L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise: What Would Real Tax Reform Look Like?


By L. Neil Smith 

Taxation most likely began ten thousand  years ago, when nomadic hunter-gatherers gave up their wandering ways — and the tools associated with them — settled down, and started growing crops and herding livestock, which requires an entirely different suite of tools than hunting. The hunter-gatherers’ tools could be used as weapons because that’s essentially what they were — ask any mastodon — the farmers’. could not. As a result, anti-productive marauders who had been held off by the hunters’ tools (or the ability of the hunters and their families to escape and evade) were stuck to the plots of land they had learned to farm with clumsy agricultural implements (which could not be wielded as easily by females, relegating them to a subordinate role for fifty centuries),  and forced to to pay tribute to the bandits. Go take another look at the 1960 movie masterpiece  _The Magnificent Seven_ for illustration. The thieves eventually learned to call themselves “government” and the goods they stole, “your fair share”.

This year, 2017, according to the Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/major-publications/tax-freedom-day/), Americans have been compelled under the threat of injury, death, or imprisonment, to pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $5.1 trillion, or thirty-one percent of the national income. Any demand authorities make that you resist or ignore, they will deal with by armed confiscation.

Let there be no mistake: I pay the taxes that are demanded of me, and I have done so all my life, because I don’t want to be beaten up or killed. But I have a long memory, and a long reach into the future. The children and grandchildren of today’s tax collectors will be tax resistors, influenced by me and others like me. and deeply ashamed of their looter parents and grandparents..

This year, what is termed “Tax Freedom Day” falls on April 23, 113 days into the year. which means that, from January 1st to April 23rd, everything you labor so hard to earn ends up in the pockets of government thugs or crooks. For that period, you have worked for nothing. You have been the government’s slave, so that legislators, judges, and executives can live in mansions, be protected by security guards carrying automatic weapons that you’re forbidden to possess, drive around in armored limousines, ride across the country in luxurious aircraft, and hide in special shelters in case their incompetence triggers a nuclear war. We mere peasants get to live or die out here on the plantation, while the hopes and dreams we were willing to strive for ourselves are crushed under the boots of greedy, brutal tyrants.

And if that nuclear war is triggered — or any other modern war — who gets to pay for the weapons, uniforms,vehicles, aircraft or ships of war? Where does the money come from for battleships, cruisers, destroyers, atomic submarines, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, tanks, or supersonic hovering stealth jet fighters? Having grown up within the military, and being the amateur historian and student of weaponry that I am, I like or admire many of these nifty toys. But I don’t like a system that plunders the Productive Class to make it easier to use them, eventually resulting in the extinction of human life and every other species on Earth above the evolutionary level of the cockroach. Nor is it my job — or that of any other libertarian — to think up a morally and ethically acceptable replacement for it.

To summarize, then:

Taxation is theft.

Taxation is slavery.

Taxation is the fuel of war.

The disgusting and cowardly failure of the so-called Libertarian Party, to point this out, or to dedicate itself from its founding moment to ending the evil practice of taxation, is a principal reason why it hasn’t gotten anywhere substantial in over four decades. Queen Isabella of Spain vowed to eliminate chattel slavery, although it took 350 years.

Why can’t the movement of the future be as daring and consistent as a 15th century Spanish monarch?

L. Neil Smith

Celebrated and award-winning author of over 30 books and countless shorter pieces, L. Neil Smith is available, at professional rates, to write articles and speeches for you or your organization, providing that our principles are compatible. Contact him at [email protected].


“Any official, appointed or elected, at any level of government, who attempts, through legislative act or other means, to nullify, evade, or avoid the provisions of the first ten amendments to this Constitution, or of the Thirteenth Amendment, shall be summarily removed from office, and, upon conviction, deprived of all pay and benefits including pension, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.”


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One Response to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise: What Would Real Tax Reform Look Like?

  1. William Hicks November 2, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Truly, before we even start talking about tax reductions, we should be demanding reduction in government spending. If we don’t, then we will just repeat the folly of George W’s reduction of taxing with an increase in spending.

    That’s how we got B.O. for 8 years.


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