Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Fictitious Dialogue with a Ron Paul Supporter

fisharmor: It is completely unethical for the government to imprison, beat, torture, rape, and kill people for refusing to pay taxes!!
Xerographica: Would you want to be able to use your taxes to boycott the tax enforcement GOs?
fisharmor: No!!
Xerographica: No?
fisharmor: You don't get it...I find theft of my property to be unethical.
Xerographica: wouldn't want to deprive the tax enforcement GOs of your taxes?
fisharmor: No! You're being unreasonable for not understanding how strongly I feel about taxes.
Xerographica: But in a pragmatarian system you'd be able to withhold your taxes from all but one GO...
fisharmor: Taxes are unethical and I could care less what my stolen money is used for
Xerographica: Even if your taxes paid for unnecessary wars?
fisharmor: Look, the problem here is that you've never heard of the self-ownership principle.
Xerographica: I'm pretty sure I understand and appreciate the concept...but I don't think you're grasping that pragmatarianism is a system that would allow you to allocate your taxes according to your moral principles
fisharmor: You don't truly understand the self-ownership concept if you support taxes
Xerographica: I'm not supporting taxes...I'm supporting freedom...
fisharmor: The only way to support freedom is by advocating for the total elimination of taxes
Xerographica: Even if advocating for the total elimination of taxes guaranteed that you wouldn't get any freedom?
fisharmor: Yes, that's what it means to be ethically never compromise your ethical principles even if doing so helps perpetuate the very thing that you're ethically opposed to.
Xerographica: But...I'm not asking that you compromise your ethical principles....
fisharmor: Are you advocating for the elimination of taxes?
fisharmor: Then you're asking me to compromise my ethical principles.


  1. Dialogue with a Strawman is more like it. As a deontological libertarian I'll bite on this debate. Spontaneous order systems need to have a feedback system to work.In the market profit and loss provide this. Society has things like reputation, shaming, ostracism, and praise which order social norms. Evolution has natural selection. Suppose I allocate my tax dollars to my ends. How do I know how much to put into what? Suppose I reallocate more money to public parks, how do i know if i put the right amount in? What if I'm actually spending too much on parks and I get robbed later because I took too much money out of education for the parks and this kid couldn't finish high school?

  2. Cato, how do you know if you donated the "right" amount of time/money to your favorite charity? The concept of "opportunity cost" is essential to ensure the efficient allocation of scarce resources...and it is applicable anytime you can choose how to spend your time/money.

    You're actually making a consequentialist argument. Stefan Molyneux is a strong deontological anarcho-capitalist but in his video on Beautiful Freedom he makes some really excellent arguments for the market.

    Kent is a strong deontological anarcho-capitalist as well...but he could care less about the outcome/results...he could care less if taxes cured cancer and ended world hunger and brought about world peace. The only thing he cares about is that taxes are theft. Check out Kent's critique of pragmatarianism.