A Simplified Taxless State: A Proposal (part one of three)

11 months ago
63 in liberty

In this three-part series, I'm going to show how a state can be a pure market actor and not require taxation. The state will still have an income - cynics would call it taxes under any other name - but the key difference is that the income is obtained through market means, based on a state's USP, and not through coercion by force. This leads to a society where the state does not need to know anybody's income, wealth, or transactions, leading to the obsolescence of most registers and reporting requirements (including the elimination of a corporate register), and where a "black market" is a contradiction in terms, as the state does not interfere with the market it is a natural part of. It also means an end to victimless crimes by its very nature.

Silly image of Swedish patriotism
Oh what a lovely state, except it has horrible taxes and complexity

What is a state's unique selling point? What can a state construct do, that nobody else can do (or do nearly as well)?

I would argue that the value proposition of a state consists of three unique activities:

  • Defend the territory from aggression from other state actors which want to control the territory
  • Act as an arbiter in civil disputes, enforcing arbitration with force where necessary
  • Defend actors in territory from aggression from other actors in the territory

The problems with this set of state activities started when the state found out it was able to abuse its power as arbiter of civil disputes to give itself preferential treatment as a market actor, something we would describe as corruption in everyday terms. (Technically speaking, a state can't think, so it was nobles and kings of flesh and blood who walked down this path, but let's talk in terms of abstractions for the sake of simplicity.)

In any case, these are three things that a state is uniquely positioned to do well. A state that does this, and only this, is known as a Night-watchman state. However, as we shall see, when the state is treated as a market actor, it gets the ability to offer some other services over and above this basic set like various civil services - but only on market terms, never coercively.

What is land property, when you look at it up close?

In order to model the Simplified Taxless State, we need to remodel our view of land ownership based on some harsh realities. To do this, we need to compare the property rights of land to the property rights of objects.

If the Russian Embassy were to steal an object from me here in Berlin, I would be able to seek redress and have Berlin order the property returned (or the value thereof), and the Russian Embassy in Berlin would have to comply, being on Berlin soil and Berlin jurisdiction. In this dispute, the Russian Embassy and I are equal-level market actors with Berlin as arbiter of a dispute.

However, a plot of land I have in Berlin is written into the Berlin ledger (land register), which - important! - assumes that the ledger itself is the authoritative source of who owns what land in a particular Berlin-controlled territory. If Russia were to steal that plot of land, by rolling in tanks over that plot and others, then they would not just deny its use to me, they would be stealing it from Berlin - or from Germany - and directly from the ledger that says I own it, negating the ledger's authoritiveness over what-used-to-be-my-plot-of-land.

Soviet tanks staring down Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
It has happened in the past, after all.

In this scenario, my plot of land would be transferred from the Berlin ledger to the Russian ledger, and that Russian ledger would completely disregard what the Berlin ledger asserted about "ownership". And unlike the case with the object where I can seek redress in a dispute, there is no international arbitration for land ownership between states' ledgers except brute military force. You own what you defend.

Thus, we can talk of tier-one and tier-two land owners, where tier-one owners are those land owners capable of defending their territory against state-level aggression (or capable of performing state-level aggression), and tier-two land owners are those who are somehow at the mercy of the tier-one owners retaining ownership of the land the tier-two owners think they own, but actually don't when push comes to shove.

In cleartext, a state-level actor is the only type of actor capable of owning land. Within a state, there is arbitration for when tier-two "owners" are in dispute over a piece of territory. But between states, there is no international arbitration of land ownership - brutal aggression decides who owns what (whether one approves of that fact or not). When tier-two "owners" are in dispute, it is not much different from when two children are fighting over who gets to use family property: at the end of the day, it's still the adults' property.

If one accepts this reality - that the state is the only actor capable of owning land within its territory, and all other territorial actors are at the mercy of the state retaining ownership of that land - then one can also stop pretending that a tier-two ownership of land, an "ownership" within a state, defended by a state, and contingent on a state, is on the same level as a tier-one ownership of land.

And if the state is the only actor capable of owning land, then that land can be leased at market rates, thus giving the state an income with which to defend such territory and fulfil its three obligations on it - obligations possibly even specified as part of the lease. We'll be looking closely at such income structures in parts two and three of this series, and how they encourage urbanization, resilience, and free trade.

In practical terms, absent a tabula rasa state like Liberland, a change like this can be a hard sell politically and make many enemies, as it obviously changes existing wealth structures and removes subsidies that are taken for granted. People who have "owned" land for generations (and have had it defended for free) will no longer have such a service provided for free, subsidized by coercive taxation of others. Therefore, it needs to be said that while this can easily be portrayed as a seizure of property from its current owners, it is not: it is an acknowledgement of the reality described above, that land owners operate in different tiers, and that a "land owner" on any tier below the first is completely at the mercy of the ledger maintained by the state -- a ledger which would not be respected by a different state should it seize the territory in question.

Such a rethinking of land property, were it difficult to portray as the acknowledgement of tier-two property, could also be framed as a rewriting of tax rules: doing this while calling it "revising the taxation framework" would be completely within the bounds of the current corrupt state construct, but would set it on a path to rapidly and completely eliminate the coercive taxation construct as such and to make it very difficult to rebuild such state corruption, absent the databases and infrastructure supporting taxation.

What this means is not only that the state needs to behave as a market actor among many, but also that it can't arbitrarily raise its income by the popular-but-harmful notion of "raising taxes". Instead, a state has as much income as the market will determine (by auction, or by vacancy), and will have to adjust ambitions to actual capacity.

In parts two and three of this series, we'll examine how such a remodeling to market principles results in a possible eradication of not just all taxes, but also all the supporting structures required for collecting taxes: the only databases necessary are a citizenship register and a land register. There's no further need for a car register, a corporate register, coercive bookkeeping requirements, income reporting, tax returns, and so on. We'll also look at a complete elimination of victimless-so-called-crimes as a result of the Simplified Taxless State.

(For people on the traditional left in politics, this proposal can also be called a Simplified Fair State, as the state doesn't give itself preferential treatment in the market. Words are important and "fair" is classically a left-wing buzzword like "taxless" would be for libertarians.)

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61
  ·  11 months ago

As I understand this, citizens do not purchase/own property and instead purchase the right to occupy land by bidding a tax rate - so what about improvements? If I build a house or shopping mall on the land, the state can then lease that land at a higher rate. How do I get compensated for the added value?

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63
  ·  11 months ago

Excellent counter! I'll be returning to exactly that in parts two and three, for it is indeed a very legitimate concern. We want to incentivize trade and such improvements, after all, as they build wealth.

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61
  ·  11 months ago

I'll look forward to reading future installments, thank you!

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54
  ·  11 months ago

Well actually that would be a good decison to make.
If state would control the land, it could change rate for different people.

For example, a rich man would pay way more, than a regular lumberjack, or other physical employee.

Anyway it is only a dream, but i like people dreaming over here.
Maybe we will have one day something close to that :) Good luck with that haha :D
Im afraid capitalism rules the world already.

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67
  ·  11 months ago

@hrottie It may be prudent to note that most people who don't see capitalism as a dirty word will vehemently argue that capitalism does not rule the world already. This may seem nitpicky, but I say it to point out the fact that when people argue over whether "capitalism" is a good thing or not, they usually have wildly different ideas of what real-life constructs can legitimately be called "capitalism," and thus they may agree in principle and disagree only in vocabulary.

62
  ·  11 months ago

This is exciting! The first post that I have read yet that gets into a specific idea of how an anarcho-capitalist system could work without a classic government-run military.

EDIT: This sounded sarcastic, what I mean to say is that I haven't researched this in depth and I am interested to hear ideas on making it work successfully.

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49
  ·  11 months ago

Aren't anarchists against government as a whole? The idea of countries and borders are useless at that point.

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67
  ·  11 months ago

@vegeta, it depends on what exactly you mean by government. Your average anarcho-capitalist would define government as some variation of "The organization which initiates violence against peaceful people," so when they say they're against government as a whole, they mean no more and no less than that they're against initiating violence against peaceful people. Many people do not use the word government to apply solely to violence, and thus they are confused when anarchists oppose government, thinking anarchists oppose the good things governments do, which is not the case.

The above meme is using the word "governments" not in the anarchist sense, but in the sense the average person thinks of it in.

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59
  ·  11 months ago

Precisely. As "Self-Government" for example, the word doesn't sound that bad anymore.

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58
  ·  10 months ago

If by "average person" one means "person with a dictionary, who isn't a member of a cult" then yes, precisely. Government and "cybernetics" share the same Greek root word, meaning "steersmanship." This effectively means: "control exerted only where control is necessary, as indicated by feedback signals."

Where no-one is being attacked by aggressors, government is not necessary. Where aggressors and fraud perpetrators are present, government attempts to proportionally rise up against them. Those who never aggress against anyone should be able to exist without ever encountering government; much like those who are never attacked need never engage in the violence of self-defense.

The anarchist lack of understanding of the ramifications of the term "government" is also the reason that it's unintelligent to try to win support for "anarchism," per se. Political support (which results in fewer innocent people punished) can far more easily be won for a "radical libertarian," "night watchman," or "voluntaryist" state.

In a radical libertarian, night watchman, or voluntaryist state,

  1. "Taxes" must be paid on a purely voluntary basis. (The common law already requires this. After all, every crime under a common-law/capitalist/libertarian/minarchist/night-watchman state must have a valid "corpus delicti" comprised of "injury+intent." If I keep money I earned, and don't pay it to a state I believe is illegitimate, then I have not intentionally injured anyone.
  2. The only people a state actively "governs" are those who initiate violence. However, the state is always looking for violence initiators, so a state "passively governs" those it has access to, by fact of its geographical reach. (A CIA agent may protect the life of a U.S. citizen or innocent person overseas. For example: If the USA develops drexlerian nanotechnology, should it continue to allow Iran to execute hundreds of children per year, when the cost of preventing that murdering is lowered to zero? One would have to be a monster to suggest such a thing. The only reason non-sociopaths/empaths tolerate the mass murder of states is because they have lost control of those states to sociopaths and because of this loss of proper goal structure, their technology is grossly-sub-optimal compared to that which would be developed by free-market-states/phyles/tuatha.)
  3. Because the state has multiple functions, and multiple priorities, everyone "governed" (passively or actively) by the state must have a say(a vote!) in how those priorities are implemented. Multiple "veto votes" must be built into the system in case it tries to "prioritize" an action that it should not even be allowed under any circumstances. Voters must include even people who did not pay into the state, since otherwise, the state has a perverse incentivization/targeting problem: it can respond to perverse market incentives and target non-payors, becoming a predatory institution (as it currently exists).

So, in short: Not everyone pays, but that's OK. There's no such thing as criminal tax evasion, and nonpayment of taxes shrinks the state while tax payment expands the state. Taxes are itemized to the greatest extent possible, and payments can be made to the military or courts that are not made to the local police. This then provides feedback to the local police about the job they are doing. Everyone also has a vote, and a vote on every "law."

The laws are "suggestions," and proper, random juries oversee the enforcement of laws that purely outlaw aggression and fraud. When a bogus law is broken, a random jury won't likely punish that lawbreaking. (Modern juries are not proper juries, but describing how and why that's the case requires more space than I have here.)

Everything legitimate that anarchists want is covered by a sufficiently-radical minarchist goal structure and viable strategy. Of course, that doesn't cover having a cool-sounding-but-ineffectual cult to belong to, for purposes of social signaling.

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66
  ·  11 months ago

What will happen to the extend of use of violence in the case that competing governments can exist ?

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45
  ·  11 months ago

Well, I'm thinking people may not like living in the area of a violent government.

53
  ·  11 months ago

First 'anarchist' post that made me say "go on...."
I mean that in a good way. I am open to hearing new ideas -- more so when they don't have the "anarchist or murderer" bent to them.

50
  ·  11 months ago

This reminds me of http://www.bitland.world/

Seems a bit tricky though, how can you put an asset like property/land/real estate on the blockchain that is:

  1. Not run by a government
  2. Have different laws per state/province/etc on property taxes. (I guess it wouldnt matter if theres no taxes! maybe transaction fees?)
  3. With buying assets like gold on the blockchain they have 3rd party companies audit and make sure the gold is real and accounted for. How would you do that for an entire nation?

I don't think the government will pick up technology like this for at least 10 years, but an interesting project nonetheless.

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32
  ·  11 months ago

Don't try to get the government to buy into a blockchain ledger for property, sell it to title insurance companies. Get them to use it first as a quick way to do title searches. When the obvious efficiencies have made it THE system to use, then governments will simply adopt it as the canonical registry.

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58
  ·  10 months ago

Something like Suarez's "Daemon" could be constructed that uses force according to clearly-defined, predictable rules, rules which are able to be implemented, given human nature. This could then shift the incentive structure against those who sought to abuse government power.

36
  ·  11 months ago

I sure wish ontario could become a taxless place.. theyre taxing tax!

69
  ·  11 months ago

I have a simpler suggestion;

If you like the service, pay for it.
If you don't, don't pay for it.


If you have paid for it, enjoy the service
if not, and you want to use it, pay the rest an additional premium

The only problem with taxes is that they are involuntary.

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53
  ·  11 months ago

Simpler suggestion if you find a deserted island. Until then one is getting services and has to pay for them. Otherwise one is stealing from other innocent people.

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69
  ·  11 months ago

Not, really. It can happen if people ask for it. You have to consider that if one day the state dies, anarchic communities will emerge. Some, after some introspection, will decide to pay stipends for services. In other words, taxes. Those that don't like this will join other societies.

We are on the same page today. There are places on earth one can join and not pay taxes. E.g Liberland. Heck you can even join Singapore and pay minimal ones or go off the grid in Australia, Alaska, Canada and many other places on earth.

I sometimes don't understand all this obsessiveness from some anarchists with overthrowning the goverment or even going against principles of the goverment. Yeah democracy sucks but since there is nothing objective one can do about it, we better figure out other solutions and stop whining. The people who funded liberland did exactly. they offer a solution.

I don't see many anarchists though joining that country.

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43
  ·  11 months ago

"Simpler suggestion if you find a deserted island."
No, because that's assuming that the proposed idea is anti-social.
Pay, get; don't pay, don't get, is a very obvious and social concept.
"Until then one is getting services and has to pay for them."
I can unsubscribe from Netflix. I can't unsubscribe from government.

Little problem there with the "services" received.
Let's call rape sex, shall we?
(How else would we be able to procreate?)

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53
  ·  11 months ago

I lost my interest in replying at 'rape'.

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43
  ·  11 months ago

That's fine; it's quite mutual.
Those who do not see what The State does as rape I have no interest in talking with; others can try to help you lift the veil of the delusion.

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40
  ·  11 months ago

Yeah, just like I lost interest in being forced to pay for services that I didn't ask for, don't want, and don't receive. Yet you have no problem trying to justify why I should be robbed to pay for them.

50
  ·  11 months ago

The problem of the State is the assumption of sovereignty. Initially this was purely theocratic - the divine right of Kings was the driver for Louis XIV, who created the first modern territorial bureaucratic state - which was the model presented at the Peace of Westphalia. During the enlightenment - Descartes and all that - the idea of divine right of Kings was recast as the divine right of the people - interpreted as representative democracy or communism by different groups. However the basic theocratic idea of the state being a repository for all sovereignty (or having a 'divine right') was not really challenged, and this is why modern democracy is so different from the classical interpretation, or indeed pre-Westphalian European models of property (which was exclusively held by individuals, not states). You are right to point out the paradox of states being able to define the exception to the law - the contingent nature of land rights is only one expression of this - the state can overrule the law anytime it likes and take anything you have, including your life. The real question is do we really need to have a form of authority which assumes divinity above us, even if it tells us that it derives its divine authority from 'the people', from ourselves? Or, especially now in our radically interconnected world, can we get along without this ancient territorial intermediary between ourselves and our own Gods?

62
  ·  11 months ago

I am curious about one thing though. In this discussion of what a Taxless State would look like, I understand what you wrote about tier-one actors being the only ones capable of repelling tier-one actors. However, would this preclude individuals from pulling their property from that land register and declaring themselves independent of the state actor that previously claimed that territory? Why or why not, arguments about how defensible this would be aside?

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63
  ·  11 months ago

It's a very interesting idea with wide ramifications, and I've given it some thought while coming to this. I'll touch briefly on the possibility in parts two and three (either one).

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43
  ·  11 months ago

How is tier-one and tier-two divide any different than master-slave or sovereign-serf divide? I don't see any benefit at all to what you are proposing.

56
  ·  11 months ago

@falkvinge Thank you for your thought provoking and insightful part one post. Are you familiar with existing models such as the Principality of Sealand and other successful micro nations and what, if anything, may be learned and applied from them?

64
  ·  11 months ago

It's funny, I had a different but quite related thought about a new take on a state register of land today.

We all worry about "tragedy of the commons". Imagine if a Blockchain Network (henceforth "The Network") could own property in itself. People could offer to sell property, previously registered in traditional ways or not registered at all, to the Network. The Network would collectively vote on the proposal in a similar way as we do now, in a negotiation process that would need to have some anti-cheating mechanisms just like Steem does today. They would then be available for sale, whenever a similar negotiation process comes to an agreement (it would last as long as it needs to last, perhaps indefinitely).

Over time this could develop into a general registry, of mostly land but it could contain other property as well as things that were formerly considered "commons". It would be a formalized market system of both collective and private ownership. Importantly, there would be no central authority. It's an open question whether or not The Network would dedicate resources to maintaining and securing it's property in practice.

I haven't properly thought this through, but I feel like it's the beginnings of something.

32
  ·  11 months ago

I developed a similar idea about 15 years ago when I questioned the Lockean Proviso and it's corresponding basis for the "initial" acquisition of property. IMHO the Proviso is B.S., but I needed an alternative.

So far the only thing I have come up with is that in a state of nature everyone has the same right to use the land, so if someone is going to claim property (and thus deny everyone else of their right to use it) then they should pay everyone for that.

I figured that each generation should get paid the value of the land being denied to them. With each generation being roughly 20 years, that leads to a tax rate of 5%. So each year the property owner pays everyone, through the proxy of the government, 5% of the value of the land. Simple, and an obvious cap to taxation.

Of course, when I showed my writing to some friends, they immediately responded "Oh, that's Georgism. Look up Henry George".

I have since moved on to a more pure anarchic philosophy, but IF you are going to have a government, I still think this is the best way to fund it.

43
  ·  11 months ago

I find your proposal self-contradictory.

It boils down to: "only a state can defend against other states, so against a state, people have no rights". Might makes right. Bow down to your military superiors with big tanks.

First: State is the monopoly on initiation of violence, and such monopoly has no benefit, including military protection. The state is inherently evil, not even a necessary one. There are many times police and military has turned against its own people. And committed mass murder.

See democides:
https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM

Second: If the state has a monopoly on land ownership, there can be no "free market rate" of land. Monopoly will lead to high prices and low quality service/products, as it always does. Don't like the state's terms? You can be an exile to some other state's territory, as the state owns the whole country.

Third: Private defense can be done much more cost effectively than any military, even against big guns like tanks. Consider this: A modern tank (like Abrams) costs 6 million dollars. An anti-tank missile (like Javelin) costs 60,000$. 1/100 cost.

Anything less than a tank can be destroyed by an RPG, or even a grenade launcher. Which costs even less.

Similar cost savings apply when defending against fighter or bomber planes, even nuclear missiles. See sam, patriot or hawk missile cost against an attack helicopter or fighter or bomber plane.

Every kind of service, including area protection (military), conflict resolution (courts) and security (police) can only best be supplied by voluntary free market means. Not by state, a monopoly on such services over a territory.

How about this: No one has any monopoly on initiation of violence. Anyone may defend themselves against violence, using any means necessary.

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54
  ·  11 months ago

The problem with this is it means everyone has to be prepared to defend themselves against violence. This preparation creates its own arms race. Every person will need to become armed, which will lead to increased violence and fatality.
In the UK the police dont typically carry guns (except special units), so the criminal fraternity dont carry guns either. Guns are extremely hard to come by and murder rate is low.
Weapons only beget more weapons.

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60
  ·  11 months ago

Every person does not need to become armed. They could simply pay someone else to defend them.

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54
  ·  11 months ago

And if you cant afford to pay? You get squashed?

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40
  ·  11 months ago

If they can't afford to pay you should threaten other people with violence to pay for them..... oh wait, that's what government does now.

In all seriousness, I don't want helpless people to be defenseless. Do you? I bet we can find a way to fund their defense without threatening each other with jail, assault, and or death.

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60
  ·  11 months ago

I think somehow you lost the flow of our conversation:

  1. You stated that, "Every person will need to become armed, which will lead to increased violence and fatality."

  2. I explained that this is false, "Every person does not need to become armed. They could simply pay someone else to defend them."

  3. You responded that for people who can't afford to pay, this isn't an option.

But I never said it was an option for everyone or even a solution. I simply pointed out that your statement that everyone needs to become armed is false. Many people can pay others to protect them and so they don't need to become armed.

You can defend your claim or you can admit that your claim was incorrect. But your response is simply changing the subject. You said there was no other option for anyone. I pointed out another option that could work for many people.

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43
  ·  11 months ago

Have you ever heard of private charity? Insurance? Fraternity clubs? Voluntary militia or neighborhood watches?

How do poor people defend themselves against their own state, when the state turns against them, in the current situation? You assume (or imply) government is now effective in protecting the poor and the weak. The state itself is the biggest threat against the poor and the weak.

And again, an RPG is effective against anything on the ground, that is less than the most modern tanks, and they cost $500 for the device and $100 for the shells. Defensive security is cheap.

Here, a private security company helping the poor and the needy for free:

Because being charitable is good business.

36
  ·  11 months ago

I look at my existing property taxes as a lease...

If I don't pay them they'll kick me off the property, but if I do pay them I'm entitled to a moderate level of security and fringe services....

42
  ·  11 months ago

Something to ponder and try to grasp here- it sounds fairly simple and a good plan, if only i can get my mind around the exact meaning of some of the terms used. i find that is the biggest challenge when discussing such things- people have different takes on what the terms really mean, and i believe meanings have been messed with for that very reason, by those who wish to gain and maintain full control of this world!

Thanks for the post! upvoted

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63
  ·  11 months ago

What terms do you find need elaboration, so I can take that into consideration for parts two and three?

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25
  ·  10 months ago

We're perfectly capable of messing up the vocabulary without any need for anyone to intentionally cause it to happen. The only reason it's a problem is that we tend to be oblivious about the differences in vocabularies used. Often to a degree that we even refuse to see the differences even when pointed out.

58
  ·  11 months ago

The ending of centralized governmental control started when blockchain tech first came into being. Its just a matter of time before decentralized money creates a fully decentralized society is all aspects.

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53
  ·  11 months ago

How so?
Why so?

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58
  ·  11 months ago

Because centralized money control is the reason government exists. People do not need to be governed, its just a few rich people get together and do this and that to keep the masses their peons. Really, government is responsible for two main things: 1) going to war to secure resources, and 2) controlling money and keeping the masses slaves to their mode of operating it. Whereas making everyone the creator and controller of their own money supply is what blockchain tech can do. So essentially if it catches on enough then there will be only self-centered governance by oneself, not some umbilical cord like idea to 'govern-mental' capacity, which is what centralized government does. It was ok 50 or even 100 years ago, but is outdated now. It stifles beings to self organise in the most healthy and prosperous way.

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53
  ·  11 months ago

I disagree but nothing wrong with disagreement.

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43
  ·  11 months ago

I totally agree. Cryptocurrency will be the end of central banks, banks, fiat money, and taxation, and therefore, governments.

I may also add: blockchain can also be used for a public registry for many things. From land titles to copyrights or contracts. It will make many government (other than monetary system) functions obsolete too. :D

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58
  ·  11 months ago

Yes :)

66
  ·  11 months ago

Will you be getting into the definitions of allodial and feudal property administration. It seems like that's what you're talking about anyway.
At one time land in the US was allodial. But that was a long time ago, and the generations that were willing to die to protect that right are long gone, replaced by generations that don't even know what it means to truly own land.

25
  ·  11 months ago

It seems to me you are missing something fundamentally important: the fact that there will always be unfortunates. There will be sick, alone, old, and unemployed people, who are going to be unable to pay their living expences (including any land taxes) because they have no income. What about them? Do we want people begging and dying in the streets?

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63
  ·  11 months ago

This will be covered in part two and/or three. Basically, the Hayekian-Friedmanian UBI model. That's why a citizenship register remains necessary.

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27
  ·  11 months ago

When all but the bare essentials are no longer stolen from the people, and the state does not have the "responsibility" to take care of unfortunates... people will do what people naturally do: take care of their own. Unfortunates will get far better care and protection when the people around them have not been robbed and beaten into the mode of barely surviving themselves. Think tithe. It is natural and God's law to take a portion of your sustenance and contribute to "the storehouse"... this means taking care of people around you. If reduced to a dollars and cents example... we might contribute $100 directly to help, as opposed to having $100 stolen from us, used to pay a whole chain of bureaucrats, leaving $1 to actually provide aid to the unfortunate. The State is NOT the answer, it is the problem. You can not justify initiating force and intimidation to steal from peaceful people under the pretext of helping people. Total nonsensical garbage. It's time for something better.

60
  ·  11 months ago

I don't understand how or why this is any better, morally or practically, than a State whose sole revenue source is a tax on real property.

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43
  ·  11 months ago

Yeah, property taxes will simply replace all other taxes, I see no benefit.

As long as there is state monopoly on anything there is no free market at all.

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25
  ·  10 months ago

Well, it is not the same property taxes. Is taxes on land. An yes, they are meant to replace all other taxes, and only affect land speculators. Not the regular joe.

59
  ·  11 months ago

How will you finance defense against foreign and domestic enemies of peace and order other than by a tax? If the state owns all the land (which sounds like communism to me), than the fee that you're paying for using it is also a kind of a tax. If there is a private company that provides the indispensable defense, than the fee for this service is also a kind of a tax. What is your definition of "taxless state"? There is no free lunch in terms of security.
A small additional note: the Russian Embassy is no entity that is subject to the German law. The Russian Embassy is Russia, it has diplomatic immunity. You can not sue the Russian Embassy in Berlin. - Proof: The UK government can not force the Equadorian Embassy in London to extradite Assange like they could with any private institution.

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43
  ·  11 months ago

Taxation is based on enforcement, you have no right to say no.

If people voluntarily pay for services provided, in free market, it cannot be tax.

Although I agree if people cannot really own land, only the state can, that is basically the same thing as state owning everything. Including people as slaves.

Every product ever produced is based on land, some mineral or some resource on that land.

Even services, require a person providing that service, on a piece of land.

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40
  ·  11 months ago

"f there is a private company that provides the indispensable defense, than the fee for this service is also a kind of a tax."

It surprises me that people cant grasp the difference between threats/coercion and voluntary participation. Its the same difference between rape and love making.

Service via Tax - You have no other options then to pay the tax and hopefully get what you pay for. You may or may not get the service you asked for. But it's an offer you can't refuse. If you refuse you will be put in a prison cell or killed.

Service via voluntary exchange. - You have the option to decline. You may have multiple services to choose from. If you're not satisfied with your service you can un-subscribe from their service.

50
  ·  11 months ago

In some western countries you don' own the land, but lease it for a long period of time. The problem is that people don't want only police and an army, but also want an healthcare system, pensions and clean streets. It is easy for some millionaires to promote minimal taxes, but the reality is that most of the population want more basic services than just police and defence.

50
  ·  11 months ago

Will there be public hospitals and schools in your tax less state?

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40
  ·  11 months ago

Of course. Who do you know that doesn't want those things? The difference is is that they would be funded voluntarily instead of threatening people with jail or death for not paying for them.

40
  ·  11 months ago

A state doesn't exist and therefore cannot own land itself. Things that compose a state that actually exist: Buildings, chairs, computers, some paper, etc and individuals. So obviously the individuals that compose the state are the ones that would own the land.

Logically your fundamental argument seems to be: A state is the only actor capable of owning land.

However a state is composed of individuals therefore your argument is individuals are the only actors capable of owning land.

Your plan appears to contain an internal contradiction. Individuals are not capable of owning land therefore we need individuals to own land.

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25
  ·  10 months ago

A tree is not capable of being a forest, but when there are enough trees, then that is a forest.

An individual is not capable of being a state, but when there are enough individuals...

46
  ·  11 months ago

Doesn't sound horrible, just sounds like repackaged Georgism

41
  ·  11 months ago

Ownership in any context is an illusion - even your own life. Anyone with momentary power over you, (which is to say, the ability to take your life from you without your consent,) is effectively the owner of your life for as long as their discretion is actionable. Given that almost anyone can take the life of almost anyone around them, with the aid of easily acquired means and a motive to do so, it might be claimed that no one has secure possession of their own life at any time. Likewise, we can extend this argument to any other commodity, real or abstract, that someone might want to single out.

66
  ·  11 months ago

The state is very precisely defined as a legal monopoly of the use of violence against a group of people. The question one has to ask before all else is .. is the use of violence immoral? If it is immoral, a vast majority of people will turn their back on violence, and the only way they can act on that feeling is if they can choose. That means free market in "governments" .. and because people do not want to be associated with violence if they can avoid it, they will choose the lesser violent of the possible government-like institutions that will appear on a competitive market. The use of violence will dwindle down and power will dissolve into a decentralized hierarchy of authority and knowhow. This means, there is no taxbase to take over or anywhere to attack a "country" (useless term in this situation). if there is a market for protection against aggression, it will be provided by the market. It is incomprehensible to me that for some areas, people seem to have no clue that the free market will jump in to solve problems. It is the guns that is the state. lower the guns, and there is only free interaction left. the state is only an illusion in peoples head and the effects these peoples actions have on their surroundings. The most dangerous superstition ever !!

50
  ·  11 months ago

There are a lot of similarities between this system that you propose and the feudal (middle age) system. hm....
Good post!!

25
  ·  11 months ago

What if I want to keep the land for me or for my children but I want to become either a state actor or citizen of an existing state actor? That would trigger action 1 for my victimless decision.

69
  ·  11 months ago

Interesting premise. From this first part,however, all I see is a redefinition of terms. Whatever you call payments to a centralized govt, they are still taxes. If the property is to be properly understood as belonging to the state, what is to prevent the state from showing the same kind of favoritism that creates crony capitalism and manipulates markets now?

39
  ·  10 months ago

I wonder why nobody has mentioned the most obvious logical fallacy of this reasoning (or someone has and I've missed it?)
Everything said in the article above can be said about any property whatsoever. There's a tier-one owner - the state, and tier-two owners - people.
In this logic whatever you own - from a land plot down to the last button on your shirt - belongs to the state because you can't protect it from the state.
Hence, the state should confiscate all your property down to the last button and lease it back to you at "market rates" (though there can be no market rates in a monopoly).
If you found the idea to make everything state property absurd, it's no more absurd than the idea to make land state property.
If you found it appealing, you're not an Anarcho-Capitalist, but a Khmere Rouge.

51
  ·  11 months ago

Here is a spanish translation of the article.