Tag: voluntary taxation

No, Jesus Was Not a Socialist

By Ian Brzeski | United States

On countless occasions, I have either seen or heard that Jesus is a socialist. I see it through memes, I hear it through others. It’s complete and utter nonsense.

Let’s spot the differences in these two cases. In the first scenario, let’s say that you are walking down the street and a man comes up to you asking for money. He says that he runs a charity to help out the poor, and you decide to donate because you feel that it would be beneficial towards his cause. In the second scenario, you decide not to give the man any money at all. The man is upset at this and decides to pull out a gun, forcing you to donate to meet the threshold he needs to raise. In both of these scenarios, the man got the desired money and was able to help the poor.

The differences are clear. In the first scenario, you voluntarily gave up your money whereas, in the second, the man coerced you to. Objectively, the way the man acted in the second scenario is immoral, even though he gave the money to the poor.

Now, why is it different when the government takes your money through taxation? The government sets up programs for the poor, asks you for money to help fund the programs, and if you don’t give them your money, they throw you in a rotting cell for the rest of your life. That sounds eerily similar to the second scenario that I presented. The government uses a form of coercion in the same way that the man coerced you. Andrew Lepore writes a fantastic article which really delves into why just because you or somebody else benefits from taxation doesn’t mean that it’s morally justifiable in any way whatsoever.

Now let’s get to why Jesus is not a socialist. First of all, Jesus preaches about helping your neighbor and caring for the sick and the poor. He tells you to spread the Good News. It seems to some that socialists preach the same, but this is simply not true. Jesus never said that you can force somebody else to live by your values.

You should hope that people want to give back to their community or to the poor out of the goodness of their heart. You have every right to tell somebody that they should give to the poor, and to spread Jesus’ message. However, there’s a reason that Jesus never says that it’s okay to force somebody to live by His message. If somebody is going to hoard all their money, then they are well in their right to do so. You cannot, in good moral standing, throw somebody in prison on the premise that they are a subjectively bad person. The only just reason to do so is if they infringe on someone else’s rights. Not giving money to somebody else is not an infringement of their rights.

I urge people to not be that guy. I urge people to live by Jesus’ message even if they don’t believe in his divinity. The majority of people in this world are good. There are plenty of people who will give back to their communities; many celebrities already do. Ellen DeGeneres, for example, loves giving money to people who need it. Whether those people directly need it or are raising awareness for a cause, she will provide. There are plenty of other examples of celebrities giving back to their communities. There are millions of everyday normal people who give money and time to charities and other organizations and may even be incentivized to give more if the government didn’t already steal their money.

Socialism requires the government to use a coercive force to redistribute the wealth among everybody even if the majority of the people did nothing to deserve that money. It is completely immoral as it lines up with the second scenario I presented to an even bigger extreme. When Jesus tells somebody to go out and take care of the sick and the poor, he is saying for you to go out and voluntarily do it, and not to have a governing body force people to do it. If anything, Jesus is way more of a voluntaryist than a socialist, as the latter requires force which he opposed.


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The Myth of the Social Contract

By Andrew Lepore | USA

 

For us liberty minded individuals, taxation is a form of theft, extortion, and involuntary servitude. After all, the definition of theft is the taking of an individual’s property without that individual’s consent. For those on the left and advocates of taxation, it is not only is a powerful tool for good but fully justified due to the justification that it is “the price we pay for a civilized society.” This has been labeled the conjured up term of the “social contract”. Supporters of the concept  (which most people are, they just have never heard the term social contract in use) claim that by simply existing within a nation you have automatically submitted to the will and authority of the state, to whatever extent that may be. In this article, I will break down the definitions and debunk the concept of the social contract.

If you’re a libertarian or conservative who has found yourself debating the morality of taxation with a lefty or a statist you can assume the conversation went something like this:

Leftist: “We should tax the rich.”

Liberty man: “Taxation is theft.”

Leftist: “You agreed to be taxed when you agreed to the social contract.”

Liberty Man: “What social contract? I Never agreed to a contract with the state.”

Leftist: That doesn’t matter, your existence and participation in society is an unspoken contract which you must abide by.

Liberty Man: That is wrong.

This idea of the social contract is the the-go-to argument for statists desperately trying to justify taxation. It’s the key to justifying all governmental authority.

‘Oh, you don’t want to pay 50% of every dollar you earn to the state? Too bad you agreed to the social contract.’

‘Oh, you don’t want to go to jail for smoking a plant? Too bad, you agreed in the social contract.’

Anybody can see how this is ethically problematic, but the main problem with this idea of an unspoken binding contract to the state is that legitimately cannot exist within the legal realm. To break this down we must first be familiar with the legal definitions and terminology. Firstly, what qualifies a legitimate contract?

A Contract: An agreement between parties creating mutual obligations enforceable by law.  The basic elements required for the agreement to be a legally enforceable contract are: mutual assent (mutual agreement or approval), expressed by a valid offer and acceptance; adequate consideration(Something bargained for and received by a promisor from a promisee).; capacity (Ability to pay); and legality.

Right off the bat you can see that this phony idea of a “social contract” is in direct defiance of the requirements qualifying a legally enforceable contract. The most obvious contradiction being the idea of an unspoken, unwritten agreement which you automatically consent too by simply existing. This is a plain and simple fallacy, the most vital qualification for legitimate contract is that it must be a clear mutual agreement, expressed by a valid offer and acceptance. In other words, all parties must knowingly and willingly submit to the terms and agreements in any given contract. I don’t know about you but when I was born I never agreed to, or bargained for any such contract with the state.

These are not abstract qualifications, they are specific; unless you have bargained for and agreed upon non-abstract, specific elements and conditions there is no legally binding contract. But even if such a social contract legitimately existed, it still would not be enforceable due to a little something called contract coercion. Contract coercion is “When a contract agreement is entered into under conditions involving harm or threats of harm.” For an agreement to be legally enforceable,  contracts must be entered into “knowingly” and “willingly” by all parties. Thus, if a party signs a contract due to coercion, the agreement will not be considered legally binding or enforceable. Thus, (if this contact existed) and the state declared that by existing you have signed a “social contract” to which you must comply  or men with guns will detain (and if you resist, murder) you, this is not a legitimate or binding contract. This idea of a social contract backed by coercion is literally a contradiction in and of itself and cannot legally exist.

In conclusion, the debunking and delegitimizing of this idea of a non-voluntary “social contract’ is essential. When accepted, it marks a seal of approval on all abuses of power by the state. Next time a lefty attempts to weasel in justification for theft, cercion, and involuntary servitude with the simple answer of “Muh social contract”, politely inform them of their ignorance of contract law and liberty.