The War On Cash: Officially Sanctioned Theft


show me good violent aggression
One man's violent aggression is another man's "societal self-defense."  To you, taxes are probably violent aggression, and to another, they are just societal self defense.

So what defines violent aggression is that "reasonable man" once again, which drags societal norms right back into the mix.

I don't think "society" is a good place to base your principles. Slavery was once widely accepted, and so was the divine right of kings and priests.
I chose my words carefully in my last post.  Let me try again, this time with bold:
My approach is to use "the reasonable man" defense - would a reasonable man initiate force in that same circumstance.  Thats the same thing as using the metric "would society in general be ok with this conduct" as a limit or restraint to my own conduct.
Everyone should feel free to exceed society's norms in terms of moral behavior.  There's no requirement to own slaves.

What's more, I believe that a lot of what happens in our own crony-capitalist / surveillence-state country vastly exceeds what a reasonable man in the society would approve of.  We should not conflate where we find ourselves now with what most people in society believe should be true - if they were all in full possession of the facts.

And that last little gem brings me to my final conclusion.

Ultimately, the morality or immorality of force initiation isn't the important issue of the day.  Transparency is the issue.  SP said it best when he talked about Ghandi and why nonviolence worked - once the conduct of the army was exposed, all the reasonable people in England with empathy said "no more" and it came to an end.

Once transparency happens, the whole reasonable man/societal pressure force starts to work.  With transparency, the 96% of the population that has empathy can have a material effect.

We'll never be able to get rid of the requirement to initiate force, any more than we can unilaterally disarm and just "hope for the best."  But we can require that all uses of force be transparent.  Cops with cameras is one example.  Allowing pictures and movies of chickens with their beaks cut off fed antibiotics while living in tiny cages is another.

So if you actually want to fix something important in today's world, so that the actual conduct of affairs on the ground matches up with what reasonable people really do feel is right, don't focus on force, focus on transparency.

Of course if your true motivation is that evil force-using society is impinging on your desire to keep every dollar you earn, then by all means continue with your "moral crusade against initiating force…"  :slight_smile:

In 1933, the banking system cleaned its slate by severing the link between the IOUs it had emitted and the little amount of gold that backed them. It now wants to severe the link between a debt mountain worth many times the world GDP and a residual pool of paper money that backs it, still officially under public control. By cutting this last tether, the banking system cleans its slate once again and gains unlimited powers of money creation. Humanity is to surrender the whole planet to the banks and remain utterly enslaved to repay its debt. Now what if we decide not to pay an unpayable debt?

Dave and Danny,
thank you for a very interesting exchange.  I find myself thinking things like, "ah, the force is strong in this one", and  "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". 

Danny, I can well imagine a group of men sitting around a fire some were listening to your words.  The older men, who say little and listen a lot, may exchange quiet glances.  "This one has a fire in his belly, with a little care and cultivation he may grow into an interesting and useful man".

I am finding, as I'm sure many have before me, that one of the regrets of getting older is that I will not live to see how many promising young people turn out.

With love and respect, 

John G.


In 1933, the banking system cleaned its slate by severing the link between the IOUs it had emitted and the little amount of gold that backed them.
Lots of people say stuff without checking facts.  Here's a chart.  Notice how monetary gold - once revalued at $35/ounce - was well in excess of the base money supply.  You can see that M0 (currency) which is actually a component of base money, lags well behind total monetary gold.

Why the massive ramp in monetary gold after 1933?  Was it all just Crazy Franklin "Reflationary" Roosevelt?  I think, some of it was.  But also, if I recall correctly, they had an election in Germany that same year - the last real one for a while.  My guess: ramp in US gold reflects international capital flows fleeing Europe in advance of WW2.  That, and cheaper dollars had the US selling things at a big discount, which resulted in gold flowing into the country.

So - no.  The big decoupling didn't happen in 1933.  That came much later.  And also, there was a great deal of gold backing the FRNs back then - more gold than total monetary base, actually.  After the reflation, of course.

Here's another chart.  It is "total bank credit outstanding" divided by total US monetary gold: more clearly, the number of dollars in outstanding bank credit for every $1 in gold on reseve.
See that "0.79" ratio in tiny letters down there in 1945?  There was more gold than bank credit back then.  Its hard to believe, isn't it?  But those are the numbers I got from old Fed statements.  The depression really eviscerated private debt in the US: about 58% (31B down to 15B) of private bank just went away from 1929-1935.

I do appreciate your analysis. 

Meh, minor tweak (no dig at you Dave, just "Fed Up").

With no cash your entire economic life can be terminated at will by the State.
If you think the "Do not Fly" list is bad, wait until you are on  the "Do not Buy" list.

Perfect tool for the totalitarian state.

Base money supply is one thing, total debt under any form expressed in dollars is another, and leverage during the Great Depression was massive. So forget about base money supply, debt is the problem.

So Ozfig.  I detect hand-waving.  Your original claim was:

In 1933, the banking system cleaned its slate by severing the link between the IOUs it had emitted and the little amount of gold that backed them.
I showed you via my two charts that the amount of monetary gold ("the little amount gold that backed them") actually increased during the period you mentioned - 1933 all the way through the mid-1940s.   What's more, total bank credit actually declined from 1929-1935.  Then you said:
Base money supply is one thing, total debt under any form expressed in dollars is another, and leverage during the Great Depression was massive. So forget about base money supply, debt is the problem.
Perhaps you didn't notice that I provided two charts, one with base money, and the other with total bank credit.  Base money + total bank credit = "the banking system", which you say had its slate cleaned and had "little gold to back it."  This statement, according to my evidence, is not correct.

So at the time you talk about, 1933, the backing of bank credit by gold was massive.  There was no issue with insufficient gold backing at that time.  That issue came much, much later, during the 1960s, when the bank credit/gold ratio totally blew out and ended ultimately with Nixon slamming the gold window in 1971.

At least, that's what the evidence shows.

Now if what you meant to say was that people couldn't pay their debts during the depression, well sure.  That's because debts remained while income plummeted.  But that had nothing to do with insufficient gold backing.

Bilejones:  I agree.  I often thought that the old Soviet Union government and secret police would have loved having the technology of the international credit card companies.  Being able to track every purchase and financial transaction may be more powerful than having a GPS implanted in every citizen.  The GPS only reveals a person's location.  Being able to track every purchase lets them see what you are up to as well as where you are.

Gordon T. Long has an interview related to this topic, for those interested, at:

The concept of a do-not-buy list would be intriguing from a central planning perspective and could be specifically customized for those deemed problematic or the particularly annoying "poster children" for anti-establishment-whatever.  Want to purchase that special "something"?  Sorry, you're not on the authorized list for that item. Or, "sorry, you've already purchased your allocation of TP this month".  No more TP for you!  Time to pull up the nearest log (or raised bed) and grab a few leaves.

The film producer, Aaron Russo, reports Nick Rockefeller attempted to recruit him to "his group."  Russo was unhappy with the plan because of the way that the common people were going to be treated in this vision and declined to accept.  Shortly before his death from cancer, he gave this interview with Alex Jones articulating the vision the Rockefellers were pursuing.
Watch from the 50 seconds mark to the 1:50 where he explains the "No Buy List" idea.


Hi! I'm back. Perhaps not to y'alls pleasure.

Sorry, I think this is logically inconsistent (and open to abuse). Taxation is inherently violent aggression, this is not just my opinion. By definition, if you don't obey you are punished, through violent force if deemed necessary by rulers. Self defense requires imminent threat to self or property, so I'm not seeing how violating both leads to some abstract "self defense." That sounds like doublespeak, to me. It's like saying your supposedly hired body guard needs to regularly punch you in order to punch a mugger in front of you. I think self defense is a concept that certainly can be refined and debated, but it's really distorting reason to include taxation. Also, are there no other ways to pursue collective defense? How much do states really protect us when they can start wars, enforce liberty destroying laws, and become totalitarian?    
My approach is to use "the reasonable man" defense - would a reasonable man initiate force in that same circumstance.  Thats the same thing as using the metric "would society in general be ok with this conduct" as a limit or restraint to my own conduct.
Everyone should feel free to exceed society's norms in terms of moral behavior.  There's no requirement to own slaves.


Sorry, I did misread that last part. But I still don't see that as a valid metric for ethical behavior. It leaves way too much room for irrationality and inconsistency. So what if one can exceed society's norms? The point of ethics is to have a few explicit societal expectations (enforced through ostracism or disapproval) to promote human cooperation and peace, and then for principled individuals to defend them even if it's not popular. If a "common" ethic of your society is irrational and evil (like one that supports slavery or murder of blasphemers), and popular ethics is your limit for explicitly saying "this is right/wrong", then you simply can't consistently argue even against slavery or the stoning of a blasphemer. Right/wrong human behavior is completely relative to society's baseline, according to your approach. I mean, in a way this is correct in that ethics are a human creation (a fiction) and not dictated by nature; however, that doesn't mean all ethical systems are equal in value, jf the goal of ethics is to facilitate peaceful human interactions (which I think it is implicitly).

Now, I'm not saying taxation is as "in your face" evil as those actions, but it is a violation of a principle that I think most already find valid and clearly promotes peaceful interaction (don't take things from others, especially by threat of violence). Taxation is also one of the building blocks of pretty much the most dangerous fictional entity mankind still supports: the state. Mankind accepting states puts most of the power in a relatively few hands, and then those hands can do "acceptable," initiatory violence towards mankind. 

I don't completely disagree. Of course increased transparency would be helpful. However, who holds the cards in disclosing information? It certainly isn't "the people." It certainly isn't the lap-dog media. One can ask, beg, and protest for transparency, but again, those in power ultimately decide what and how to disclose information.Transparency is an uphill battle (K2 without oxygen tanks, if you will), and then you have the trouble of sorting what information is true, false, or exaggerated. You also have to fight misinformation and constant distraction of your average person. On top of all that, we have a population who is largely apathetic and zombified, or just outraged at symptoms and then patting themselves on the back for "taking a stand." I'm not trying to be overly pessimistic, I just think that "transparency" comes in spite of governments, not because they suddenly have a change of heart or we "make" them. People who dig for and communicate accurate facts are obviously invaluable, but they are all the more necessary because governments aren't transparent and, honestly, I don't think ever will be.

That's why I focus on the ethics. We have a principle (don't initiate force) that most people understand and accept in their personal lives (we freely and confidently call out thieves, rapists, assaulters, etc), but don't usually see in the state due to history, propaganda, and verbal deception. I accept the principle (the non-aggression principle) as consistently as possible, and individuals within states (some consciously, many unconsciously) violate the principle like it's their job (actually, it is). It's not just an occasional slip-up (oops, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to send you a bill for a thousand inefficient/dangerous things you never asked for), it's the defining characteristic. Obey or be punished, that's the mantra, regardless of how worthwhile their laws/regulations/defense are; or if they have "legitimate representation" (which I don't believe there's ever been). Promoting consistent and peaceful ethics DOES promote positive change, because if we can look at murderous thieves (in action, not necessary intention) and call them murderous thieves, then we don't support them and don't get wrapped up in playing their game (just vote for Bob! Serve your country! God bless America!). You don't (in fact, you can't) negotiate with people who ultimately have guns to your head. I make changes in my own life, pay off the thugs, and then focus on supporting voluntary and rational ideas and practices. We know it's possible to change and accept widespread principles and ideas, because that's what defines humanity; so I choose to focus on the consistent and non-violent ones and steadfastly support them, in spite of widespread delusion.

I'm clear at this point where you are coming from, and I suspect you are clear with where I'm coming from too.

I've achieved my objective, which was to understand your worldview.  I'll be reductive and summarize what I've learned.

Taxes = Evil, aggressive violence - on a par with murder, theft, slavery, etc.

An ethical, nonviolent society = A society that doesn't force me (or anyone else) to pay taxes

I realize this is not the sum total of your worldview, but it happened to be the subset that was most interesting to me.  Please feel free to correct me if I've made any errors in understanding.


That's my position. Although, I wouldn't say taxes are "on a par" with murder, theft, slavery. Well, maybe theft. That reduction makes it sound like it should be obvious (and makes the position sound absurd), when the whole point is it's deceptive. The consequences of taxation are also very different, as the aggression is felt much less by each individual in the moment (especially when states are going full debt/inflation mode) but can be very destructive down the road and spread to many more people.
So I suppose I didn't convince you, huh? Well, thanks for debating, anyway.

I don't think taxes are the most serious problem we face right now.  Nor do I feel they are on a par with robbery - stealing with the threat of violence if you don't comply.  I get the argument, I just don't buy it.  I know it makes sense to you, and you're a smart guy, but I just don't agree.

Right now, here's my sense about where our serious problems lie: peak resources, crony capitalism, a complete lack of transparency, a system of debt slavery, a political system focusing on "flag burning/war on christmas" level issues, an education system that both indebts and instills compliance, a cartel-controlled and poisoned food supply, a sickcare system that reaps large profits addressing (and sometimes fabricating) symptoms while ignoring causes, a perpetual war on terror that can never have any end and justifies any amount of surveillence and mechanisms of control, and a media that serves to reinforce all of the foregoing as "normal."

So yeah.  Taxes = violence: not top of my list.  I'd be fine with taxes if I felt there wasn't this overarching - let's call it conspiracy - to floor it right as we're approaching the cliff.

Perhaps that's the subtlety of the trap.  If only the dictatorship seemed more intelligent about it all, I'd be less disgruntled…

I'm surprised that you would feel unwelcome, you seem to be an intelligent guy with interesting things to say.  I think the rub is that you sound, and maybe are, very naive.  

I have an image in my mind of you standing in the meat section of a grocery store in front of a huge display of neatly packaged protein, expounding on the nature of the world, and believing that that refrigerator case in front of you represents all that is reality.  You sound like a young man who is unaware of the long preceding chain of events. Insemination, gestation, hot amniotic fluid spilling in the dirt.  A cute little knock kneed creature struggling to it's feet to follow it's mother out into a world of heat and cold and shit and piss and burps and farts and flies and predation only to arrive at the day when it will be unceremoniously killed, gutted, skinned, and dismembered by people working in a cold, wet, stinking environment with sharp knives and saws, before finally ending up in a clean and orderly display case were you stand, filled with moral indignation that anyone would ask you to part with 10 minutes worth of the hard earned pay you struggled so valiantly force in some brightly light, climate controlled cubical some were.

A sloppy sentence and a bit of a rant, but have you any idea how lucky you are to live in a time and place were the likelihood of some big, mean, ugly looking dude walking into your house, beating the shit out of you, f**cking violently in the ass and dragging you off by a chain around your neck to die in agony is relatively low?

So now we find ourselves at the brink of what could be among the greatest catastrophes to ever hit the human race, brought about by appalling greed, stupidity, ignorance and malice, and you're worried that someone has their hand in your pocket.

Get your head in the game, boy!

John G.

I'm not sure you really get the argument, as you clearly just described taxation ("stealing with the threat of violence if you don't comply") but apparently want to believe it's something else (look up steal in the dictionary). Like I said, it is different in some ways (immediate impact, popular acceptance, consequences) but it logically falls into the category of stealing. I'm sorry I keep coming back to this, but it baffles my mind it's difficult to comprehend. All I can guess is that you either 1) don't like the argument 2) believe the state has a legitimate claim to a portion of each individual's property (and, in fact, is the ultimate decider in all appropriate behavior as well). If it's 2, then that's a huge claim that needs justification.
I'll "quickly" explain why I don't believe states have a justified claim:

First, I think that a respect for private property is an essential element in reducing human conflict (thus: if you want to reduce human conflict, respect private property). This is because resources are scarce, and if a society has no (or inconsistent) standards for the ownership of resources, conflict will inevitably arise. The first principle of private property is that each individual "owns" himself/herself, thus no one can justly lay claim to another's body (via murder, rape, assault, etc). This is self evident, as if one tries to claim they are "right" to control (harm or otherwise) another's body, they are simply delusional. The principle that follows self-ownership is that an individual owns the consequences of his/her actions (both good and bad). Thus, if an individual is an original appropriator and mixes labor with a substance/place, then they "own" that substance/place. Some examples would be: building a fence around some unoccupied land, cutting down a tree for firewood, catching a fish. The only way one can justly attain currently owned property is for it to be gifted or exchanged for (both, by definition, are voluntary). Violent means of attainment are considered theft.
Now the entire driving force of states, throughout history, is violating private property. A state doesn't attain property through trade or by building something of use; they come and take and control a population, through violent force if they deem necessary. A state claims to be the sole (monopoly) source of law in a geographic region, and the laws are forced upon individuals without consent. Furthermore, individuals within a region are forced into paying for the state under threat of violence. In other words, a small group of individuals lay claim to being the only legitimate arbiter of what rules to make for themselves and everyone else in a geographic region, and claims the sole right to interpret and enforce the law. This claim violates private property as a state enforces and attains resources for laws without prior consent (exchange) from legitimate owners. They also never gained legitimate ownership of a geographic region (thus, we can't be said to be paying "rent" or "restaurant bill" to the state). States (for the most part) didn't trade with original appropriators, nor did they mix labor with vast swaths of land (let alone the land a legitimate owner built his/her house/business on). Most nations gained control over regions through explicit force, and have even blatantly stolen from or murdered prior inhabitants, and all states are maintained through a continuation of violating private property.  

In short, the essence of the state is to violate private property.   


Much of this I would attribute to the common acceptance of the state, the consequences of which are continually growing. If not directly, at least in our ability to deal with these problems. The root is general irrationality, but states are a huge manifestation (and positive feedback) of people's irrationality. It's similar to the medieval church: it worked because people were so irrational, but they also worked to sustain that irrationality. States are what allow people to delay natural consequences of over consumption and bad choices. Sometimes they even actively destroy resources (esp. war). Who controls and regulates education? Who controls the money supply? Who regulates and feeds the media easy stories? Who distracts the public with symptomatic (at best) issues and politics? Rejecting states and state answers plays a huge role in slowly fighting these issues. The problem is, of course, much of society is in sad shape and can't handle responsibility. If a crash happens soon, it's going to be ugly.

I'll admit, you're quite right when you say arguments against taxation shouldn't be on the top of the list for daily action. I mean, I think on a message board like this it should be heard, and I think it is an important argument to consider amongst thinkers and shakers; but in my daily life where it truly counts it's not my focus. I think you can only talk to those who will listen and know how to reason, so I don't believe in anti-tax protests or proposing the "abolition" of the state. I engage in conversation at an individual level, and treat people sincerely and as empathetically as possible. I value voluntary exchange, and there are more ways than ever to do this nowadays. The state is a huge roadblock, sure, and I think our acceptance of states (and thus their less noticed abuse) will likely lead to a scary crossroads in the future (and have clearly been terrifying in the past). However, if people are to change it's through interacting with them in a caring, sincere way; not by being some web-forum debate ninja.