RE: `capitalist' character values

From: Jerry Mitchell (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 23:00:28 MDT

Russell wrote:
> I'm asking the questions for at least two reasons: (1) I have an
> intellectual interest in all this stuff, so I'd simply like
> to know what
> people think, just out of interest; (2) I see some very strong, even
> impassioned, statements made from time to time by Jerry,
> among others, and
> I'd like to know whether there is any political theory (fully
> developed or
> otherwise) behind those statements or whether they merely express an
> emotional aversion to paying taxes. The questions I'm asking
> are some of
> those that I think a proper theory would have to deal with.

Yes, there's very much a philosophical basis for my "aversion" to taxes. I
lean very heavily towards "objectivism" (not Randism) for one, that should
give a large insight into my beliefs. Here's why taxes are such a good "acid
test" on political philosophy for me. If you were to be shown an elaborate
formula that covers entire chalkboards, but as you glance over this, you
notice that in one spot, the formula states 2+2=5. You would know there's
very little chance the outcome of the formula could be correct. I know that
taxes are inherently morally wrong, so ANY system that includes involuntary
taxes are automatically immoral. People will point to the other parts of the
equation to show you how "right" the rest of it is... They will show you the
"utility" and "practicality" of making the outcome 5 mainly because if the
answer is 4, it makes their work MUCH harder to paint the picture. It
doesn't matter, its a diversion, they cant make their political math work
out if 2+2=4. Thell argue that you'll just being too stringent, some
latitude must be give so that the answer is 5 sometimes. To help the little
old ladies, and the children, our plan NEEDS the answer to be 5 to make it
sound moral. Weave, bob, and evade... Its a great test for any political

Its not the only one. I.E. Georgia outlaws riding motorcycles without a
helmet, Florida doesn't. Since you have every right to be stupid and not
wear helmets (that doesn't hurt anyone else but the guy about to become a
small greasy smear), its a good indication that the government of Georgia on
some very basic fundamental issues believe they have been elected to play
Momma to everyone. Florida has its own issues too, don't get me wrong, this
is an example.

If someone wants to argue with you about the situation, they MUST argue
about the point in question. "Are taxes moral" is the distilled essence of
the question. Does the answer evade the fact that taxes are collected by
force? How do they argue that theft is ok? Do they try to say taxes isn't
stolen money? This goes completely against my understanding of reality and
they will have to do some BIG time explaining to show me that one. Ill
listen, but don't be surprised at me being skeptical. Something that goes
against my logic to that extent, I will be sure to examine closely.

If you cant get impassioned about political views, whets worth getting
passionate about? Look at history and notice the greatest threat to people
lives and property comes from an oppressive government. When I see a system
that includes immoral attributes, I see Hitler, Stalin, etc... and the
bodies piled high. I can very quickly turn these "fuzzy abstractions" into
concretes if required to bring home the importance of ideas. Distill taxes
down to its basic essence, you'll find death and destruction staring back at
you. No corporations, or crazed gunslinger has ever killed and slaughtered
on the scale that governments do. I see with every attack of my values, an
attack on the lives of my children and wife because I understand where these
ideas can take a person, and a nation.

If your worried that your too extreme and that you should be more
"moderate", understand that the "correct" side doesn't need to compromise on
basic principles. You can compromise on the implementation of your
principles, but not on their existence. If you concede they have the right
to take a single penny or second of your life, you've lost the battle AND
the war.

No, I haven't discovered a perfect system, I just have discovered my best
method for determining if systems that are put forth are valid.

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