One of my Facebook friends objected that libertarians claim to attain their goals in a hasty manner without actually concentrating over the intermediate steps. It is a general complaint against libertarians and most of the people believe that libertarians are the one who are talking about abolishing the state right at this moment.
However that is not the truth. Just like every other person, libertarians also realize that ending the tyranny of state is a daunting task and causing any significant reduction in the realms of interventions of our totalitarian state in individual life will be a huge success. Yet, libertarians are abolitionists. Abolitionism doesn’t mean that libertarians can start living beyond the scope of totalitarian state right now; rather, it means that libertarians are those who realize that the state, the government is evil and they do not sanction the evil, or, they deny being the willing victim of the state. It is also pretty clear that a libertarian can be an abolitionist but he cannot save himself against the exploitation of totalitarian state. He will have to pay income taxes, sales taxes, and all other cesses forced by the government; he will have to obey all the irrational laws and orders enforced by the government. Yet, an abolitionist of the state is the one who will bear with the totalitarian nature of the state and will survive but he will also declare at each moment that he doesn’t sanction or approve the state or its totalitarian acts. An abolitionist is certainly the one, who will raise his voice and take a stand against every irrational, brutal and exploitative practice of the state; he will remain truthful, brave and rationally sound to resist the state non-violently.
Another complaint against libertarians in general is that they do not have a plan of action to reduce the state or to end it while they keep complaining against the state and governmental interventions. This is also wrong. In fact, there is a clear and rationally valid plan and it is to take a stand against every wrong of the state without fear. A few days ago, I wrote about the struggle of libertarians in India and I suggested a proper plan about how to raise awareness against the ills of the state. Obviously, awareness is the key, the more people will be aware of the wrong of the state; the more they will gather with us to demand a reduction of totalitarianism. Obviously, demanding freedom is a task far away. However, it is not like libertarians only talk about raising awareness and spreading, educating general masses through social networking, blogs, articles, print media articles, debates, real life meetings with common people and raising issues related to libertarianism and totalitarianism and other means. Rather, libertarians, being abolitionists, also try to become a close example of what they preach. Recently, I read an excellent article by Wendy McElroy1 in which she talked about the third rail of libertarianism. She mentioned about the importance of notion, “Tax is Theft” and raised a moral question, if Taxation is theft, is it rationally valid to take a Tax Funded Job?
Obviously, if a person believes that taxation is theft, which actually it is, he will not accept the stolen money for his own. However, the truth is that it is almost impossible to live without actually using tax-payers money, the robbed wealth. In India, we have subsidized public and private education, all of the schools, colleges, universities, and technological institutes of India (irrespective of being public or private) are hugely subsidized, the course we learn is planned by government and we have no choice. Our food, medicines, transportation, and every other commodity that we use in our daily life is either subsidized, or is heavily taxed, we are living in a totalitarian state. The truth is we cannot avoid the government. However, there certainly are ways through which we may earn honest living in place of taking a tax funded job, and choosing such an honest living is the actual way of abolitionists. It is also true that not everyone agrees with the way of abolitionist libertarians. I know a few libertarians enjoying lucrative governmental jobs. If someone believes that taxation is financial rape of common men, then as a libertarian, he cannot accept a governmental job. Obviously, there is a difference between using roads or water supplied by government and taking governmental salary. It is also true that counter-economics is widely supported by libertarians, they do suggest to follow every possible way to eschew taxes, however, it is almost impossible for a common man to avoid taxes. Yet, even if a person is unwillingly paying taxes, he doesn’t have a moral right to take a governmental tax funded job. Yet, many people, who recognize that taxation is robbery at gun point, offer various justifications for being in governmental jobs.
Some people believe that working as a governmental teacher may not be wrong because ultimately, a teacher is working to spread awareness and knowledge and since he isn’t working for IT department, working as a teacher, lecturer or professor isn’t that bad. However, the reality is that taking salary as a governmental teacher is seeking and consuming robbed money which does violate the property rights of tax-payers. Furthermore, Indian education system and educational courses doesn’t allow truth to be spread, education for all and free education is actually ruining the educational freedom. A few economists may suggest that their research papers as a governmental employee will help in strengthening the culture of freedom in India. However, the truth is that one doesn’t need to be a governmental employee to be a rational truth seeker. Some people will say that their educational qualifications and skills don’t offer them enough choices but to seek for some governmental job. This is also a blatant lie, irrespective of the fact that Indian market is hugely infringed by the government, there are number of options for anyone of any educational background to earn honest living.
I have seen young people preparing for IAS exams so that they may join Indian Administrative Services. Taking a tax-funded job is morally wrong, working as an IAS officer is heinous. An IAS officer not only consumes the robbed money, he actually administers, regulates and rules other individuals as if they are slaves. He takes the task of planning for the whole public under his jurisdiction as a collective and ignores every bit of individual freedom and rights. While it is questionable whether an IAS officer can work honestly, whatever he does is certainly immoral, anti-individual liberty and authoritative.
Some people may justify taking a tax-funded job by claiming that they are merely taking their taxes back. Since they were taxed, they find no wrong in taking a tax-funded job. However, it is preposterous argument. Even if a person is forced to pay taxes and eschewing taxes is almost impossible for him, he has no moral right to take a tax-funded job. Because, if he knows that taxation is financial rape of ordinary people, he won’t feel like being a part of the gang of rapist, irrespective of his benefits that he may attain by being a gang member. What about working as a medical officer or doctor? Socialists claim that medical practitioners have a moral obligation to work as government servant because they were taught at the expense of tax-payers. What they really fail to understand that by working privately too, a doctor will be serving people and if he practices in a rich urban area, then he will be actually serving those people who were actually robbed through taxes for his education. Thus, this moral obligation if true, suggests that every doctor should serve only rich people because the fact is that only a meager percentage of 2%-3% of Indians (who are rich) actually pay taxes.
If a doctor is really willing to serve poor people, he should opt to offer private services for poor people and villagers because while doing so, he won’t be consuming the money robbed as taxes from tax-payers. What about being a politician? Being a politician will be extremely heinous not only because a politician will eat the maximum share of the robbery, but also because a politician actually can serve nobody but himself.
What about the pensions, provident funds, and social security a person attains after working as a governmental servant throughout his life? It is preposterous for a government servant to expect pension, provident funds or social security after retirement because whatever they earned and saved while working as a government servant, was actually the robbed money of tax payers, he had no right over it. As a matter of fact, working for government in any department is just like being a part of gang of robbers and expecting pension, provident funds, social security, is demanding more share of the robbery from the government.
An abolitionist doesn’t say that he will immediately end the government; he cannot say that because he isn’t able to do that. Yet, an abolitionist radical libertarian will certainly assert that he will never accept a tax-funded job and he will always criticize and expose the wrong of all those who are enjoying the benefits of tax-funded jobs. An abolitionist certainly claims that he doesn’t sanction the evil, immoral and he will always oppose that and when he do so, he not only spread awareness, he actually presents a live example. I hope my Facebook friends will realize now that while talking of radicalism, abolitionism, libertarianism, we do spread the idea of non-violent protests for liberty and justice which will certainly lead to intermediate steps they support, however, we won’t end at those intermediate steps, we will further our struggle to attain absolute freedom.