an anarchist, you’re a statist, just based on what the words mean. Yet many who openly condone “government” consider the term “statist” an insult, and insist it doesn’t apply to them (when it obviously does).

2) When I call politicians “parasites,” I’m being literal. A parasite (a tic, a tapeworm, a flea, a leech, etc.) is something that lives by latching onto to something else (a host) and robbing it of its life blood, its resources and energy. Is that not a perfect description of the state: an organism which gets all of its wealth and power by stealing it from the actually productive people?

3) There’s a term for someone who is a hired gun, who inflicts violence on others in exchange for a paycheck. He’s call a “mercenary.” So when I call cops and soldiers “state mercenaries,” I’m being perfectly accurate. The fact that they don’t like the literal description of what they do isn’t my problem.

Statists also don’t like “taxation” being referred to as theft and extortion; but it is. And they don’t like recipients of “government” “benefits” to be identified as recipients of stolen loot; but they are. And they don’t like “political action” being described as the advocacy of violence against one’s neighbors; but it is. And so on, ad infinitum.

Here’s a thought: if LITERALLY and ACCURATELY describing what you advocate and condone sounds like an INSULT, maybe it’s because you’re advocating and condoning irrational, immoral crap. The proper solution is not to bitch at the people pointing that out. The proper solution is to STOP advocating and condoning irrational, immoral crap.