• http://twitter.com/chrstinadarling/status/268036092354252800/ @chrstinadarling

    Why taxation is theft http://t.co/lYl875Bv

  • Laveen Ladharam

    Nice involvment of statute, but what you forget is that the definition of ‘dishonest’ as under the Theft Act 1968, and subsequent criminal acts such as the 78 Act and the Fraud Act etc.

    This is given to us by the case ‘R v Ghosh’ [1982] EWCA Crim 2 (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/1982/2.html).

    This has both a subjective and objective level to it. The subjective level is that (1) does the ordinary decent person (i.e. the man on the Clapham Omnibus) believe the action to be dishonest, and if so (2) does said person believe his actions to be viewed as Theft in the eyes of the decent honest person.

    The ordinary decent person would not regard theft as taxation as they would see taxation being necessary to pay for things like the armed forces, police, public services. Secondly, even if the honest person saw it as dishonest, it is unlikely that HMG and Parliament would see it as such.

    Ergo the argument presented is fundamentally flawed.

  • Alasdair

    “having a majority support something does not make it inherently ‘right’ ‘legitimate’ or ‘good’.”

    Except that that’s how democracy works. It’s always nice to see people arguing against democracy, it means I know I can ignore their views on other issues. :)

    More seriously: yes, I would say there are certain things that would be illegitimate for a government to do, even a democratically elected one carryingout the will of the people. For example, a government should not kill its own citizens, except in extreme and emergency situations (e.g. a police officer killing a terrorist to prevent a bombing).

    But taking a small proportion of someone’s income is nothing like taking someone’s life. Paying tax does not remotely infringe anybody’s human rights. Property ownership is not an absolute right: in certain circumstances, the government has the right to deprive you of your property, for example in order to enforce a fine or debt.

    If you are going to take an absolutist approach to taxes, then I can only assume you take a similarly absolutist approach to the government depriving people of liberty: presumably, you are also against prisons? Indeed, if you don’t think governments can ever have any legitimate powers, presumably you’re against government altogether?

    To which all I can say is: fair enough. If you want to live in an anarchist society, feel free to move to one: I think there are parts of Somalia, Yemen and northern Pakistan where there is effectively no state. But the vast majority of people would rather live under a government which they can rely on to protect them from harm, and so the vast majority of people accept the necessity of paying taxes. If 99% of people think taxation is justified, I would suggest that they’ve got it right and you haven’t. After all, why should everyone else have to change their ways just because *you* object?

  • Alasdair

    Sorry for going on a bit here, I just realised a more fundamental flaw in your argument.

    If you don’t believe in law or democratic government (which seems to be the consequence of your arguments here), how can you even have a concept of ‘theft’ in the first place?

    If democratic laws have no legitimacy, then the Theft Act is meaningless. If they do, then taxation is legitimate. So which is it?

  • http://twitter.com/Bobski1984/status/268049432417800192/ @Bobski1984

    Tax Is Theft http://t.co/BBcaS2Cu << A huge dose of “sound” right here @OllyNeville

  • http://www.thebackbencher.co.uk Olly Neville

    Somalia Klaxon, not an anarchist society, it is a fail state. Plus no one should be forced to move to not be stolen from.

    Others should change as they are imposing on me, they are breaching things like the harm principle and the non aggression principle. Just like others should change if their hurting me, they should also change if they are taking from me or depriving me of things.

    The theft act is just showing that tax is theft even under the current system, law does not come from Government, law comes from the individual. There is a big difference between actual law based on rights and Government law based on what the Government wants.

    You seem to be very certain that whatever the Government does is legal and fine because they say it is. Would you agree that all genocides committed by Governments are fine then? You talk randomly about what Government can or can’t do but you give no justification, everything you say appears to be based on just what you think, where are your first principles or your overall justification for your world views.

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting for dinner, It’s always nice to see people arguing for democracy, it means I know I can ignore their views on other issues.

  • http://www.thebackbencher.co.uk Olly Neville

    @Laveen the argument does not rest on the theft act so even if you could remove that it would not take anything from the argument itself. Law as I say above is not made by Government.

    Dishonest as you say is based on a majority or ordinary view, and basing law on majority view is fundementally unsound and invalid, again you get the problem that there are fundemental rights that even a 99% can’t remove. If the average man wants to take away all property from Gingers, or Jews then they have no more justification for doing it than they do for taking 50% of property from certain parts of society. A majority decision cannot over rule peoples rights otherwise you are in complete agreement with Governments that committ atrocities against its people

  • http://twitter.com/OllyNeville/status/268053979106275330/ Olly Neville (@OllyNeville)

    Smacking down socialists on the @Backbencher #TaxIsTheft http://t.co/TAI8HZXm

  • Jayne

    I find it extremely unpleasant that you continually compare taxation (which can be argued to have some social benefit, and affects everyone from any social background/colour/race) to the Genocide, which had zero benefit and affected only a small, less privileged section of humanity. Please rethink your comparisons.

    -Jewish and rather annoyed.

  • http://www.thebackbencher.co.uk Olly Neville

    I don’t compare tax to genocide. I compare saying it is ok for Government to steal with saying it is ok for Government to kill on a mass scale. The justification for one is the justification for the other

  • http://twitter.com/OllyNeville/status/268108950484963328/ Olly Neville (@OllyNeville)

    Does anyone else read this and think ‘he is comparing tax itself to the killling of millions’ http://t.co/TAI8HZXm #facepalm

  • Guillermo

    Olly, if it helps, I agree with your views. Furthermore I would add that the system of “progressive” taxes is discriminatory based on income, which in my opinion is as bad as discriminating based on sex, race or religion.

  • http://www.thebackbencher.co.uk Olly Neville


    Thank you, those who agree don’t often comment so it tends to look one sided so I really appreciate it. I agree on progressive taxes, the fairest form of tax is flat taxes, but then no theft is really fair

    Ill be expanding on this article tomorrow with another one to further flesh out one of the arguments tailored to the comments I have got, so thank you everyone supportive or not for giving me your (constructive or not) criticism

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  • http://giraffefriendlydialectic.blogspot.co.uk/ Duncan

    That definition of theft claims the term applies to a guilty ‘person’…with the best will in the world I can’t see how that transitively applies to government.

  • http://www.thebackbencher.co.uk Olly Neville

    Government, like corporations, are made up of people. When a company defrauds you its directors and employees are punished, so too with Government, it may not be able to steal from you as like a company its not actually a thing, just a collection of people. So the Government workers, the MPs, the tax collectors etc they are the theives

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