top of page

Tax is Surgery, Not Virtue, Not Theft, Not Slavery

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

I’ve encountered two overstated visions of taxation:


1. Tax is theft, or tax is slavery (Murray Rothbard, a small clique of libertarians, and a few conservatives) 2. Tax is duty, or tax is a virtue (Democrats and socialists)


Neither of these visions is correct, as they both fundamentally misconstrue the nature of government and the financing of it. To understand the role of taxation, we must first understand different forms of ownership and governance.


Property Ownership

Ownership is the power of disposal. If we cannot do whatever we want with our own property, including destroy it completely, then we do not own it fully. There are three types of ownership – private, communal, and state.


There is private property in full, regulated private property, communal property, and state property.