The Temptation of Tax Day
Written by Pete Eyre.
On Dictionary.com, the first definition of the word “temptation” points to its root — “tempt” — which means “to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.”
Were you recently tempted to fund a bad idea (coercion)? Did you, dear reader of NotBeingGoverned.com, give in to that temptation? Despite whatever internal qualms, mutterings to friends, or updates to your various social network profiles, did you choose to fuel the institution that you decry?
Out of fear? Because you value potential comfort more than the ideas you espouse?
Did you find solace in rationalizing the practical support you gave to those who call themselves your rulers?
Perhaps you told yourself that you would divest your relationship with that gang of criminals once others had taken such a step? Or maybe you told yourself that you, as one person, couldn’t really impact too much, so why put yourself at risk?
In his seminal essay, The Right to Ignore the State, Herbert Spencer outlined this very situation:
In affirming that a man may not be taxed unless he has directly or indirectly given his consent, it affirms that he may refuse to be so taxed; and to refuse to be taxed is to cut all connection with the state. In the majority of men, there is such a love of tried arrangements and so great a dread of experiments that they will probably not act upon this right until long after it is safe to do so.
Can you identify what would constitute a “safe” time for you to cease funding those who claim the right to initiate force? Certainly, by obeying self proclaimed tyrants, you may not as readily find yourself in their targets, but is that any way to live? Indeed, can it be called living? Or is merely existing?
If you base your actions on the whims of others, and on their convictions (or lack thereof), aren’t you really allowing others to control your life? That sounds a bit slavey…
Really this conversation comes down to being true to yourself. Conforming to the majority is detrimental to your own conscience – the thing that makes you you. Conformity stymies any real change. After all, any social change happens only within the smallest units of that social body – the individual. In you.
Alfred Adler astutely noted, “It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”
The purpose of this essay is to encourage you to live up to your principles. To give you a friendly nudge to align your actions with your thoughts — to be an agent of change.
In his infamous essay On Civil Disobedience, Henry Thoreau spoke directly to the heart of this conversation: “Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters … Why do they not dissolve it themselves — the union between themselves and the State — and refuse to pay their quota into its treasury?”
Thoreau continued, “What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
Thoreau, and really all abolitionists, choose not just to share ideas or to voice dissent, but to live deliberately and deny legitimacy to those who seek to enslave others.
Will you be so bold?
The paragraph on the About Us page of NotBeingGoverned.com ends, “[O]ur mission is to assist the government on its path toward self-destruction by educating people on opting out of the State through the non-violent, revolutionary means of Agorism and Crypto-Anarchy.”
While only “educating” is explicitly stated, one precept of Agorism is action. I encourage you to act. To live deliberately. To not fund the coercive monopoly.
You own yourself. Act like it.
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