Sunday, April 20, 2014

John Locke, Roderick Long, and Voluntary Taxation

Written on October 6th, 2012
as an e-mail to Panarchist John Zube

   The following was written in regard to Roderick Long's criticism of John Locke's justification for the Leviathan as an endorsement of monopoly government.

   Long uses a three-person desert island scenario to show that it is unfair for one person to wield the ability to always resolve the disputes of others, because that one person might be given too much leeway to resolve potential disputes which concern him in his own favor.

   This leads me to wonder whether voluntary governance can only occur if individuals are required to submit disputes which they cannot resolve among themselves to some - although not necessarily (and preferably not) always the same - neutral, fair, independent, and uninterested arbiter.

   I think it is choice - minimally restrained; restrained to selection from among the existing set of alternatives - that makes government voluntary, more than it is freedom to self-govern which does so.

   This is because an ungoverned person is free to intervene in disputes which do not involve him without others asking, and free to act in a way that affects others without their knowledge and / or consent (anarchy = tyranny / Statism; panarchy is neither anarchist nor Statist).

   This is the argument I make to defend the notion that my taxation plan is truly voluntary, because to create perfect competition requires that persons become insured against harm to personal and property harm, and therefore it is reasonable to assume that most public goods provision would be linked to - and resemble (as in the Agorist formulation) - insurance.

   My understanding of Konkin's and / or Robert Murphy's views on the topic is that self-governance should not be prohibited, but that society would boycott uninsured / ungoverned individuals due to the risks involved.

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