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A Liberal and a Libertarian discuss Free Market Economics Part 2

Posted by CommunitarianKevin , in Free Market Discussion 30 August 2012 · 339 views

You have a flawed understanding of what aggression is. Aggression is the INITIATION of force/violence. The non-aggression principle states clearly that it permissible, in fact EXPECTED, to defend one's self and one's friends and family from aggression, and to punish those that would commit it. The NAP is NOT pacifism (which abhores violence as a rule), it says that violence is a tool which must be used defensively not aggressively. So, your criticism " If taxation is aggression than any punishment for any crime is" is WAY over thinking the principle. In short, you are using aggression and violence as synonyms; they are simply NOT. Violence is a tool that only naive children claim has no place in society. On the contrary, violence is the mother of civilization and the caretaker of our children. BUT, when it is used first (i.e. the initiation of force) it is illegitimate. If someone punches you, punch him back. This is common sense.

Do you have any objections about the NAP now? Like I said, I will answer your other concerns in time.

  Well if thinking too much is my problem, I can accept that. At least I try to think…I am glad that it believes in retaliation for those who commit aggression. I do not think violence and aggression are synonyms; just that violence is an example of aggression. But I still have objections...I cannot accept taxation and other petty laws as aggression. It seems more like aggression is defined as “laws we don’t like.” The Libertarian I work with thinks DUI/DWIs are BS laws unless someone has gotten hurt. His argument is that once you hurt someone, then it is a crime, but not until then. But the fact of the matter is that in this country, laws are made by a body of elected representatives. This is not a monarchy. Laws are made by our elected representatives. By living and participating in this form of government we should respect the laws that are made whether you agree with them or not. Just because one does not agree with a certain law does not make it aggression but it might indicate a problem with our government or form of government (examples would be is if a law is unconstitutional or if there is a problem with majority rule, even though the Constitution should protect from tyranny of the majority.)

  Still though, I cannot get pass the taxation. I might be able to accept NAP if taxation was not seen as aggression but I feel it is unfair to except only the parts of the theory that I agree with. One should not pick and choose what parts they listen to. That is my biggest problem with Republicans and Bible thumpers. They preach the parts they believe in by ignore the stuff they do not agree with. I see taxation and legitimate and necessary…

   To start, I see taxation just like I see self-interest. To my knowledge taxation has existed since the dawn of civilization. It is a part of life that has always existed but, unlike selfishness, it needs to if people expect to live in a society.

   Explain to me this…how does a government provide ANYTHING without taxation? Taxation is the government’s form of income, at least in a free market laissez faire system. It is the government’s responsibility to protect the people and provide for their needs (allow them to sustain themselves,) if it does not, it is not legitimate. Without an income, how does the government pay for anything? How does it pay for national defense, the elected officials, police officers, schools, roads, and all the other things a government provides? As we saw with the United States, under the Articles of Confederation, that a national government that cannot tax and cannot raise a military is powerless. That is why we scrapped the AoC for the Constitution and formed a government that can tax and raise a military, which most people would agree is the greatest in the world. When you do not allow taxation you get the Supreme Court…a powerless (and let’s be frank, worthless, branch.) The only reason the Supreme Court can do anything at all is because the rest of the government CHOOSES to listen to them. I do not understand how we could have a society without taxation. None of us like paying taxes, but we need to. Being a Communitarian I am willing to give what I do, and more, to support my community. No one complains when taxes are spent to protect them or build roads but only when they are spent on things we do not agree with. I do not believe we should have pumped 3 trillion dollars into the Middle East because in my opinion, that did nothing for my community or the nation as a whole. Because of that I do not support the people that wasted 3 trillion dollars of tax payer’s money on an illegitimate war that did not need to happen. That money could have been spent on health care, education, or getting rid of the national debt. That is why I do not support Republicans and their excessive military spending to enforce their will on the global stage.

You can either try to convince me that taxation is not legitimate or we can ignore the fact that I do not consider it aggression if that means we can progress in our discussion.

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