A condemnation of the income tax on the basis of personal conscience written by a war tax resister and rational ethicist. by Jose Roldan: the Abolitionist
Monday, April 5, 2010
There is a Spanish proverb which translates: "There is no ill which lasts one-hundred years, nor a body that can withstand it." Cubans say this about Castro's regime, but it also applies to our oppressive system of taxation.
Since 1913, Americans have had to bear the burden of a tax upon their income. The time to file this mechanism of involuntary servitude onto the garbage heap of abusive institutions is long overdue.
Some argue that the 16th Amendment is unconstitutional, that it was not properly ratified, etc. But insofar as judges are part of the same governmental system, and none are inclined to be the one to shut down the IRS, any constitutional Supreme Court challenges will likely be ineffective. The only judge necessary to end this injustice - is you.
We have always had the power to oppose unjust laws. Without the support of the people, no government can function. Pressure from the citizens ended unpopular laws such as Prohibition and Segregation, wars as Vietnam. The power of each individual to act according to his conscience was proclaimed 16 centuries ago by St. Augustine: "An unjust law is no law at all".
Each person has his own moral imperative, dictated by conscience, to judge whether he should obey the law or resist by simply and resolutely saying, "No". The following propagandizing slogans challenged by reality and truth:
The Land of the Free: Freedom means unimpeded action. It is a contradiction to be at once a free people and be compelled to surrender the fruits of our labor. There is no such thing as a free slave, even if he puts on his own shackles. Though government agents of repression can violate his freedom by using physical force and imprisonment, a freeman does not surrender his freedom to threats.
The only certainty is Death and Taxes: Income tax is anathema to civilization because civilized behavior does not include using force against others to gain the unearned. Government services can be paid for by user fees - moneys collected at the gas pump to pay for our highways are one example. Fair funding of government must follow one moral premise - the end never justifies the means.
Government and its War on Terror keeps us free: No soldier truly fights for our freedom, as we are born free and remain so until acted upon, or until we surrender from the threat of violence against us. "Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and Nature". - Benjamin Franklin. Government can not free us, but it can violate our freedom through its tools of coercion and intimidation.
Justice for All: A government that relies on the threat of violence against its own citizens to collect revenue can not be counted on to be just. Over half of the nation's collected income taxes fund the military-industrial complex. The Bush doctrine, the baton passed to Obama, advocates preemptive war - the initiation of force. It is a recipe for war, not peace. If all countries followed this policy, it would mean world war. It violates the Golden Rule - "Do unto others..." Justice does not entail the killing of the innocent. Herein lies the greatest calumny - that a peace-loving people should be forced to give up their hard-earned wealth to spill blood for the benefit of the war-profiteers and resource-grabbing corporations.
One responsible for his actions, knowing that the majority of income tax goes towards the destruction of human life, can in no way morally contribute to such a fund. To do so would be tantamount to being ordered to murder one's own child - the answer would not be that one is opposed, but that simply one cannot. Given this moral reckoning my own conscience does not allow me to kill indirectly by paying the "war tax". My conscience prohibits me from violating my core values and beliefs. These include Life, Liberty and Justice... Does yours?
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Completely true. However, how does the individual stop the feds from their coersion on getting our fruits of our labor? It is a catch 22. If you stop paying, they will come after you with guns and put you in jail. If they put you in jail you become less free than what you used to be. So how can we fight for full freedom while at the same time having the high risk with high probability of the individual becoming even less free a result of fighting for that freedom. There is A LOT TO LOSE. It is tough!!!!
In answer to your question: Social change through massive nonviolent action and civil disobedience is the path to freedom. The choice is to live a free and principled existence to the limit and if the agents of repression choose to take away one's freedom, in violation of one's political conscience, then so be it. The temporary loss of freedom we must endure is nothing in comparison with what we have to gain. Yes, it may not be easy, but nothing of value is ever easily attained and human nature and justice are on our side.