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The Liberty to Tax

The article “How The Power To Tax Destroys” by Michael S. Rozeff was an interesting article which began: "Where the state is, there is the power to tax; for rulers cannot rule without taxation. As Ludwig von Mises wrote: 'The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation.’ Or as Murray Rothbard put it: ‘...all state actions rest on the fundamental binary intervention of taxes...’” 1

It was John Marshall who wrote in 1819 that "The power to tax involves the power to destroy". But the idea that “Where the state is, there is the power to tax” of course is also not exactly true. In fact by omission it is rather misleading. There have been many governments in history that have been fairly or extremely successful and did not have the “power to tax” as the term is used by Rozeff.

In the book "The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State", Bruce L. Benson goes into great detail about a form of government that is not taught in modern texts books. It is commonly unknown that, "our modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm." [1]

This too can be a misleading statement because it imparts the idea that unless there is a centralization of power in government that there is no government.

The very word government has become synonymized with centralized authority while the fact is the best or most godly forms of government in history were the reverse. They were even said to be so different they turned existing governments of central power upside down.2

One of the most famous of all such governments was the ancient republic established by Moses. There was no central government with the power to tax in this government called Israel.3 There was no tax commanded from the top down until the voice of the people elected Saul.4 In truth, since most taxes today are excise or use taxes, taxes on use of something, they would have been forbidden because of the ban on usury, which is a charge for use. There was no enforced income tax, sales tax, property tax and had not been since they left Egypt. According to the instructions in Deuteronomy 17 if they did elect a leader who could exercise authority their written constitution was to forbid him from doing anything that returned the people to that system of government they were under in Egypt.

Before that turning away from the way of God’s kingdom all the taxes in that government were voluntary and according to the choice of the individual. They called them tithings because the people were divided into groups of ten families but the amount was determined according to the service offered by those who held office as public servants.5

There are many examples of such governments of liberty after Christ and before.6 The early America republic before the constitution of the United States7 had made great efforts in reestablishing that form of government here in the Americas. One of my favorite quotes which I include in the book “The Covenants of the gods”8 is, “The ordinary citizen, living on his farm, owned in fee simple, untroubled by any relics of feudalism, untaxed save by himself, saying his say to all the world in townmeetings.” For he, “had a new self-reliance. Wrestling with his soul and plough on week days, and the innumerable points of the minister’s sermon on Sundays and meeting days, he was coming to be a tough nut for any imperial system to crack.”9

It was rugged individualism and self reliance that played an important part in making America free and great but we must temper that independent mind and state with extreme voluntarism. Wild Indians, marauding renegades, French military and eventually Hessian mercenaries met with this American voluntarism which kept the American Republic alive and free.

There were no social welfare programs financed by government taxation, no guaranteed unemployment old age benefits, no Medicare and there were no “swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance” except what the British tried to impose in an attempt at “abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally, the Forms of our Governments:”10

When men governed themselves as Christ commanded and cared about their neighbor as much as they cared about themselves, freedom reigned. When Americans no longer rejected the benefits of central governments that taxed their neighbor they soon became victims of their own greed. They were made the human resource for their neighbors’ avarice and sloth to the same extent that they had coveted their neighbors’ substance. Imperialism grows inversely as voluntarism and love of neighbor diminishes. No one truly loves his neighbor if he covets his goods through the agency of governments which exercise authority one over the other. Christ told us to do contrary to such governments even if those governments and their benefactors claim it is for the common benefit of all.11

We should have known for centuries that, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”12 And that of course is where men are today in America and almost every other government order of the new world.13 People are back in bondage again and under tribute14 because they coveted their neighbors goods15 through the agency of governments they devised for themselves.

One of the most shameful things in all this is that the very institution called out and appointed by Christ16 has been at the core of this seduction back into bondage. While they were to maintain an entrance17 into the kingdom of liberty18 where there were no kings and the power of choice19 remained in the hands of the people they have actually delivered the people into bondage20 again where they are unequally yoked21 with rulers who have the power to destroy.

In the “Summary and Conclusion” Rozeff wisely states, “Purposeful choice in the realm of voluntary behavior among ordinary people tends to improve life.” This is what Christ gave us. The Kingdom of God is the opportunity to make purposeful choice. In fact this is also what Abraham and Moses gave the people in God's kingdom at hand.

Rozeff expounds that, “The bottom line is this. Place no hope of betterment in changing the party or man in office, for so long as rulers possess the power to tax, they will use that mechanism of state to the detriment of its subjects.” Men are subject because they have desired membership in the schemes of governments to take from their neighbor for the benefit of themselves and confirmed that membership as a human resource through application and acceptance.

"Freedom is the Right to Choose22, the Right to create for oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibility of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not a man but a member,23 an instrument, a thing."24

In the kingdom of men the rulers are at liberty to tax the people but in the kingdom of God the people are allowed the right to tax themselves. Both governments depend on the contributions of the people, although one is done by force and the other by the higher power25 of choice, liberty.

I would have to add to Rozeff’s “ bottom line” that we should place no hope in the majority of people giving up their benefits in order to return every man to his family and to his possessions26 as it was meant to be in that Kingdom of God at hand preached by John and Jesus.

I understand that it is the covetous, slothful selfish evil in us all that makes true Rozeff’s statement, “The power to tax provides the serpent of state with its victims, us.” But the power to choose to give in voluntary freewill associations nurtures the kingdom of God within us all. This is why Jesus told us to seek the kingdom under the perfect law of liberty and all else will be provided, this is why the prophets taught independence but warned us not to forsake the coming together.

Yes, Rozeff is correct, “Taxes feed the monster whose growth spreads venom everywhere. Taxes with or without representation are evil, ever fostering harm and destruction. If we are wise, we will defang the beast by ending its power to tax.”

Christ told us nothing different and gave us the solution in seeking the kingdom of God at hand. But He told us to stop feeding the beast in ourselves first. That hungry beast in us that devours27 one another by applying to the civic altars of compelled contributions.28

Jesus understood that the people were under bondage29 to the unrighteous mammon and allowed those captured30 to be friends31 with it for a time while they learned and sought the ways of the kingdom. Moses did the same when he was preparing people for freedom under God instead of bondage in Egypt. They no longer got the same benefits of that government [straw] but were compelled to keep their contributions [ “tale of bricks”] at a high level.32

Unfortunately the Churches are under a strong delusion and no longer preach the kingdom of God is at hand nor do they preach the power that comes from obeying the commands of Christ to love your neighbor as yourself in the full extent required in His kingdom. The people are permitted, even sent, by these Churches to apply at the civic altars of these authoritarian governments referred to as beasts in the Bible and by Rozeff in his article.

This should be no surprise since these Churches and ministers have been misled to also apply for benefits from the same form of authoritarian governments that do contrary to God’s kingdom from the beginning.33 They have become little more than government Churches34 that have abandoned true religion35 to other benefactors who exercise authority.36 But that is another story.

 

Footnotes:

1http://www.mises.org/story/1853

2Ac 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

3Israel simply means where God prevails. It was a government where dominion remained in the heart and soul of every man and his family. Jud 17:6 In those days [there was] no king in Israel, [but] every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes.

5Nu 7:5 Take [it] of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.

9Hist of US by John Truslow Adams page 44.

10Declaration of Independence.

11Lu 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so:..

12Proverbs 12:24.

152Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

16Lu 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

172Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

18Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

20Ac 7:6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat [them] evil four hundred years.

  1. Ro 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

  2. Ga 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

  3. Ga 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

  4. Ga 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

  5. 2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

212Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

24This has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson. But I believe it was said by Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982) Poet, playwright, Librarian of Congress, ∓ [believe it or not] the Assistant Secretary of State under Franklin Roosevelt

26Le 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

27Ga 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

29 The word serve in Luke 16:13 “... Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” is douleuo which is also translated “ be in bondage”.

30Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

31Lu 16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

32Ex 5:18 Go therefore now, [and] work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.

331Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

34The Body of Christ Vs. The Body of the State http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/gods/cog15bvb.php

36The prime directive of the Church http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/polity/articlex.html

 

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• Page Last Updated on February 15 in the year of our Lord 2010 ~ 10:16:18am  •  

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