A Handout for StatistsSubmitted by newt on Mon, 11/05/2012 - 09:46
"In the interests of efficiency, I have decided to distill every argument I have ever had with your average statist, so that I can hand it out to those who argue that government is voluntary, if I don't like it I can leave, taxation is not violence, etc.
I thought this might also be of use to you, because life is short.
Me: Tell me, do you think that violence is wrong?
Statist: Yes, violence is wrong ' except in self-defense.
Me: Agreed, except in self-defense. So tell me, how do you think that problems should be solved, if we should not use violence?
Statist: Well, I think that people should become more active in government, and that governments should do ABC, X, Y and Z.
Me: But how do you reconcile your objection to violence with your support of government programs, since government programs are paid for through taxation, which is coercive?
Statist: Huh? What are you talking about? Taxation is not coercive.
Me: Taxation is coercive, since if you do not pay your taxes, you are kidnapped at gunpoint and thrown in jail ' where if you try to escape, you are shot.
Statist: But this is a democracy, where we choose our own governments.
Me: Being offered a choice between two violent alternatives is not the same as being free to choose. If a store owner gets to choose which Mafia gang he pays 'protection' money to, can it be really argued that he is making a 'free' choice? If a woman can choose between two potential husbands ' but will be forced to marry one of them ' can she said to be really 'choosing' marriage? People can only freely choose governments, if they have the choice not to choose governments.
Statist: Well there is a 'social contract,' that binds people to their governments.
Me: There is no such thing as a 'social contract.' Unless they have been granted power of attorney, people cannot justly sign contracts on behalf of others. If one man has the power to unilaterally impose his will on another and call it a 'contract,' then logically a man can steal from a woman and call it 'charity.'
Statist: But I accept the social contract ' and so do you if you drive on the roads.
Me: First of all, your choice to honour a contract does..."