Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/59

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43
THE INDIVIDUAL, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE.

does, that "taxation must be coextensive with government" is not the proper way to put it. It is government (or, rather, the State) that must and will be coextensive with taxation. When compulsory taxation is abolished, there will be no State, and the defensive institution that will succeed it will be steadily deterred from becoming an invasive institution through fear that the voluntary contributions will fall off. This constant motive for a voluntary defensive institution to keep itself trimmed down to the popular demand is itself the best possible safeguard against the bugbear of multitudinous rival political agencies which seems to haunt Mr. Levy. He says that the voluntary taxationists are victims of an illusion. The charge might be made against himself with much more reason.

My chief interest in Mr. Levy's article, however, is excited by his valid criticism of those Individualists who accept voluntary taxation, but stop short, or think they stop short, of Anarchism, and I shall wait with much curiosity to see what Mr. Greevz Fisher, and especially Mr. Auberon Herbert, will have to say in reply.

On the whole, Anarchists have more reason to be grateful to Mr. Levy for his article than to complain of it. It is at least an appeal for intellectual consistency on this subject, and as such it renders unquestionable service to the cause of plumbline Anarchism.

 

 

RESISTANCE TO TAXATION.

[Liberty, March 26, 1887.]

To the Editor of Liberty:

I have lately been involved in several discussions leading out of your refusal to pay your poll-tax, and I would like to get from you your reasons, so far as they are public property, for that action. It seems to me that any good object could have been better and more easily obtained by compromising with the law, except the object of propagandism, and that in attaining that object you were going beyond the right into paths where you could not bid any one follow who was trying to live square with the truth, so far as we may know it.

It seems to me that we owe our taxes to the State, whether we believe in it or not, so long as we remain within its borders, for the benefits which we willingly or unwillingly derive from it; that the only right course to be pursued is to leave any State whose laws we can no longer obey

without violence to our own reason, and, if necessary, people a desert