A Collection of Anti-Government Quotes

This page will be updated when I find something quote-worthy.

If roads are dependent upon theft (taxation), then the existence of roads is unjustifiable. That’s all anyone needs to know about the subject.

Here’s the novel idea: Remove all immoral options from the table before planning your project. Questions of feasibility can proceed from there, and yield whatever they yield.

Whether roads can or cannot be produced, mankind will be better off this way because Truth/morality/nature has you covered. Following its Laws is the path to humanity’s highest thriving in all cases. There are no trade-offs of benefit where Truth is concerned.

— bbblackwell

Constitutions are utterly worthless to restrain the tyranny of governments, unless it be understood that the people will, by force, compel the government to keep within the constitutional limits. Practically speaking, no government knows any limits to its power, except the endurance of the people. But that the people are stronger than the government, and will resist in extreme cases, our governments would be little or nothing else than organized systems of plunder and oppression. All, or nearly all, the advantage there is in fixing any constitutional limits to the power of a government, is simply to give notice to the government of the point at which it will meet with resistance. If the people are then as good as their word, they may keep the government within the bounds they have set for it; otherwise it will disregard them — as is proved by the example of all our American governments, in which the constitutions have all become obsolete, at the moment of their adoption, for nearly or quite all purposes except the appointment of officers, who at once become practically absolute, except so far as they are restrained by the fear of popular resistance.

— Lysander Spooner (Let’s Abolish Government)

I don’t have all the answers. I may not have any of them. But I am convinced that if people are free, rather than constrained and kicked around as they are under government as we know it, they will find better, more genuine and workable answers than any that the government’s bureaucrats, kept intellectuals, and running dogs can devise. Freedom is not a blueprint for society; it’s a process by which people alter society for the better without using force to do so.

— Robert Higgs

We make a mistake to plead and litigate with our masters using only the tools they have provided us. We cannot prevail within a frame of the same rules by which we are enslaved. By this pleading, we only feed the monster with our energy and money. We must take back personal responsibility for our independence and for our survival. One way is to exercise our natural right to ignore the State, to renounce it, and to work at building an independent life, accepting neither the State’s “benefits” nor its costs, to the extent we are able to avoid them.

— Jeff Knaebel

No middle ground is possible on this subject. Either “taxation without consent is robbery,” or it is not. If it is not, then any number of men, who choose, may at any time associate; call themselves a government; assume absolute authority over all weaker than themselves; plunder them at will; and kill them if they resist. If, on the other hand, taxation without consent is robbery, it necessarily follows that every man who has not consented to be taxed, has the same natural right to defend his property against a taxgatherer, that he has to defend it against a highwayman.

— Lysander Spooner (No Treason #2: The Constitution)

The whole authority of the Constitution rests upon the consent of “the people”. If they did not consent, it was of no validity. Of course it had no validity, except as between those who actually consented. No one’s consent could be presumed against him, without his actual consent being given, any more than in the case of any other contract to pay money, or render service. And to make it binding upon any one, his signature, or other positive evidence of consent, was as necessary as in the case of any other contract. If the instrument meant to say that any of “the people of the United States” would be bound by it, who did not consent, it was a usurpation and a lie. The most that can be inferred from the form, “We, the people,” is, that the instrument offered membership to all “the people of the United States;” leaving it for them to accept or refuse it, at their pleasure.

— Lysander Spooner (No Treason #2: The Constitution)

‘The Constitution of No Authority’ by Lysander Spooner, in my opinion is the most thorough, well articulated, well thought out, and ground breaking systematic dismantling of the concept of political authority, and social contract theory which has ever been written; and in under 100 pages no less.

If Spooner’s work in general were more known about, I can guarantee you that more people would not be statists. Hence why despite the numerous monumental achievements he achieved (such as writing the pamphlet which pretty much pioneered the 19th century US abolitionist movement, and demonstrating definitively that private enterprise and counter economics is more efficient, and profitable as a means of associating and achieving political change with his American Letter Mail Company, which for the record was in operation from 1844, to 1851 – and was delivering cross country mail more efficiently than the US post office CURRENTLY does in 2019.); he is never mentioned in the mainstream media.

…Or, more than likely BECAUSE of all of his accomplishments and contributions to legal theory; he never gets mentioned.

— Esoteric The Free

Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.

In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.

— Robert Higgs (The State Is Too Dangerous To Tolerate) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZa_f626r_Y

Here’s the key concept that statists don’t understand: If you devise or advocate for a system whereby people receive “services” before paying for them, and without ever requesting or agreeing to receive them, then the burden for its upkeep is on YOU, not the “freeloaders” you’re trying to extort payment from.

You’re either an immoral miscreant, or just not good at thinking things through, but either way, it’s more of a YOU thing, so stop dumping the consequences of your dysfunction on everyone else. If your system doesn’t work without robbing everyone, here’s a thought: Come up with another system.

— Brian Blackwell

Jesus, in some respects, was an anarchist, for he had no idea of civil government. That government seems to him purely and simply an abuse. A great social revolution, in which rank will be overturned, in which all authority in this world will be humiliated, was his dream.

— Ernest Renan
(The History of The Origins of Christianity – Book 1: The Life of Jesus)

In truth, the belief in “government” is a religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, and which are methodically memorized and repeated by the faithful. Like other religions, the gospel of “government” describes a superhuman, supernatural entity, above mere mortals, which issues commandments to the peasantry, for whom unquestioning obedience is a moral imperative. Disobeying to the commandments (“breaking the law”) is viewed as a sin, and the faithful delight in the punishment of the infidels and sinners (“criminals”), while at the same time taking great pride in their own loyalty and humble subservience to their god (as “law-abiding taxpayers”). And while the mortals may humbly beg their lord for favors, and for permission to do certain things, it is considered blasphemous and outrageous for one of the lowly peasants to imagine himself to be fit to decide which of the “government” god’s “laws” he should follow and which it is okay for him to ignore. Their mantra is, “You can work to try to change the law, but as long as it’s the law, we all have to follow it!”

— Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)

Statists often argue that taxation is not theft because “governments” use tax revenue for things that are for the “common good,” so it’s just a matter of people paying for goods and services they receive. Such an argument ignores the fundamental nature of the situation. A simple example makes the double standard obvious. Suppose a stranger came up to you and said he had mowed your lawn, or left an item for you at your house, and now demanded that you give him $1,000, though you had never agreed to any such arrangement. Obviously, that would constitute extortion, and you would have no duty to pay, even if he really had mowed your lawn or left you something. No one has the right, without your consent, to provide you some item or service – when you didn’t ask for it and didn’t want to buy it – and then forcibly take from you whatever he declares the item or service to be worth. And yet that is exactly what every “government,” at every level, always does.

— Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)

The “good cop/bad cop” question can be disposed of decisively. We need only consider the following:

 Every cop has agreed, as part of his job, to enforce laws, all of them.
 Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, or even cruel and wicked.
 Therefore, every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer of laws that are manifestly unjust, or even cruel and wicked.

There are no good cops.

— Robert Higgs

Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

— Lysander Spooner (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority)


What literally happens is that one group of people issues a command, and their enforcers impose it upon the masses, by punishing disobedience. This is what the Mafia does, what street gangs do, what schoolyard bullies do, and what all “governments” do. The difference is that when “government” does it, it uses not only threats but also indoctrination, of both the enforcers and the general public, whereas the message of most thugs are usually direct and honest (”Do what I say or I hurt you”). The “government” message involves a great deal of psychology and mind control, which is essential to making the state mercenaries feel righteous about inflicting oppression on others. The controllers in “government” portray themselves as “lawmakers” who have the right to “govern” society, portray their commands as “laws,” and portray any who disobey as “criminals.” And, unlike Mafia “heavies,” those who administer retribution against any who disobey the politicians are portrayed, not merely as hired thugs, but as noble “law enforcers,” who are righteously protecting society from all the uncivilized, contemptuous “law-breakers.”

— Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)

As taxation is made compulsory on all, whether they vote or not, a large proportion of those who vote, no doubt do so to prevent their own money being used against themselves; when, in fact, they would have gladly abstained from voting, if they could thereby have saved themselves from taxation alone, to say nothing of being saved from all the other usurpations and tyrannies of the government. To take a man’s property without his consent, and then to infer his consent because he attempts, by voting, to prevent that property from being used to his injury, is a very insufficient proof of his consent to support the Constitution. It is, in fact, no proof at all. And as we can have no legal knowledge as to who the particular individuals are, if there are any, who are willing to be taxed for the sake of voting, we can have no legal knowledge that any particular individual consents to be taxed for the sake of voting; or, consequently, consents to support the Constitution.

— Lysander Spooner (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority)

People in America live in fear. They live in fear of everything. Americans are afraid of their own shadows. They’re afraid of Islamic terrorists that don’t pose a 1 in a million chance of hurting them. They’re afraid of their children falling off the slide in the park. They’re afraid if they let the children out of their sight the children will be taken away by maniacs. They’re afraid of everything — they’re afraid, they’re afraid! And fear-driven people cannot think straight. They CAN be entertained, however, so that’s the kind of country we have here — a MASSIVELY entertained, hyper-fearful bunch of people who will sit still for a police state. Not my kind of place.

— Robert Higgs

POLITICIANS are a species of actor. As a rule, they know nothing about how the world works or how to perform a valuable task in real (i.e., nonpolitical) life. They know only how to act in such a way as to get themselves elected to public office.

DEMOCRACY is a political system in which such ignoramuses are elected by people who know all sorts of things about real life, and those elected are empowered to make rules in excruciating detail (or to establish the framework in which bureaucrats at their disposal make such rules) about how people must live their lives. It is a system in which those who know worthwhile things are ruled by people who do not know worthwhile things. Given its nature, it works precisely as any sensible person would expect.

— Robert Higgs

The word “COUNTRY” refers to the territorial jurisdiction of a (federal or national) “GOVERNMENT.”

The word “GOVERNMENT” refers to the political body that exercises “authority” over a certain jurisdiction.

The word “AUTHORITY” means the right to rule.

Therefore, using the phrase “A FREE COUNTRY” is oxymoronic. If a place is free, then it doesn’t have a ruling class, and if it doesn’t have a ruling class, then it’s not a country.

— Larken Rose


VOLUNTARYISM is the word that’s been coined to describe the idea that voluntary dealings between people is the best option. It means there is consent between individuals, and that violently forcing other people to do things they don’t want to do is wrong.

As long as we’re not hurting anyone, our personal choices are ours to make. We don’t always agree with everything everyone does, but if we can respect people’s freedom to make decisions for themselves, we can get along just fine. Not everyone is going to do this, but to be a voluntaryist is to decide that we will be one of the people who do. It’s a decision to be part of the solution in our own small way. This doesn’t mean we have to accept wrong-doing from people who have yet to accept this idea, but it means people get to live their own lives, as long as they’re not harming anyone else.

— Brian Blackwell

I’M NOT SCARED of the Maos and the Stalins and the Hitlers.

I’M SCARED of the thousands of millions of people that hallucinate them to be “authority“, and so do their bidding, and pay for their empires, and carry out their orders.

I don’t care if there’s one looney with a stupid moustache. He’s not a threat if the people do not believe in “

— Larken Rose

You are not CHRISTIANS. You are not JEWS. You are not MUSLIMS. And you certainly aren’t ATHEISTS. You all have the same god, and its name is ‘GOVERNMENT‘. You’re all members of the most insane, destructive cult in history. If there ever was a DEVIL, the STATE is it. And you worship it with all your heart and soul.

— Larken Rose (The Iron Web)

I learned to be suspicious of ways of bettering mankind than require the government to point a gun at innocent people and say “Give me your money or I will kill you” — which is what TAXATION always involves, ultimately. We don’t think of it because we just give them the money. We don’t make push come to shove. But if you think it through, you’ll realize that if you’re adamant, if you’re stubborn — if you say “No, I won’t pay my taxes” and they issue you a summons, and you say “No, I won’t go to court” and they come to arrest you, and you say “No, I won’t be arrested” — you’re getting perilously close to the point at which they either club you into submission and hall you off to jail, or they shoot you on the spot. You are not at liberty to decline these blessings, ok? We’re all supposed to pay when told to pay.

— Robert Higgs (Against Leviathan)

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army.

So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side . . . it is His will that the Germans be killed.

And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies . . . to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a “glorious adventure.”

— Major General Smedley Butler (War Is A Racket)

In a combat setting, nearly everything that every “government” military does constitutes aggressive terrorism, and almost every order a soldier receives is an immoral order, whether it is to trespass on someone else’s property, blow up a bridge, block a road, disarm civilians, detain and interrogate people without justification, or kill complete strangers, just on the “say-so” of a supposed “authority.”

In fact, even when the rules of engagement are only to fire if fired upon, that is still often unjustified. When one is the aggressor, whether individually or acting on behalf of “authority,” the target of that aggression has the right to use whatever force is necessary to stop the aggressor. In other words, in a lot of situations, shooting at soldiers – including American soldiers – is inherently justified. Killing someone for defending himself against aggressors is murder, even when the aggressors are U.S. soldiers. And almost every soldier routinely commits immoral acts of aggression, believing that commands from “authority” make it okay for him to do so. If any soldier actually took seriously the idea that he had the duty to disobey an immoral order, the first thing he would do would be to quit the military.

— Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)

Contrary to what nearly everyone has been taught to believe, “government” is not necessary for civilization. It is not conducive to civilization. It is, in fact, the antithesis of civilization. It is not cooperation, or working together, or voluntary interaction. It is not peaceful coexistence. It is coercion; it is force; it is violence. It is animalistic aggression, cloaked by pseudo-religious, cult-like rituals which are designed to make it appear legitimate and righteous. It is brute thuggery, disguised as consent and organization. It is the enslavement of mankind, the subjugation of free will, and the destruction of morality, masquerading as “civilization” and “society.” The problem is not just that “authority” can be used for evil; the problem is that, at its most basic essence, it is evil. In everything it does, it defeats the free will of human being controlling them through coercion and fear. It supersedes and destroys moral consciences, replacing them with unthinking blind obedience. It cannot be used for good, any more than a bomb can be used to heal a body. It is always aggression, always the enemy of peace, always the enemy of justice. The moment it ceases to be an attacker, it ceases to fit the definition of “government.” It is, by its very nature, a murderer and a thief, the enemy of mankind, a poison to humanity.

As dominator and controller, ruler and oppressor, it can be nothing else.

— Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)

…while a belief in “authority” can lead people to inflict harm on others, that same belief often cannot limit the extent to which the agents of “authority” hurt other people. For example, many individuals who would never oppress an innocent person on their own become “police officers,” thereby acquiring the “legal” power to commit a certain degree of oppression. Yet, on many occasions, they end up going well beyond the “legal” oppression they are “authorized” to commit, and become sadistic, power-happy monsters. The same is true, perhaps even more so, of soldiers. Perhaps the reason so many combat veterans end up being deeply emotionally traumatized is not so much a result of thinking about what they have witnessed as it is a result of thinking about what they themselves have done. The high rate of suicide among combat veterans supports this thesis. It makes little sense for someone to wish for his own death simply because he has seen something horrible. It makes a lot more sense for someone to wish for his own death because he himself has done something horrible, and has in fact become something horrible.

— Larken Rose (The Most Dangerous Superstition)

Probably the chief claim that governments make to legitimacy is that they act as the people’s protectors. Yet if one examines how governments use their police and soldiers, one finds that these enforcers — purportedly protectors — are for the most part deployed not to protect people’s natural rights, but to violate them.

Consider how rarely government’s wars have anything to do with warding off genuine threats and how, in almost every instance, they have everything to do with promoting the foreign interests of politically connected banks and exporters.

Consider, too, how much police enforcement goes toward enforcing laws against actions that are not really criminal — actions that harm no one except possibly the actor himself, and in many cases are actually beneficial:

⦁ drug laws of all sorts
⦁ laws against “vices”
⦁ laws against smuggling
⦁ laws against practicing trades without a license
⦁ most traffic laws
⦁ all sorts of local ordinances about how people use or maintain their houses and other property
⦁ laws against the free migration of peaceful people across national borders
⦁ laws requiring all sorts of reports of personal economic and financial activities
⦁ laws seeking payment and collection of taxes
⦁ practically all regulations of every kind

The list is endless. The governments aim not at protecting people and upholding their natural rights, but at herding them, oppressing them, bullying them, plundering them, and generally treating them as if they had no more rights than livestock.

If this be protection, I beg of the rulers: please, please cease your protection. I cannot survive much more of it.

— Robert Higgs

People do not have the power to grant authority over anything but what they personally have authority over, i.e. their own property. Furthermore, in so doing, they relinquish that ownership. If I have the exclusive right to decide what’s done with my car, but I then grant that authority to you, that’s called “transfer of ownership“. So even if you had a right to do the things that government does (which you don’t), you’d be giving it away the moment you elected them, because once they’re elected you have no more control. They don’t have to check back with you to do anything, so they are not being delegated power over the property as your agent, they are becoming the sole owner of it – and that property is YOU and everything within the confines of your nation’s territorial area. In addition to all this, you don’t even have consensus, only majority rule, in support of this system.

— Brian Blackwell

Slavery is wrong. A slave is a person who is the property of another or others, such that whatever the slave produces can be taken by force or the threat of force. The slave has no right of self-ownership, and those who exercise dominion over the slave always have the legal right to use coercion against him, but certainly have no natural right to do so. He who takes the life, liberty, or property of another without that other’s consent is stealing; and as the early abolitionist described it, man-stealing is just as wrong, if not worse, than property-stealing, because human beings hold a higher rank in existence than inert property matter.

Taxation is a form of slavery. A tax is a compulsory levy on a person subject to the jurisdiction of a government. Anyone who is taxed is a slave because his or her earnings and property are forcibly taken to support the State. Most individuals do not consent to taxation. Historically, the Romance languages, such as French, Spanish, and Italian, have tried to make the tax-payer “feel good” by euphemistically “calling him a ‘contributor’.” “Customers” is the term that our own Internal Revenue Service uses to identify those from whom it extracts payments, using threats of force or actual force in some instances.

Therefore taxation is wrong. As Auberon Herbert, one of the contributors to this volume, pointed out decades before the passage of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (on the basis of which Congress legislated a federal income tax): truth and consistency demand that if the State may forcibly take one dollar “out of what a man owns, it may take what it likes up to the last dollar … Once admit the right of the [S]tate to take, and the [S]tate becomes the real owner of all property.” To those who wish to debate this point, I only ask: where in the federal Constitution is there any limitation on the amount that Congress may try to take from us?

— Carl Watner (Render Not – The Case Against Taxation)

But without government, how would we protect ourselves from bandits and predators? How would money be issued and circulated in a free society? How would we defend ourselves from foreign invaders?

I don’t know the answers to these questions – although innovative, plausible, exciting alternatives to government have been advanced over the years.

Those alternatives serve only to show that a free society can provide whatever we need without government. They don’t tell us what a free society will be. A free society isn’t planned, it evolves from the wishes and talents of its members. So there’s no way to know what system of protection, money-issuance, or road-building would win out in the free market. In fact, most likely there would be many systems from which each of us could choose for himself.

I may not know how a free society would work, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. I also don’t know how computers will work in the year 2000. I know only that the best minds in that world will develop computers and software beyond my ability to imagine today. They will do this because they’ll earn fortunes applying their genius to the needs of computer-users. I will benefit from their talents without knowing in advance what they’ll develop.

And just because I can’t visualize how some task would be accomplished in a free society doesn’t mean such a task couldn’t be accomplished. Today only a few people are developing free-market alternatives to government. What if the best minds in America could make fortunes providing personal protection, national defense, sound money, better schools, safer roads, and efficient mail delivery? The possibilities are far beyond my ability to imagine.

— Harry Browne (Render Not – The Case Against Taxation)

Most people fear a world without government – never stopping to realize that their worst fears are already realized in the present system. They think we need government to protect us because people are greedy, destructive, and predatory – and so they allow greedy, destructive, predatory people to govern their lives. The result is the mess we see around us. As Jefferson said, if man can’t be trusted to govern himself, how can he be trusted to govern others?

— Harry Browne (Render Not – The Case Against Taxation)

My purpose on this earth is not to finance destruction and murder, but to learn the practice of gratitude and reverence for all life. I seek a life of love and reason.

I have no loyalty to the Constitution of the United States. My loyalty to humanity supersedes any loyalty to a State or any other “constituted authority” founded upon and maintained by violence and coercion. How can a rational man be loyal to a frozen in-time document which had been drawn in secrecy for their own self-interest by a few rich and powerful men long since dead? What can be a man’s “loyalty” to a document which his so-called “representatives” and “leaders” have for generations abused, distorted and bent to their own evil purposes? Who did I appoint to commit murder in my name because of “loyalty” to the politically shrewd and the cunning words of self-proclaimed “representatives” of people who never knew them? I disown all of this.

Acquiescence to this charade makes us sheep, corralled behind a fence of words, herded by rapacious lawmakers, marched to slaughter under the delusion that we voted for it.

— Jeff Knaebel (Render Not – The Case Against Taxation)

About income tax –
The most un-American phrase in our modern vocabulary is “take home pay.” What do we mean, “take home pay”? When I hire a man to work for me we discuss three things: the job to be done, the hours he shall work, and the wages he shall receive. And on Friday when he receives that pay envelope, we have both fulfilled our contract for that week. There is no further obligation on either side. The money in that envelope belongs to him. He has worked for it and he has earned it. No one, not even the United States Government, has the right to touch it. Who dares to lay profane hands upon that money, to rudely filch from that free man the fruits of his labor, even before the money is in his own hands? This is a monstrous invasion of the rights of a free people and an outrageous perversion of the spirit of the Constitution. This is the miserable system foisted upon the people of our country by New Deal zealots and arrogant Communists who have wormed themselves into high places in Washington. This system is deliberately designed to make involuntary tax collectors of every employer and to impose involuntary tax servitude upon every employee. We don’t need to go to Russia for slavery, we’ve got it right here.

— Vivien Kellems (Render Not – The Case Against Taxation)

All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods or services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as ‘taxation,’ although in less regularized epochs it was often known as ‘tribute.’ Taxation is theft, purely and simply, even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match.

— Murray Rothbard

But even if it were true that the state was an instrument solely for supporting “the common good,” how could this be a coherent moral justification for threatening to jail people who chose not to pay? As Carl Watner incisively points out in this regard:

Instead of threatening recalcitrant citizens with jail, educate them to their civic duties. Demonstrate why they ought to contribute to their government. Threatening them with force is not a way to convince them. They ought to be left alone and denied whatever government services they are unwilling to pay for. And if the supporters of government are still unable to collect enough in taxes to support the amount of government they deem necessary, then they ought to dig deeper into their own pockets. The fact that government is a “good cause” is no justification for stealing from or killing those who refuse to support it. This is what I call the Christian way of dealing with those who refuse to pay.

— Mark Crovelli & Carl Watner (Render Not – The Case Against Taxation)

We would do well to remember that voting is often a way not of consenting to something, but only of expressing a preference. If the state gives a group of condemned prisoners the choice of being executed by firing squad or by lethal injection, and all of them vote for firing squad, we cannot conclude from this that the prisoners thereby consent to being executed by firing squad. They do, of course, choose this option; they approve of it, but only in the sense that they prefer it to the other option. They consent to neither option, despising both. Voting for a candidate in a democratic election sometimes has a depressingly similar structure. The state offers you a choice among candidates (or perhaps it is “the people” who make the offer), and you choose one, hoping to make the best of a bad situation. You thereby express a preference, approve of that candidate (over the others), but consent to the authority of no one.

— A. John Simmons

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

― Samuel Adams

I will accept the rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

― Robert Heinlein

Why do so many people have so much trouble concentrating on one thing? If it is wrong, as I maintain, for people — even people who style themselves “the government” — to initiate or threaten to initiate violent action against peaceful people simply because they have crossed a so-called national border without official approval, then such wrongful action should stop, and decent people should oppose its continuation. It is a red herring to raise questions about

(1) crimes the migrants might commit,
(2) welfare benefits they might collect,
(3) politicians, parties, and causes they might ultimately support at the polls, and
(4) cultural changes they might bring about.

Apart from the great uncertainty that surrounds these possible future events, they are separate issues — issues that relate to all residents of the country, not only to those who came into the country from elsewhere. The existence of possible future problems associated with crime, welfare, voting, and cultural change is not a valid excuse for continuation of the violence initiated or threatened by the government against peaceful immigrants. The existence of possible wrongs of type B, C, D, and E is not an excuse for the continuation of Type A wrong in the here and now.

— Robert Higgs

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