This post was frequently cited. It’s called “The Worst Argument In The World”. The fallacy is “X is sort of like Y. Therefore, X is Y.” They cite “Taxation is theft” as an example of that fallacy. This post was frequently cited by other people, saying “HAHAHA!! All those people who say ‘Taxation is theft!’ are a bunch of losers!”
On the Internet, I’m noticing more and more hostility towards “Taxation is theft!” A lot of people are wondering “What is wrong with all these libertarian and anarchist fruitcakes, who are saying that taxation is theft?” They are getting more frustrated, as the truth is spreading.
The Internet is an important tool. It enables people to share information outside the State censorship process. If I were relying on the mainstream media to publish my writing, I would never get any audience. The Internet enabled me to learn about market anarchism.
In that post, they give a couple of examples of “The Worst Argument In The World”.
- Taxation is theft.
- Abortion is murder.
- Euthanasia is murder.
- Genetic engineering of human children is evil.
- Evolutionary psychology is sexist!
- Affirmative action is racist!
Notice the juxtaposition. There are five false/misleading things and one correct one.
“Abortion is murder” is the wrong argument. The correct argument is “Why should I care, if a woman wants to kill her unborn children?” When the State outlaws abortion, that assumes that the State has a greater claim on children than the mother. Regarding abortion, the “maximum freedom” answer is “Anyone who wants an abortion should be able to get one.”
“Euthanasia is murder!” is also the wrong argument. In the “health care” industry, doctors and hospitals make a ton of money off the last few months of a person’s life. By postponing death a few months, doctors and hospitals make a fortune. In our society, there’s a lot of media and State hostility towards euthanasia, because that threatens the profits of the State medical cartel.
Via Medicare, most elderly people aren’t paying their own medical bills. There’s no incentive to cut down on costs. Health “insurance” is a great way to maximize medical expenses, because nobody is directly paying themselves.
Regarding euthanasia, the “maximum freedom” answer is “It’s OK to help a terminally ill person commit suicide.”
Genetic engineering of children is probably a bad idea. However, it should not be illegal.
Regarding evolutionary psychology, anything that contradicts the State propaganda regarding gender is considered evil. If one person says “On average, men are better than women at Math and Computers!”, the retort is “You’re sexist!”
Affirmative action really is racist. Affirmative action is an attempt to patch a corrupt system, without addressing the underlying problem. If a college degree is merely a piece of paper that guarantees the holder a good career, then affirmative action is a good idea. If a college degree is based on merit, then affirmative action is harmful. It also is harmful to the beneficiary. If there’s a minority MIT graduate, people may always wonder “Did you only get into MIT because of your skin color?” It might be better to be an average or above-average student at the #10 ranked school, than to get into the #1 school due to affirmative action, and be one of the weakest students there.
It is misleading to argue about affirmative action. Affirmative action attempts to fix corruption by adding even more corruption.
Notice the propaganda trick. Five misleading arguments are lumped together with “Taxation is theft!” That’s a subtle propaganda trick. The writer denigrates “Taxation is theft!”, by lumping it together with other arguments.
I know that “Taxation is theft!” is true. That isn’t the worst argument in the world. It’s the best argument in the world, and maybe the most important one.
There are lots of arguments for “Taxation is theft!” I won’t repeat all of them here, but I’ll give a brief review.
- Taxation is backed by threat of violence. If you don’t pay, people with guns will come to kidnap you or steal your property. If you resist, they will kill you.
- When taxes are collected, there is an illusion of due process. The illusion of due process doesn’t justify the theft. Politicians make up laws to suit their personal goals. Bureaucrats and judges enforce the law. You may even get a “fair” trial, before your property is seized or you are caged. The bureaucracy and process helps hide the crime. Each person only plays a tiny role in State evil. Everyone says “I’m just doing my job. I’m not responsible for the results.”
- As an individual, I do not have the right to rob you. Therefore, I cannot delegate to the government by voting, the right to steal from you, via taxes. I cannot authorize the State to rob you on my behalf, because I don’t have that right.
- Voting does not justify taxation. Voting is a fake choice. As I just mentioned, you can’t authorize people to steal via voting. An election is a fake choice between two insider-screened candidates.
- It’s obviously evil when small groups of people steal. At what point does it make the transition from “obviously criminal theft” to “government”?
- The government we actually have is a massive extortion racket and criminal conspiracy, rather than the protector of individual freedom.
“Taxation is theft!” is a very big idea. Once you realize that taxation is theft, that leads to a whole bunch of other disturbing questions.
- Why doesn’t the mainstream media ever say that “Taxation is theft!”?
- Why don’t university professors ever complain that taxation is theft? Shouldn’t the economics, political science, and philosophy professors mention this as a serious problem?
- When I was in school, why didn’t anyone ever teach me that taxation is theft? (Actually, the opposite is taught, “social contract” as a justification for taxes and the State violence/regulatory/taxation monopoly.)
- Why do other people get upset and angry, when I tell them that “Taxation is theft!”?
- Without taxes, how do we handle the useful bits of government, such as police and courts and roads?
The answers are very disturbing.
- The mainstream media is propaganda for the State and insiders. They pretend to be advocates for the average guy, while spewing propaganda.
- The academic profession has also been captured by the State. Peer review is censorship. If a university professor started writing papers on “Taxation is theft!”, he’s calling out his peers as frauds. He would not get his papers published. He would not get grant money. His career would be ruined. In fact, many PhD students learn “Taxation is theft!”, only so they can ridicule it for being such a stupid wrong idea. When your profession is a fraud, you must also learn the truth and false arguments for refuting it, lest anyone have deviant ideas.
- School’s job is to train people to be obedient slaves, rather than to be truly independent. People need to be smart enough to work on the next iPhone, but dumb enough to follow the propaganda of politics, taxes, and a corrupt monetary system.
- Everyone is at least little crazy. When you explain “Taxation is theft!”, you’re indirectly saying “Hey! Didn’t you notice that everyone is crazy, including you?!” The crime is so big. It’s a huge mental block to overcome, to realize the truth. The police don’t need to spy on everyone all the time. Your friends and relatives will harshly censor you, when you have “non-approved” ideas. That creates the illusion of State omniscience and omnipotence.
- Without a government taxation and violence monopoly, the useful bits would be handled by a really free market. The correct answer to “How does X happen without government?” is market anarchism and agorism.
That post, “The Worst Argument In The World!” is an interesting bit of propaganda. It has been widely cited as evidence that “Taxation is not theft!” The argument “Taxation is theft!” was lumped together with a bunch of false or misleading arguments, as a way to denigrate “Taxation is theft!” The author is probably a philosophy student or professor. He can’t admit that his profession is one big fraud, so he attacks the truth.
“Taxation is theft!” is not the worst argument in the world. It’s actually the best argument in the world. It’s the most important argument in the world. Once you understand that taxation is theft, that leads to a lot of other important questions.