Ryan Lau |USA
Over the span of American history, the government has grown progressively larger, and nobody can deny this fact. Taxes are regularly being implemented or raised, from early Hamiltonian protectionism to the ratification of the 16th amendment in 1913, to the exorbitant taxes we pay today on everything from capital gains to repatriation to property and excise. Despite the regular implementation of a new means of coercion, there always tends to be, due to the nature of America’s two-party system, one party in opposition to this growth in government. Yet, neither of the two parties may claim any moral superiority, nor responsibility, for such growth, as both ultimately support it, depending on the specific element of increased spending and subsequent taxation. Clearly, this pattern of growth and opposition is unsustainable, with some Americans now paying nearly half of what they earn to the state and federal United States governments. What, then, should the natural course of action for the free individual entail? Well, essentially, the only remaining path to liberty is to starve the state of its resources.
What exactly is starving the state? For a body of government to function, it inherently requires funding for basic operations and payments to workers, as well as additional funding to operate at any level of efficiency. This funding almost exclusively comes from the various forms of taxation. However, a government simply cannot collect tax revenue from a transaction of which it is unaware. If a landscaping company, for example, hires a teenager to mow lawns and dig pools for a summer, and the two mutually agree not to report the employee’s earnings, they are doing their own small part to starve the state. If that same employee later goes on to bake and sell his own cakes without registering the government, by evading both the income and sales taxes, he is further starving the state. This commitment to evading the state with an end goal of minimizing its own available resources is more commonly known as agorism, and quite frankly, it is the best and only way to liberty for the United States.
Why agorism? Simply put, it is the only non-violent yet feasible option available for all citizens to readily participate in. As a quasi-democratic state such as our own will always act in self-interest, just as all individuals will, it naturally will never cede its own power. This allows for three distinct alternative ways for such power to be taken; it may be voted or petitioned out of existence, overthrown violently, or simply ignored and evaded on a large scale.
The first, of course, has proven to be incredibly ineffective and, if anything, counter-intuitive. The existence of a voting process has merely allowed for more money to be unjustly stolen from each individual. Despite loud and vociferous voices preaching against government growth in the realm of electoral politics, it has almost never worked, with the possible exception of President Calvin Coolidge’s work to free the markets in the 1920’s. Despite this, the government immediately grew once more following the election of Herbert Hoover.
The second method, violent revolution, may be effective, but that does not necessarily make it worthwhile, and in doing so, any free individual would be losing sight of their alleged principles of non-aggression and free interaction. A violent revolution is at best a form of preventative violence, and at worst, an initiation of force. In either case, the action quite closely resembles the very characteristics that a free individual is attempting to revolt against. The most fitting example of such a revolution is the American Revolution against England. Though well-intentioned, the revolt ultimately led to the creation of a government which does not denounce murder or theft, the two very reasons for a revolution in the first place.
As the former two are both entirely undesirable scenarios which have been repeated many times throughout history, the only natural solution left is to starve the state. A federal government that has not collected an income tax has no capability to pay the federal agents and police officers that would be a part of the subsequent tax collection raids. If the government does not receive its sales tax, it does not have the revenue to send out an investigative panel in order to find out whether an individual has paid sales tax. By carrying out agorism to its market potential, we will quickly find ourselves in a more free society.
Why now, of all times? First of all, it is never the wrong time to evade the state. As a collective of individuals, it cannot feasibly stake a claim to an income that one or more persons has justly and voluntarily collected. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that an official emblem and recognition by other nations somehow is a permissible prerequisite for mass theft.
Yet, we are now facing an even more critical moment in our history. The presidential election of 2016 shows the simple fact that the American people are entirely unwilling to accept liberty in the form of an election. On the day before the election, Hillary Clinton had a favorability margin of -12.6, according to RealClearPolitics. President Donald Trump saw an even more abysmal rating, with a favorability margin of –19.1. It is simply unfathomable that given the extreme polarization of these candidates (and lack of respect for individual rights by both) that the voting populace still selected one of these two, especially considering the fact that numerous third party candidates ran on a platform of limited government. The Alabama Senate election between Senator-elect Doug Jones and Roy Moore is another example, as neither candidate was remotely popular or remotely interested in the freedom of the people. With our government rapidly accelerating away from the principles of individual liberty, I declare that only agorism and a full rejection of the coercion of our national government is, at this point, capable of restoring and protecting liberty.