Quote of the Day: Taxation is Theft


Regular visitors of the internet would be familiar with a particularly epic meme, a meme which has developed through the ages via various philosophers, economists, and the occasional tea party. It has been best expressed by Murray Rothbard, a libertarian, economist of the Austrian School of economics, and student of Ludwig von Mises, a man whom, like many of the greatest (or actual) intellectuals of the twentieth century, spent many of his years in marxist-dominated fields, only to transcend the discipline and influence generations after him:

“Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.”

XYZ Quote of the Day.

  • If taxation is theft, what would you call conscription, a policy embraced in the not too distant past by conservative forces in this country?

    • Addelad

      That is a fair comparison. One could quibble and get into arcane discussion re the role of government versus self-determination and what is the ideal balance, but yes, conscription is a severe intrusion into personal liberty, no matter what the merits of the cause.
      I guess the justification is that in times of grave threat, we could all lose our liberty; and “no” I do not wish to talk about Vietnam.

      • OK – please explain why during the only war in which we were under “grave threat” in our nation’s history, conscription for overseas service was not employed.
        PNG, where the Chocos slowed the Japs on the Kokoda Track, was Australian mandated territory.
        But during the war which you do not wish to talk about, it was. Strange but true….

        • Addelad

          I guess Australia was more patriotic in the 1940’s than the 196/70’s and Vietnam – largely courtesy of leftist media – was unpopular.

  • Oldavid

    The “Austrian School” of “economics” is simply a sales/marketing tool for rampant theft/extortion/usury by cunning racketeers and money lenders. It rails against the State with epithets like “socialism” or “communism” to discourage any government from trying to protect itself and its citizens from the depredations of its megalomaniac plutocratic ambitions.
    For the likes of Rothbard “taxation is theft” only if it attempts to tax the plutocratic extortioners. Tax on commoners is a necessary imposition if such taxes are to pay the interest on the government’s completely unnecessary “National debt”, as is the purpose of most tax revenue these days.

  • Clever Geda

    When a majority of the providers of funds agree to a level of taxation for used welfare or state spending this is a perfectly acceptable form of charity. The problem with our current form of democracy arises when the recipients of welfare and state employment become a significant portion of the electorate and vote themselves these favours. In this case the majority of providers of the funds have not agreed to the redistribution of wealth and it is correctly called theft. The only fair but certainly unpopular solution is to restrict voting to net providers of the
    funds used by government and disallow this privilege to net receivers of government funding either by welfare or employment