The Liberty to Tax
The article “How The Power To Tax Destroys” by Michael S. Rozeff was an interesting article which began: "Where the state is, there is the power to tax; for rulers cannot rule without
taxation. As Ludwig von Mises wrote: 'The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation.’ Or as Murray Rothbard put it: ‘...all state actions rest on
the fundamental binary intervention of taxes...’” 1
It was John Marshall who wrote in 1819 that "The power to tax involves the power to destroy". But the idea that “Where the state is, there is the power to tax” of course is also not
exactly true. In fact by omission it is rather misleading. There have been many governments in history that have been fairly or extremely successful and did not have the “power to tax” as
the term is used by Rozeff.
In the book "The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State", Bruce L. Benson goes into great detail
about a form of government that is not taught in modern texts books. It is commonly unknown that, "our modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm." 
This too can be a misleading statement because it imparts the idea that unless there is a centralization of power in government that there is no government.
The very word government has become synonymized with centralized authority while the fact is the best or most godly forms of government in history were the reverse. They were even said to
be so different they turned existing governments of central power upside down.2
One of the most famous of all such governments was the ancient republic established by Moses. There was no central government with the power to tax in this government called Israel.3 There was no tax commanded from the top down until the voice of the people elected Saul.4 In truth, since most taxes today are excise or use taxes, taxes on use of something, they would have been forbidden because of the ban on usury, which is a charge for use. There was no enforced income tax, sales tax, property tax and had not been since they left Egypt. According to the instructions in Deuteronomy 17 if they did elect a leader who could exercise authority their written constitution was to forbid him from doing anything that returned the people to that system of government they were under in Egypt.
Before that turning away from the way of God’s kingdom all the taxes in that government were voluntary and according to the choice of the individual. They called them tithings because the
people were divided into groups of ten families but the amount was determined according to the service offered by those who held office as public servants.5
There are many examples of such governments of liberty after Christ and before.6 The early America republic before the
constitution of the United States7 had made great efforts in reestablishing that form of government here in the Americas. One
of my favorite quotes which I include in the book “The Covenants of the gods”8 is, “The ordinary citizen,
living on his farm, owned in fee simple, untroubled by any relics of feudalism, untaxed save by himself, saying his say to all the world in townmeetings.” For he, “had a new
self-reliance. Wrestling with his soul and plough on week days, and the innumerable points of the minister’s sermon on Sundays and meeting days, he was coming to be a tough nut for any imperial
system to crack.”9
It was rugged individualism and self reliance that played an important part in making America free and great but we must temper that independent mind and state with extreme voluntarism. Wild
Indians, marauding renegades, French military and eventually Hessian mercenaries met with this American voluntarism which kept the American Republic alive and free.
There were no social welfare programs financed by government taxation, no guaranteed unemployment old age benefits, no Medicare and there were no “swarms of Officers to harass our people,
and eat out their substance” except what the British tried to impose in an attempt at “abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally, the Forms of our
When men governed themselves as Christ commanded and cared about their neighbor as much as they cared about themselves, freedom reigned. When Americans no longer rejected the benefits of central
governments that taxed their neighbor they soon became victims of their own greed. They were made the human resource for their neighbors’ avarice and sloth to the same extent that they had
coveted their neighbors’ substance. Imperialism grows inversely as voluntarism and love of neighbor diminishes. No one truly loves his neighbor if he covets his goods through the agency of
governments which exercise authority one over the other. Christ told us to do contrary to such governments even if those governments and their benefactors claim it is for the common benefit of all.11
We should have known for centuries that, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”12 And that of course is where men are today in America and almost every other government order of the new world.13 People are back in bondage again and under tribute14 because they coveted their neighbors goods15 through the agency of governments they devised for themselves.
One of the most shameful things in all this is that the very institution called out and appointed by Christ16 has been
at the core of this seduction back into bondage. While they were to maintain an entrance17 into the kingdom of liberty18 where there were no kings and the power of choice19 remained in the hands of the people they have actually delivered the people into bondage20 again
where they are unequally yoked21 with rulers who have the power to destroy.
In the “Summary and Conclusion” Rozeff wisely states, “Purposeful choice in the realm of voluntary behavior among ordinary people tends to improve life.” This is what
Christ gave us. The Kingdom of God is the opportunity to make purposeful choice. In fact this is also what Abraham and Moses gave the people in God's kingdom at hand.
Rozeff expounds that, “The bottom line is this. Place no hope of betterment in changing the party or man in office, for so long as rulers possess the power to tax, they will use that
mechanism of state to the detriment of its subjects.” Men are subject because they have desired membership in the schemes of governments to take from their neighbor for the benefit of
themselves and confirmed that membership as a human resource through application and acceptance.
"Freedom is the Right to Choose22, the Right to create for oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibility
of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not a man but a member,23 an instrument, a thing."24
In the kingdom of men the rulers are at liberty to tax the people but in the kingdom of God the people are allowed the right to tax themselves. Both governments depend on the contributions of the
people, although one is done by force and the other by the higher power25 of choice, liberty.
I would have to add to Rozeff’s “ bottom line” that we should place no hope in the majority of people giving up their benefits in order to return every man to his family and
to his possessions26 as it was meant to be in that Kingdom of God at hand preached by John and Jesus.
I understand that it is the covetous, slothful selfish evil in us all that makes true Rozeff’s statement, “The power to tax provides the serpent of state with its victims, us.”
But the power to choose to give in voluntary freewill associations nurtures the kingdom of God within us all. This is why Jesus told us to seek the kingdom under the perfect law of liberty and all
else will be provided, this is why the prophets taught independence but warned us not to forsake the coming together.
Yes, Rozeff is correct, “Taxes feed the monster whose growth spreads venom everywhere. Taxes with or without representation are evil, ever fostering harm and destruction. If we are wise, we
will defang the beast by ending its power to tax.”
Christ told us nothing different and gave us the solution in seeking the kingdom of God at hand. But He told us to stop feeding the beast in ourselves first. That hungry beast in us that devours27 one another by applying to the civic altars of compelled contributions.28
Jesus understood that the people were under bondage29 to the unrighteous mammon and allowed those captured to be friends31 with it for a time while they learned
and sought the ways of the kingdom. Moses did the same when he was preparing people for freedom under God instead of bondage in Egypt. They no longer got the same benefits of that government [straw]
but were compelled to keep their contributions [ “tale of bricks”] at a high level.32
Unfortunately the Churches are under a strong delusion and no longer preach the kingdom of God is at hand nor do they preach the power that comes from obeying the commands of Christ to love your
neighbor as yourself in the full extent required in His kingdom. The people are permitted, even sent, by these Churches to apply at the civic altars of these authoritarian governments referred to as
beasts in the Bible and by Rozeff in his article.
This should be no surprise since these Churches and ministers have been misled to also apply for benefits from the same form of authoritarian governments that do contrary to God’s kingdom
from the beginning.33 They have become little more than government Churches34 that have abandoned true religion35 to other benefactors who exercise
authority.36 But that is another story.