16A013 Freedom, Now and Then by Jim Davies, 4/12/2016    


Recently, in the wake of the sad death of the illegal-tax protester Irwin Schiff, I've been wrestling with the problem of whether (and how) the hated income tax can be eliminated, without also terminating government.

Why would I bother, when the process of ending government is already under way? - because it's a major source of government funding so its end would probably force a reduction in the scope of the state, while encouraging everyone to probe the question of why it's needed at all. In other words, doing so might hasten the process of ending the government era, and in any case make life a little easier while we wait.

Before his imprisonment in 2005, Irwin spent 25 years pursuing that objective, and did extraordinarily well. He researched the tax laws exhaustively and quickly found that they were bogus - or rather, that they were "benign", meaning that the written law does not in any way tax what people earn. The confiscation of money from earnings is done by the IRS because the courts enforce it, not because the written law requires it. In practice Court law (about which the kiddies are taught nothing in government school) trumps Congress' law.

So, by conveying his findings to all who would listen, Schiff enabled thousands of people to stop paying it; so many that the total was on the cusp of swamping the government's ability to stem the flow. The FedGov stopped him in 2005 in the nick of time. His was a brilliant way to terminate the tax, while leaving a chastened government in place.

I invited ideas that might apply now in 2016, but nobody familiar with the scene could come up with one. I considered the replicative education principle used with TOLFA; might one person teach a friend the essence of Schiff's tax-law findings, together with a proof from FIJA that juries are free to disregard a judge's instructions, in as little as 3 months? Then could the newly-educated friend repeat the task with his friend? - if so, the resulting exponential growth would fully educate everyone in only 7 years. At that point, the income tax would become unenforcible.

The idea foundered on motivation. First, there would be no benefit at all for anyone until the whole job was finished; why, then, would anyone take the time to engage in the study? Then second, and much worse, a large part (half?) of the population doesn't pay the alleged income tax anyway, being below its threshold. So they would never have any motive to do so - yet juries could still be formed from that part of the population, and so enforcement could continue. Ah well, back to the drawing board. There seems to be no fix. While government survives, it will tax as it sees fit.

So, it must all be zapped - but the question of motivation applies also in the context of the grander program of terminating government altogether. There too, the new student must invest some time learning which way is up, several years before the principal resulting benefits kick in. That concern was raised back in 2006 after I announced TOLFA, and I responded on STR with Libertarians, Both Academic and Real - pointing out that the fair question "What's In It For Me?" or WIIFM, was well answered in its Benefits page: while awaiting the massive benefits of total freedom after the state implodes, the graduate will enjoy (a) a proper understanding of personal freedom, (b) a resulting purpose in life, (c) a rational ethical standard and (d) a reason for hope about the future.

At first sight those seem a bit abstruse, but when a little thought is prompted by the friend introducing the Academy, they are plainly recognized as very big components of contented living, and they are realized at once, as soon as one graduates from the course. They make up four very good reasons to get started.

Those four things are what market anarchists enjoy now today, whether we reached our understanding through TOLFA or by some other route. The first of them alone means you and I are aware that we have the right to own and operate our own lives; that we need no Authority to grant favors and permissions. That is radical! and means we can stand tall and confident, no matter the degree to which that fundamental natural right is violated in practice.

Test that for yourself, if you have grasped that you have the inalienable right of self ownership. Do you not rejoice and delight in it? Would you ever go back, to the conventional view that you're merely a cog in the vast machinery of the state, a resource to be plundered and directed according to the Collective's will? If in any doubt, read Atlas Shrugged. Or for a shorter read, of how one self-owner is enjoying the management of her own life, check Retta Fontana's recent, superb STRticle Cash is King.

Splendid as they are, those four benefits pale in comparison to what's in store for us after E-Day. Then, personal freedom will be enjoyed in practice as well as in theory, purposeful living will know no restraints, rational ethics will replace law-based government "justice" and good hope for the future will increase daily.

Each will choose to live just as he or she wishes, without obligations except those voluntarily undertaken. When you wake up in your own house, it will be truly your own house, not contingent on paying a tribute to the local tin gods of government; you'll pay for road, school and protection services only if you want them, and from competing providers.

You might decide to work in a regular job (unlike Retta, you prefer a steady salary so you can bring home some gold coins every Friday) and you'll take pleasure in knowing that not one milligram of your pay is going to support "the Leviathan which is feeding on you, controlling you, policing you, criminalizing you, killing people all over the world, and feathering their own nests with the sweat of your brow" as she so felicitously put it; not because you're avoiding some income tax, but because he no longer exists. And you'll buy, sell and communicate freely by phone and email knowing Leviathan is not eavesdropping - not because you had to encrypt it all, but because he isn't there to listen.

Or in summary and in the words of that same Benefits page, you'll have your life back.

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